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Crosley
07-14-2016, 09:32 PM
I've been having some trouble with cleaning my carb stones. I currently soak them in a Ultra-Niter solution overnight to remove any buildup. I just bought a new bigger carbstone and I want to make sure I treat it right from the get go.
Does anyone have any info/direction on how best to run a CIP loop through my carbstone.

Thanks in advance.
Andy


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mmussen
07-15-2016, 08:08 AM
Andy,

The best trick I think I've ever seen for cleaning carb stones was using a spare beer pump (flowjet or the like) - The brewery had it mounted by their sink with an air line from the compressor and an adjustable regulator. The inlet hose went into a bucket of chemicals, and the outlet had a QD to connect the stone to. Connect the stone, slide into the bucket, and turn up the air pressure until there is flow...

Currently I just run a jumper line from the CO2 port on the CIP arm to the stone, its enough pressure to push chems through my stone. It works but its not the best method, and I still have to take the stones apart about every 3rd fill to make sure there's no gunk inside them.

Cheers

Crosley
07-15-2016, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the info.
I've tried just bubbling co2 through the stone while its in the cleaning solution but no luck really. What I was thinking was to run a tee off my pump during my cip loop. From this tee would be a quick disconnect going to my carb stone. That way, during my cip I could just slowly open the valve to the tee and get a little bit of flow to the carb stone.
Does this sound feasible?


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beerguy1
07-15-2016, 08:22 AM
I pretty much do the same CIP arm thing but about every other time I soak the stone (inside and out) in a phos nitric solution. I use a pvc pipe with a cap on the end and fill that up this allows me to use much less chemical than the old 5 gallon bucket. Always bow the stone out to make sure its working well

idylldon
07-15-2016, 05:18 PM
The best thing I've ever found is an ultrasonic cleaner. Good ones are really affordable these days and you'd be surprised by how much better they clean than the usual methods.

Cheers,
--
Don

beerguy1
07-16-2016, 04:03 AM
The best thing I've ever found is an ultrasonic cleaner. Good ones are really affordable these days and you'd be surprised by how much better they clean than the usual methods.

Cheers,
--
Don
Don can you elaborate on the brand or type of ultrasonic cleaner

idylldon
07-16-2016, 08:06 AM
I was just at a brewing seminar up in Portland and one of the guest speakers was a guy who provides mobile lab services. He had an ultrasonic cleaner with him and he showed us how effective it was at cleaning a carb stone. I was amazed by how much "stuff" came off it just using distilled water and imagine it would do a really thorough job with some cleaning solution. I was convinced enough to buy one and give it a go. I haven't got it yet so I can say how well this one works but I imagine it will work just fine.

I ordered this one: http://tinyurl.com/gv5mvuc

Once I get up and running, I'll post an update.

Cheers,
--
Don

Crosley
07-16-2016, 05:03 PM
Thanks for all of the info guys. All I can say is that this new carb stone flows so much better than my old ones so I really want to keep it that way. I'll probably give a cip loop a try and report back.
Andy


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Dirk Loeffler
07-18-2016, 01:51 PM
The trick to cleaning carb stones is to dissolve the organic matter that gets stuck in the small pores. Ideally soak your carb stone in some hot caustic with an oxidizer additive and then circulate the solution via a beer pump or other means. Ultrasonic baths work well but should also be used with the correct chemical regiment. Acid will only remove scale and beerstone while caustic will remove organic deposits. Oxidation is critical for optimal results. You can contact me for more specific recommendations and procedures.

Cheers,
Dirk Loeffler
Loeffler Chemical Corporation
Loeffler.dirk@loefflerchemical.com


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gitchegumee
07-18-2016, 10:24 PM
http://www.zahmnagel.com/instructions/

Personally, I would never circulate a solution through the stone unless I could filter all the crap out--which would be very difficult as some of these stones have sub-micronic pores. My thoughts are that you're just pushing the soil deeper unless completely dissolving--which would be difficult. Clean steam, air, or CO2 works well in conjunction with ultrasonic and a nitric acid blend. Maybe most effective is keeping soil away in the first place. A solid check valve will keep liquid from backing into the lines. And filtration will keep yeast from settling on top of the stone.

