Author Topic: Acid cleaning draft lines  (Read 1670 times)

Offline Robert

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 04:39:25 PM »
Five Star Liquid Line Cleaner is lye. Being a liquid makes it dissolve more easily than crystals. Always add lye to water and never the other way around.

I pulled up the MSDS sheets for LLC, BLC, StarSan, Saniclean, and various other acid cleaners and beerstone removers, and they all seem to have similar compositions: LLC is sodium  hydroxide and BLC potassium, and the acid products look like just different concentrations of the same acids.  So would lye really work differently from BLC or just faster? I can imagine that you could make up a higher concentration from lye crystals, because the liquid products contain surfactants that are hard to rinse if you go over the recommended dilution. But it would just be dangerous guesswork. Is LLC already more concentrated than BLC?
Rob
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Oft-forgotten corollary:  "Well, if it's broke, git after fixin' it!"

Offline Stevie

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2017, 04:55:35 PM »
No idea if one is more concentrated than the other. I use LLC because that is what MoreBeer sells and I was placing an order with them.

Offline Robert

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2017, 05:07:16 PM »
No idea if one is more concentrated than the other. I use LLC because that is what MoreBeer sells and I was placing an order with them.
Cool.  I use BLC because that's what my LHBS sells. And I just stocked up.  I can't imagine line cleaning is fundamentally different from, say, tank cleaning.  Alkaline followed by acid. Use what you've got access to.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 05:09:04 PM by Robert »
Rob
Akron, Ohio

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Oft-forgotten corollary:  "Well, if it's broke, git after fixin' it!"

Offline Kutaka

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2017, 02:27:43 PM »
I'm with Stevie on this "caustic" conversation - utmost care needs to be utilized with strong alkalizers.  They are not nearly as forgiving as the acids (and concentrations) we typically use in beer brewing, and additional rinsing is required when using them on both equipment and, especially, skin.

Comically dramatic warnings with red text about the danger of caustics is completely unnecessary.  People are capable of reading the warnings on a bottle of caustic cleanser.  Almost everyone knows drinking any kind of chemical cleanser is a really bad idea. 

I have a system that allows me to soak lines for as long as I want with zero chance of anyone drinking it.  If some brewers can't figure out how to do that, then I suppose they shouldn't let caustic liquid sit in beer lines.  ;)     

Offline Kutaka

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2017, 02:42:53 PM »

So would lye really work differently from BLC or just faster?  Is LLC already more concentrated than BLC?

They work the same way.  LLC is stronger and probably works faster.  BLC uses a blend of potassium and sodium hydroxide for the purpose of being less harmful to metals and it still cleans lines very well given enough contact time. 

Using BLC then LLC or a home mixed lye solution is a step that only the most obsessive line cleaners take.

But like I said before, if you only leave BLC in the line for 15 minutes and you brew a lot of hoppy beers, the line might not be super clean in that amount of time. 
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 02:44:26 PM by Kutaka »

Offline Stevie

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2017, 02:45:41 PM »
That’s cool and all, but people don’t always consider these things and assume everything we buy is safe enough.

See the linked article above. Some tool left cleaner in the lines and the customer suffered in a big way.

Offline Kutaka

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2017, 03:07:59 PM »
I'm aware of the article and read it before you linked it.  The danger of drinking chemicals is a discussion my father and I had when I was 4 years old.  There are millions of home brewers.  How many of them were dumb enough to drink drain cleaner from the tap?     

Offline Stevie

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Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2017, 03:31:24 PM »
Just pointing out the dangers. First thing I learned in chem lab was to never under any circumstances drink from a piece of lab ware. Even if it is brand new and outside of a lab setting. It’s the same as always assuming a firearm is loaded.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 03:34:37 PM by Stevie »

Offline narcout

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2017, 03:32:33 PM »
I really don't like using BLC or any similar products for my draft system.  I just run Iodophor through the lines between kegs.  In 9 years, I've never had any issues.  However, I endeavor to change my lines once a year (though it often ends up being 18 months).

On a side note, what is a safe way to dispose of BLC and undiluted Star San?  Is it ok to pour down the drain or do I need to take it to a S.A.F.E. center?
Be excellent to each other

Offline Stevie

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2017, 03:34:15 PM »
BLC is the same thing as drain cleaner.

Offline Kutaka

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2017, 04:56:49 PM »
Just pointing out the dangers. First thing I learned in chem lab was to never under any circumstances drink from a piece of lab ware. Even if it is brand new and outside of a lab setting. It’s the same as always assuming a firearm is loaded.

Steve, I understand you are pointing out what should be obvious dangers to most people that can read the back of a bottle of caustic because you are apparently very concerned for their safety. 

In the context of this thread, the OP has proven to be quite capable of searching for MSDS sheets and understanding them.  I'm very confident the OP or his keg tapping guests will not drink Draino from a beer line, even if he lets it in sit in the line for a year and gets Alzheimer's before the line is safely drained.

Before you say, "well I was just saying this for anyone who doesn't know" for the third time, please save your breath.  They probably aren't here and hopefully the improbable minority heard you the first or second time.

Offline Stevie

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Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2017, 05:33:18 PM »
This isn’t about the OP. You made a recommendation that many others would determine is unsafe. You and others can do whatever they hell they want, but somebody should point out he stupidity of your recommendation.

Now excuse me while I make toast in the tub.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 05:35:14 PM by Stevie »

Offline Kutaka

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2017, 05:59:34 PM »
This isn’t about the OP. You made a recommendation that many others would determine is unsafe. You and others can do whatever they hell they want, but somebody should point out he stupidity of your recommendation.

Now excuse me while I make toast in the tub.

You take things very personally Steve.  It's clearly hard for you to admit being wrong. 

Simply put, a trained monkey could learn how to move a line full of caustic to a location that would not be tapped for a week.  All I want to know is why you haven't figured out how to do it? 

My recommendation was for people that aren't stupidly paranoid.  Anyone else should reconsider using caustics.   

Offline Stevie

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2017, 06:03:42 PM »
How many people remove their line? Never seen that.

Offline Kutaka

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Re: Acid cleaning draft lines
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2017, 06:25:50 PM »
How many people remove their line? Never seen that.

Only the least paranoid, most secure and adequately bright homebrew people remove their lines for cleaning.  Perhaps that is why you haven't seen them.  We are a rare breed that aren't easily influenced by the homebrew hive mind.

Protip - the easiest way to do this is to have a spare line.  Just a line with fittings.  Not even an extra keg.  Your drunk guests won't tap a new keg with a line from a utility sink because all the kegs are pouring.  You can always put a note on the caustic line that says drinking from this line will make you wish you were dead, stupid .  You can even use bold red text, if your guests are especially stupid.   :P