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Al_The_Chemist

Citric acid wash for copper bubble plates

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I'm trying to clean my bubble plates. I stared with a "Five star" bath and then over night in citric acid. 

While in the acid, the plates looked brand new. I thoroughly rinsed them before drying. When the plates finished drying the water drying pattern left dirty/reactive looking patterns (see picture).

Anyone else running into this? 

IMG_6215.jpg.6e8c74e0a69d136db48894530ce11a65.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, HottyToddy77 said:

I wouldn’t use a strong acid if will eat your copper.  Ketchup is what many use. 

Pbw is copper safe. 

 

Today I learned how I should be filling my CIP system with ketchup instead of citric.  What brand do you recomend for a 300 gallon hybrid still?

PBW and citric are quite different cleaners. For starters one has a pH of about 2 and the other has a pH of about 12. You can't clean a still with just acid and you cant get copper shiny with PBW.

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3 hours ago, HottyToddy77 said:

I wouldn’t use a strong acid if will eat your copper.  Ketchup is what many use. 

Pbw is copper safe. 

 

I use PBW as first stage. Its the concentrations of citric acid in Ketchup that clean the copper. I'm worried about flavor contamination though. 

I use cheapCitric's distiller's residue cleaner. Could I be using too high a concentration? 

 

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You guys are made of money to be using $12 a pound citric or gallons of Heinz 57.  Damn, you probably even use the more expensive squeeze bottle versions too.  

Meanwhile, the rest of us are stuffing our pockets full at Burger King.

I phone up my local chemical supply and walk out with a 50 pound bag of FCC/USP Grade Citric Acid for about $60.  No sales tax on that either.

Mash Acidification - Check

Still Copper Rejuvenation - Check

Tricking your 5 year daughter to stick her finger in and taste it - Priceless

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8 hours ago, MGL said:

Today I learned how I should be filling my CIP system with ketchup instead of citric.  What brand do you recomend for a 300 gallon hybrid still?

PBW and citric are quite different cleaners. For starters one has a pH of about 2 and the other has a pH of about 12. You can't clean a still with just acid and you cant get copper shiny with PBW.

Al didn't mention he wanted to use it in a CIP. Cheapest Ketchup you can find MGL. My still doesn't have a CIP system. Yes PBW is a base and citric is an acid of course. Ketchup has some acid in it but it is in lower concentrations.

I don't see the need in shinny copper plates in my column but each to their own. I just scrub my copper plates with PBW every few weeks. My still doesn't have a CIP system. There has been at least on distillery ruin their Vendome still from using acid. That being said ask your manufacture what they recommend.

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If you have triclamp or other fittings on your parrot, backflush your system through the condenser to CIP.

Sure, they are nice, but you don't have to have spray balls to CIP a column.  PBW will foam up very nicely and fill a column with active froth.

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7 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

If you have triclamp or other fittings on your parrot, backflush your system through the condenser to CIP.

Sure, they are nice, but you don't have to have spray balls to CIP a column.  PBW will foam up very nicely and fill a column with active froth.

Yup, that is what we do. Once in a blue moon, fully dissemble plates for longer acid treatment.

Definitely do the PBW before the citric. PBW removes the organics, making the citric etch more effective, and it will neutralize the alkalinity of the PBW.

Don't worry so much about streaks after etching, you sort of expect them, initial copper oxidation due to where water evaporates during drying at different rates.

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On 2/28/2018 at 9:13 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

If you have triclamp or other fittings on your parrot, backflush your system through the condenser to CIP.

Sure, they are nice, but you don't have to have spray balls to CIP a column.  PBW will foam up very nicely and fill a column with active froth.

Silk is literally the man. Great call on the parrot back fill- we actually don't have a triclamp on our pot's parrot/safe so what we do is block off the spirit outlet to the parrot and flood the condensor by taking off our flame arrestor. then to completely drain the condenser we just open up the safe/parrot and flood detergent or citric solution into holding tank for next cleaning cycle or if its a rinse we send the water where it belongs.

Using RO water for final flushes have helped us a little bit with residue from drying water (we triple rinse everything after we clean and recapture- hot city water for first rinse, cold city, then cold RO for final). Pretty much no residue but might be neglble who knows.

 

: ) good luck

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A light citric acid solution combined with a ultra sonic bath. Works wonders on my 8 inch plates.

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