Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: bluedog on September 06, 2010, 04:53:24 PM

Title: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: bluedog on September 06, 2010, 04:53:24 PM
So besides a green scrubber, barkeepers friend, and elbow grease - does anyone have an easier way for cleaning a copper immersion wort chiller?
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: etbrew on September 06, 2010, 04:55:36 PM
Soak it in PBW then rinse.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: chezteth on September 06, 2010, 05:10:26 PM
Soak it in PBW then rinse.

+1 to this method.  easy and effective
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: jptheelder on September 06, 2010, 09:31:23 PM
Soak it in PBW then rinse.
+ 2. never had an issue this way.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: bluedog on September 06, 2010, 11:37:44 PM
Does PBW leave it looking new or is it just a sanitizer? How long of soak do give it? I usually use starsan - I left some brass in there overnight and turned it a cool green color...
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: BrewArk on September 06, 2010, 11:44:21 PM
PBW is a cleaner, not a sanitizer.  After cleaning, you put the immersion chiller into boiling wort to sanitize it.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: blatz on September 06, 2010, 11:49:56 PM
spray it off with the hose after every use, put in boiling wort with 15 left to go, never been an issue  ;)
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: richardt on September 07, 2010, 12:01:04 AM
Is it even necessary to clean a copper IC with PBW?  What is PBW getting off your IC that you're concerned about having in your brew kettle?  Is it the oxidation layer?

After use, I simply rinse the IC off with water.  It tends to take on a mottled greyish-coppery color during storage.

On the next brew day, I hook up the IC  to the garden hose.  I rinse the IC with the water that flows out of the output end (to get the dust off of the IC).  The IC gets placed in the boil kettle for the last 15 minutes of the boil--it gets shiny copper colored due to the acidity of the wort.  I don't notice a greenish residue during storage.

Any problems doing it this way?  
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: BrewArk on September 07, 2010, 12:07:00 AM
Is it even necessary to clean a copper IC with PBW?  What is PBW getting off your IC that you're concerned about having in your brew kettle?  Is it the oxidation layer?

After use, I simply rinse the IC off with water.  It tends to take on a mottled greyish-coppery color during storage.

On the next brew day, I hook up the IC  to the garden hose.  I rinse the IC with the water that flows out of the output end (to get the dust off of the IC).  The IC gets placed in the boil kettle for the last 15 minutes of the boil--it gets shiny copper colored due to the acidity of the wort.  I don't notice a greenish residue during storage.

Any problems doing it this way?  

I wouldn't think so.  Unless, you have something in your storage area that rinsing won't remove.  I use a counter-flow, so I like to clean it pretty good before storing it, then prior to use I rinse, and then follow by running hot wort through (that I return to the boil) for sanitizing.

-Rick
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: tubercle on September 07, 2010, 12:18:28 AM
spray it off with the hose after every use, put in boiling wort with 15 left to go, never been an issue  ;)


That's what I do. Take it out of the wort, spray it down, hang it up side down until the next time I use it.

 Why do you feel it necessary to clean it? Placed in the wort for about 10 minutes before the end of the boil will sanitize the surface. Besides, that lovely patina that washes off is nutrients for the yeast.

 RDWHAHB
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: tschmidlin on September 07, 2010, 12:24:28 AM
Besides, that lovely patina that washes off is nutrients for the yeast.
As long as it's not verdigris (you know, the green stuff), that can't be good for the yeast - it's a fungicide.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: tubercle on September 07, 2010, 12:26:21 AM
Besides, that lovely patina that washes off is nutrients for the yeast.
As long as it's not verdigris (you know, the green stuff), that can't be good for the yeast - it's a fungicide.

 I agree, not the green but the dark brown. Mine doesn't have time between uses to grow green 8)
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: bluesman on September 07, 2010, 01:20:31 AM
spray it off with the hose after every use, put in boiling wort with 15 left to go, never been an issue  ;)

+1

This ^^^^^

...works every time.  ;)
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 07, 2010, 01:40:04 AM
spray it off with the hose after every use, put in boiling wort with 15 left to go, never been an issue  ;)

This works for me, too.

The only time I used PBW is when it was new, and and the copper coil straight from the box still a little oily after I formed/made it into a chiller. 

Other than that, rinse, boil, repeat.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on September 07, 2010, 01:45:37 AM
Mine doesn't have time between uses to grow green 8)
The same here.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: bluedog on September 07, 2010, 02:30:04 AM
I brew about every 10-14 days and like some of you, I rinse off my chiller and hang it upside down for storage. About every 5-6 batches I have been cleaning my chiller with Barkeepers Friend back to shiny clean. It sounds like I might be wasting my time if that dark copper color and some grey (water spots?) aren't hurting anything.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: beveragebob on September 10, 2010, 03:29:58 AM
Interesting.....I didn't know it was a fungicide....among other things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verdigris
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: tschmidlin on September 10, 2010, 03:55:29 AM
Huh.  I didn't know it was used as a dye, and in medicine?!  That seems  . . . interesting for something that you should wash your hands after handling.  Although one of the cranky old scientists I work with likes to tell everyone that they used to inject people with ethidium bromide while he's bare-handing gels, to which I always reply that they used to bleed people too.

And to save people from having to look it up, we use ethidium bromide to mutagenize yeast and it is used in gels because it is a fluorescent DNA intercalator, so you look at it under UV and you can see where the DNA is on the gel.  But uh . . . that means it sticks itself into DNA and is not picky about what DNA, so while it might not penetrate your skin it still seems like a really bad idea to handle it if you don't have to, especially if you have any cuts.  Everyone else wears gloves.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: Slowbrew on September 10, 2010, 04:47:48 PM
I just rinse my IC off and drain it too. 

A couple of years ago though it was starting to look a little bad and I thought "I should soak that".  I threw it in a bucket of PBW and walked away.  When I came back the surface of the PBW was a very dark gray, brackish color and my IC looked brand new.  It didn't look bad on the IC but whatever it was looked nasty in the pail of PBW.  I have no idea what was coating the copper but I decided to give it a soak now whenever it starts to look like something is starting to build up on it.  YMMV

Paul
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: euge on September 10, 2010, 04:57:44 PM
I rinse it well after use making sure no hop particles and such are adhering to the coils (mine are tightly bound) and then a good rinse and application of starsan before use to get any dust off.

Mine goes in at flame-out since it drops the temp immediately by at least 10 degrees.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: seajellie on November 10, 2010, 04:49:06 PM
Interesting idea Euge. I'm so indoctrinated with the "boil for 15 minutes" idea that your technique never occurred to me.

Very handy too, as I've moved up to 10 - 12 gallon boils and I'm trying to keep my old chillin' equipment serviceable for another year (or until Christmas ;-)

So without a pump and parts I can add your idea to the list:

* add sterile ice blocks
* add chiller at flame out
* use a gravity-fed hopback for the extra aroma, and maybe kick off a few degrees too.

Must search, there may be a good thread for other ideas.
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: Steve on November 10, 2010, 06:30:31 PM
spray it off with the hose after every use, put in boiling wort with 15 left to go, never been an issue  ;)
Bingo!
Title: Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
Post by: CASK1 on November 13, 2010, 03:42:17 AM
spray it off with the hose after every use, put in boiling wort with 15 left to go, never been an issue  ;)

This works for me, too.

The only time I used PBW is when it was new, and and the copper coil straight from the box still a little oily after I formed/made it into a chiller. 

Other than that, rinse, boil, repeat.
Ditto here. Once or twice a year I pull out a Brillo pad and give it a good scrubbing, but I doubt it really accomplishes much, other than briefly restoring that shiny, new look.