Cleaning elements

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PeeBee
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by PeeBee » Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:13 pm

Eric wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 1:37 pm
Interesting again. So if your water has no limescale to deposit, why would citric acid be effective? ...
Even the softest UK tap water will have some "alkalinity". Because the water company doses the water to stop the otherwise acid water rotting their steel pipes. Saw that on "Blue Peter" many decades ago (I don't think "Shep" was then more than a twinkle in doggie Mum's eyes?), but has become more than a memory as my water company keep playing with their new dosing equipment!

I'd guess the citric acid easily attacks the light film such dosing creates leaving the other crud nothing to stick to?

Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

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Eric
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by Eric » Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:36 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:13 pm
Eric wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 1:37 pm
Interesting again. So if your water has no limescale to deposit, why would citric acid be effective? ...
Even the softest UK tap water will have some "alkalinity". Because the water company doses the water to stop the otherwise acid water rotting their steel pipes. Saw that on "Blue Peter" many decades ago (I don't think "Shep" was then more than a twinkle in doggie Mum's eyes?), but has become more than a memory as my water company keep playing with their new dosing equipment!

I'd guess the citric acid easily attacks the light film such dosing creates leaving the other crud nothing to stick to?
Yes, I appreciate water companies don't want acid water to eat pipes from the inside, but the thing is PeeBee, I never brew without some alkalinity in my water too. That for pale beers can be as low as 10 to 15 ppm, but for stouts will occasionally be as high as 100 ppm to avoid mash pH falling too low to limit fermentable content in the wort. In both cases, any crud on the elements wipes off with a soft wet cloth.

I used to descale my elements with citric acid before getting to grips with water treatment
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guypettigrew
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by guypettigrew » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:56 pm

Eric wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 1:37 pm

Interesting again. So if your water has no limescale to deposit, why would citric acid be effective?

Mashbag, an acid rest will do nothing to limescale on elements. It is a stage in brewing with soft water to lower pH before sacrification.

IPA doesn't benefit from being brewed with highly alkaline water unless you desire a thrill of hairs on the back of your neck rising, mouth puckering and projecting eyes from the resulting astringency. I know some American Hop enthusiasts find it adds some extra to their taste bud destroying beers, but it does eliminate the subtilty of an IPA perfectly hopped with Goldings.
Superb post. Eric's knowledge and experience shines through, as always.

Guy

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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by billygoat » Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:24 pm

I don’t live in the UK l am in Australia.
Most tap water in and around Melbourne/Victoria is very soft, very little alkalinity.
I live in a rural area where we don’t have a mains water supply. We collect the rain water from the roof which goes into large tanks (around 50,000 litres) and is supplied to the house via a pressure pump. I have had the water tested, along with some spring water from near my property, and the rain water has no alkalinity as you would expect. It is a very common set up in rural areas.
The water comes through a filter which is the only treatment it has. It is extremely clear and bright and tastes better than any mains water l have drank. Being rural, there are no factories or traffic so pollution isn’t a worry. One trick is to not erect your TV antenna on the house so the birds don’t perch on it and leave their droppings.
For brewing with, it is fantastic as you are starting with a blank canvas. Some other all grain brewers that live in town about 20 miles away sometimes use my water as they prefer it to their tap water. Visitors from the city remark on the taste and smell as there is no chlorination or whatever it is that is used.

My wife is from the UK and l lived there for a couple of years and we visit regularly and that was where my love for real ale comes from.

BTW - Can anyone tell me where the “quote” button is, l can’t seem to see it.

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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by guypettigrew » Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:45 pm

Wow, amazing water supply!

The quote button is in the top right corner of a post. Next to an exclamation mark used for reporting a post. Perhaps you need a few more posts before you can see it? Don't quite know how it works on this BB.

Guy

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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by billygoat » Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:47 pm

[quote=guypettigrew post_id=860637 time=1637700304 user_id=5521]
Wow, amazing water supply!

The quote button is in the top right corner of a post. Next to an exclamation mark used for reporting a post. Perhaps you need a few more posts before you can see it? Don't quite know how it works on this BB.

Guy
[/quote]

Thanks Guy, l did try that but it didn’t go as planned, we’ll see if it does this time 😁

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Eric
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by Eric » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:15 am

billygoat wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:24 pm
I don’t live in the UK l am in Australia.
Most tap water in and around Melbourne/Victoria is very soft, very little alkalinity.
I live in a rural area where we don’t have a mains water supply. We collect the rain water from the roof which goes into large tanks (around 50,000 litres) and is supplied to the house via a pressure pump. I have had the water tested, along with some spring water from near my property, and the rain water has no alkalinity as you would expect. It is a very common set up in rural areas.
The water comes through a filter which is the only treatment it has. It is extremely clear and bright and tastes better than any mains water l have drank. Being rural, there are no factories or traffic so pollution isn’t a worry. One trick is to not erect your TV antenna on the house so the birds don’t perch on it and leave their droppings.
For brewing with, it is fantastic as you are starting with a blank canvas. Some other all grain brewers that live in town about 20 miles away sometimes use my water as they prefer it to their tap water. Visitors from the city remark on the taste and smell as there is no chlorination or whatever it is that is used.

