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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: roguejim on March 31, 2012, 09:58:08 PM

Title: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: roguejim on March 31, 2012, 09:58:08 PM
I decided to remove my boil kettle's brass ball valve to get a look inside of it, and clean it.  Obviously, my brew-to-brew cleaning procedure needs improvement in the area of the valve, as evidenced by the build up inside the valve.  In the future, I think I'll be running boiling water through it after every brew session.  But now, since I have the valve in hand, can I boil it out on the stovetop, and see what grime I can remove?  Is there a cleanser that I should add to the boiling water?  Oxiclean...TSP?
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: tom on April 01, 2012, 03:18:03 AM
You can take it apart and soak it in hot PBW.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: tonyp on April 01, 2012, 02:02:02 PM
I remember seeing something about using oxiclean and boiling water so i looked it up on their site:

OxiClean® Versatile Stain Remover works in any temperature water, but best in warm to hot water. Do NOT use boiling water.

It doesn't say why but i'm sure theres a good reason.

More info here: Oxiclean FAQ (http://www.oxiclean.com/FAQ.aspx)
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: roguejim on April 01, 2012, 09:57:40 PM
Actually, automatic dishwashing detergent worked great in a pot of boiling water.  Finished it with a long brush that fits the inner valve.  Almost like new.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: Kit B on April 17, 2012, 07:35:50 PM
I remember seeing something about using oxiclean and boiling water so i looked it up on their site:

OxiClean® Versatile Stain Remover works in any temperature water, but best in warm to hot water. Do NOT use boiling water.

It doesn't say why but i'm sure theres a good reason.

More info here: Oxiclean FAQ (http://www.oxiclean.com/FAQ.aspx)

Since it cleans with the power of oxygen & boiling water drives the oxygen out, I have to conlude that it is rendered somewhat useless. Also, I can imagine that the reaction may be a bit violent.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: jimrod on April 18, 2012, 01:16:25 PM
Boiling water removes the oxygen.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: morticaixavier on April 18, 2012, 02:58:06 PM
Another thing to think about here is that, unless the buildup is interfering with the operation of the valve, or you are noticing an off flavour that you can connect to the buildup, you might just want to leave it there. You don't really want raw, shiny brass in contact with your wort and in fact it's good practice to boil the brass valve in water for a while after cleaning to re-passivate (lay down a layer of oxidized metal to protect the brass surfaces). I think this has to do with lead in the brass so I don't know if it's still really needed but perhaps others can speak to that.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: gmwren on April 18, 2012, 04:29:35 PM
After cleaning what ever all my ball valves are connected to, I like to leave them half open. this allows the air exposure throughout the assembly and has really cut down on all the times I used to break them down. Leaving them closed seemed to leave about a teaspoon or two of liquid trapped that would get just plain nasty. I do put my valves from my conical through my pressure cooker on a regular basis, even if I don't see any buildup.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: tomsawyer on April 18, 2012, 08:34:15 PM
I don't think PBW cleans with oxygen, its peroxide that oxidizes the gunk.  Theres a lot of O2 formed during the process though.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: bluesman on April 18, 2012, 09:01:12 PM
I have a Blichmann Fermenator that has two ball valves.  It is recommended to boil the valves (open) in tap water for 10min to remove any organic soils within the valve. This is the recommendation of the manufacturer. My ball valves are three pc. stainless steel.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: jody on April 21, 2012, 03:05:48 PM
after brewing I clean immediately with PBW and warm water, while recirculating the PBW through the system it is smart to open and close your ball valves slowly several times to flush out the valve, then I drain my grant, and replace it with Acid #5 mixture and jack the valves the same, after that, I drain the acid mixture and rinse with very hot water. you must take your valves off and open and close to drain the water from behind the ball and store at 1/4 turn on end so they will drain..
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 21, 2012, 05:12:56 PM
I have a Blichmann Fermenator that has two ball valves.  It is recommended to boil the valves (open) in tap water for 10min to remove any organic soils within the valve. This is the recommendation of the manufacturer. My ball valves are three pc. stainless steel.

