cleaning copper chiller for first time - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > cleaning copper chiller for first time

Thread Tools
Old 09-12-2008, 02:07 AM   #1
Apr 2008
Posts: 67

Getting ready to use a copper immersion chiller for the first time on saturday. Anything I have to do to clean it before I use it? It doesn't have any of that green corrosion that copper sometimes gets, but it's slightly dull. I soaked it in oxiclean and it came out looking the same. It smells really strong of... copper (duh). Between my aluminum kettle and the copper chiller, i'm paranoid about metallic off tastes in my beer.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 02:23 AM   #2
cellardoor's Avatar
Mar 2008
Brookfield IL
Posts: 381
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

I dip mine in starsan for about 5 minutes to get it all shiny and to make me feel better. Then i stick it in the kettle about 10 minutes before the end of boil.
Cellar Door Brewery

Primary: Smoked Porter
Secondary: Flanders Red 2010
Kegged: 10.10.10, Robust Porter, American IPA

"Without algae, there would be no life on earth, the seas would be sterile and the land would be uncolonized."
-Sir David Attenborough

Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 02:32 AM   #3
Blender's Avatar
Jan 2006
Santa Cruz, CA.
Posts: 3,106
Liked 8 Times on 5 Posts

You could try a vinegar solution. That should clean it up some.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 03:30 AM   #4
WBC's Avatar
Jun 2007
La Puente, CA, California
Posts: 2,164
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 tsp salt creates a mild acid to clean copper.

"Barkeepers friend" works good too. Available at the hardware store.

Fermentor 1: Bill's House Ale II, Fermentor 2: German Helles, Fermentor 3: Bill's Schworzbier (Black Bier)
Tap 1: Bill's House Ale II, Tap 2: German Hefewizen, Tap 3: Nut Brown Ale
Future Brews: Stone IPA Clone, Blonde Ale, Budvar Clone, Newcastle Clone
New toy: Blichmann 27 gallon fermentor

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging”

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment”

Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 03:34 AM   #5
DrinksWellWithOthers's Avatar
May 2008
Posts: 1,049
Liked 29 Times on 27 Posts

I stick mine in Star San to sanitize it and it also cleans it up and makes it nice and shiny.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 07:33 AM   #6
Jun 2008
Posts: 30

Use ketchup, yup, ketchup
if you dont believe me, try it

Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 03:44 PM   #7
Apr 2008
Posts: 67

i tried some vinegar but it didn't seem to do much. Should I boil it with it, or just wipe/scrub it?
How do I know when it's clean?

Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 05:15 PM   #8
Look under the recliner
pjj2ba's Avatar
Jul 2006
State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,379
Liked 208 Times on 168 Posts

I've used a mix of equal parts vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. It will turn the solution green and your copper nice and shiney. I usually soak parts in a bag, but that would take a large bag and a lot of solution for an immersion chiller.
On Tap: Doppelbock O'fest, Pale Ale, cider
Kegged and Aging/Lagering: CAP, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Amer. Wheat, Rye IPA, Saison
Primary: Ger Pils, CAP
Brewing soon: Pale lager, Amer. wheat
Recently kicked : (
Pilsner Urquell Master Homebrewer
(1st NYC 2011, 2nd NYC 2012)
P U crowns winners in its inaugural master HB competition

Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 07:53 PM   #9
Senior Member
defenestrate's Avatar
Sep 2008
edgewater, MD
Posts: 1,043
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

i boiled half a gallon of vinegar w/5 gallons of water and let it sit in there for a while and it came out perfect, no scrubbing.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2008, 08:33 PM   #10
Moonshae's Avatar
Jan 2008
Helmetta, NJ
Posts: 416
Liked 9 Times on 5 Posts

Be careful using the vinegar and salt mixture; it can eat through copper pretty quickly if you use it over and over and let it sit too long.

In my opinion, some soap and water to scrub off the flux and dirt the first time is all you need. As long as you hose it off after each use and keep it from getting dusty or dirty between brews, there's no need to clean it any more. The 10-15 mins it spends boiling in the pot is enough.
"You never can tell with bees." --Winnie the Pooh

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
External Cleaning Copper Wort Chiller noduckla Equipment/Sanitation 15 12-07-2012 11:20 PM
cleaning copper saskman Equipment/Sanitation 12 06-14-2010 02:12 PM
Copper IC cleaning jesutton3 Equipment/Sanitation 5 06-24-2009 10:43 PM
cleaning copper? Sea Equipment/Sanitation 5 09-03-2007 06:45 PM
Cleaning Copper Chiller Atticmonkey Equipment/Sanitation 2 05-16-2007 12:45 AM

Forum Jump