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Thread: Removing CO2 before caustic cycle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Salt spring island bc Canada
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    34

    Removing CO2 before caustic cycle

    Hi all,

    Iím wondering how people normally ensure that there is no C02 remaining in their bright tank prior to cleaning with caustic. My practice so far has been to release the pressure after a bottling run, and then hot rinse (about 80L of water into a 5000L tank), leaving the man hole slightly ajar. Then, a caustic cycle. Iíve been holding my breath a bit...is all the co2 out?? How do others do it? Should I be purging with compressed air before adding caustic?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    384
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lachelt View Post
    Hi all,

    Iím wondering how people normally ensure that there is no C02 remaining in their bright tank prior to cleaning with caustic. My practice so far has been to release the pressure after a bottling run, and then hot rinse (about 80L of water into a 5000L tank), leaving the man hole slightly ajar. Then, a caustic cycle. Iíve been holding my breath a bit...is all the co2 out?? How do others do it? Should I be purging with compressed air before adding caustic?
    First suggestion is to acid wash the brite under pressure. Less work, less o2, less time. Then periodically caustic cycle depending on the load.

    I use the same hot rinse method with an open manway with gasket removed. I also remove carbstone, sample port, and anything else that may be attached. Elbows pointed to the ground help, and you can point them upwards if you want to add caustic without opening the manway. Iíve found short bursts tend to do better than a single long rinse. By the time tank is warmed up, enough gas has probably been removed. On tanks over 60bbl I have used fans to help circulate air faster, but you can literally see the co2 fall out of tall tanks and can do it by visual eventually.

    If you are using an open vessel cleaning method you donít need to remove ALL the co2, just enough to reduce the vacuum created by the chemical reaction. The co2 left will neutralize some of the caustic, however it will probably not be enough to impact the solution significantly. I like to pH strip my caustic run off to ensure itís 12 or higher anyways. If you have bulk air supply that quickly attaches to you tank, then itís cheap insurance to blast some air in there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    BEMIDJI, MN
    Posts
    115
    ^^ What UnFermentable said

    We use an acid cleaner (Birko UltraNiter) in our brites, so CO2 presence isn't of concern. We do the same for our keg washer, but also with the addition of X-puma, a detergent additive. Occasionally we will switch to caustic to ensure any organic film is removed. But honestly, the tanks & kegs look great even after a long run with acid cleaner.

    If you are stuck on using caustic in the tank and are concerned about CO2 you can hook up a compressed air line at ~20psi and run it in the bottom of the tank with the top arm open and the manway ajar. Even in our 60bbl FV's this reduces the CO2 in a hurry and we see marked improvement with our caustic cycle. Some will say to hook it to the top arm and blow out the bottom, but we really haven't seen a difference.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Salt spring island bc Canada
    Posts
    34
    Thanks for your help guys! I will definitely look into an acid cycle, in the place of caustic...and until I can figure out what acid to use (etc, etc), Iíll go with a compressed air purge through the racking arm before using caustic.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,288
    Hi Mike,
    If this is an option for you, why not switch to PBW from Five Star chems? It works just fine in a CO2 environment and won't do the nasty things to your skin that caustic can.
    My two cents.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    91
    In the mean time you might try leaving the manway closed. The hot water will build up pressure inside the tank. If you only leave the discharge valve open you will get most of the CO2 coming out from there. When depressurised, you can open the man way. You will still notice some CO2 probably but hopefully not as much. Another quick rinse might help at this point or simply open everything up and start the cleaning an arbitrary amount of time later, e.g. after half an hour.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Salt spring island bc Canada
    Posts
    34
    Hey Dave,

    I actually had been using PBW previously, but found that it was unable to remove flavours from the tank, even after three or 4 x 30 minute cycles. Itís just not up to it, I find. I was very cautious about turning to caustic, because I am generally disinclined to introduce harsh chemicals into the mix. But here I am!

    Thanks for the reply,

    Mike


    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierBrewing View Post
    Hi Mike,
    If this is an option for you, why not switch to PBW from Five Star chems? It works just fine in a CO2 environment and won't do the nasty things to your skin that caustic can.
    My two cents.

    Prost!
    Dave

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