White powder residue from isopropyl alcohol

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Wrathchild

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I just bottled some beer and I always have trouble cleaning my hoses and racking cane. I got the bright idea to soak isopropyl alcohol in them and it was fine for the vinyl tubing but my bottling wand and racking cane have a thick white power caked on them. Obviously a chemical reaction but how bad is it? What is it? Can it be cleaned out or should I just but new gear?
 

wepeeler

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Not 100% sure, but you could try PBW for cleaning, and Star San for sanitizing. I left PBW in my brew kettle for a week, and it developed a stubborn, gritty white substance caked onto the bottom. I used White Vinegar, and it cleaned up in about 2 minutes.
 
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Wrathchild

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Not 100% sure, but you could try PBW for cleaning, and Star San for sanitizing. I left PBW in my brew kettle for a week, and it developed a stubborn, gritty white substance caked onto the bottom. I used White Vinegar, and it cleaned up in about 2 minutes.
I've been seeing alot about PBW so maybe ill give it a whirl. Biggest problem is id like to get something I can pull through to get a little scrubbing effect. I see people use beaded chain like on a ceiling fan and I like that idea! I'll give pbw a go. Last dumb question is what does pbw stand for? The full name of the product.
 

wepeeler

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PBW should be a staple in your "brewery"!

Powder Brewery Wash: PBW Cleaner - 1 lb. | MoreBeer

It's alkaline and very caustic. Should not need anything to run through the tubing. Just soak for 30 min in hot water. Rinse well. Run Star San Through it. Let air dry.
 
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Wrathchild

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PBW should be a staple in your "brewery"!

Powder Brewery Wash: PBW Cleaner - 1 lb. | MoreBeer

It's alkaline and very caustic. Should not need anything to run through the tubing. Just soak for 30 min in hot water. Rinse well. Run Star San Through it. Let air dry.
Gonna give that a go! Thanks for the speedy replies!
 

day_trippr

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I would not use PBW for prolonged soaking of racking canes, autosiphons, or anything else made from polycarbonates, as it can quickly lead to crazing and cracking...

Cheers!
 
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Wrathchild

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I would not use PBW for prolonged soaking of racking canes, autosiphons, or anything else made from polycarbonates, as it can quickly lead to crazing and cracking...

Cheers!
Dually noted. I just want to get this powder out and not use isopropyl alcohol again. I thought maybe it would dry the water in the tube and hoses faster but I did more harm then good. Racking canes and bottling wands aren't expensive but dangit these aren't broken, just reacted to the isopropyl. Thanks for the advise. Is pbw what people are comparing to oxyclean?
 

McMullan

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Isopropanol is a bit extreme here. A dilute bleach solution works wonders, in my opinion. It's important to respect contact time generally. The best solutions turn out to be the worst, if left long enough.
 
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Wrathchild

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Isopropanol is a bit extreme here. A dilute bleach solution works wonders, in my opinion. It's important to respect contact time generally. The best solutions turn out to be the worst, if left long enough.
I only had contact for about 2 or 3 minutes but it was 91% concentration so I think maybe dilution would have been better. Im chalking it up to another lesson in homebrewing learned!
 

McMullan

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I only had contact for about 2 or 3 minutes but it was 91% concentration so I think maybe dilution would have been better. Im chalking it up to another lesson in homebrewing learned!
I only use isopropanol (70%) in a spray bottle, for surfaces and gloved hands when I'm doing yeast microbiology stuff. Contact time only needs to be a few to several seconds. Although it doesn't appear that you used it as an aerosol from a spray bottle, much above 70% it starts to evaporate too quickly and doesn't have time to kill any bugs. It's overkill and too expensive, even dangerous, for home brew chores generally. I still use a racking cane/auto syphon with PVC tubing occasionally, when I transfer wine to a secondary. After flushing syphon, tubing and FV with hot water and give the FV a quick physical clean with a sponge then fill it (about 25L) and add a cup of thin bleach. Don't use 'thick' bleach, the almost gelatinous crap that's designed to stick to surfaces, even though it gets diluted I wouldn't take a chance. It's often perfumed therefore to be avoided anyway. I soak it for at least an hour, but have left it for a day or so when busy. Seems to be fine for a plastic (HPDE) FV. Then I throw in the auto syphon and drain the bleach solution through its PVC tubing. Stop the flow and soak it for a while too.
 

Brewdog80

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Your racking cane and a lot of other clear rigid plastics are acrylic or modified acrylics. They are attacked by alcohols. Iso and denatured 70% and higher will react with them quickly. You most likely won't get it to come off as it us a sign of damage. I would toss and get replacement as it will continue to deteriorate and crack on you.
 

Brewdog80

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Alcohol really has no place around plastics. Just buy products that are MADE for brewing and you will be fine
 
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Wrathchild

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Alcohol really has no place around plastics. Just buy products that are MADE for brewing and you will be fine
True. I learned a lesson yesterday. Only took once but I learned from it
 

Brewdog80

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Oh, I've screwed up a lot of things. We learn by trying different things and by failures and I've had a bunch
 
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