Author Topic: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?  (Read 1634 times)

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2020, 04:25:52 pm »
This is timely because I just started getting medieval on my kegs.  My water is on the hard side and beerstone or just hard water deposits will accumulate.  I have not seen 'red'... for me it's white and rough like sandpaper.  If what you're seeing is beerstone, something acidic should work... like Starsan.  What I have been doing is cleaning the keg out with the hose and then dropping 5 tbsp of LD Carlson EasyClean in there.  I find it to be much more effective than Oxi or PBW.  Then I boil 5 gallons of water and add that to the keg using a funnel and I leave it overnight.  I dump it out and then reach into the keg (I'm not exactly Mr. Universe) with some plain steel wool and scrub anything that seems to still be there.  It comes off easily.  I have 10 kegs and I have done this now on 4 of them.  When done, the insides of these kegs sparkle as if they were brand new.  I have also taken the pressure washer to a couple that needed some extra punishment.  If it's rust you're seeing, I might retire that keg.

Way back when it was said not to use steel wool on Stainless. You can deposit iron from the steel wool onto the stainless.
Is that only for kegs or stainless in general?  I have stainless appliances and a stainless cooktop and steel wool was mentioned as the only material to be used to clean it.  My wife occasionally uses a green pad on our cooktop and there are scratches from that.  When I used steel wool on stainless it always cleans beautifully without scratching or discoloring.  I should also mention that this routine of mine is not something I would do EVERY time I had an empty keg.  Just an occasional jolt to my regular cleaning routine.  Thanks for the information.

Kegs and fermenters was what they talked about. Iron in you beer, even if you don't taste it, will cause stalling.

Ken Grossman talked about this in Portland IIRC. Sierra Nevada will do more passivation to get iron to lower levels.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2020, 04:48:20 pm »
Interesting and thanks again.  I will keep an eye on these kegs that I cleaned to see how they hold up.  Since Palmer suggested a green pad instead of steel wool, I feel like I could use that and get the same results without damaging the inside of the keg.

Also... to the OP:  my apologies for the thread-jack.  ;)
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline denny

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2020, 04:48:58 pm »
Oxi is OK.  PBW is better. Craftmeister Alkaline kicks both their butts.
So you use the Craftmeister for general-purpose cleaning or only for tough jobs or what?  I feel like if you used it all the time then there would be no "tough jobs".  :P  I'm digging this EasyClean but I'm always open-minded about good products.  Cheers.

I use Craftmeister Oxygen for "normal" cleaning.  I use the alkaline for rough stuff or if I don't have hot water available.  The Alkaline works better in cold water than PBW works in hot water.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2020, 06:16:56 pm »
Interesting and thanks again.  I will keep an eye on these kegs that I cleaned to see how they hold up.  Since Palmer suggested a green pad instead of steel wool, I feel like I could use that and get the same results without damaging the inside of the keg.

Also... to the OP:  my apologies for the thread-jack.  ;)

A few people say the blue or white scubbies are less likely to scratch the stainless.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2020, 06:37:29 pm »
Interesting and thanks again.  I will keep an eye on these kegs that I cleaned to see how they hold up.  Since Palmer suggested a green pad instead of steel wool, I feel like I could use that and get the same results without damaging the inside of the keg.

Also... to the OP:  my apologies for the thread-jack.  ;)

A few people say the blue or white scubbies are less likely to scratch the stainless.
Yes, I have heard that... green scratches, blue is safe. 
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2020, 07:09:28 pm »
This is a good thread for newer brewers who might gain insight without having to repeat the shortcomings we have all gone through from time to time.

Craftmeister alkaline is the boss for cleaning and you can use it in repeated applications (I have a keg washer made out of a 6 gallon bucket with a submersible pump and rod with holes drilled into it to spray the inside of the keg or other vessel - I love it for my Kegmenter, too.  I tend to rinse things to remove initial deposits of crud and let them accumulate in number for series cleaning of multiple vessels in one night).  If you have some really stiff beerstone, the dairy product from the Farm & Fleet or equivalent is great as a soak (something like 3 ozs in 5 gallons soaked for a few days will literally allow wiping off the beerstone).  I had no luck with Barkeepers' Friend on beer stone - it is oxalic acid, but did not help for me in getting the oxalate off, even with a paste and significant scrubbing.  I love it however in getting the bottom of the stainless boil kettle and the SS electric elements to shine.  White or blue scrubbies or the dobie are what I use for wiping off sticky crud (never any steel wool or stainless scrubbies for the reasons stated).

