Need cleaning tips for 50' SS IC

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ILMSTMF

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The coils are tight, debris gets caught in the crevices. Really a pain in the ass to clean it. Spreading coils apart is out of the question.

Current process for cleaning it is:

• cleaning kettle at end of brew, about 6 gallons of Oxi solution.
• dunk the IC in it.
• length of soaking depends on my mood that day lol
• sponge it
• after that, I blast the IC with garden hose spray nozzle. High pressure but still, very awkward to hold IC with one hand and hose in the other. Makes a wet mess but that's just the nature of it.
sometimes, I use the kettle rim to support the IC as I hose the IC down. Still pretty awkward.

My problem with this is that I wind up with dried debris on the coils come next brew day. Any tips are appreciated!
 

Coookies58

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I haven’t permanently spread my coils apart but I don’t find it hard with my IC to gently spread the two handles apart which exposes a small gap. I spray it out and then it recollapses. Quick dunk in the pBW in my kettle, another quick spray with the hose. Done.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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Thanks @Coookies58
I, too, am able to temporarily spread the coils apart. Not gonna lie, I'm lazy. Doing that once is a pain...then having to do it with each coil. Nah, chill.

The issue I have with it (because I have tried this) is that it requires both hands to pull apart the coils between the topmost and bottommost coil. They collapse back together as soon as I take hands off, thus... can't really pull them apart and spray with a free hand. Perhaps my IC is more rigid than yours! Good tip otherwise, thanks.
 

NewJersey

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Post a pic of this chiller, please.
When I used a SS IC it was super easy to clean or separate coils.
I'd just shake it in the sink while spraying and that got 99% of stuff off
 

day_trippr

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I feel the OP's pain. But I bit the bullet and did something about it - which was also painful, but in a "one and done" way :D


Cheers!
 

fragged

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Harbor Freight ~$80 electric pressure washer.

Or spread them. I'd bit the bullet and let the water spread them personally, fully aware that at some point down the line I would deeply regret my laziness(such as winter). Homebrew would be applied to sufficiently reduce both the awareness and the regret.
 

day_trippr

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Agreed. And an unsanitary IC is really bad juju - a potential bug source at the most vulnerable point in a wort's progression...

Cheers!
 

Coookies58

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The issue I have with it (because I have tried this) is that it requires both hands to pull apart the coils between the topmost and bottommost coil. They collapse back together as soon as I take hands off, thus... can't really pull them apart and spray with a free hand. Perhaps my IC is more rigid than yours! Good tip otherwise, thanks.
Yeah, mine isn’t had to spread the coils apart. If you hold one of the handles you can just shake it and they open up like @NewJersey said.
 

Toxxyc

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Use thick unscented toilet bleach. Seriously. Make a nice and strong solution and let the IC soak in it overnight. Bleach kills and "eats" most of the crap off the surface. I do it to burnt pots and pans. A drop of thick bleach, warm water, soak. Next morning pan or pot looks like new.
 

superiorsat

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I also agree that the coil needs permanently spaced. I think day_trippers wire job looks well done and probably make cleaning access better, I still think I wouldn't want the nooks and crannies around those wires if it were me. I have ordered a custom coil from www.stainlessbrewing.com ( I see your link from yours comes from there) to put into an Ace-Roto fermenter and they suggested me putting in the comments section how tall I wanted it and if I desired spacing for "easy cleaning". I hope they do it as I am wanting to avoid being in your current situation. Unfortunately after 2 phone calls leaving a message with no reply to ask questions about spacing of the coils, and 3 emails with no response I'm unsure if I will even receive the coil(ordered a couple weeks ago with only an automated email response of order placement). Anyone have experience with this company Stainless Brewing? Sorry, didn't mean to hijack this thread just hoping that I may be able to get this thing spaced for me by someone the the proper tool set up to do it. Don't want to cancel and go the diy route but this stainless brewing seems to to the only outfit to do 1/2" 50' custom tubing.
1618403718529.png
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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I used to put mine in the BK with 20 minutes left and assumed the boil took care of anything that may have been on the chiller
Same, except, I do it at 10. I first spray the IC with StarSan like a motherfkr. Then, into the wort.
For those considering trying this who haven't before, get away from the open ports of your IC. If there's water left in the coils from last time, the boiling wort will cause that water to blow out. Hot!

