SSBrewtech Fermenter pitting

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Meckhart

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Update, I did not have pitting, it was heavy beer stone with horizontal grooves that appeared to be pitting. Original post is below;


I've owned this fermenter for over a year and I have pitting in the fermenter body where wort touches it only. I've contacted SSBrewtech and Michael told me I used it "outside the products specifications" and “Stainless ONLY pits from reactive chemicals, such as Chloride, which is found in everyday items such as salt or bleach.” I have not used any of these products so to tell me I have is not a professional way of handling this situation. I've only used the recommended cleaners and sanitizers (PBW and Starsan). I would never use non-recommended products on my fermenter and purposely destroy it. I clean all of my other stainless steel equipment the same way and do not have any pitting on my other equipment. The fittings and lid are not pitting and they are cleaned the same way too. Michael also said, “We have shipped roughly 10K Chronicals and Brew Buckets all over the world made from the same 304 stainless materials and have never seen the etching or pitting that you are experiencing. “ So he is telling me that 100% of all their products are perfect? There couldn’t be a 1/100 of one percent chance that one is bad? I wanted to ship the shell back and have it replaced and give them a second chance because I was looking to buy a larger fermenter but now I most defiantly will not purchase from Ss Brewing Technologies again.
 

dmcman73

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I have two of their conicals, a 7 gallon and a 14 gallon, and have been using the 7 gallon one for almost two years and the 14 gallon for about a year. Neither one of them has ever developed pitting like you described and the interior where the wort sits, looks new.

Did you passivate the conicals when you first received them as per instruction (http://howtobrew.com/book/appendices/appendix-b/passivating-stainless-steel)? Also, I'm not sure what the chlorine residuals are in your water that you use, are they high?
 

Vandulus

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There's always a chance of a manufacturing defect or there could be other, less obvious factors at play. I've always found the SS support folks to be fast, friendly and responsive. Hope they can help figure out what went wrong.

I've got two BrewBuckets and a 10 gallon brew kettle from SS with over a dozen or so batches run through them - I've not noticed any pitting, corrosion or other defects in the metal. I cleaned each with PBW to get rid of any manufacturing oils and solids, then passivated with StarSan.
 
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Meckhart

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When I first got it I cleaned with TSP and I have only used PBW and starsan which should have passivated it. It started in the cone but is now in the cylinder part to the 11 gallon mark. I used a non scratch scotch sponge at the krausen level only. I've gone back and forth with tech support and I was told I used it outside the product specs but I have not. The pitting is only at the wort level and below. I only use about a gallon of cleaner and sani and I shake the whole fermenter to cover all the surfaces so it's weird the pitting is only at the level of my batches and no where else. My water report shows 102 ml/l of chloride and I use a filter so it should reduce some chlorine. I have some pics I took last night and I'll try to get some better ones this weekend with better lighting.
 

augiedoggy

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My guess would be you got one made from a bad batch of steel... Its entirely possible... these are made in china by a third party manufactuerer. So if there was an issue ss brewtech wouldnt know about it unless complaints of multiple examples started coming in.

Normally this is what would happen in a commercial brewery if a different grade of stainless other than 316 or 304 was used with strong caustic cleaners... I wonder if these are really 304 stainless or just advertised as such just like the bayou and concord stuff which has been proven to not be 304 even though its advertised as such.. Why should we assume this couldnt be the case also? SS brewtech wouldnt even know it since the manufacturer would be doing it to make a little extra on their product. This happens all too often. In a homebrewing enviroment it shouldnt matter which is why most would never know but then it would beg the question of why did yours pit? Its as if you left something in it that ate the stainless (besides wort which doesnt effect even the cheaper grades often substituted.)

I'm not claiming anything here just throwing out ideas based on whats already been discovered with other foriegn /rebranded products like the concord stuff made with stainless from India and bayou classic from china? Its tough to control quality when the people making it FOR you are trying to make a profit off of you too..
 

dmcman73

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Just spraying starsan on the surface won't really passivate the metal, it needs to "soak" for about 20 minutes.

Try this, give the conical a good cleaning with PBW, use a non abrasive sponge scrubber (or even the green scruby pads) on the areas where it's pitted. Once cleaned, close off all the ports and fill the conical to the top with a proper mix of StarSan and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

Hopefully, it will look as good as new. If not, you could also try cleaning the areas with Bar keepers friend with a follow up with PBW wash.