Have you ever opened those up and cleaned them?  I have 3 of those 3 piece Blichmanns, and never had.  Maybe I will soon.
Title: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: johnnaranjo@yahoo.com on April 21, 2012, 05:58:27 PM
I always rinse before and after use. Then during the boil I run several quarts of the boiling wort through the valve, recycling periodically especially as I get closer to flame out. Just want to make sure that all areas inside the valve have been exposed to the high temps of the boil. But that's for boil kettle valves, I don't use valve on fermentors (wish I had that problem)   
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: BrewQwest on April 22, 2012, 01:26:37 PM
I don't think PBW cleans with oxygen, its peroxide that oxidizes the gunk.  Theres a lot of O2 formed during the process though.

+1 Tom ... the concept of these cleaners not working with boiling water (primarily due to a lack of oxygen??) is somewhat misleading... especially since the water is typically no longer boiling once you add the cleaner and the object to be cleaned, into it..As soon as you begin to stir up this concoction, you are re-adding oxygen back into the solution... unless the intent was to maintain heat and maintain the boil while submersing the object into it... then I would ask why would you want to do that with these types of cleaners to begin with?? These cleaners were devised so that you would not have to resort to a boiling solution in order to be effective... jmho... cheers!!
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: tom on April 22, 2012, 06:45:44 PM
Even with opening/closing the valve there will still be junk left inside.  I take them apart once a year and I am always surprised at what's still in there.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: bluesman on April 22, 2012, 07:25:20 PM
I have a Blichmann Fermenator that has two ball valves.  It is recommended to boil the valves (open) in tap water for 10min to remove any organic soils within the valve. This is the recommendation of the manufacturer. My ball valves are three pc. stainless steel.

Have you ever opened those up and cleaned them?  I have 3 of those 3 piece Blichmanns, and never had.  Maybe I will soon.

Yes. Here's a video from NB on how to do it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRd6pPEU_ko
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 22, 2012, 10:41:57 PM
I have a Blichmann Fermenator that has two ball valves.  It is recommended to boil the valves (open) in tap water for 10min to remove any organic soils within the valve. This is the recommendation of the manufacturer. My ball valves are three pc. stainless steel.

Have you ever opened those up and cleaned them?  I have 3 of those 3 piece Blichmanns, and never had.  Maybe I will soon.

Yes. Here's a video from NB on how to do it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRd6pPEU_ko
  Thanks, not much to it.  Will see how much gunk there is.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: bluesman on April 22, 2012, 11:46:40 PM
I have a Blichmann Fermenator that has two ball valves.  It is recommended to boil the valves (open) in tap water for 10min to remove any organic soils within the valve. This is the recommendation of the manufacturer. My ball valves are three pc. stainless steel.

Have you ever opened those up and cleaned them?  I have 3 of those 3 piece Blichmanns, and never had.  Maybe I will soon.

I've been boiling out the valves on my last three ferments...no issues doing that.  Taking them apart and cleaning them is extra insurance, but I dont think it's necessary everytime. YMMV

Yes. Here's a video from NB on how to do it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRd6pPEU_ko
  Thanks, not much to it.  Will see how much gunk there is.
Title: Re: Boiling out a ball valve
Post by: TrippleRippleBrewer on May 05, 2012, 12:27:58 AM
A coupe years ago I contaminated about three batches before I discovered my ball valve was the culprit. Mine was a two piece stainless and boiling the whole thing for 15 minutes before putting it on the kettle did a great job. I did this for about a year.

These days I use a the Blichman three piece stainless ball valve and I take it off the kettle, disassemble it and soak in PBW between every brew session. I use the hottest tap water and PBW does the rest. I let it soak for three or four days before rinsing and there is NOTHING left. PBW is fantastic.

Anyway, if you plan to stick with brass I would soak it in super hot water and PBW with it open, remove and put the valve at half open and soak again, then close all the way and soak again. Rinse thoroughly with hot water later and move that valve around a lot to clean out all the residual PBW. That should do the trick and boiling the wort should add enough heat to kill any funky bugs.

Good luck and cheers!