I also agree that the coil needs permanently spaced. I think day_trippers wire job looks well done and probably make cleaning access better, I still think I wouldn't want the nooks and crannies around those wires if it were me. I have ordered a custom coil from www.stainlessbrewing.com ( I see your link from yours comes from there) to put into an Ace-Roto fermenter and they suggested me putting in the comments section how tall I wanted it and if I desired spacing for "easy cleaning". I hope they do it as I am wanting to avoid being in your current situation. Unfortunately after 2 phone calls leaving a message with no reply to ask questions about spacing of the coils, and 3 emails with no response I'm unsure if I will even receive the coil(ordered a couple weeks ago with only an automated email response of order placement). Anyone have experience with this company Stainless Brewing? Sorry, didn't mean to hijack this thread just hoping that I may be able to get this thing spaced for me by someone the the proper tool set up to do it. Don't want to cancel and go the diy route but this stainless brewing seems to to the only outfit to do 1/2" 50' custom tubing. View attachment 725722
I purchased my BK and IC from them several years ago. I can attest to spotty email response time but their products are good. They are not a fly-by-night operation, you probably have nothing to worry about. Though, I understand why you'd lose confidence in them. FWIW, I understand they are a small team. Much of their time devoted to actually fabricating their products. Please let us know how it works out!

Harbor Freight ~$80 electric pressure washer.

Or spread them. I'd bit the bullet and let the water spread them personally, fully aware that at some point down the line I would deeply regret my laziness(such as winter). Homebrew would be applied to sufficiently reduce both the awareness and the regret.
As much as I'd like to avoid spending money, the power washer idea is pretty good. My house water pressure is pretty good but clearly a power washer will do a stronger output. HF is frequently publishing coupons so this $90 unit would drop a bit. I really like electric for this. Wimpy pressure versus the bigger units, I know. But, I don't want to supply the damn thing with gas (can't stand the fume smell).


• I could put IC on ground and blast the debris off.
MAJOR BONUS - Blast the BK debris after wort transfer! I do this now with garden hose spray nozzle. Works well but this would be a nice upgrade.
• 6 gallon warm Oxi into BK
• Dunk the IC in there, 10 minutes minimum
• Put IC into empty bucket (for sanitation and stability)
• Blast it
• Drain Oxi from BK into other buckets for soaking of other brew parts
• Blast BK
• Dry BK and IC with terry cloth, put in storage.

How's that plan? Think the pressure washer will do the trick on the tight coils? Thanks all!
 

jwa120

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I just get the big chunks off and let the boiling wort take care of the rest. I don't sweat the sanitation on the hot side.

I'm lazy and the effort to get the coil clean isn't worth it to me. To each their own.
 
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ILMSTMF

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I just get the big chunks off and let the boiling wort take care of the rest. I don't sweat the sanitation on the hot side.

I'm lazy and the effort to get the coil clean isn't worth it to me. To each their own.
I'm not sure if I'm embarrassed to say I do the same and, generally, agree with your philosophy.

Does anyone want to prove to us what we're doing can / will create a problem? I have no problem with either getting a power washer for cleaning or just sticking with my current (arguably lazy, arguably dangerous) method?

Thanks! :ghostly:
 

TheBluePhantom

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Did you loosen the clamp at the top? Mine is only a 3/8". but I keep the clamp loose, fast chunk rinse in the sink and into my bucket of warm PBW that I use for everything else. If I lift one handle and shake up and down it bounces like a slinky, moving cleaner around well. Soak for 20 and repeat shake, rinse and into the storage bucket.

