Cleaning stainless steel

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by jceg316, Apr 14, 2019.

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  1. Apr 14, 2019 #1

    jceg316

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    I'm setting up my old kit at my wife's farm, it's a 2 vessel stainless steel HERMS. I had a look at it today and there's rust on some of the parts, the kettle is brown from many previous brews, everything is a bit dirty. Everything is stainless steel, is there a way to clean this which doesn't involve scrubbing? I'm getting some other SS equipment (recently got a new SS fermenter) so would be good to know hwo to clean that.

    The pamphlet which came with my fermenter said not to use oxy cleaners.

    I have a grainfather and used the Grainfather cleaner, it didn't seem to work. Stains would remain and if I scrubbed them afterwards they wouldn't come off easily, so would be good to use a generic SS cleaner on that too.
     
  2. Apr 15, 2019 #2

    jceg316

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    I've been doing some research and it seems some people to use oxy and PBW (which is an expensive version of oxy) on stainless steel equipment. I've also been told putting stuck fittings in coca-cola is a good way to unstick them.
     
  3. Apr 15, 2019 #3

    -Bezza-

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    Disclaimer: I don't know what I'm talking about, so don't die as a consequence of me talking about chemicals, but hopefully this points you in the right direction.

    I think PBW is oxy (sodium percarbonate) with sodium metasilicate. The sodium metasilicate gives it the ability to more effectively break down organic matter. I have it somewhere in the back of my mind that it's 5:1 percarbonate to metasilicate. Bought separately, they are quite cheap, albeit the sodium metasilicate might be very hard to buy in smaller quantities.

    That's going to do nothing for rust as far as I can tell. For that, might you be looking at Trisodium phosphate? Then a bit of citric acid to passivate the SS again?
     
  4. Apr 15, 2019 #4

    foxbat

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    TSP is a degreaser so probably not much use on rust. I've had good luck with Barkeeper's Friend on small spots and blemishes. Depends on how bad jceg316's rust is I suppose.
     
  5. Apr 16, 2019 #5

    jceg316

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    My kettle is fine from rust, just has been stained. I saw a video where someone used barkeeper's friend to clean off heavy stains, but it looked like a lot of elbow grease was involved, doesn't seem worth the effort.

    The rust is on my fittings, ball valves, hosebarbs etc.I could soak them in a bucket of something.
     
  6. Apr 16, 2019 #6

    Bex Brew

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    Try soaking them in white vinegar overnight.
     
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  7. Apr 17, 2019 #7

    JonBrew

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    Barkeepers friend is the way to go, particularly for removing staining and rust. I believe it also passivates the SS but I could be wrong about that. It does require a bit of scrubbing but it's worth the effort. Just dont use BKF on any chemically etched marking on your equipment, like the volume indicators on your SS Brew Bucket, as it will remove them.
     
  8. Apr 23, 2019 at 3:33 PM #8

    jceg316

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    I was at the farm yesterday cleaning equipment and trying to set up. I had some oxy with me and made up a small bucket of it and threw in a few SS things to see if it would clean. It worked really well. A lot of what I thought was rust is actually just old wort stains and could scrub it off. I'm gonna soak my kettle in oxy and give it a scrub.

    Next bit is to try and unstick joints.
     
  9. Apr 23, 2019 at 4:33 PM #9

    Sadfield

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    A nice tip from one of Randy Mosher's books, too remove beer stone staining, is to use an acid based cleaner (old Starsan solution works). Drain it out and then oxy, without rinsing inbetween.
     
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  10. Apr 23, 2019 at 4:45 PM #10

    Clint

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    I clean mine with a good hot oxi soak and scrub with a non metallic scourer then rinse out and wipe down with starsan.
     
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  11. Apr 24, 2019 at 7:20 PM #11

    Justin Dean

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    Where do you buy you Star San from?
     
  12. Apr 24, 2019 at 9:02 PM #12

    Clint

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    Any good HB shop...or online. I'm currently using Malt Miller own version which saves a few quid..
     
  13. Apr 24, 2019 at 9:04 PM #13

    Justin Dean

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    Bit glib. I was looking online earlier and the postage across eBay was astronomic which led me to think us import. Same on amazon. And home brew websites.
     
  14. Apr 24, 2019 at 9:11 PM #14

    Clint

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    Glib? That's where I get it....and probably everyone else. It costs in postage probably due to weight. Add it to your next order to combine a £ value for free postage rather than by weight.
     
  15. Apr 24, 2019 at 9:15 PM #15

    Justin Dean

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    42 quid postage on a 540ml jar.....I will go to local HB.
     
  16. Apr 24, 2019 at 9:20 PM #16

    Clint

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    Steady on....you may be looking in the wrong place ... I'll have a look.
     
  17. Apr 24, 2019 at 9:23 PM #17

    Clint

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    First hit on eBay 256ml,£16.25, delivered. eBay does bring up lots of US hits quoting lots for postage...
    Malt Miller 456ml £17.99....but you would have to see what postage costs would be as it may be £7 ish for next day/DPD only but the service is ace...but you can order 25kg of stuff for the same postage ..or there abouts. Bear in mind though you dilute the stuff at about 1.5ml per litre of water and a few litres is enough to sanitise all your gear on brew day.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019 at 9:30 PM
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  18. Apr 25, 2019 at 10:49 AM #18

    Justin Dean

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    thank you
     
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  19. Apr 25, 2019 at 9:24 PM #19

    Hoppyland

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    Nowt glib about Clint's advice!
    I've bought Malt Miller's (AKA Neale's Homebrew) version of Starsan (basically, phosphoric acid with surfacant, I guess)
    The delivery charge is not excessive, and if you order it with other stuff, then it can be negligible. It might sound expensive at first glance, but when you factor in the dilution then you'll see it's actually very good value indeed.
     
  20. Apr 25, 2019 at 9:30 PM #20

    Hoppyland

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    Bit glib??
    Clint's advice was spot-on. I've been using the Malt Miller's version of Starsan for some time now, and it has worked superbly for me.
    Check out https://www.themaltmiller.co.uk/
    Unless you're living in a very remote part of the world then postage will be reasonable - and very little indeed if you combine your steriliser with a bunch of other ingredients.
     

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