To me it doesn't look pitted, it looks like beer stone which is common on non-passivated stainless steel.
 

Vandulus

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Just spraying starsan on the surface won't really passivate the metal, it needs to "soak" for about 20 minutes.

Try this, give the conical a good cleaning with PBW, use a non abrasive sponge scrubber (or even the green scruby pads) on the areas where it's pitted. Once cleaned, close off all the ports and fill the conical to the top with a proper mix of StarSan and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

Hopefully, it will look as good as new. If not, you could also try cleaning the areas with Bar keepers friend with a follow up with PBW wash.

To me it doesn't look pitted, it looks like beer stone which is common on non-passivated stainless steel.
I second the beer stone theory as this same thing has happened in my SS kettle. Thanks for the better information on passivation techniques. I always though that a heavy StarSan spray and 30 minute wait, would suffice.
 

dmcman73

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I second the beer stone theory as this same thing has happened in my SS kettle. Thanks for the better information on passivation techniques. I always though that a heavy StarSan spray and 30 minute wait, would suffice.
When you spray the area, the starsan will just drip down and not keep the area wet during the waiting period plus, it will dry during that time as well.
 

Redlantern

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If you clean aggressively, especially with anything abrasive (even mildly) you may need to passivate again. If you use a fine grade steel wool for cleaning, you will definitely need to passivate again.
 

Auger

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Don't use steel wool to clean stainless! The steel wool will leave trace deposits of steel on/in the surface of the stainless, acting as nucleation points for rust.
 

Redlantern

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Don't use steel wool to clean stainless! The steel wool will leave trace deposits of steel on/in the surface of the stainless, acting as nucleation points for rust.
Yup - it effectively "unpassivates" the steel and you have to start all over
 

mfabe

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I have two SS BrewTech Chronicals, one that I got over two years ago, and the second just 4 months ago, and both still look like brand new.

Stainless does pit from chlorinated cleaners, so they are correct that if that's what you are experiencing. Yet to me it looks more like poor cleaning and care practices all around. If you passivate stainless correctly, then clean using the prescribed methods you shouldn't ever have any issues.

I'm also pretty sure that if it was a problem with the material itself, this would not be an isolated incident. Think about it, they likely purchase the sheet metal in huge quantities mill-direct. Like others have said, to keep the cost down. If there was a bad lot of steel, we would likely see tons of posts everywhere about inferior material, since it would infect hundreds of units. I did a quick google search and the fact that you are the only one with a pitting issue, kind of isolates the issue to something you are doing. When I have beerstone or some other stuck on stain, I use bar keepers friend, its awesome stuff, have you given something like that a try?

I know their support is well regarded here, so if they thought you were exploiting them for a free Chronical, I could see why they put the brakes on that. I would try to give it a good polishing with Bar Keepers, and see what that does...
 

UndeadFred

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I'd go over it with a stainless (!) wool scrub pad and oxycilic acid (Bar Keepers Friend) until you have it looking good again and then use a strong concentration of Star San (2-3x normal) with hot--150+F water to passivate it again and see if you still have issues. That doesn't quite look like pitting I have seen, but I agree I'd be concerned with it, also.

I'm interested in your result as this might be one expensive splurge I do someday myself. Good Luck
 
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Meckhart

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I wasn't trying to take advantage of SSbrew tech or get something free, I wanted to ship it back and have them look at it, everything else is in great shape (the lid, fittings, gaskets). If they found it was defective steel then they could ship a new shell. I was really excited to buy this and used my Christmas bonus to buy it. They told me I used it out of the product specs when I did not and I've only used the recommended products on it. I was looking at buying a larger one from them and was happy with this one until this happened.

For cleaning I dump the trub and rinse the whole fermenter it then I fill the bottom with PWB solution and wash the interior. I dump the cleaner out into a bucket then remove all the fittings and clean the fittings more in the bucket. I rinse everything really well with hose. I don't sanitize it until brew day. I put all the fittings in a bucket of sanitizer then I assemble the fermenter and dump the sanitizer in the fermenter. The sanitizer sits in the bottom cone part and a few inches up in the cylinder part, I put the lid on and I shake it a few times to cover all surfaces then I dump it. The bottom cone gets the longest exposure to the starsan and that is the worst area and where it started.

I'll try using bar keepers friend then use starsan and will see what it does.
 

