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Old 03-13-2012, 03:54 AM   #11
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Well, early results in, and as usual, HBT folks rock!

I used a scotch brite pad and bar keeper's friend in a thin paste as described, and the rust is gone. I also used the same to clean out the HLT (no rust, but it just still looked a little dingy), and now both kegs look nice and clean.

You can definitely see on the kettle that those rust spots are absolutely slag - the little bits are still there now. I'm thinking I'm not concerned, since everything in there will be boiled, and I'll be chilling using a CFC, so nothing inside the keggle should ever fall below pasteurization temps.

I'm going to give this a few days, maybe a brew or two, before I call it an official win, which is why I haven't yet posted an official "after" picture.

One thing still bugs me a little bit - if the bar keeper's friend is supposed to be helping to repassivate the stainless steel, should I have left it in contact with the steel for some amount of time before rinsing everything, or is just a good scubbing and subsequent rinse enough? I probably spent 5-10 minutes scrubbing the whole thing out, bottom to top, so the bottom (where the worst of the slag/rust was) was in contact with the bkf paste for 5+ minutes...

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Old 03-15-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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Ugh... So, first attempt turned out not so great.

I still had three or four sizeable slag "nuggets" stuck to the bottom of the keggle that I just couldn't get loose, and those continued to rust despite repeated treatments with bkf. I wracked my brains over what to do about them. Since I have no angle grinder, a stainless steel wire wheel or flapper are kind of out of the question, and I certainly didn't want to take any chisels or anything similar to the keggle and risk embedding other rust inducing metals into the keg.

Then a momentary flash of brilliance came upon me (well, I hope it was brilliant, anyway): I still have my SS keg spear! I used that as a scraper and scraped away the slag spots, then I used some clean 220 grit sandpaper to sand down any scrape marks, hopefully removing anything that was still embedded in the surface of the keggle. The again, I mixed up some BKF paste and coated the bottom of the keggle and left it overnight. It's currently sitting in a couple gallons of water (I had to take apart a couple fittings - I discovered another bit of slag I hadn't noticed earlier directly under the bulkhead!) re-testing for leaks, and when I empty it tonight I'll let it air dry and check in the morning again for any signs of rust. With luck, this thing will finally be good to go - with little time to spare, since it's innagural brew is on Saturday!

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Old 03-16-2012, 03:37 PM   #13
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so any news on this???

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Old 03-16-2012, 03:54 PM   #14
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Well, the bottom's looking good.

That said, there seem to be possible signs of slag splatter (is that really possible?) on the sides of the keg now...

Once re-assembled, all the fittings definitely held leak free, and the bottom air dried rust free, but there appeared to be some thin rust like spots of rust forming along the sides now. But those wiped away, so I'm not altogether convinced that they weren't just some residue.

Gonna give this thing one more good wipe down with a wet cloth tonight to make sure that all the BKF residue is gone (and do the same for the HLT), and tomorrow it's off to the races. If the rust/residue/whatever along the insides returns, I'll be looking into some sort of fine grit sanding pads or sponges that I can put on my random orbit sander and see if that can't knock the remainder of the crap out of there.

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Old 03-16-2012, 03:56 PM   #15
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That's really strange. I mean I have never even washed mine down after cleaning and its never seen the slightest sign of rust even if what sits in it for days.

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:03 PM   #16
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But was yours cut with a plasma cutter? Mine was, and I think that's what's getting me - I think it's the residue from the plasma cutter. The problems on the bottom were definitely due to a couple of grains of plasma cutter slag, and I'm assuming that what I saw on the inside was either more of the same, or just dried BKF paste residue with some more muck mixed in (which would be the best case scenario - meaning I have no further problem!).

Once I give it one last good rinse and wipedown, then brew with it once or twice, I should know for sure. I'm certainly wishing I had thought to ask the guy to fill the kegs up with water before he ever lit up his cutter though...

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:04 PM   #17
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But the rust on the sides should not have anything to do with plasma slag? That's more of what's getting me.

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:08 PM   #18
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I see what you're saying... If it's not just BKF schmegma that wipes away cleanly, I'll get a pic and post it.

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Old 03-19-2012, 01:50 PM   #19
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Well, first brew day with the new kegs was a success!



However, during cleanup, I'm fairly sure I spotted signs of the rust-like substance on the side walls of both kegs. And of course, in the midst of cleanup, I failed to snap pictures of either one of them. I'll try to grab those tonight, see what folks think.

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Old 03-19-2012, 04:42 PM   #20
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I had enough forewarning when I cut mine to know to fill the keg with water before I started cutting. This caught all of the sparks and globs (well, almost all, I'm sure) in the water and cooled them before they could stick to the inside of the keg.

I still had to do a bit of scrubbing when I got them home, but it was mostly some hazy smoky residue and it cleaned up very well.

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