Five Star Chemicals (www.fivestarchemicals.com) PBW followed by Acid #5 followed by Star San has always worked for me.
I was wondering what chemical would be best suited to clean our bright tanks and our serving lines? Previously, we would cip the tank then send the same chemical through our lines. We then started to notice chemical like off flavors. We were using chlorinated caustic on barrier tubing. Later we learned this was a bad idea and leading to our off flavors. But now we don't know what chemical would be best. Any info. would help. Thanks.
I'm a liquid caustic man myself. I use a solution of 1oz/gal water for cleaning. I'm currently using a non chlorinated caustic which works great at 150-170. I usually CIP for 1 hr, followed by cold water rinse and then use Peroxyacetic sanitizer for 15 minutes with cold water. Once a year I do an extended 3-4 hr Hot acid wash in all my tanks servers/fermenters even kettle (kettle/heat exchanger get it about 4 times a year actually. I clean my lines first with caustic (1 hr soak), followed by sanitizer followed by beer. I do an acid soak overnight on the beer lines a couple times a year. 10 years and still working geat.
I was just about to pose a question about general CIP techniques myself. Without detracting from Jason's original question about cleaning beer lines, would readers please consider expanding their replies to include some information about their CIP techniques, chemicals, etc. (just like ValleyBrew just did!)?
I am a beginner eager for more info about what CIP actually is/does and how you do it (special equipment?)...
I've always felt 5 Star's prices are cheap when compaired to flushing a tank of beer down the drain or, worse yet, TRYING to do damage control when rotting beer gets into your market. Pay now or pay later!
I've also used this same routine (PBW, Acid#5,StarSan) on tap lines with fantastic results.
Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
I don't think Bob's argument is to save money by not using chemicals, but the fact that there are better priced chemicals than 5 Star in the market. I'll leave it at that, I know I did price comparisons and I am not using 5 Star currently...Your mileage may vary.
Four reasons I only use Birko products for all of my cleaning/sanitizing needs and have since 1994;
1. They all work as advertised
2. Educated service
4. All words in their print advertising are properly spelled...
Want more info.?
Also, I've tried every draft line cleaner on the market including the two part system sold by a major draft company and nothing works like Penetrate (liquid caustic) followed by a light acid wash. Every two weeks, more on the Hefe lines, Jefe.
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I inherited rotten serving lines when I took over and I have tried a lot of chemicals. What I have found is that a sodium hydroxide based cleaner pulls out more crud than anything. Penetrate is good, but I believe it is a potassium hydroxide and not quite as strong. The same Co. that makes Penetrate makes a stronger version called Double Alkaline. I talked direct to the company I believe it is National Chemicals and was told this. I have settled on BLC by Micromatic because it is cheaper and comes in 64 OZ containers. It is very strong and works great. If you have a long line run you need to invest in a line cleaning pump, it makes a big difference when you can recirculate with a pulsing pump. You will want to use a good Acid cleaner every so often to fight beer stone or incorporate an acid wash into your routine. I hate line Cleaning. Dirty lines will ruin great beer.
"You are what you is." FZ
I run two brewpubs and have noticed a slight off-flavor creeping into all of the older facility's beers. The taste became more noticable after the beer had been in the tanks for a while. At first I thought it might be trans-2 nonenal, so I redoubled my efforts to purge serving tanks properly. Didn't work. I use chlorinated NaOH, rinse, acid, rinse, followed by iodophor for my barrier tube python lines. Don't know how to describe the taste: a bit like cardboard or maybe medicinal. It's fairly faint and I've no complaints yet, but am very grateful for coming across this thread. I will immediately change my line cleaning regime. So for the record, is it the chlorine in the caustic that is responsible for the taste? I like the way it powers through the yeast left behind in the lines. Will a non-chlorinated NaOH product be better suited? I also know after a long day of tank cleaning, when I come out of the shower I can still smell chlorine on my hands. Makes sense now. Thanks!
I would quit using iodophor for a sanitizer, that stuff smells and tastes rotten. It also stains tubing, so even though you have barrier tubing I would use something else. A low foaming acid based sanitizer is what I use with success. Also if you have any crud left in your lines after a cleaning it may absorb whatever chemicals you are using and cause your off flavors. I had a problem a while back where I switched sanitizers and when I would flush with beer I would get clear beer and then 15 minutes later the bar was pouring cloudy beer, and I would have to purge again. I switched back to the original sanitizer and the problem dissapeared. I figure it was a rinsability thing as well as the left over film in the lines absorbing the sani. I could go on and on about the problems I have faced with my old lines, thankfully they are getting replaced this month. All I can say is that once the lines have been neglected for an extended period you should replace them if you can.
"You are what you is." FZ
We use 5-star chemicals to clean out lines and tanks but have always (for 2 years) had a tank and line dedicated to our Raspberry, and more recently our Peach Lambic. Is it safe to clean and use the lines for non-fruit beer, ie O'fest or an Amber?
One issue with lines that gets overlooked is that serving lines do have a lifespan and should be replaced. The frequency of how often they need to be replaced is dependent on who you ask.
For serving lines I feel they should be cleaned once every two weeks. I like BLC with a quartly cycle of acid to remove mineral deposits.
For the cleaning of tanks (we clean them all the same way) we do the following:
Loeffler Lerapur 283 (Sodium Hydroxide) 2 oz. per gallon @ 160 F for 45 minutes
Loeffler Leracid TA (Phosphoric acid) 2 oz per gallon for 30 minutes
Loeffler Lerasept PAA (Peracetic acid) 5 ml per gallon for 20 minutes (no rinse concentration)
We also use Leracid KMS-10 (Nitric/Phosphoric blend also by Loeffler) to maintain the passivation layer on our tanks.
Fort Wayne, Indiana