Not sure about the bleach, I read somewhere that bleach causes pits in stainless.:(
 

fragged

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I'm not sure if I'm embarrassed to say I do the same and, generally, agree with your philosophy.

Does anyone want to prove to us what we're doing can / will create a problem? I have no problem with either getting a power washer for cleaning or just sticking with my current (arguably lazy, arguably dangerous) method?

Thanks! :ghostly:
Ya, so I was addressing the original question - but overall I just put the thing in with my hot PBW water that's is used to clean the kettle after a brew... On a good day I might swirl/shake it around a couple times while it soaks. As always it goes into the boil with 10 minutes left too.

This is what I always did when I was using an IC and my beer is plenty good.
 

rizziot

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Lots of good ideas, I would just soak it in pbw or exchilerator brewery wash and maybe just take a few minutes longer with a wet rag or sponge and tediously wipe it all out, rinse, repeat? Will take 5 min longer but save the storage space of a power washer if you don't need one for anything other than brewing.

I bought a counterflow chiller and that was the end of having to deal with all this ;).
 
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ILMSTMF

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Did you loosen the clamp at the top?
I haven't loosened the clamp on the "necK" of it. I can give that a try too.

What about just jamming spacers (toothpicks?) between them before cleaning?
Would require some effort... Would work best in the dunk and bounce up and down method. I believe spraying with pressure would knock the toothpicks loose.

save the storage space of a power washer if you don't need one for anything other than brewing.
I mean... I might be a hero to the family were I to power wash the driveway, patio, cars... Hell, I wonder if I could use the FKN thing to blast my tile shower!
 

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Soak it in hot PBW and then use a kitchen scrub brush. Same concept as a toothbrush. I have one similar to this it's more square in the front. I have two, one's the more nasty brush and one for cleaning things that I don't think should have nasty stuff touching them like for my wort chiller. A good soak loosens up anything too sticky. Spray it off in the sink when done. Sprayer attachment on an outside hose should rinse it down fine, just sit it in a rinsed out brewpot.
Kitchen Cleaning Tool Hot Selling Washing Up Brush Scrub Brush Long Handle  - Buy Sruch Brush,Dish Brush,Kitchen Product on Alibaba.com
 

Deadalus

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Use thick unscented toilet bleach. Seriously. Make a nice and strong solution and let the IC soak in it overnight. Bleach kills and "eats" most of the crap off the surface. I do it to burnt pots and pans. A drop of thick bleach, warm water, soak. Next morning pan or pot looks like new.
I don't know if what you are referring to as "toilet bleach" is the same as chlorinated bleach but chlorinated bleach is considered corrosive to stainless steel.
 
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ILMSTMF

ILMSTMF

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I don't know if what you are referring to as "toilet bleach" is the same as chlorinated bleach but chlorinated bleach is considered corrosive to stainless steel.
I'm not sure either. But I believe they are referring to the thick toilet gel that is normally dispensed from a container with an angled neck. I won't be trying that on my SS gear. However...

Soak it in hot PBW and then use a kitchen scrub brush
...I am a fan of other bathroom tools! I wish I thought of this myself but, that's why I started this thread. Inspiration.
I use a toilet brush to clean the sticky debris in my kegs with! For the IC, that scrub brush is a damn fine idea versus the bullsh1t sponge I've been using. Wide surface, should cover much of the IC and into the nooks with ease. Or I just buy a dedicated scrub brush for the IC and kettle. There's a thought! :mischievous:
 

Deadalus

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I'm not sure either. But I believe they are referring to the thick toilet gel that is normally dispensed from a container with an angled neck. I won't be trying that on my SS gear. However...



