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Old 08-31-2008, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default Can Bleach be Used on Stainless Steel at all?

Can I use Bleach at all on my Keggle? It's a Stainless Steel Keg. I have never used it in the past, but I want to give her a good scrubbing today. If not, I could always stick with PBW.



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Old 08-31-2008, 03:33 PM   #2
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It isn't goint to kill it at low concentrations over a short period of time IMHO. But if I had a choice of PBW and bleach, I'd use the PBW.



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Old 08-31-2008, 05:58 PM   #3
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PBW is a superior product for cleaning. Bleach is only a sanitizer, not a cleaner.

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Old 08-31-2008, 06:16 PM   #4
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Right now my Keggle and Immersion Chiller are having a 24 hour PBW Bath.

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Old 09-01-2008, 02:13 AM   #5
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Oxyclean is good for cleaning almost everything you brew with. I let my imersion chiller, a copper coil sit in it for about a week before I brew and it takes all of the tarnish off...same thing with the copper manifold in my mashtun. I let a solution of it sit in carboys between brewing sessions too. Each of my kegs gets a soaking with an oxy solution before sanitizing.

For sanitizing use a no rinse sanitizer if you can get your hands on one. I use to use bleach on my glass, but was worried that I might contaminate my stuff while rinsing. My second batch had some spoiled bottles in it after it had aged. After that I switched to starsan and haven't gone back. There are too many benefits over using bleach

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Last edited by RobertHSmith; 09-01-2008 at 02:16 AM. Reason: forgot to say I clean my kegs with it too
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Bleach is only a sanitizer, not a cleaner.
Backwards - bleach is a cleaner, not a sanitizer. At least, not unless you correct the pH (NOT RECOMMENDED - chloric acid is very bad stuff to breathe)

Bleach is both a cleaner and a (weak, by brewing standards) sanitizer because it contains high concentrations of sodium hydroxide (lye) along with the 'active ingredient' sodium hypochlorite (NaClO). The lye makes the pH high, which is good because it makes the chlorine part less reactive, and that's what you want when people with no clue what they're dealing with are using something dangerous.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tentacles View Post
Backwards - bleach is a cleaner, not a sanitizer. At least, not unless you correct the pH (NOT RECOMMENDED - chloric acid is very bad stuff to breathe)

Bleach is both a cleaner and a (weak, by brewing standards) sanitizer because it contains high concentrations of sodium hydroxide (lye) along with the 'active ingredient' sodium hypochlorite (NaClO). The lye makes the pH high, which is good because it makes the chlorine part less reactive, and that's what you want when people with no clue what they're dealing with are using something dangerous.
I'm sorry, you need to research this. You have it backwards and this kind of disinformation is confusing to others.

Bleach is a sanitizer that kills most bacteria and some viruses. It is a very powerful germicide. That is why it is used in hospitals, for drinking water, for diaper laundering, and for kitchen sanitation in low concentrations, and for swimming pools and waste-water treatment in higher concentrations. It is NOT a cleaner. Surfaces must already be cleaned in order to be sanitized with bleach.

You've got the composition wrong too. Bleach is typically a 4% to 7% solution of sodium hypoclorite (5.25% is typical of household bleach, Clorox brand is 6.15%), and it has less than 1% sodium hydroxide. I'd call that a very low concentration of NaOH. The rest is distilled water. NaOH is used in the production of sodium hypoclorite NAHCL. It is left in slight excess in solution to maintain the typical ph of 11 to 13 of the sodium hypoclorite solution, which would otherwise degrade fairly quickly.

MSDS: Clorox regular bleach
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:12 PM   #8
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By the way, I don't think bleach makes a good sanitizer for brewing, not because it isn't effective, but because unless it is rinsed off of whatever you used it on very thoroughly, it will impart bleach odor and off flavors to your beer. It is also corrosive to stainless steel if not rinsed off promptly. Why use a sanitizer that has to be rinsed with tap water that could reintroduce contaminants?

Use PBW or Oxyclean or powdered dishwasher detergent for cleaning. Use Iodophore, Star-San, or Saniclean for sanitizing,

A note about lye:

Caustic, NaOH, Sodium Hydroxide, lye - Wear gloves, protect your skin, use goggles (not just your glasses) to protect your eyes. Even in low concentrations it is quite caustic and can cause serious skin burns and tissue damage and even blindness if you get it in your eyes. It's also a great cleaner for the really stubborn jobs, but read up on it and be careful before you use it. PBW or sodium carbonate are probably better alternatives in most cases. NaOH is safe on stainless steel and copper, but it is corrosive to brass and it will etch glass. So don't use it on brass or glass.



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Last edited by billtzk; 09-01-2008 at 06:36 PM.
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