I have heard that acid followed by alkaline or vice versa really clears off the beerstone quickly, so if time is a factor, those could be used in short succession, perhaps (I like to soak in the dairy product to allow the phosphoric to do its trick over a few days).

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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2020, 09:57:36 pm »
I really hope I didn't damage the inside of the kegs where I used the steel wool.  I didn't need to apply much pressure as the water stains came off easily and what I used was the equivalent of an SOS pad but without the soap.  Glad I mentioned it and glad you guys brought it to my attention.  Cheers and thanks. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline trapae

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2020, 10:28:56 pm »
Well, I soaked with the beer stone remover for two additional days and the spots vanished. I went ahead and scrubbed the bottom with barkeepers friend just to be safe and re-pacify. Hopefully that will take care of the issue. I guess just longer soaking.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2020, 12:20:16 am »
Hey, good news. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline HighVoltageMan!

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2020, 06:04:17 pm »
There is a lot of misinformation out there about passivating stainless steel. One of being that Bar Keepers Friend will passivate stainless. Even Palmer says it can be passivated with BKF. I used to believe that until I dug deeper into the subject.

BKF contains oxalic acid, which cannot passivate stainless steel. The problem has to do with free iron molecules on the surface of the stainless which prevents chromium from oxidizing, oxalic acid cannot remove this free iron. The layer of chromium oxide is what prevents the iron in the metal from reacting to oxygen and creating iron oxide. It may be possible to create a some passivating to occur naturally after scrubbing with BKF, but it it is not consider passivation by stainless steel manufacturers. Too much free iron is on the surface to create a good layer of chromium oxide.

The only accepted way is to bath the SS in either nitric or citric acid. Citric acid is the preferred acid because not only is it way safer, but it does a better job of creating a deeper layer of chromium oxide. Both acids will remove the free iron. After a soak in the acid solution, the SS needs to be dried and exposed to air for 24-48 hours. Citric acid is available at any place that sells canning supplies for fairly cheap.

« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 06:10:08 pm by HighVoltageMan! »

Offline MattyAHA

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2020, 02:36:52 pm »
i never had a problem with oxyclean free, never needed to try another cleaner but i'm sure the alkaline craftmeister is great but its 10-12 bucks for a lb and oxy is 8 bucks for 3 lbs. i guess its a good idea to keep a lb of craftmeister around for stubborn soils but oxy has never let me down and my fermenters/kegs are squeaky clean so i see no need to spend more money on CM alkaline wash but its all about preference . as long as your gear gets cleaned who cares how you got there
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Offline MattyAHA

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2020, 02:43:47 pm »
There is a lot of misinformation out there about passivating stainless steel. One of being that Bar Keepers Friend will passivate stainless. Even Palmer says it can be passivated with BKF. I used to believe that until I dug deeper into the subject.

BKF contains oxalic acid, which cannot passivate stainless steel. The problem has to do with free iron molecules on the surface of the stainless which prevents chromium from oxidizing, oxalic acid cannot remove this free iron. The layer of chromium oxide is what prevents the iron in the metal from reacting to oxygen and creating iron oxide. It may be possible to create a some passivating to occur naturally after scrubbing with BKF, but it it is not consider passivation by stainless steel manufacturers. Too much free iron is on the surface to create a good layer of chromium oxide.

The only accepted way is to bath the SS in either nitric or citric acid. Citric acid is the preferred acid because not only is it way safer, but it does a better job of creating a deeper layer of chromium oxide. Both acids will remove the free iron. After a soak in the acid solution, the SS needs to be dried and exposed to air for 24-48 hours. Citric acid is available at any place that sells canning supplies for fairly cheap.
idk man, palmer is a metallurgist aka a metal scientist/engineer, if he says bkf will passivate ss i'm gonna have to believe him
Matty


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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Dark spots, ? beer stones in the bottom of my keg...What to do?
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2020, 02:59:41 pm »
Searching around the webs, I found this, which says Citric acid passivation was developed by Coors for their kegs.

https://advancedplatingtech.com/blog/nitric-vs-citric-acid-passivation/
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