WrQth

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I wasn't trying to take advantage of SSbrew tech or get something free, I wanted to ship it back and have them look at it, everything else is in great shape (the lid, fittings, gaskets). If they found it was defective steel then they could ship a new shell. I was really excited to buy this and used my Christmas bonus to buy it. They told me I used it out of the product specs when I did not and I've only used the recommended products on it. I was looking at buying a larger one from them and was happy with this one until this happened.

For cleaning I dump the trub and rinse the whole fermenter it then I fill the bottom with PWB solution and wash the interior. I dump the cleaner out into a bucket then remove all the fittings and clean the fittings more in the bucket. I rinse everything really well with hose. I don't sanitize it until brew day. I put all the fittings in a bucket of sanitizer then I assemble the fermenter and dump the sanitizer in the fermenter. The sanitizer sits in the bottom cone part and a few inches up in the cylinder part, I put the lid on and I shake it a few times to cover all surfaces then I dump it. The bottom cone gets the longest exposure to the starsan and that is the worst area and where it started.

I'll try using bar keepers friend then use starsan and will see what it does.
What is the concentration of StarSan?
 

dmcman73

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Yup - it effectively "unpassivates" the steel and you have to start all over
Actually, this is incorrect. Steel wool does not "unpassivate" stainless. Steel wool leaves traces of steel (iron) behind embedded in the grain of the stainless where it will then rust causing the surrounding areas of the stainless to rust.

Same reason why welders of stainless steel will avoid using, at all costs, any tools they have used to cut or grind steel on their stainless steel projects because the trace iron that is on those used grinding pads or saws can transfer onto the stainless.
 

dmcman73

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I wasn't trying to take advantage of SSbrew tech or get something free, I wanted to ship it back and have them look at it, everything else is in great shape (the lid, fittings, gaskets). If they found it was defective steel then they could ship a new shell. I was really excited to buy this and used my Christmas bonus to buy it. They told me I used it out of the product specs when I did not and I've only used the recommended products on it. I was looking at buying a larger one from them and was happy with this one until this happened.

For cleaning I dump the trub and rinse the whole fermenter it then I fill the bottom with PWB solution and wash the interior. I dump the cleaner out into a bucket then remove all the fittings and clean the fittings more in the bucket. I rinse everything really well with hose. I don't sanitize it until brew day. I put all the fittings in a bucket of sanitizer then I assemble the fermenter and dump the sanitizer in the fermenter. The sanitizer sits in the bottom cone part and a few inches up in the cylinder part, I put the lid on and I shake it a few times to cover all surfaces then I dump it. The bottom cone gets the longest exposure to the starsan and that is the worst area and where it started.

I'll try using bar keepers friend then use starsan and will see what it does.
What are you using to clean with? Sponge, scrubby pad (if so, brand/color), nylon brush, etc? Are you mixing the correct amount of PBW with water? A high concentration of PBW can become very caustic. I usually use very hot water which cleans the conical clean and then put a few sprinkles of PBW into the conical and fill 1/4 way, or a little more, with hot water and clean, always agitating the solution with the soft green, non abrasive, scrubby pad.

To much PBW can leave that residue behind as well.
 

Redlantern

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Actually, this is incorrect. Steel wool does not "unpassivate" stainless. Steel wool leaves traces of steel (iron) behind embedded in the grain of the stainless where it will then rust causing the surrounding areas of the stainless to rust.

Same reason why welders of stainless steel will avoid using, at all costs, any tools they have used to cut or grind steel on their stainless steel projects because the trace iron that is on those used grinding pads or saws can transfer onto the stainless.
It was an over simplification - more for making the point. By introducing free iron from steel wool and by removing the the passivated material while scrubbing, you will have to go back and re-passivate. The passivated layer is gone. I have to reject parts at work for that very problem - folks grinding on passivated parts.
 

Sconnie12

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This whole passivation thing recently is driving me nuts!! SS naturally passivates with oxygen. There is no need to passivate your equipment. You can't "scrub off the passivated layer". Clean the surface and it'll naturally passivate.

Also StarSan (phosphoric acid) at room temp does not passivate stainless steel. I don't know why this keeps getting recommended. The two most common passivation solutions are Nitric and Citric and those need to be used at elevated temps. These are only done in industry and these are very harsh chemicals. All you guys using StarSan to 'passivate' are wasting StarSan and time :smack:
 

dmcman73

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This whole passivation thing recently is driving me nuts!! SS naturally passivates with oxygen. There is no need to passivate your equipment. You can't "scrub off the passivated layer". Clean the surface and it'll naturally passivate.

