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Thread: Non-caustic cleaner issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    35

    Non-caustic cleaner issues

    Hey All,

    I've had an issue crop up with our non-caustic, sodium metasilicate/percarbonate based deteregent that shall remain nameless, after using it for years with same procedures and no issues.

    Here's the problem:
    Below the waterline everything looks great. Slightly above where the waterline usually is, there are white spots, raised, chalky splatter marks (not beer stone). After the acid rinse, after the tank dries, there are white streaks down the sides of the tank that are raised.

    Here's the real problem:
    After discussing this with my chemical supplier to get it corrected, he tells me

    a)they haven't changed their formulation in the 15 yrs. we've been open. Maybe not, but I do remember them telling us years ago, after we reported a change in efficacy, that there had been a mixing issue at their plant.

    b)that they've NEVER heard of an issue like this before from ANYBODY. This is sort of the reason for my post. The first call I made was to a brewer who it turns out had the EXACT SAME ISSUE a year or so ago, using a slightly different protocol.

    Another brewer had to return some of this compound a few months ago. They noticed a difference in color, odor and that "it wasn't working."

    I think I've figured out the splattering issue and can mitigate that with a few tweaks of protocol (although I still think it strange that it was never an issue before). Getting it off has been quite a challenge. This supplier has been offering suggestions, most of it has come down to elbow grease and a lot of acid (all kinds!).

    I'm not trying to throw anyone under the bus. I'm just trying to figure out if there might be others who have had this problem, and especially any that have had it recently, say, in the last couple of months. I'm looking at going back to caustic, but was also curious about other non-caustic products, if anyone has any recommendations.

    Cheers,
    Travis
    Travis Hixon
    Blackstone Brewing Co.
    Nashville, TN
    travis@blackstonebrewery.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bridgman, MI
    Posts
    32
    I have nothing to add about your chemical situation except that it must be frustrating. I am curious, however, why you have chosen to go non-caustic in your cleaning regimen?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    292
    Travis,

    We have been using PBW as our main alkalai cleaner forever (11 years as of today, wahoo!) and several years ago experienced the exact same problems as you have mentioned. We contacted 5-star about it this problem and received some assistance (I honestly can't remember the exact advice).

    We've been told by a different chemical supplier that the streaking issues were because of the high silica content in our cleaning water.

    At this point, I have to assume that the spotting/streaking problem was due to either a product quality issue with the cleaner or a temporary water supply issue. Hope that helps. Happy New Year! -Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    292
    Hophead82,

    Metasilicate cleaners are more expensive, however, when used properly can actually remove organic deposits better than caustic. Also, once you (or one of your staff) have been burned by caustic and/or seen powdered caustic explode upon hitting water, you too will consider a caustic replacer......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    725
    I have had this issue with caustic and noncaustic as well. With regular acid wash cycle it will come clean up.
    Last edited by BrewinLou; 12-31-2009 at 11:00 AM.
    Joel Halbleib
    COO / Zymurgist
    Bluegrass Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    www.bluegrassbrewing.com

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