Threaded Connection Cleaning

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BryanEBIAB

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I recently reconfigured some of my fittings with PTFE+NPT threads and found an unsettling amount of gunk in the crevices. I’m not terribly concerned since it’s all hot-side and gets boiling wort run through it for at least 30 minutes each brew. So at least it’s sanitized gunk… I run hot PBW through everything after each brew but I guess nothing beats a brush.

So now I’m curious how often everyone dismantles and re-tapes their threaded connections to make sure there’s no nasties growing in there. It’s no small task!
 

Murph4231

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I do take some apart but very rarely. Fortunately my current system has very few threaded fittings. And of course I have experienced the gunk issue you describe. I used a little stainless steel brush to clean the fittings and threads followed by a thorough cleaning with costic acid ( no days it's PBW ) followed by a sanitizing soak. They are a PIA but as long as you maintain good sanitization practices and avoid using them post boil you will be fine. Just keep watch on them and do a good deep clean after about a dozen batches or so. Happy brewing.
 

OakIslandBrewery

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Anything on the fermenter is taken apart and deep cleaned after every use. Those fittings are all TC with some camlocks. After a spraying down the inside of the big chunks I remove all of the valves and port fittings and soak in a hot PBW mixture, scrub with brushes, rinse then sanitize. The brew kettle gets scrubbed after use but I don't remove anything from it unless I see something that shouldn't be there.

I have seen that black gunk you have mentioned in spots like inside of an elbow. In an old fermenter it did ruin a couple of brewed batches so on the fermentation side I'd remove and deep clean all fittings before sanitizing. As Murph says keep an eye on everything, deep clean where needed. Get into a routine and stick with it. Other than some extra time you can't go wrong cleaning too much.
 

Deadalus

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I recently reconfigured some of my fittings with PTFE+NPT threads and found an unsettling amount of gunk in the crevices. I’m not terribly concerned since it’s all hot-side and gets boiling wort run through it for at least 30 minutes each brew. So at least it’s sanitized gunk… I run hot PBW through everything after each brew but I guess nothing beats a brush.

So now I’m curious how often everyone dismantles and re-tapes their threaded connections to make sure there’s no nasties growing in there. It’s no small task!
About every ten brews on the hot side. I have one threaded valve on a fermenter (a fusti) that I was using irregularly but recently started using again. I will probably go with every 3-5 there. I can get a brush on it but I recently broke the valve itself down and didn't like the results as I hadn't broken it down before. The valve was previously used on the hot side and then only a few times on the fusti.
 
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BryanEBIAB

BryanEBIAB

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Thanks, folks. So far, my only metal fittings are on the hot side. Cold side is just an Ale Pail fermenter which gets brand new crummy plastic valves every now and then.
 
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