My wife is from the UK and l lived there for a couple of years and we visit regularly and that was where my love for real ale comes from.

BTW - Can anyone tell me where the “quote” button is, l can’t seem to see it.
Fine on your water, mine is quite the opposite in terms of mineral content. While it comes as a domestic supply from a borehole less than a mile from our home, another borehole a mile or so further into the same aquifer is bottled and sold as Hadrian Spring Water. www.http://villasoftdrinks.co.uk/hadria ... aters.html

I'm puzzled why citric acid cleans your elements with no alkalinity in your water. I managed to take the nickel coating off the elements in early days when I had to use acid, but that wasn't done with citric acid. With low alkalinity and hot break the only solid in the kettle, if any deposit is not allowed to dry out, it should be easily removed by wiping. Some solid sugar additions will be awkward, but I have difficulty thinking citric acid would act to release the coating.

Good luck.

Anyway, as you have a solution carry on
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

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PeeBee
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by PeeBee » Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:47 am

billygoat wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:24 pm
I don’t live in the UK l am in Australia. ...
Hey! That's pulling a fast one! I'm here trying to offer you the "benefit of doubt" by explaining where your "alkalinity" may come from to make cleaning with citric acid feasible, and you're on the other side of the globe with a water source that actually has no "alkalinity".

So you can answer Eric's questions about citric acid and not be expecting any defence from me!(I get really jealous of people who live in warmer pleasanter climates than I do).

... Grump, grump, grumble [-X


Eric's going to beat me now with a big stick for daring to question one of his replies (actually, Eric is "Mr Cool" and wouldn't give a fig about what anyone said to contradict him).
Last edited by PeeBee on Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cask-conditioned style ale out of a keg/Cornie (the "treatise"): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwzEv5 ... V1bWc/view

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Eric
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by Eric » Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:46 am

PeeBee wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:47 am

Eric's going to beat me now with a big stick for daring to question one of his replies (actually, Eric is "Mr Cool" and wouldn't give a fig about what anyone said to contradict him).
Sorry PeeBee, I can't find a suitable stick, then why would I or should I? We're here to share and gain knowledge and I'm intrigued to understand what might be on elements that can't be limescale, but comes off with citric acid?

While on the cleaning topic, beerstone was always a problem for me. I didn't wish to physically remove it from plastic FVs lest the process scratched the surface, but I'd read that a layer was thought to reduce fermentation times. However, the layer eventually became quite thick and a solution of EDTA and Caustic Soda was tried to find it would easily dissolve the stuff. Only a small volumes were needed by tilting and rotating the vessel to see the solution colour with dissolved calcium oxalate and the inside of the vessel return to smooth plastic. However, when used on stainless steel vessels, I found it didn't work as well, and I still don't know why. However, have found that provided it is done every brew immediately after transfer and the sides of the vessel is kept moist with running water, beerstone will also wipe off with a soft cloth without any scratching.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

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MashBag
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by MashBag » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:56 am

Agree I use TFR (caustic) all the time after every everything.

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Jocky
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by Jocky » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:32 am

Eric wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:46 am
While on the cleaning topic, beerstone was always a problem for me. I didn't wish to physically remove it from plastic FVs lest the process scratched the surface, but I'd read that a layer was thought to reduce fermentation times.
Supposedly the key to beer stone removal is to start with an oxidising acid, then follow up with a non caustic cleaner. Nitric acid is the most suggested, and unfortunately impossible to buy without a license.

Like you I clean my fermenter immediately after racking and it seems to be keeping beer stone at bay.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by Eric » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:59 am

Jocky wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:32 am
Eric wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:46 am
While on the cleaning topic, beerstone was always a problem for me. I didn't wish to physically remove it from plastic FVs lest the process scratched the surface, but I'd read that a layer was thought to reduce fermentation times.
Supposedly the key to beer stone removal is to start with an oxidising acid, then follow up with a non caustic cleaner. Nitric acid is the most suggested, and unfortunately impossible to buy without a license.

Like you I clean my fermenter immediately after racking and it seems to be keeping beer stone at bay.
Yes Jocky, EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is the cleaning agent in the process I described earlier, the caustic addition was smaller, sufficient to raise pH to the optimal for the process. What puzzled me, and still does, is why it worked brilliantly on plastic, just vanishing in front of your eyes on the inside of a slowly rotating vessel, yet an abject failure on my 100 litre SS FV. There has to be a reason or I did something wrong.
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MashBag
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by MashBag » Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:58 am

Jocky wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:32 am

Supposedly the key to beer stone removal is to start with an oxidising acid..
Or use TFR and it doesn't build up to become a problem that needs acids.? Different folks different strokes.

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Jocky
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by Jocky » Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:53 am

Well, why not go the whole hog and pre empt the problem with a nice coat of Turtle Wax?
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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MashBag
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Re: Cleaning elements

Post by MashBag » Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:13 am

Now you are just being silly, everyone knows you need waxoyl to do the job properly 😅

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