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Old 11-13-2012, 09:26 PM   #31
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I might need to 'buff my chillah' as soon as I get the buffing wheels/pads from my sister's basement.

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Old 11-14-2012, 02:06 AM   #32
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Okay so the BKF worked like magic getting the stains, discoloration, and baked on goodness off! It wouldn't work with a soft brush as they recommend, so I went for the scotch bright pad, worked like a charm. Granted, the scotch bright pad will take the shiny reflective finish off, and give you more of a brushed stainless look, and I'm okay with that. If I wanted to I could buff it out, but meh! Golddiggie, thanks again for the advice!

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Old 11-15-2012, 03:00 PM   #33
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After use, I flush my plate chiller with hose water for 20 minutes each direction. Then, a long soak with strong hot oxy water, then another flush.

I do another soak in hot oxy water followed by a clean water flush on brew day.

Also, I recirculate hot wort through it the last 20 minutes of the boil.

AND, the plate chiller is stored in a closed container with my hoses...no flies or dirt daubers allowed.

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Old 11-17-2012, 03:10 PM   #34
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Curious for those soaking: are you dropping it in, or do you rotate it to work all the air pockets out?

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Old 11-17-2012, 04:06 PM   #35
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Curious for those soaking: are you dropping it in, or do you rotate it to work all the air pockets out?
I've done both... If you pour either PBW solution, or Star San solution into it, you can keep pouring until it comes out without any bubbles mixed in. If you submerge it, then you just need to move it around a bit to get all the air pockets out.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:16 PM   #36
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I'm coming in late here but baking was not a good idea. Lye will lift protein but it won't remove carbon.

Plate chillers must, whatever else you do, be taken apart from time to time and cleaned manually. This is obviously difficult in ones that cannot be dissasembled. The next best thing to do is circulate hot caustic (lye) in the reverse direction as several have suggested. Lye is available on line form several sources (soap makers use it). It is also a good idea to circulate some nitric/phosphoric acid blend from time to time to prevent formation of beer stone. This does not have to be done that often as wort does not spend nearly as much time in a chiller as it does in a fermenter or keg.

The foregoing suggests that beer line cleaning equipment and chemicals may be suitable for cleaning wort chillers and I do sometimes use those. Most of the time I just use lye. The color of the solution after a few minutes of recirculation tells you that even though you rinsed the thing thoroughly at the completion of the brew session there is still lots of stuff in there.

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Old 11-18-2012, 06:02 AM   #37
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I'm coming in late here but baking was not a good idea. Lye will lift protein but it won't remove carbon.
I work for a draught line service company. +1 on caustic soda, phosphoric acid for cleaning.

However, before this profession I was a chef and have a great deal of experience having to clean commercial kitchen equipment, including some refurbishment, and renovation.
In my experience NaOH will remove carbon, (and oil resins, and paint, and powder-coating, and fingerprints/other skin, and damned near everything) it just requires REALLY LONG contact time or DANGEROUSLY high concentrations of a heated solution.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:39 AM   #38
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Once the sugars were carbonized lye never worked for me without the addition of grease - elbow grease. There isn't any reaction that I can think of between pure carbon and lye that would explain lye's ability to remove it. Doesn't mean that there isn't one. It is the working ingredient in Easy Off Oven Cleaner, for example (if that is still allowed to be sold in the US). Perhaps if it is carbon over something organic the lye is able to attack the underlying organic material and thus loosen the carbon layer.

But further thinking about what OP did leads me to believe that when he was finished there wasn't any residual carbon - just ash. IOW he took the thing to such high temperature that sugars and proteins were first reduced to carbon and the carbon then 'burned' to CO2 leaving metal salts and hydroxides i.e. ash. Don't like to think about what such temperatures did to the steel but if it is 300 series that is heat tolerant though I don't know to what extent. It is the heat resistant properties of 300 series that makes them the choice for cook ware.

It's a good thing that the safety aspects of caustic were brought up. Even the traditional 1 lb per 5 gallons is dangerous, especially when hot. One of the most stated cautions is that it is anaesthetic so that if some splashes in your eyes you won't feel it as it erodes your corneas. This is untrue. It hurts like hell!

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Old 11-18-2012, 02:16 PM   #39
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It's a good thing that the safety aspects of caustic were brought up. Even the traditional 1 lb per 5 gallons is dangerous, especially when hot. One of the most stated cautions is that it is anaesthetic so that if some splashes in your eyes you won't feel it as it erodes your corneas. This is untrue. It hurts like hell!
In the TV series Breaking Bad, the meth cooks are often shown sloshing around large buckets of NaOH. Sometimes (when the director is awake IMO) they are wearing protective gear, other times they are slinging the stuff into vats without any caution at all. Scared me seeing that, although I know it's just water in reality.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
In the TV series Breaking Bad, the meth cooks are often shown sloshing around large buckets of NaOH. Sometimes (when the director is awake IMO) they are wearing protective gear, other times they are slinging the stuff into vats without any caution at all. Scared me seeing that, although I know it's just water in reality.
I'm a soapmaker, and use it in not-as-dangerous strengths, but even if a little gets on your skin it hurts like heck. It's definitely caustic, and safety googles should be worn when dealing with lye.
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