If passivation were required after using the line cleaners that micromatic is selling I can guarantee you micromatic would recommend and sell a third product for passivation.
hehe - absolutely right on that count!
I followed John Palmer's recommendation in the book and gave it a good scrub down with BKF then rinsed well, toweled off and let dry in the sun for a few hours. doesn't look like the BKF did anything different, but what the heck.
that said, I am so happy now to have a conical that looks as good as new again - I tried everything to rid myself of beerstone, and this did the trick.
thanks for the advice and happy new years all!