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Thread: Nasty beer stone in sanke kegs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Soldotna, Alaska, USA
    Posts
    3

    Nasty beer stone in sanke kegs

    I've acquired several used sanke kegs which look as though they were never cleaned. Severe beer stone has formed and doesn't want to leave. Five Star suggested a 5oz. per gallon PBW soak. I've left some sit in this concentration for a month and it looks as though nothing was done.

    Any suggestions?

    Doug
    Kenai River Brewing Co.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Warren, Michgan USA
    Posts
    6

    Chlorinated caustic

    I had the same problem recently and the only thing that worked well was a chlorinated caustic 2-4 oz per gallon and a beer stone additive remover of 4 oz.per gallon left soak over night and it up. Some calcium oxcalate was still bonding but soft. I have a cip spinner that lets me wash carboys on my keg washer. This finally got it all out.

    Cheers

    Eric

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Rapperswil, Switzerland
    Posts
    58

    Nitric acid

    I also had a similar problem one or two years ago. My kegs had brown scale which I could remove in a similar manner to kenaibeer. I wouldn't recomend leaving the Cl-caustic in for long periods though, it can attack stainless.

    I got the last of the bad beer stone away nicely with 2% nitric acid (eg "pascal" from diversyjohnson). I used a spray set up as well, temperature 60 C.

    Good Luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    351
    +1 on the nitric acid.

    Cheers, Tim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    194
    Gotta go with the acid for stone, caustic won't cut it. You should have an acid wash as part of your keg cleaning routine. Maybe not every time but on a fairly regular schedule. Treat them like server tanks or beer lines.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Stavanger Norway
    Posts
    320
    Definetly an acid like nitric or phosphoric, your CIP acid should be fine.
    soak it over night, rinse it and let it dry the stone will flake up, you may not get it all with the first try, if you bang on the out side of the keg the stone may work loose and you can repeat the process. I had a simular problem with some used serving tanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Chico, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    28
    I hate to rain on anybody's parade, but you will never get that out with any chemical. You will get it loose as mentioned above but you will have to physically wipe it off with something. I performed an extensive study on this subject once upon a time and you will find that you just can't CIP it away completely.

    The best course is prevention. Again, as mentioned above adding an acid wash to your cleaning routine is good, but the most important thing is to make sure that your steam is always wet, or saturated. Dry, superheated steam will bake soil (and calcium) on surfaces making it very difficult to remove later. It is also many times more effective from a sanitation perspective as well.

    Good luck,

    Bob August
    www.majesticpackaging.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    155

    Beer Stone

    The best results with tanks that I have seen was to recirculate a Nitric/Phosphoric blend followed by PBW(it should also work in kegs). The acid is supposed to soften the stone (just like Bob said), and the PBW acts as a detergent to scrub the surface. I unfortunatly have to agree with Bob that it is very likely that you will have to remove the spears and scrub by hand. This was the procedure at AVBC on every fifth use.

    Graydon

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    25

    beer stone in kegs

    I use the hoff stevens converted kegs and am seeing the same build up. Does any one sell a brush made to clean the inside of these kegs by hand. I did the pbw and acid wash pulled out the spear and the stome still wouldn't come off manually scrubbing. Charlie at 5 star recommended using their Lcc. I am waiting for a sample to give that a whirl.

    Adrian

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Rosa CA USA
    Posts
    962
    What would one use to scrub the inside of Sanke kegs? My hand is just a little too big to fit thru. I assume something beefier than a regular carboy brush would be necessary.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    393
    Also, quit using metasilicate based cleaners (pbw) in your kegs. if they dry out at all in the cleaning process you'll get that white nastiness left behind. The only thing I've seen that can remove it is hydrofloric acid...very nasty stuff. BTW this is NOT beerstone.

    also +1 on acid cleaning cycle. We occasionally run an acid detergent in place of the caustic.

    besides....caustic is way cheaper (than PBW).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    818
    Try chlorinated caustic at 3%. Make sure to preheat keg properly before wash cycle. Although beerstone is mineral, it is bound up with lots of organics which the caustic attacks/loosens.

    If you have an immersion heater in you detergent reservoir, ensure to rinse reservoir thoroughly after chlorinated caustic.

    I agree with previous posts that you should be acid washing your kegs regularly. Every fourth turn is my rule.

    Pax.

    Liam

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    617

    Did not mention color of scale?

    [QUOTE=Larry Horwitz]Also, quit using metasilicate based cleaners (pbw) in your kegs. The only thing I've seen that can remove it is hydrofloric acid...very nasty stuff. BTW this is NOT beerstone. also +1 on acid cleaning cycle. [QUOTE]

    I agree w/ Larry, with the following additions:

    PBW- Leaves a white scale behind, this could be your problem itself. It took me several acid cycles to remove pbw residue from the tanks when I first started here. A blended caustic product with occasional acid cycles is the way to go.

    Hydrofluoric Acid- Dont think of using, this shit will kill you. Really. If you are using it use the same hazmat as if playing w/ Ebola....

    Not Beerstone- If it is black this is true, its caused by Co2 meeting Caustic and creating Calcium oxalate as mentioned before. Make sure you have a good rinse cycle and purge kegs w/ compressed air not Co2, prior to washing.

    Acid Cycle- use a good nitric/phos blend at WASHING concentration not RINSING concentration. For the acid I use that means 10oz/gal vs. 2oz/gal.
    Operations Director, Tin Roof BC
    ted@tinroofbeer.com
    "Your results may vary"

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    155

    Please read post

    Ok guys

    I did not ever suggest that PBW is good for normal keg washing. I specifically said that if you have a beer stone problem an acid wash followed by PBW works well. THE HORSE IS DEAD!

    Cheers
    Graydon

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    393
    Why is the horse dead? don't ever get near kegs with pbw. In fact, I reccomend not using it at all. It is a fine akalinity builder and cleaner...but must be handled very carefully if you don't want that white residue. IMO not worth the trouble. besides...it's more expensive than caustic.

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