Also StarSan (phosphoric acid) at room temp does not passivate stainless steel. I don't know why this keeps getting recommended. The two most common passivation solutions are Nitric and Citric and those need to be used at elevated temps. These are only done in industry and these are very harsh chemicals. All you guys using StarSan to 'passivate' are wasting StarSan and time :smack:[/QUOTE

Wait, first you say that Stainless naturally passivates with Oxygen so people are wasting their time passivating. Then you said that the industry passivates with Citric or Nitric acid.....if stainless passivates on it's own...why do companies passivate with Citric or Nitric? Seems like they are wasting their time as well?

Then here's the other issue: You stated that regular oxygen in the air passivates the stainless on it's own...but starsan in a higher concentration doesn't passivate? How can o2 in the atmosphere...which is not pure o2 or in heavy concentrate at all...passivate the stainless and not the higher concentration of starsan? This is also confusing.

You are correct that stainless is self passivating but not as fast as you think, it's a bit of a slow process and although the stainless won't rust, it can get dingy and in our case build up beer stone during brewing or just sitting in the conicals fermenting away. By properly passivizing it (not to keep it from rusting) you can prevent the build up of beer stone.

Yes, during the passivization with starsan (a phospheric acid blend) it is recommended to heat the solution no greater than 140 degrees.

http://www.birkocorp.com/brewery/wh...stone-a-look-at-alternative-cleaning-methods/

So in short....passivate your brewing equipment to prevent beer stone build up.
 

Sconnie12

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Wait, first you say that Stainless naturally passivates with Oxygen so people are wasting their time passivating. Then you said that the industry passivates with Citric or Nitric acid.....if stainless passivates on it's own...why do companies passivate with Citric or Nitric? Seems like they are wasting their time as well?
You are wasting your time at home 'passivating' with StarSan. Where in your link does it talk about phosphoric acid (StarSan) being used as a passivation agent?

Passivation is used in industry for multiple reasons. One of the most common is when something is welded. Again there are multiple ways to passivate but none that can/should be done at home.

Then here's the other issue: You stated that regular oxygen in the air passivates the stainless on it's own...but starsan in a higher concentration doesn't passivate? How can o2 in the atmosphere...which is not pure o2 or in heavy concentrate at all...passivate the stainless and not the higher concentration of starsan? This is also confusing.
I'm not sure about your question. Passivation is the metal reacting with oxygen in the atmosphere to create an oxide layer. I'm not sure if you think StarSan makes a layer the protects the stainless or if I'm not following you?

You are correct that stainless is self passivating but not as fast as you think, it's a bit of a slow process and although the stainless won't rust, it can get dingy and in our case build up beer stone during brewing or just sitting in the conicals fermenting away. By properly passivizing it (not to keep it from rusting) you can prevent the build up of beer stone.

Yes, during the passivization with starsan (a phospheric acid blend) it is recommended to heat the solution no greater than 140 degrees.

http://www.birkocorp.com/brewery/wh...stone-a-look-at-alternative-cleaning-methods/

So in short....passivate your brewing equipment to prevent beer stone build up.
That is incorrect. The metal reacts instantly to the oxygen in the atmosphere. I mean go ahead and 'passivate' with StarSan but all it's doing is cleaning the surface and then the SS naturally oxides and creates an oxide layer. You could also just give it a clean with dish soap as well.
 

augiedoggy

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I always read that there is an acid in barkeepers freind that passivates the stainless... (oxcilic acid or somathing like that) I just clean my conicals with bar keepers friend and a cloth when they get nasty and I will also spray or pour starsan in them afterward some time usually right before refilling them. never had an issue yet with any of the three different brand conicals I use... I also read that oxygen will do it too.
 

Natdavis777

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I always read that there is an acid in barkeepers freind that passivates the stainless... (oxcilic acid or somathing like that)
That is how I always understood it, until I read up on it here.

Basically, the oxalic acid just cleans the surface down to the metal, allowing the atmospheric oxygen to repassivate the stainless steel.

Bar Keepers Friend has kept my keggles nice and clean looking for years, so I will keep on using it.
 

dmcman73

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You are wasting your time at home 'passivating' with StarSan. Where in your link does it talk about phosphoric acid (StarSan) being used as a passivation agent?

