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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: kramerog on March 26, 2013, 05:32:01 PM

Title: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: kramerog on March 26, 2013, 05:32:01 PM
My Better Bottle fermenter still has remnants of the last fermentation in the shoulder of the fermenter.  I think the technical term for this stuff is braun hefe.  I soaked twice overnight with a cold PBW solution of 1 tsp/ gal.  I've soaked for several days in a cold solution of oxyclean (lots of oxyclean).  I've used a spray wand several times.  What is next?  I'm hoping to stay away from caustic.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: theDarkSide on March 26, 2013, 05:44:46 PM
A several day soak of Oxyclean has always cleaned my better bottles.  Have you tried using warm water with Oxyclean, around 120F.  It's not hot enough to warp the BB but may work better with soaking.  Eventually it will cool but you should get a good few hours at warmer temperatures.

You could also stick a wash cloth in there with some warm oxyclean/pbw solution and shake the hell out of it.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: blatz on March 26, 2013, 05:52:00 PM
You could also stick a wash cloth in there with some warm oxyclean/pbw solution and shake the hell out of it.

this was always necessary for the stubborn stains when I used BBs.  Works well.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: beersk on March 26, 2013, 05:53:46 PM
1 teaspoon per gallon? That isn't much. I'd have gone with at least 1 tablespoon per gallon with hot water. That should've gotten it all. I usually use a full scoop of the PBW mix I made. The scooper is what comes with the oxiclean tubs. But then again, I use glass carboys, not PET.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: davidgzach on March 26, 2013, 05:54:01 PM
A several day soak of Oxyclean has always cleaned my better bottles.  Have you tried using warm water with Oxyclean, around 120F.  It's not hot enough to warp the BB but may work better with soaking.  Eventually it will cool but you should get a good few hours at warmer temperatures.

You could also stick a wash cloth in there with some warm oxyclean/pbw solution and shake the hell out of it.

+1.  I also have a small plastic tube brush that I bent so I can gently brush it away.  If you have a cap, fill it with a gallon of hot (125F) water and some Oxi and soak it upside down and swirl every 15-20 minutes.

Dave

Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: kramerog on March 26, 2013, 06:06:49 PM
Thanks, if the current soak doesn't work, I'll try shaking the fermenter with a strong, warm solution of PBW/oxiclean and a wash cloth. 
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: Hokerer on March 26, 2013, 06:56:19 PM
Thanks, if the current soak doesn't work, I'll try shaking the fermenter with a strong, warm solution of PBW/oxiclean and a wash cloth.

...or an old sock.  That's what I've always used :)
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: dbarber on March 26, 2013, 07:07:31 PM
I use a concentration of 2 oz of PBW in 5 gallons of hot faucet water and let it soak overnight.  On the few occasions where it didn't all come off a 2nd round took care of it.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: a10t2 on March 26, 2013, 07:33:40 PM
Why not use hot water? IIRC the recommended concentration for PBW in cold water is 2-3 oz/gal.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: hoser on March 26, 2013, 07:55:45 PM
I use a concentration of 2 oz of PBW in 5 gallons of hot faucet water and let it soak overnight.  On the few occasions where it didn't all come off a 2nd round took care of it.

This has been my experience as well.  I will say, that for whatever reason, Oxyclean works better for me with cleaning the Better Bottles.  For everything else, I use PBW.

I wouldn't use a brush because you risk scratching the inner plastic surface.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: fmader on March 26, 2013, 10:33:42 PM
Thanks, if the current soak doesn't work, I'll try shaking the fermenter with a strong, warm solution of PBW/oxiclean and a wash cloth.

I'm not sure, but you might not want to mix the two. Some cleaning materials will react when mixed. Lol you might end up with some bathtub crank!
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: Hokerer on March 26, 2013, 10:48:28 PM
Thanks, if the current soak doesn't work, I'll try shaking the fermenter with a strong, warm solution of PBW/oxiclean and a wash cloth.

I'm not sure, but you might not want to mix the two. Some cleaning materials will react when mixed. Lol you might end up with some bathtub crank!

