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Old 05-07-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
texasbrewer73
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Default Mold grew in my counterflow chiller

So I had a few too many beers my last brew session and left my counterflow chiller unrinsed for a few days. Mold started to grow. I've run Star San through it a couple of times and it's been sitting idle for a couple of weeks filled with Iodophor, but will that get the mold out? Everything runs clean through it now, but what else can I do to have peace of mind that no mold lurks in there?

If I can't get this thing cleaned, I'm considering getting a plate chiller. I know everyone likes the Blichmann, but is this generic chiller any good?

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=12822

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Old 05-07-2012, 09:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by texasbrewer73 View Post
So I had a few too many beers my last brew session and left my counterflow chiller unrinsed for a few days. Mold started to grow. I've run Star San through it a couple of times and it's been sitting idle for a couple of weeks filled with Iodophor, but will that get the mold out? Everything runs clean through it now, but what else can I do to have peace of mind that no mold lurks in there?

If I can't get this thing cleaned, I'm considering getting a plate chiller. I know everyone likes the Blichmann, but is this generic chiller any good?

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=12822
Considering that your counterflow chiller can handle high heat, I would boil water and then run the boiling water through. That would actually kill off a lot of the bacteria and then I would run another rinse of star san just to be safe. Good luck! It's not ruined so don't throw it out!
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:17 PM   #3
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You can also run hot vinegar through it a couple times and rinse thoroughly with water and then star san.

Assuming it is copper, I have been told it's not a good idea to leave an acid based sanitizer in it for too long as it can eat away the copper.

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Old 05-07-2012, 10:25 PM   #4
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if it was me I would probably just fill my kettle with water and boil and recirculate boiling water through the chiller for 20 minutes or so.

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Old 05-08-2012, 12:11 PM   #5
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A bleach solution seems like a cheap way to go. Soak it for a week or so then rinse several times.

Is there a reason not to use bleach in this situation?

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Old 05-08-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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I second doing a recirculation of near boiling water. If your setup doesn't have any issues pumping boiling liquid, go with that. If so, bring to boil cut flame and start recirculating for 20-30 minutes. It needs to be cleaned, not just sanitized.

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Old 05-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #7
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According to Palmer it is not recommended to use bleach for cleaning copper:

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Cleaning and sanitizing copper with bleach solutions is not recommended. The chlorine and hypochlorites in bleach cause oxidation and blackening of copper and brass. If the oxides come in contact with the mildly acidic wort, the oxides will quickly dissolve, possibly exposing yeast to unhealthy levels of copper during fermentation.
I would use vinegar and rinse/recirculate it few times with hot water.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:00 PM   #8
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Thanks for the responses I went ahead and just bought a plate chiller. I have a buddy that's wanting a chiller, so I'll try the boiling water method, sanitize and give to him.

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Old 05-08-2012, 05:43 PM   #9
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that is why I bought a plate chiller---worst case you can put it in the oven at 450 F for a couple of hours and sterilize it.

t

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Old 05-08-2012, 06:54 PM   #10
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When I worked at a Copper tube plant we would clean out tubing with a Cleaner and a foam plug to follow it. Then use air pressure to push it through the tubing. You could do something similar with a small foam plug and some cleaner like PBW.

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