Author Topic: Beer Stone (maybe)  (Read 883 times)

Offline narcout

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1755
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • View Profile
Beer Stone (maybe)
« on: January 13, 2015, 09:31:49 PM »
I've noticed a whitish film building up on the interior of my new stainless fermentor (and also a bit on the dip tubes of my corny kegs). 

Neither oxyclean nor PBW seems to be effective at removing it.  I can just barely scrape a bit off using my fingernail.

If I run my finger down the inside of the fermentor, I can feel exactly where it starts (it has kind of a rough, almost non-slip surface feel to it).

Is this beer stone?  If so, what is a good way to remove it?

I feel like bar keeper's friend would probably work, but I've only ever used it to clean the outside of kegs and the inside of kettles.  Is it safe to use on the inside of a fermentor with non-scratch (blue) scrub pad?
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline blatz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3435
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2015, 09:37:08 PM »
yup.  sounds like beer stone.

Higher concentrated solution soak of Acid Line Cleaner or even better, Acid #5 usually does the trick.  15min to an hour, preferably recirculated, followed by a rinse will usually flake it off. 

I've used a higher concentration of Star San before but it was less effective.

I've always been leery of BKF on the inside of my fermentors, but that may be an unfounded fear.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline narcout

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1755
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 10:37:51 PM »
Higher concentrated solution soak of Acid Line Cleaner or even better, Acid #5 usually does the trick.

I just checked out the spec sheet for Acid Cleaner #5.  They list a variety of different concentrations that can be used, what have you found to be effective?

Also, how dangerous is this stuff?  It sounds like I need safety goggles and rubber gloves (that has the potential to really freak the neighbors out).
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2015, 11:40:46 PM »

...that has the potential to really freak the neighbors out.

And a big kettle with copper coming out of it doesn't? I get all sorts of stares on brew days. People slow down in their cars, grab their children, ask me if I'm cooking meth.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 12:02:19 AM »

...that has the potential to really freak the neighbors out.

And a big kettle with copper coming out of it doesn't? I get all sorts of stares on brew days. People slow down in their cars, grab their children, ask me if I'm cooking meth.

I used to get that. Luckily I know the two cops that live nearby and have long since put that worry to bed. Now if the garage door's open, instead of worried looks, I get excited  "Hell, the bar's open !"  looks.  Along with help from friends, it's how I free up kegs now.    :D
Jon H.

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2388
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 02:18:34 AM »
I've noticed a whitish film building up on the interior of my new stainless fermentor (and also a bit on the dip tubes of my corny kegs). 


What is your water like and what calcium level do you typically target in your brewing?  Just looking for data points on beerstone.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2343
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2015, 02:48:08 AM »
All concentrated chemicals are corrosive. I usually encounter beer stone on hot side. My brew kettle and hot process hose were all brown. I have found that chlorinated CIP cleaner (super CIP) and 150f and couple of hours of circulating did the trick. This is all against conventional wisdom that beer stone should be removed with acid cleaner.   
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline blatz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3435
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2015, 02:40:12 PM »
Higher concentrated solution soak of Acid Line Cleaner or even better, Acid #5 usually does the trick.

I just checked out the spec sheet for Acid Cleaner #5.  They list a variety of different concentrations that can be used, what have you found to be effective?

Also, how dangerous is this stuff?  It sounds like I need safety goggles and rubber gloves (that has the potential to really freak the neighbors out).

i just went with 1oz per gallon, heated to about 120df.  recirculated for more than 15 min but less than an hour - i haven't ever timed it.  Then rinse with water.

You should where gloves and glasses. it is biodegrable unlike some other chemicals, so disposal isn't as much a hassle.

doesn't bother me, and my neighbors, should they have a problem with what i am doing, can go pound sand. but frankly, i've never had any issues with anyone.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline narcout

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1755
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2015, 08:18:19 PM »
What is your water like and what calcium level do you typically target in your brewing?  Just looking for data points on beerstone.

I brew with 100% distilled water to which I add modest amounts of gypsum and/or calcium chloride.  I usually target between 50 ppm and 70 ppm calcium.

Maybe it isn't beer stone, but there's definitely some buildup in my fermentor (which I've only put 6 or 7 batches through) that I can't seem to remove.  I'll see if the acid wash does the trick.

doesn't bother me, and my neighbors, should they have a problem with what i am doing, can go pound sand. but frankly, i've never had any issues with anyone.

I was mostly just kidding with the neighbors comment.  Thanks for the info on the acid cleaner.
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2382
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 10:22:17 PM »
doesn't bother me, and my neighbors, should they have a problem with what i am doing, can go pound sand. but frankly, i've never had any issues with anyone.

I was mostly just kidding with the neighbors comment.  Thanks for the info on the acid cleaner.
[/quote]

We laugh about it but I have had a couple of visits with the local police over the years.  Anytime the duplex next door gets a new tenet I can expect an officer to stop by.   ;D

Although I have been told by a friend of mine on the force ( a lieutenant) that my address has a note in the system that IDs me as a homebrewer and to not send out a car if someone calls in, just politely tell the caller that I am brewing beer and it's perfectly legal.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1335
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2015, 02:47:25 AM »
Do you or have you cleaned your fermenter with warm or hot pbw tapwater mix, but rinse cold?

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2343
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 11:03:36 PM »

Do you or have you cleaned your fermenter with warm or hot pbw tapwater mix, but rinse cold?
You should wash and rinse with the same temp.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1335
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 11:05:38 PM »

Do you or have you cleaned your fermenter with warm or hot pbw tapwater mix, but rinse cold?
You should wash and rinse with the same temp.
If you wash cold you can rinse cold.  But the rinse water should be the same temp or warmer than the wash water according to Five Star. 

Offline narcout

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1755
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2015, 01:11:14 AM »
Do you or have you cleaned your fermenter with warm or hot pbw tapwater mix, but rinse cold?

No, I've been soaking hot and rinsing hot.
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone