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Beer Engine Cleaning

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Beau

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I have recently purchased and old beer engine and I have replaced the piston assembly and all seals but I set still get an off taste in my beer, however, its much better than before I changed the piston assembly etc.

I have tried cleaning with Sodium Percarbonate but off taste remains, what can I use to remove this, I believe beer line cleaner comes it two types, Acid and Chlorine based would either of these clear the off taste or something else?

I was thinking of boiling the old parts not the new piston assembly etc obviously??
 

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Dads_Ale

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Is there any flexible hose as I would look to replace this as nasties may be engrained in it.
 

Dads_Ale

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I would also soak any old parts in a cleaner.
I have been using ChemClean recently and found it works really well. ( the VWP mentioned before is not a bad idea).
 

Beau

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Yes I have replaced the hose, and I have today boiled the end caps, swan neck etc in white vinegar and again in clear water now soaking in sodium Percarbonate..

Does anyone use either of the beer line cleaners?
 

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emerson909

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I have just refurbished a hand pull from eBay, I used sodium percarbonate to clean everything and it came up pretty good. I use this now after a keg to clean which seems to work pretty well

We Can Source It Ltd - Pipeline... https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RLHRS5K?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

Not sure how effective it would be for removing baked on crud though

VWP is a great cleaner for fermenters etc, it’s the only one I find gets rid of odours so might be worth a try for the pump internals
 

peebee

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"Acid and Chlorine based" line cleaner? New one (two!) on me, I only know of the (dilute!) sodium hydroxide based one? Be careful of smelly cleaners or you end up with another "off-flavour" that is just as difficult to shift (I'm thinking of chlorine based cleaners*, but I had a bad reminder using sulphite to clean a pump).

I've always found bad taints disappear with time. It might be a case of regular filling, soaking and emptying with plain water over a few days?

*And I'd place VWP in there if using solutions that are too strong, or soaking too long.

EDIT: @emerson909 has posted a typical (not so much "typical" as "best known") alkaline line-cleaner. Note it specifically says "very low chlorine content".
 
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Beau

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Thanks for all the replys, I will let it soak for 48 hrs in the Sodium Percarbonate and see how it turns out and update you with the results.

I would still like to hear if anyone uses beer line cleaner?
 

peebee

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Thanks for all the replys, I will let it soak for 48 hrs in the Sodium Percarbonate and see how it turns out and update you with the results.

I would still like to hear if anyone uses beer line cleaner?
Many of us do (use line cleaner). But it's used mainly as a maintenance operation. I'm unsure of it's ability you cope with age engrained "taints".

Sodium Percarbonate should be fine as long as not too hot (less than "hand-hot"?) if circulating through an assembled pump. And it's only really effective for about 5-6 hours after which you are just left with mainly washing soda. So plan in some changes of solution in the 48 hours (it's the hydrogen peroxide doing the real work, and it doesn't hang around too long).

The hydrogen peroxide is a product of percarbonate breaking down. You can see the hydrogen peroxide then breaking down, it's producing all those bubbles (oxygen). The oxygen isn't doing owt by then (nor its other breakdown product: Water!). You want it in the process of breaking down (lots of "free radicles" which wont do your flesh a lot of good either if you leave it in contact).
 

BlackRegent

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What kind of off taste?

When you finsh pulling a pint, the cylinder remains full and it is effectively exposed to the air through the swan neck. Less of a problem in a pub where there is a high throughput, but more of a problem in a home setting where you may not be using it all the time. It means that the first quarter pint (assuming it is a quarter pint cylinder) will be oxidised if you haven't used the pump for a day or two. If you want a taint free pint, in practice it means disposing of the first pull (or in my case necking it separately) so that the remainder of the glass isn't tainted by oxidised beer.
 

peebee

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What kind of off taste?

When you finsh pulling a pint, the cylinder remains full and it is effectively exposed to the air through the swan neck. Less of a problem in a pub where there is a high throughput, but more of a problem in a home setting where you may not be using it all the time. It means that the first quarter pint (assuming it is a quarter pint cylinder) will be oxidised if you haven't used the pump for a day or two. If you want a taint free pint, in practice it means disposing of the first pull (or in my case necking it separately) so that the remainder of the glass isn't tainted by oxidised beer.
Good point! It's easy for me to overlook these likely issues because I dealt with them in my completely OTT setup and never have to think about them anymore.
 

BlackRegent

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Good point! It's easy for me to overlook these likely issues because I dealt with them in my completely OTT setup and never have to think about them anymore.
@peebee
I think it was knowledge I picked up from one of your posts in fairness!

Out of interest, how did you address the oxidation issue in your system?

On a related point, do you know if it's possible to get sealing caps that screw on the swan neck threads for the sparklers? I would have thought such a thing exists (or could be made) but the quickest of googles returned a blank.
 

peebee

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... Out of interest, how did you address the oxidation issue in your system? ...
20180819_095636_WEB.jpg

The solenoid valve stuck on the back of the nozzle is just the start! Then there is the electrics to enable the valve (timed, so it automatically closes after a few minutes - and the same circuit enables/shuts-off the CO2; I did say OTT!). And all the silicone hoses in the pump are replaced (the silicone isn't impervious to oxygen at all). Not all pumps have the space for these changes (e.g. These Angram CQs are okay, but Angram COs are too stuck for space).

Note stumpy nozzles. I don't like sparklers and the swan-necks that go with them (although these nozzles are still a bit "loopy" and have threaded ends for some reason). But the valve creates a restriction that probably causes CO2 to break out and create a more than adequate foamy head anyway.

Old picture. I can tell 'cos floor's not been laid.
 

Beau

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That looks very interesting can you show and tell us more about how and what you have developed to control the beer and CO2 and the circuit including the parts used?

Possibly OTT but sound fantastic.
 

peebee

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That looks very interesting can you show and tell us more about how and what you have developed to control the beer and CO2 and the circuit including the parts used?

Possibly OTT but sound fantastic.
Ahh, I'm leading this thread off-topic. I've a habit of doing that so I'll refer you to one I "trashed" earlier Beer engine with corny setup questions. That'll keep you busy for a while, but no detail on the beer/CO2 controls. I wouldn't encourage you to copy them! But they might provide some inspiration so I'll try digging them out (they're on this site somewhere … I think?).

Hang-on (my abused head don't make quick connections any more), it's your thread! So you can lead it as off-subject as you like. And you've just employed a grand-master thread hijacker.
 

Beau

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Why don't you start a new thread re your control system?
 

Beau

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I have added a photo of the pump internals which have all been boiled in mixture of water and vinegar plus a boil in water and a long soak in Sodium Percarbonate then flushed with copious amount of water. I have now reassembled the engine and flushed again with water, I will leave water in the piston assembly and taste in 24 hrs to see if I have managed to remove the off taste, fingers crossed.
 

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