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Old 10-24-2006, 07:10 PM   #1
Ol' Grog
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Default cleaning immersion chillers

Been reading some of John Palmers work on cleaning. He mentioned some things about cleaning cooper and asked have you ever noticed how clean and shiny your immersion cooler is when you take it out? Into your brew, cooper has been oxidized by the wort which is slightly acidic. From what I read some more, this could be a good thing, but how do you know how much of a good thing? How many of you clean your immersion cooler? I thought you could just rinse it off to get the dust off of it, then dunk in the wort for the remainding 10 minutes of so of the boil to sanitize it, and then hook it up to the water for it to cool. But, maybe I'm wrong.

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Old 10-24-2006, 07:22 PM   #2
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As soon as I am done with the chiller, i let it soak in a bucket with oxyclean before the wort dries on it. Clean it up nicely, then when I brew, I give it a quick rinse with water and submerse it in the wort to sanitize. The only time I gave it the vinegar treatment was when the wort dried on it once when I was lazy. What a PITA that was!

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Old 10-24-2006, 08:39 PM   #3
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I clean mine any time it's been hanging for more than a month. If the surface is mottled, it gets cleaned.

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Old 10-24-2006, 08:44 PM   #4
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I do basically the same thing. When I'm finished with it I immediately put it in a sink of hot tap water until I'm finished getting the primary tucked away. This prevents any of that impossible to clean dried wort from developing. Then I usually just scrub it lightly with a sponge and dry it off before storing. I also give it a quick scrub and a rinse before using it. Not sure if this is the best method but I've never had a problem with infections.

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Old 04-12-2007, 10:26 AM   #5
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Is it necessary to clean the chiller before it's initial chilling? I made mine out of copper tubing I bought at Lowes but it appears kind of dirty and possibly oily in spots. What's a good way to shine it up before I use it for the first time?

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Old 04-12-2007, 12:02 PM   #6
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Clean it with dish soap/oxy clean, then give it a nice (distilled!) vinegar bath to clean up the oxidization, rinse well. Don't use abrasive pads of any sort or you will score the copper and don't leave it in the vinegar bath for to long and don't do a vinegar bath to often, vinegar will dissolve copper.

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Old 04-12-2007, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reidman
Is it necessary to clean the chiller before it's initial chilling? I made mine out of copper tubing I bought at Lowes but it appears kind of dirty and possibly oily in spots. What's a good way to shine it up before I use it for the first time?
If it is dirty and oily, you sure don't want that going into the wort.

I used a solution of vinegar and salt followed by some mild dishwashing detergent.
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:14 PM   #8
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I give it a good spray with the hose after it comes out of the wort, before it turns into sticky gunk.

As long as it looks clean, I simply hose it off again before it goes into the kettle.

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Old 04-12-2007, 12:22 PM   #9
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Cool. Thanks guys. Yeah I definitely don't want to put this into the wort before cleaning it really good.

How long in the vinegar bath roughly..?

Also, can I dilute the vinegar because to immerse the whole thing would be costly in vinegar.

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Old 04-12-2007, 12:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
I give it a good spray with the hose after it comes out of the wort, before it turns into sticky gunk.

As long as it looks clean, I simply hose it off again before it goes into the kettle.
That's pretty much the method I use as well. A quick rinse with tap water after I am done using it to get off all the break, hops, etc that cling to it and that's it. I throw it in during the last 10 minutes of the boil to sanitize it.
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