Anybody have any concerns with using these handy little buggers to clean interior surfaces of brewhouse tanks? They make short work of cleaning my 10 BBL mash tun, but am not certain that exposing fresh metal is not bad for enzyme/yeast/human metabolism. Any comments? Thanks!
It is my opinion that Green Scrubbies have no place in a brewery. They are harder than they need to be to get dirt, and they scratch and damage stainless steel surfaces. Not only do they scratch stainless surfaces, in the process they make the surfaces grab dirt all the more. Once a surface looses its smoothness it just might take a green scrubbie to get it clean. It's a vicious cycle! There is an alternative 3M product that seems to fit the bill by being less damaging, yet still aggressive enough to get surfaces clean: White Scrubbies.
I aggree the Green scrubie will scratch the surface of the SS. They are making Stainless scubies, here they are blue, perhaps white in the US. I use them but I still dont use it in the tanks.
Hot soda and a nitric acid cleaning does the trick.
I got a new set of stainless steel cutlery a few months ago, all new and shiney. I could see my ugly mug in the spoons (upside down on one side, right way up on the other!)
Nothing like a green scrubby in the kitchen sink to scratch away the new finish in no time - I'd hate that to happen to my tanks, since now the surface is all rough and 'frosted'. The 'frosting' is from the million tiny scratches that the scrubby made, and every one of them could be a haven for small nasties!
The blue or white ones are designed for teflon-coated cookware, I believe, but I would take care using these too. Soft cloths and chemicals are the only way to go.
Now I have to go to the mirror to admire myself...
My kettle and tuns have been 'green scrubbied' by the previous owners...any way to restore the mirror like lustre?
Have to say I wouldn't bother with the inside of the vessels, however the outside is a different matter in a showpiece setup. Suggest you try asking someone like NABs how they get mirror finishes if no-one else offers a solution.
Thank you for all the input! This forum is great! Well, I guess the verdict is in. I must defend myself a tad here; I agree these pads should never be used inside a fermenter or BBT. I'm talking brewhouse here. I have been to several equipment manufacturers where a standard procedure for brewhouse vessels (or for joining tubing) is to finish a surface by use of a pickling agent with Scotchbrite (or a product very similar) to remove heat discoloration from welds. And even a #4 finish is obtained with something around 150 grit. I have never seen the inside of a mash tun which was polished to mirror finish. (Not saying they aren't made) And if I had one, then I would undoubtedly scratch it by gently and lovingly removing the v-wire floor segments and subsequently lovingly and gently replacing them--and to an extent WAY beyond the tiny scratches produced by a green scrubbie. Same goes for my stainless steel mash paddle which once and a while makes contact with the interior of my mash tun and also scratches it. As for bacterial growth in these scratches; first, the green scrubbies clean the surface very well, leaving no media on which to grow. Second, I air dry the tun to make sure that the clean surface doesn't harbor bacteria. Days later, the tun still smells fresh. Dust from my grist bin undoubtedly contributes far more bacteria to my clean tun than my cleaning techniques. And I can clean my tun in less than a quarter of the time than hot caustic soda and nitric acid. At less energy cost, chemical expense, and water usage. Let alone the safety implications of two very dangerous chemicals. What I was mainly asking about here was the fresh exposed metal and any effect on biochemistry. Does exposing wort to a freshly scrubbed nickel/chromium/iron alloy cause any negative effects on the brewing process? Thanks in advance for your comments! I'm learning something here! BTW, something from the homebrewing side of things to support my cleaning habits! http://brewingtechniques.com/library.../millspaw.html
Stainless steel is corrosion resistant due to the formation of a layer of chromium oxide forming. It is recommended by some companies (brewing / chemical suppliers rather than equipment suppliers) that new stainless plant is passivated after degreasing by flooding with nitric / phosphoric mix for a while. Providing the joints have been ground back OK and then pickled OK, I have never noted a problem. Problems only arise due to poor welding, which now amount of pickling will resolve. I have used green pads without any problems on stainless plant for more years than is good for me - no effect on plant or beer.
However, copper, brass, bronze etc - theres another problem. The main one actually is physically wearing the damned stuff away. Fresh copper doesn't seem to phaze the yeast, in fact some people add copper back in their yeast food as a micronutrient because they suffered when they changed from copper plant to stainless. It has to be said that copper is a yeast poison in higher levels, and the main beneficial substance leaching out of the copper was actually the zinc impurity.