...I am a fan of other bathroom tools! I wish I thought of this myself but, that's why I started this thread. Inspiration.
I use a toilet brush to clean the sticky debris in my kegs with! For the IC, that scrub brush is a damn fine idea versus the bullsh1t sponge I've been using. Wide surface, should cover much of the IC and into the nooks with ease. Or I just buy a dedicated scrub brush for the IC and kettle. There's a thought! :mischievous:
Toilet brush on the kegs is not a bad idea...a new one that is...they have ones with the extra brush that gets under the rim. Might be helpful on a corny keg under the top. I usually use a green scrubby but the extra length on the toilet brush might be useful.

I use the kitchen scrub brush on my false bottom too to get stuck grain out. On that picture, that row of bristles on the top helps to poke bits of grain out of the holes.

I clean my mash tun and keggle outside with the hose and I have a watering wand with an adjustable angled head with multiple spray patterns. I had one I really liked with a shutoff on the handle that was kind of like a dimmer switch. But these watering wands don't seem to last too long unfortunately so I won't recommend a specific one, I've been through a number of them over the years between brewing and gardening.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, I totally recognize if there's an IC prone to organic loading being carried over to the next brew it's likely mine :) I was solving a different problem (won that thermodynamics battle, thanks) and was willing to deal with managing the side-effects.

Which isn't that onerous: I blast the particulate crud off in the brewery sink using high pressure hot water then give it a decent brushing with detergent before rinsing and draining and putting away. And then I always submerge the empty IC during the last ~5 minutes of the boil before getting down to the chillin'...

Cheers!
 
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I usually use a green scrubby but the extra length on the toilet brush might be useful.
EXACTLY - the handle length! Credit to @IslandLizard for this tip.

I use the kitchen scrub brush on my false bottom too to get stuck grain out. On that picture, that row of bristles on the top helps to poke bits of grain out of the holes.
I BIAB. Folks using false bottoms, please pay attention. That's ingenuity.

But these watering wands don't seem to last too long unfortunately so I won't recommend a specific one, I've been through a number of them over the years between brewing and gardening.
I just experienced the same problem with a "collapsing" hose - the kind that shrinks when put into storage. It was the output hose for my IC, thank God not the input (you'll see why in next sentence***). Fired up the water supply with the "slinky" output hose's ball valve open but the spray nozzle attached to it closed. The pressure built up quickly enough to pop the hose out of its sleeve at the valve position! ***The wet mess it created wound up on the patio, not in the BK.
The point - the damn thing busted. I would expect the same flimsy build on the wand you have made note of.

******************************************************************************************

So I think it's going to be a good brush to solve my IC cleaning woes unless there is a major vote for the pressure washer. Cheers!
 

rizziot

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I concur on the toilet brush idea, I've used one for years, it's really fantastic. Just don't get it mixed up in the house ;).

Another thing I just thought of if you have a pump and are looking for less work (might work might not). Place your IC into your kettle and fill until it's 1 to 2 inches over the coils. dump in a tablespoon of brewery wash (I prefer the exchilerator stuff), connect your pump, and recirc it into your kettle for 30 minutes. CIP IC cleaning woohoo :).

Again, just a thought, I don't have an IC anymore, but I figure it would work.

Other than that, the brush and some elbow grease plus 5 minutes of your time and you'll be good to go. I almost feel like we're all overthinking this, haha.
 
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ILMSTMF

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I concur on the toilet brush idea, I've used one for years, it's really fantastic. Just don't get it mixed up in the house ;).
YUP! LOL
In Sharpie, I wrote "BEER ONLY" on the white handle. It is stored with beer gear. One would have to be in my gear area, on a cleaning binge, and drunk AF to use that brush in the toilet!

