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Thread: Carbonation Stone Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    33

    Carbonation Stone Issues

    Some of my carbonation stones have recently begun to underperform and when I put one of them (stone with assembly) in a bucket of water and forced CO2 though it I noticed that the vast majority of the gas was coming out from either end of the stone where it seated between 2 plastic bushings. My question is which part is broken, the assembly, the stone or both. And is there any way to correct the problem with out replacing the stone or at least 'fix' it until I can get new ones in?
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions....

    Cheers!
    Pete

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    304
    I picked up a small O ring kit and replaced the nylon washers with O rings. Also, you can dis-assemble them and purchase new washers at Mcmaster-Carr..........my favorite place to shop!

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

    the other problem probably occuring is the pores in the sintered stainless are getting clogged up with mineral deposits. If your carb stones are like ours, remove the sintered sleeve or element and soak in a strong nitric acid solution for a few hours. This will clean out the deposits and make them flow like new. We currently do this after every 2-3 uses, your experience will vary depending on mineral content of your water, time spent immersed, etc. Hope that helps!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Shanghai, P.R. China
    Posts
    158
    I would suggest you try soaking your stones in caustic during CIP cleaning of you tanks, rinse and blow out in water bucket and then repeat the same with phos/nitric acid combination (acid 500). This may resolve your problem before taking the next logical step of replacing parts or replacing the carbonation stone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    992
    Quote Originally Posted by Beersmith
    Pete,

    the other problem probably occuring is the pores in the sintered stainless are getting clogged up with mineral deposits. If your carb stones are like ours, remove the sintered sleeve or element and soak in a strong nitric acid solution for a few hours. This will clean out the deposits and make them flow like new. We currently do this after every 2-3 uses, your experience will vary depending on mineral content of your water, time spent immersed, etc. Hope that helps!
    We do the same thing followed by a reverse flush with HL. I bought a concentric reducer from McMaster-Carr that mounts to the HL outlet on the diverter panel. After the acid soak the stone is blasted clean.
    Cheers & I'm out!
    David R. Pierce
    NABC & Bank Street Brewhouse
    POB 343
    New Albany, IN 47151

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    McCall, Idaho
    Posts
    337
    We have been filling a corny with Acid 5 and HL and pushing (O2) five gallons THRU the stone. Then repeating just with HL. We have been doing this each cleaning cycle. We do not currently use caustic...we use PBW and Im nervous about the granular nature and the possibility of clogging the stone worse..(should we be? even with a vigorous mix I notice granules sometimes)..hence acid 5 then water for soil removal.
    Our cleaning regime seems to work pretty well. And makes sense in a basic way. Unfortunately a couple times after this method of cleaning it has under performed in the serving tank! Even with a pre check in sanitizer..Could this be because of pushing acid thru the stone? Or if it performs with a test run in a sani bucket and not in the tank a separate issue......pressure in the tank?

    On the corny acid 5/HL method of cleaning should we continue this method and take care to soak every 3 cleanings..(depending on what we discover with more time with our water and mineral content...minimal build up so far..after 10 months using this water) or should we clean a different way?

    thx!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Burlington, VT, USA
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by beertje46 View Post
    We do the same thing followed by a reverse flush with HL. I bought a concentric reducer from McMaster-Carr that mounts to the HL outlet on the diverter panel. After the acid soak the stone is blasted clean.
    Hi folks, Can you tell me where you sourced your nitric acid and what concentration you use? Is Acid #5 similar? I always put my stone in hot PBW and then sanitize with Sani-clean but it is barely letting any gas through. Feeling I need to soak it in something more serious. Thanks, Dan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    143
    Quote Originally Posted by simpleroots View Post
    Hi folks, Can you tell me where you sourced your nitric acid and what concentration you use? Is Acid #5 similar? I always put my stone in hot PBW and then sanitize with Sani-clean but it is barely letting any gas through. Feeling I need to soak it in something more serious. Thanks, Dan
    Acid #5 is a nitric/phosphoric blend. Give your stone a good soak in some 70% Isopropyl and it should start to clear up. Be sure not to ever touch or handle the stone with your bare hands, the oil in your skin will clog up the stone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Burlington, VT, USA
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by soia1138 View Post
    Acid #5 is a nitric/phosphoric blend. Give your stone a good soak in some 70% Isopropyl and it should start to clear up. Be sure not to ever touch or handle the stone with your bare hands, the oil in your skin will clog up the stone.
    Isopropyl - sounds so easy and cheap. Will that really work? Any science behind removing calcium deposits and protein? I'll try it regardless. I never touch the stone. If I do I'm wearing gloves. I think though I should stop just putting it in a bucket with rest of parts and separate it to be more careful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    143
    Quote Originally Posted by simpleroots View Post
    Isopropyl - sounds so easy and cheap. Will that really work? Any science behind removing calcium deposits and protein? I'll try it regardless. I never touch the stone. If I do I'm wearing gloves. I think though I should stop just putting it in a bucket with rest of parts and separate it to be more careful.
    It will work depending on why the stone is not flowing. I was told to do that by the people at Zahm and it works for me for most of the stones that have issues. We have a couple of extras that I leave soaking and rotate them. If you are putting them in buckets with other parts then surely keep them apart. The pores are super small and extremely delicate and a small bump against another part can easily destroy a section. If they are not flowing due to that type of damage then they will just need replacing. You could also try a soak in acid#5 then immediately to pbw with out rinsing in between, then rinse thoroughly and sanitize. This is a good read http://www.birkocorp.com/brewery/whi...aning-methods/

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Burlington, VT, USA
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by soia1138 View Post
    It will work depending on why the stone is not flowing. I was told to do that by the people at Zahm and it works for me for most of the stones that have issues. We have a couple of extras that I leave soaking and rotate them. If you are putting them in buckets with other parts then surely keep them apart. The pores are super small and extremely delicate and a small bump against another part can easily destroy a section. If they are not flowing due to that type of damage then they will just need replacing. You could also try a soak in acid#5 then immediately to pbw with out rinsing in between, then rinse thoroughly and sanitize. This is a good read http://www.birkocorp.com/brewery/whi...aning-methods/
    Thanks, I actually read that article last night! I emailed the people at Five Star about acid #5. My concern is the wear and tear. It's a fairly new stone and I only put it the bucket with brite tank parts which aren't that many. It looks a bit striated. Perhaps I could put it under a scope and look at it? Regardless I'll try the Iso first and then get my hands on some acid #5. Should probably repassivate tanks anyway thanks for your help!

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