Recirculating to clean

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    #1 jeffpn, Nov 12, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
    Ok guys, here’s a question. Since I now have a pump, I’ve decided to give my homemade counterflow chiller a second try. I’ve never been happy with the way I cleaned it. My biggest hang up is knowing that the inside of it is wet after you rinse it out, and no way to dry it. So I feel like mold or whatever is unavoidable.

    I’m using my bottling bucket to form a recirculating system. 2 gallons of water with OneStep cleaner. After I recirculate for 10 or 30 minutes, can I just add Starsan to the OneStep solution? Is there anything wrong with that? It’s a bit of a pain to drain the bucket and get the circulation going again. I’d rather not do that if I can avoid it.
     

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  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    PBW is your friend...I wouldn't brew without it at this point. I never trust that something is really clean unless it's soaked for a while with it. the oxy-based cleaners are good, but I think of them as sanitizers, primarily, and I don't think it's doing anything that Star-San isn't doing. I trust the PBW to really disolve the grunge and then either Star San or One-step as a no-rinse sanitizer. Best to run really hot PBW through the system and then let it sit. You'll be surprised how much stuff comes out of your "clean" equipment when you do that.
     
  3. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I recall reading that Star-San should not be left over long periods on stainless steel. As soon as I recall the source(s), I'll update.
     
  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I used PBW to clean it after I used it last time. I’m wondering about adding Starsan directly to my OneStep solution now.

    I don’t recall hearing about Starsan and stainless. Tough to find threads on that subject that don’t claim to debunk that concern. A lot of people seem to be using Starsan on stainless.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I have a set up with similar issues and it even sits outside so the slight mildew smell is always there on everything so right before brewing I do a 3 gallon clean, rinse and sanitize through all my equipment so its pbw then star sans and even if star sans is left inside the hoses or herms coil and its fine; it gets pushed out into a bucket right before using it
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you can rig up an connection to a air compressor to blow out all liquids, Ive done that
     
  7. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Let me ask the question in a different way. Assuming you recirculate in a similar way that I’m describing, do you completely purge one solution before adding the next, or do you add your sanitizer, whatever you use, to the previous solution? I had a heck of a time getting my pump to restart after I dumped the OneStep. OneStep is no rinse, so if it’s just as effective, I’d like to just add my Starsan to the OneStep solution.
     
  8. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I don’t have an air compressor.
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I purge it all then spray water with the hose to clean out the cleaner then add the sanitizer, its best to just use your boil kettle and gravity to help prime the pump, you will have problems priming that pump unless constant down pressure is on the head
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I can attest to the fact that StarSan will mess with Stainless. Some fittings will turn black and I'm sure the inside of stainless tubing, etc will do the same depending on the alloy. I haven't noticed a problem with PBW or for that matter with relatively extended soaks of StarSan in kegs. I mostly end up emptying StarSan into a bucket from a keg, so the only thing that's likely to sit in it are hoses, etc.
     
  11. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Oh i store my unused kegs with a splash of starsan in them under preassure maybe i better go check themo_O.
     
  12. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    the best way to store anything is to clean it then expose it to air to dry out and evaporate, then when using it the next time sanitize right before use with either boiling water, bleach or star sans, what ever your process
     
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  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yep. For a more detailed explanation of Star San and stainless steel, John Palmer has a section on brewing metallurgy in "How to Brew."' Short story, acids attack stainless over time. Chlorine is worse.
     
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  14. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I store my kegs with a splash of StarSan also. Time to change my process per above. Thanks for the information.
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I did a bit of research on the question I asked when it wasn’t answered here. I also tried to find the answer to my question before I posted. I did come across several posts where people warn of Starsan and stainless. I also saw many posts where people say they’ve been using Starsan on stainless for years with no issue. Even Fivestsar says it’s ok on stainless. I don’t think I saw any posts where people say they’ve noticed issues with it on stainless. I also didn’t see any posts where people say they add Starsan to a OneStep solution, which is what I was asking about in my original post.
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Adding Starsan to OneStep defeats the purpose of both. StarSan is an acid sanitizer, OneStep an alkaline cleaner. Don't mix the two. As to stainless, not all stainless is created equal. Different alloys corrode differently. As mentioned above, clean, rinse and dry, then sanitize just before use. No risk that way....
     
  17. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    It's probably not a problem to keep Starsan in kegs for a short period of time (i.e. a few weeks) before they go back in the rotation filled with beer. Longer periods may not be good though.

    I have never mixed Starsan with OneStep and wouldn't consider it. I like to clean with PBW and sanitize with Starsan. That's what the breweries and tap cleaners that I know use.
     
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  18. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    For most of my cleaning and sanitizing, I use Dawn and Clorox (not what the breweries use :p). I use OneStep only for my kegs, no other cleaning agent. I could probably extend my logic there to cleaning the counterflow chiller, but something keeps me from doing that. OneStep and PBW just seem pretty expensive to me. I like to limit their use.
     
  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Sodium percarbonate is $10 a kg down Aus cheep dish soap around $5 bucks. Percarbonate is 100% and is 3G/LT Or 30g per 10lt - so bugger all its pretty cheap stuff especially for a cheap arse like me :).
     
  20. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yep, no soap or chlorine on anything that touches beer. I'll use the bleach on work surfaces but that's about it.
     
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