Another thing I just thought of if you have a pump and are looking for less work (might work might not). Place your IC into your kettle and fill until it's 1 to 2 inches over the coils. dump in a tablespoon of brewery wash (I prefer the exchilerator stuff), connect your pump, and recirc it into your kettle for 30 minutes. CIP IC cleaning woohoo :).
I am in the process of building a keg washer. I have planned it for flexibility to other cleaning tasks. Didn't firm up what those tasks are / how they will be done yet... but, the outlets are there. 1/3 HP pump. Kettle has a 3pc ball valve that I'd like to clean with pump power. I just haven't figured out how to do that yet. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

I almost feel like we're all overthinking this, haha.
WELCOME TO MY WORLD! I hold the title of "Undisputed World Champion of Overthinking Sh1t"!
 
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ILMSTMF

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why not just recirculate: kettle ball valve - pump - top of kettle - repeat?
I guess I didn't overthink that one yet... Let's do it! lol

• IC in BK
• warm water to get above top IC coil
• add Oxi (my preference)
1/3 HP pump in BK?
• I need to figure out a hose and connection to run from the outlet at top of pump, over the BK rim, back down to connect to the exterior of ball valve
• open ball valve
• turn on pump

Really, only the ball valve is getting cleaned. Would be nice to incorporate a CIP but... I don't know how. My BK lid doesn't have a port.
 

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Would be nice to incorporate a CIP
Yes, drop your keg washer into the kettle. Can it fit inside the stainless coil?

If you can stick that spray ball on a short tube so it reaches up to about 2/3 of the kettle height, you got yourself a CIP. Stick the lid on and pull a bungee over it.
Use one of the washer's side ports to clean the exit valve.

Not sure what to do with the power cord though. Maybe through one of the chiller cutouts in the lid if you have those?
 
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Yes, drop your keg washer into the kettle. Can it fit inside the stainless coil?
Not sure, haven't built it yet! lol Hoping for the best, we'll see.

If you can stick that spray ball on a short tube so it reaches up to about 2/3 of the kettle height, you got yourself a CIP. Stick the lid on and pull a bungee over it.
Use one of the washer's side ports to clean the exit valve.
That'll be a small center riser; we'll have enough pipe to make that. Easily.
About that ball valve though... that'll require some more thought.

Not sure what to do with the power cord though. Maybe through one of the chiller cutouts in the lid if you have those?
I had the same thought about the power cord ugh. The BK lid is solid, no ports. But that's not stopping me from getting some other kind of lid to put on top of the BK! Not really sure how that solves any of the issues we're talking about though...
 

day_trippr

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The problem with the spray ball concept is unlike the inside of a kettle an IC has both inside and outside surfaces to clean.
I don't see that being a reliable solution...

Cheers!
 
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The problem with the spray ball concept is unlike the inside of a kettle an IC has both inside and outside surfaces to clean.
I don't see that being a reliable solution...

Cheers!
With respect... I have never thought to clean the interior of my IC coils as I don't see how that's even necessary.
Mold growth you say? Perhaps. I give a pretty good effort to drain her after each cleaning. But the important point to my position on this - the wort doesn't come in contact with the interior coil walls.
Am I missing something? Thanks.
 

day_trippr

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Yeah, I knew that could be confusing. My bad. Let me try to fix it :)

So, spray balls are great for blasting away at a "flat surface" like a kettle wall, or a keg interior, or a carboy or a bucket.
But, an IC is a three dimensional thing. It has thickness - an "inside" and an "outside" that both need to be cleaned.
A spray ball placed at the inside of the coil stack may well scour debris that the spray can strike, but it isn't going to lay any force down on the outside of the coil stack...

Cheers!
 

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Yeah, I knew that could be confusing. My bad. Let me try to fix it :)

So, spray balls are great for blasting away at a "flat surface" like a kettle wall, or a keg interior, or a carboy or a bucket.
But, an IC is a three dimensional thing. It has thickness - an "inside" and an "outside" that both need to be cleaned.
A spray ball placed at the inside of the coil stack may well scour debris that the spray can strike, but it isn't going to lay any force down on the outside of the coil stack...

Cheers!
Rainshadow.
 

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