Oxiclean is one half of what's already in PBW so mixing those two is no problem
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: fmader on March 26, 2013, 10:58:36 PM
Thanks, if the current soak doesn't work, I'll try shaking the fermenter with a strong, warm solution of PBW/oxiclean and a wash cloth.

I'm not sure, but you might not want to mix the two. Some cleaning materials will react when mixed. Lol you might end up with some bathtub crank!

Looks like you got the go ahead to mix it up then!  ;)
I'm always careful because I mixed the wrong stuff to do my nasty ass dishes that had been sitting in the sink for a semester back in college.

Oxiclean is one half of what's already in PBW so mixing those two is no problem
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on March 27, 2013, 04:01:38 AM
My Better Bottle fermenter still has remnants of the last fermentation in the shoulder of the fermenter.  I think the technical term for this stuff is braun hefe.  I soaked twice overnight with a cold PBW solution of 1 tsp/ gal.  I've soaked for several days in a cold solution of oxyclean (lots of oxyclean).  I've used a spray wand several times.  What is next?  I'm hoping to stay away from caustic.


Glass...glass...glass. Cleans up real,easy in 20 minutes or less.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 27, 2013, 02:55:50 PM
I agree with trying hot water rather than cold water with the oxyclean.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: davidgzach on March 27, 2013, 03:21:26 PM
I agree with trying hot water rather than cold water with the oxyclean.

Me too.  I use hot water no matter what.

Dave
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: udubdawg on March 28, 2013, 06:04:12 PM
I use fairly hot water with quite a bit of PBW, but I would caution anyone against overnight soaks with such a solution.  This will in my experience ruin your BB.

read their study and make your own decision.  Since limiting contact time I've had zero stress cracking in the BBs.  http://www.better-bottle.com/pdf/WashingSanitizingStudy.pdf (http://www.better-bottle.com/pdf/WashingSanitizingStudy.pdf)

The stuff they recommend simply does not do the job nearly as well.  Also, I get my PBW fully dissolved in a bucket before pouring into the BB.  For truly stubborn gunk I leave it longer, but make sure the fermenter is inverted so I'm not exposing the bottom to the solution (the trouble spots are usually near the top anyway, right?)

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: kramerog on March 28, 2013, 06:22:21 PM
I'll try the Free & Clear Natural 2X Seventh Generation detergent if the current 5-day soak in PBW/oxyclean does not work.  Sometimes you gotta change your approach rather than doing more of the same.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: dbarber on March 29, 2013, 12:36:44 AM
I'll try the Free & Clear Natural 2X Seventh Generation detergent if the current 5-day soak in PBW/oxyclean does not work.  Sometimes you gotta change your approach rather than doing more of the same.

I tried the 7th generation detergent and did 2 soaks before dumping it an hitting it with PBW.  I have started inverting by BB when soaking with PBW to avoid stress fractures on the bottom.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: kramerog on April 08, 2013, 01:41:28 PM
Free & Clear Natural 2X Seventh Generation detergent worked like a charm (after weeklong soak).  PBW and oxyclean will remain my first and second choices. 
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 08, 2013, 02:34:27 PM
Roger - I use oxyclean and cascade (unscented) on my better bottles.  I've never really measured the amount, but I dump some in, fill it with warm/hot water and let it soak.

I've yet to encounter a crust that can withstand the soak.

Sometimes I will put an old sock on a bottle brush and give the interior a scrub, too.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: AmandaK on April 08, 2013, 04:26:24 PM
I've never met any sort of brown crusty stuff that Mark's Keg Washer and some PBW hasn't been able to tackle.

Now, the 1 year old lambic crust in a 6 gallon glass carboy... that took about 40 minutes on the Keg Washer, but it still worked without me scrubbing. Pretty cool.
Title: Re: Can't clean fermenter
Post by: ynotbrusum on April 08, 2013, 07:49:15 PM
I'm going to clean a Berliner Weisse that sat for Five months - hot PBW solution to start, but it is a glass carboy, so no stress fracture worries, just regular fracture worries!  I use my BB on short term fermenting beers that leave less of a mess.  I also have a Dubbel in a plastic bucket that was looking highly crudded up and is ready for racking to secondary, so PBW will get a lot of use at my house this week.