Take Care of Your Equipment & Investment: Clean and Passivate

Link to article
Five Star Chemicals

by Five Star Chemicals

No matter the industry, your equipment is your investment and you should treat it that way. By taking a few easy steps, you can ensure your investment stays the same as the day you purchased it.

The following procedures are recommended as the best way to prepare used or newly installed stainless-steel tanks for brewing. Following these steps should remove any scale or beer stone left over from previous use as well as remaining oils and residue from construction, delivery and installation. Even if new and the manufacturer claims the equipment is ready for use, these steps will ensure a peace of mind, and potentially save you money and your equipment.


  1. Use Five Star Chemicals PBW at a rate of 2 oz. per gallon at 160˚ F. Higher concentrations, temperatures and times may be necessary for heavier soil loads. In extreme cases, PBW can be introduced hot and left to soak for 48 to 72 hours as an initial step
  2. CIP for 30 minutes
  3. Drain and rinse. (If passivating, see below, if following general cleaning procedure continue)
  4. Use Five Star Chemicals Acid #5 for the Acid Wash at a rate of 1 fl. oz. per gallon of water at 120˚ F. Acid #5 at a rate of 1-2 oz. per gallon recommended for heavier stone or soil loads (if using Acid #6, will still need to passivate with Acid #5).
  5. CIP for about 20 minutes
  6. Drain and Rinse


  1. Sanitize or Final Rinse with one of the following as per instructions on label.
    Saniclean: low-foaming for keeping tanks in an “acid condition”
    Star Xene: stabilized chlorine dioxide activated by citric acid
    Star San: high-foaming, acid-based, no-rinse sanitizer
  2. Rinse if applicable

Acid Passivation

This is an important step to take before initial use of new or reconditioned tanks and occasionally (6-8 months) thereafter. It is critical in the maintenance of stainless steel. It supports the stainless coating that makes cleaning stainless easier, inhibits cor­rosion and prolongs the life your equipment by placing an oxidation layer between the stainless steel and the chemicals.

  1. Thoroughly clean tanks and rinse. If already completed above steps, repeat step #1 to clean surfaces with PBW, rinse, and proceed.
  2. For initial passivation.
    a. Use Acid #5 at a rate of 5 fl. oz. per gallon of water.
    b. CIP for 20-30 minutes at 100˚ – 120˚ F.
    c. Let AIR DRY 12 (minimum) – 36 hours
    d. Rinse and sanitize prior to use of tanks.
  3. For re-passivation.
    a. Use Acid #5 at rate of 1 fl. oz. per gallon of water.
    b. CIP for 20-30 minutes at 100˚- 120˚ F.
    c. Let AIR DRY 12 – 24 hours.
    d. Rinse and sanitize prior to use of tanks.

For more information regarding passivation and the use of Five Star Chemicals email support@fivestarchemicals.com or contact us here.