dinobrew
07-20-2016, 07:49 AM
I would second Gitchegumee statement about having a filter on the cleaning loop if you are pumping Chemicals. When ever our stone is not in use it gets broken down and the stone soaked in Nitric/Phos acid, and all parts cleaned. We also use PVC to protect our stones when not in use, except we have a capped PVC tube with lots of holes in it which we then put in a common acid bucket. I am really intrigued by the ultrasound cleaning and want to look into this.
One of the best ways of maintaining good flow in your stones it to handle them properly. If you are using a chemical regime don't use sodium metasilicate based cleaners(PBW, Bru-er-ez), because these can precipitate out silicates which will clog pores and are hard to remove. When handling your stone NEVER touch it with bare hands, the oil from you skin can clog up the pores. Also take great care when inserting into the tank since small dings or scratches can also impede flow.

beer_chaser
11-07-2016, 06:24 AM
I was just at a brewing seminar up in Portland and one of the guest speakers was a guy who provides mobile lab services. He had an ultrasonic cleaner with him and he showed us how effective it was at cleaning a carb stone. I was amazed by how much "stuff" came off it just using distilled water and imagine it would do a really thorough job with some cleaning solution. I was convinced enough to buy one and give it a go. I haven't got it yet so I can say how well this one works but I imagine it will work just fine.

I ordered this one: http://tinyurl.com/gv5mvuc

Once I get up and running, I'll post an update.

Cheers,
--
Don

Don, Did you have any luck with this ultrasonic cleaner? What size stone does it fit?

idylldon
11-07-2016, 06:56 AM
Don, Did you have any luck with this ultrasonic cleaner? What size stone does it fit?

The tank is 11" long so the 6" stones I have fit easily. Since we just started production last week (after a 3.5 year buildout!), I've only used it on the stone I use for oxygenating wort, which doesn't get nearly as dirty as I imagine my carb stones will be. So far, I like how it cleans the oxygen stone and I'm curious to see how it does with the stones that are exposed to more "stuff." I'll update this once I've had a chance to clean a carb stone.

Cheers,
--
Don

TGTimm
11-07-2016, 09:40 AM
As Dirk wrote above, acid cleaning will do nothing to break down the organic deposits that clog a stone. Acids will remove mineral deposits, but they cannot penetrate through organics to get to the minerals. Caustic first, then acid.

We clean all our parts in a large bench-top ultra-sonic cleaner: https://omegasonics.com/omega-cleaners/model-1420bt/ Not the cheapest on the market, but a good machine and great service. For an idea how well it works, ours broke down a couple of years ago and the brewers threatened to go on strike until it was fixed! Fortunately, the great folks at Omegasonics had a new part on the way immediately and cross shipped with the old part. Every thig was covered by warranty and we were only without the cleaner for a couple of days. The cleaner is so relied upon that I now stock a replacement generator--a $500 part.

A second on the careful handling--any little abrasion on the stone surface closes the pores in that area permanently. I like the idea of a perforated PVC sleeve for cleaning in the US cleaner, and may try to implement this in our brewery.

BemidjiBrewing
11-08-2016, 06:52 AM
We ended up buying the ultra-sonic cleaner from Don's link above and it works GREAT. We had been running a tee off our cleaning loop to push acid cleaner + detergent through the carb stones but I was always concerned with the chance of sediment clogging the stone from this process (as mentioned above). We would then soak our stones in alternating acid then caustic, blowing them out in 190F water in between each soak. Even with this there was still visual discoloration and reduced performance (uneven bubble stream) over the last 6 months since they were brand new. I should mention here that we send unfiltered beer to our BBT's and add biofine in-line during the transfer. As such, there is certainly much more sediment and opportunity to gum up our carb stones than if we were filtering into the BBT.

With the first cleaning in the ultra sonic cleaner there was a big plume of green/yellow sediment when we ran it at 130F with a caustic + oxidizer solution and the stone looked new again. We repeated that with an acid solution and did the same for all of our carb stones. The bubble streams were instantly more vigorous and consistent across the entire stone and we saw the wetting pressure of the stones return and remain at their original values (3psi). We now use this cleaner ever time we clean the stones and even will use it with PAA to sanitize them before placing them in the tank prior to the CIP sani loop. In fact, many other pieces will get this same treatment just because they fit in the ultra-sonic cleaner's tub, which actually fits 2 carb stones (11") and two stand pipes comfortably. That PVC sleeve mentioned above would come in handy here...

So long story short, for a couple hundred dollars this unit seems like a good purchase just for the carb stones but also could have many other uses for other random part cleaning. My only concern is that you MUST remember to unplug the unit or turn off the heating element if there isn't water in the tray. Pretty basic practice, but easy enough to leave it on and empty accidentally and risk burning out the element.

Hope this helps anyone that may be on the fence with this or a similar ultra-sonic cleaner.

Cheers,
Tom