Passivation is used in industry for multiple reasons. One of the most common is when something is welded. Again there are multiple ways to passivate but none that can/should be done at home.



I'm not sure about your question. Passivation is the metal reacting with oxygen in the atmosphere to create an oxide layer. I'm not sure if you think StarSan makes a layer the protects the stainless or if I'm not following you?



That is incorrect. The metal reacts instantly to the oxygen in the atmosphere. I mean go ahead and 'passivate' with StarSan but all it's doing is cleaning the surface and then the SS naturally oxides and creates an oxide layer. You could also just give it a clean with dish soap as well.
From the link:

"A New Approach

We have discovered a new way to keep beerstone from becoming a problem in aging, serving tanks and kegs using the following procedure:

Rinse out beer and yeast with ambient temperature water.
Use a 1-2 ounce per gallon phosphoric/nitric acid mixture (140 degree F. maximum temperature) for 15-30 minutes.
No rinse.
Use a noncaustic alkaline cleaner at 1-2 ounces per gallon of warm (120-140 degree F.) to start. CIP for 15-30 minutes depending on conditions.
Rinse with ambient temperature water until the pH of the rinse water is neutral (same pH as the tap water coming in).
If a straight phosphoric acid (without nitric) is used the above procedure may not work. The reason phosphoric by itself is not as effective on beerstone is that it is not an oxidizing acid. Phosphoric acid is a mineral acid and, consequently, offers only hydrolysis, not oxidation. Oxidation is required to assist in breaking apart the amino acid groups making up the protein. Since nitric acid oxidizes as well as hydrolyzes, it is much more effective in loosening protein deposits. For this reason, many beerstone and milkstone removing acid cleaners incorporate nitric acid. An added benefit of using an acid with nitric acid is that nitric acid has a passivating effect on stainless steel.

The acid first step does not remove the beerstone. Rather, beerstone is merely loosened for the next step. If the acid is drained and followed with a rinse, a pH of about 4.5 makes protein insoluble.1 For this reason, it is best to skip the rinse and proceed immediately to the alkaline step.
"

Other links:

https://ssbrewtech.zendesk.com/hc/e...t-acids-can-I-use-to-passivate-my-Sstainless-

I think you're confusing the term passivating as a form of preventing rust. We are using it to prevent a build up of beer stone. Beer stone affects all brewing equipment even in big breweries. What your stating is correct about the passivation in preventing rust...we are trying to prevent beer stone from accumulating on the stainless.

Here are more links regarding "passivating" with starsan to prevent beer stone build up:

http://www.brews-bros.com/topic/81812-beer-stone-cleaning-and-preventing/

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/34426/39229.html?1161899878

http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=68815

http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/34076-starsan-saniclean-or-pbw/

Look at post #7 in this link: http://discussions.probrewer.com/showthread.php?47154-acid-wash-vs-acid-rinse
which says: "Just talked with Five Star to clarify. Using the Acid Rinse on a regular basis will prevent the buildup of beerstone. Using the Acid Wash is when beerstone has already reared its ugly head. Also, to re-passivate.

So I had been using the Wash ratio after every PBW run. My tanks look great, but I was using way too much. The Rinse ratio should be more than enough if I am using it after every alkali wash."


Again. to clarify....it's done to prevent beer stone not to prevent corrosion as what you are refering to with the Oxygen and Citric baths.

If you like, I can keep sending you links after links regarding beer stone. Trust me, it's a pain in the ass to clean and if mixing up 5 gallons of Starsan and letting it soak in my kettles and conicals for 20 minutes once when I get new equipment to prevent it (and then every now and then when i feel like it), I wouldn't call it a waste. Once I'm done soaking the conicals with the starsan mix, I dump it into a bucket, put a resealable lid on it and use it to sanitize on brew day. No starsan waste.

I'm going to end this bantering back and forth, I'll keep doing what works for me and you can do what you like.
 

Sconnie12

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Did I ever mention anything about beer stone?? I don't know what you're trying to argue. My original post said that StarSan doesn't passivate stainless steel. That is still true. I did not mention anything about StarSan and beer stone.

Again I'm trying to get across the misnomer that StarSan passivates stainless and that it needs to be done before use; it does not.
 

WrQth

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Did I ever mention anything about beer stone?? I don't know what you're trying to argue. My original post said that StarSan doesn't passivate stainless steel. That is still true. I did not mention anything about StarSan and beer stone.

