Author Topic: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide  (Read 849 times)

Offline Attik

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Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« on: April 05, 2016, 03:43:51 PM »
Hi everyone!

I am preparing to bottle this Friday and I am thinking of using NaOH as a cleaner. Does anyone have any experience using NaOH? I know the commercial breweries use it and was wondering what would be a suitable concentration. Could I also use it to clean fermenters and other equipment?

Thanks!

Offline Stevie

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 04:02:04 PM »
No experience beyond clearing drains, but I know some do's and don'ts

DON'T do it - what's wrong with other less dangerous cleaners?
DON'T allow children anywhere near by
DO wear personal protection equipment - long sleeves, heavy gloves, rubber apron
DO add the lye to water - adding water to lye will cause a reaction that will send if all over the place

RPIScotty

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 04:10:06 PM »
No experience beyond clearing drains, but I know some do's and don'ts

DON'T do it - what's wrong with other less dangerous cleaners?
DON'T allow children anywhere near by
DO wear personal protection equipment - long sleeves, heavy gloves, rubber apron
DO add the lye to water - adding water to lye will cause a reaction that will send if all over the place

^^^^^^^^
  THIS

What's wrong with unscented dish soap, PBW, Oxyclean, etc?

Offline FaradayUncaged

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 04:11:41 PM »

DO add the lye to water - adding water to lye will cause a reaction that will send if all over the place

Did you mean DO NOT/DON'T on this one?

Offline 69franx

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 04:14:20 PM »

DO add the lye to water - adding water to lye will cause a reaction that will send if all over the place

Did you mean DO NOT/DON'T on this one?
No, if OP is determined to use it, add it to water, not the other way around
Frank L.
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

RPIScotty

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 04:15:15 PM »

DO add the lye to water - adding water to lye will cause a reaction that will send if all over the place

Did you mean DO NOT/DON'T on this one?

I think Steve meant DO it the way written to avoid a chemical reaction.

Offline FaradayUncaged

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 04:16:39 PM »
No, if OP is determined to use it, add it to water, not the other way around

I think Steve meant DO it the way written to avoid a chemical reaction.

I completely missed the point when reading that the first time.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2016, 04:22:18 PM »

DO add the lye to water - adding water to lye will cause a reaction that will send if all over the place

Did you mean DO NOT/DON'T on this one?

I think Steve meant DO it the way written to avoid a chemical reaction.
Maybe a hair unclear. ALWAYS add the lye to the full volume of water. Lye is nuts reactive and will basically explode all over if a large amount of lye gets wet.

Offline zwiller

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2016, 04:23:42 PM »
Forget that stuff!  The pro brewers only use it on tough jobs. 

Dollar store oxyclean is all you need.  The hotter the water the better.  Clean brewing stuff immediately after use or it will be much harder to clean.   
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline Attik

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2016, 04:26:25 PM »
Thanks everyone for your comments. I just figured that commercial breweries use it, plus here in Spain its 20 times cheaper than using less aggressive cleaning agents such as oxyclean etc.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 04:32:11 PM »
See if you can source lab grade sodium percarbonate. It's the main active ingredient in oxyclean, PBW, and the like. The amount used is less when compared to the others as it is more pure.

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 05:10:56 PM »
Are you sure you need to resort to lye??? It is a thermonuclear option that is not typically necessary. With that said, I have used lye to clean off organic deposits that things like PBW couldn't budge. In particular, I've used in to clean organic deposits from beer serving lines. It works very well, but demands utmost caution and care.
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Offline zwiller

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2016, 09:21:41 PM »
See if you can source lab grade sodium percarbonate. It's the main active ingredient in oxyclean, PBW, and the like. The amount used is less when compared to the others as it is more pure.

Great idea.  Save the lye for your pretzels!  :o
Sam
Sandusky, OH

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2016, 01:44:25 AM »

Maybe a hair unclear. ALWAYS add the lye to the full volume of water. Lye is nuts reactive and will basically explode all over if a large amount of lye gets wet.
Yeah, the big problem is that you, and especially your eyes, are made of proteins which made of are amino ACIDS.  Lye is a very strong BASE.  A drop of lye in your eyes and you are blind.  THE END!
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Cleaning with Sodium Hydroxide
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2016, 02:04:54 AM »

Maybe a hair unclear. ALWAYS add the lye to the full volume of water. Lye is nuts reactive and will basically explode all over if a large amount of lye gets wet.
Yeah, the big problem is that you, and especially your eyes, are made of proteins which made of are amino ACIDS.  Lye is a very strong BASE.  A drop of lye in your eyes and you are blind.  THE END!
Add face shield (goggles at minimum) to PPE required.

Lye can be used safely, but it's likely overkill and way too dangerous to use as an everyday cleaner.