Again I'm trying to get across the misnomer that StarSan passivates stainless and that it needs to be done before use; it does not.
It may not passivate stainless steel which means SSBrewtech needs to be told that since in their own documentation for cleaning and first time use it states to use StarSan in a 1oz to gallon concentration for passivation of their brewbuckets.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/464ftw8652eef8h/cleaning instructions 8.5x11.pdf?n=171496463
 

madscientist451

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For anyone interested, The subject of stainless steel passivation is covered in John Palmer's book How to Brew:

To passivate stainless steel at home without using a nitric acid bath, you need to clean the surface of all dirt, oils and oxides. The best way to do this is to use an oxalic acid based kitchen cleanser like those mentioned above, and a non-metallic green or white scrubby pad. Don't use steel wool, or any metal pad, even stainless steel, because this will actually promote rust. Scour the surface thoroughly and then rinse and dry it with a towel. Once you have cleaned it to bare metal it will re-passivate itself.
[/COLOR]

Here's the link to the chapter:
http://howtobrew.com/book/appendices/appendix-b/passivating-stainless-steel

After reading the whole thread, I would say the best course of action for the OP would be to clean his Brew Bucket with an oxalic based cleaner, let it air dry and see what happens.
 

dmcman73

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Did I ever mention anything about beer stone?? I don't know what you're trying to argue. My original post said that StarSan doesn't passivate stainless steel. That is still true. I did not mention anything about StarSan and beer stone.

Again I'm trying to get across the misnomer that StarSan passivates stainless and that it needs to be done before use; it does not.
If you go back to my post, #8, I said at the end: "To me it doesn't look pitted, it looks like beer stone which is common on non-passivated stainless steel."

OP posted his chonical was pitted and posted a picture. I said, and a few others agreed, that it did not look pitted but it looked like, in my opinion, it had beer stone. I went on to describe how to "passivate" it to prevent beer stone in where you jumped in arguing that passivating stainless to prevent oxidation (which was not the topic) was not necessary, I was discussing....beer stone remediation and prevention.

The term to "passivate" in the home brew community is used loosely. Lets see if we can get equipment manufacturers and others in the industry to stop calling it passivation and start calling it something else for beer stone cleaning and prevention.

I am not discussing Oxidation. Everything you stated in regards to OXIDATION in stainless is correct, I am NOT saying it is not correct.

Here are some posts with pictures of Beer stone, which is what the OP's conical looks to have:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=241048

http://www.thebruery.com/fermenters-new-or-old/

http://www.brewersfriend.com/2013/08/16/dude-your-beer-line-stinks-wash-it-out/
 

WrQth

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If you go back to my post, #8, I said at the end: "To me it doesn't look pitted, it looks like beer stone which is common on non-passivated stainless steel."

OP posted his chonical was pitted and posted a picture. I said, and a few others agreed, that it did not look pitted but it looked like, in my opinion, it had beer stone. I went on to describe how to "passivate" it to prevent beer stone in where you jumped in arguing that passivating stainless to prevent oxidation (which was not the topic) was not necessary, I was discussing....beer stone remediation and prevention.

The term to "passivate" in the home brew community is used loosely. Lets see if we can get equipment manufacturers and others in the industry to stop calling it passivation and start calling it something else for beer stone cleaning and prevention.

I am not discussing Oxidation. Everything you stated in regards to OXIDATION in stainless is correct, I am NOT saying it is not correct.

Here are some posts with pictures of Beer stone, which is what the OP's conical looks to have:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=241048

http://www.thebruery.com/fermenters-new-or-old/

http://www.brewersfriend.com/2013/08/16/dude-your-beer-line-stinks-wash-it-out/
Passivation of stainless steel is oxidation, that is what makes the oxide layer that protects the stainless steel and aids in inhibiting beer stone.
 

dmcman73

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Passivation of stainless steel is oxidation, that is what makes the oxide layer that protects the stainless steel and aids in inhibiting beer stone.
I'll quote what I wrote in my last post: "The term to "passivate" in the home brew community is used loosely. Lets see if we can get equipment manufacturers and others in the industry to stop calling it passivation and start calling it something else for beer stone cleaning and prevention"
 

steveoatley

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Here's the link to the chapter:
http://howtobrew.com/book/appendices/appendix-b/passivating-stainless-steel

After reading the whole thread, I would say the best course of action for the OP would be to clean his Brew Bucket with an oxalic based cleaner, let it air dry and see what happens.
I agree.......

Quote from Bar Keepers Friend's own website
"BKF Cleanser & Polish Ingredients

The Bar Keepers Friend Cleanser & Polish are: mineral abrasive, oxalic acid, surfactant, and a water softening agent "

just saying...... we don't have to re invent the wheel each day

my 2 cents, and i'll get out of the flame war..

S
 

Redlantern

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The idea of stainless steel passivation is not simply formation of an oxide layer. It is the creation of chromium oxide, which is the actual protective oxide when the steel is passivated.

If you sufficiently abrade the surface and expose free iron, or introduce free iron by your method of grinding or materials used to do it (steel wool for example), you will have iron oxide on the surface and that is the oxide you do not want. That is not protective - it is rust.

Simply stating that stainless steel exposed to the air creates an adequate chromium oxide layer to protect the steel is incorrect. Free iron must be removed. If you are not comfortable with the barkeepers friend option, perform a copper sulfate test to see if passivation is adequate.
 
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Meckhart

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Good news, I used barkeepers friend and a **** ton of scrubbing with the non scratch scotch spong/scurbber part and it is beer stone. I have a couple spots I missed so I'm going to scrub it more tonight. Does anybody know how long it takes to get passivated because I need to use this tonight for a brew night. Maybe I'll just use it then give it another good scrubbing after this batch ferments.
 

YeastMode

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So, is there a final answer as to how to properly care for a stainless steel vessel such as the brew bucket? I read all the posts in this thread closely, as I have just ordered a Brew Bucket, and now I am curious.

From the best I can gather, I should use StarSan to "passivate" the bucket for warranty purposes because that is what the instructions say to do, with the understanding that I am basically doing nothing to create an oxidation layer in the bucket any faster or better than I would by giving it a good cleaning and letting it remain exposed to air. Is this correct?
 

Sconnie12

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Good news, I used barkeepers friend and a **** ton of scrubbing with the non scratch scotch spong/scurbber part and it is beer stone. I have a couple spots I missed so I'm going to scrub it more tonight. Does anybody know how long it takes to get passivated because I need to use this tonight for a brew night. Maybe I'll just use it then give it another good scrubbing after this batch ferments.
Stainless passivates instantly with the oxygen in the atmosphere :mug:
 

Sconnie12

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So, is there a final answer as to how to properly care for a stainless steel vessel such as the brew bucket? I read all the posts in this thread closely, as I have just ordered a Brew Bucket, and now I am curious.

From the best I can gather, I should use StarSan to "passivate" the bucket for warranty purposes because that is what the instructions say to do, with the understanding that I am basically doing nothing to create an oxidation layer in the bucket any faster or better than I would by giving it a good cleaning and letting it remain exposed to air. Is this correct?
Although SS Brew recommends "passivating" with StarSan in reality StarSan does not passivate stainless steel. The welds are polished and should be passivated from the factory. There is nothing you can do (or need to do) from home other than giving it a good clean with either dish soap (I like this as it cuts any machining oils) or Bar Keepers Friend.

Don't take my word for it. Listen to John Palmer (Godfather of homebrewing) who's background is metallurgy. He reiterates what I'm saying.

http://howtobrew.com/book/appendices/appendix-b/passivating-stainless-steel

Side note: This is why I get so heated when misinformation is spread. Guys like YeastMode are just looking for a simple answer and they need to weed through post after post of mis-information.
 

YeastMode

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I'm cool, I understood what was going on. From a warranty standpoint, I am going to follow the instructions and document that I did so, knowing that I am wasting my time. Why? Because (a) that's the kind of person I am and I like to follow rules, and more importantly (b) I usually keep some StarSan around in a couple kegs for a week or so, transferring keg to keg from time to time. I find that it helps keep my equipment clean and ready to use, especially if it has been sitting around for a while.

That said, I understand what everyone is saying. Traditionally, I have cleaned all my stainless steel products with mild soap and a non-abrasive scrubber such as a green pad or even a paper towel. If I don't have to remove any gunk, then I use a cheap microfiber towel. Its a bit labor intensive, but I think its better practice. Sounds like that's what I should continue to do.

Off topic, but man are plastic buckets expensive to have shipped. I decided to just bite the bullet and buy stainless fermenting buckets. I hope I do not regret my decision.
 

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