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How to clean residual corn / potato scale out of mash tun


Hammer Spring

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We have a 100 gallon jacketed mash tun, with a cooling coil looping around the inside.  We do potato vodka, and a corn/rye/wheat bourbon.  After each run, we spray it out with hot water, then spray it aggressively with StarSan solution.  Can't ever really get all the crud out of the nooks and crannies - every once in a while we have to take the whole dang thing apart, motor off, coil out, etc. climb in and scrub the bejeezus out of it by hand.  There's got to be a better way?  Is there?

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We were having a similar issue here, although no internal coil. An aggressive chemical clean (caustic) wasn't cutting it. We ended up buying a little power washer - one that you plug in as opposed to an intense gas powered one so you don't damage the inside of the mash tun at all. It works like a charm. It is a Ryobi 2300 PSI model. 

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Is mash tun copper or stainless? Copper do the recommended PBW protocol, stainless use hot caustic and hot citric with a triple rinse technique. If thats not enough you can supercharge your caustic with grease X, or often what I've found even more helpful is using a more aggressive acid like a passivating citric solution.

 

Cheers,

Slick

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2 hours ago, kleclerc77 said:

We were having a similar issue here, although no internal coil. An aggressive chemical clean (caustic) wasn't cutting it. We ended up buying a little power washer - one that you plug in as opposed to an intense gas powered one so you don't damage the inside of the mash tun at all. It works like a charm. It is a Ryobi 2300 PSI model. 

We use our pressure Ryobi washer everyday, cuts down on chem use, too.  

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3 hours ago, SlickFloss said:

Is mash tun copper or stainless? Copper do the recommended PBW protocol, stainless use hot caustic and hot citric with a triple rinse technique. If thats not enough you can supercharge your caustic with grease X, or often what I've found even more helpful is using a more aggressive acid like a passivating citric solution.

 

Cheers,

Slick

People have copper mash tuns!?

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2 hours ago, Golden Beaver Distillery said:

We use our pressure Ryobi washer everyday, cuts down on chem use, too.  

Right! I barely use caustic at all anymore. I love the fact that I have almost completely eliminated its use here. The less gnarly chemicals, the better. 

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On 11/5/2020 at 1:38 PM, kleclerc77 said:

Right! I barely use caustic at all anymore. I love the fact that I have almost completely eliminated its use here. The less gnarly chemicals, the better. 

Pressure washer for the MFW!!  That made quick work of that!  Thanks for the suggestion - if you're ever in Salt Lake City, drop by, I'll buy you a shot!

On 11/5/2020 at 1:38 PM, kleclerc77 said:

Right! I barely use caustic at all anymore. I love the fact that I have almost completely eliminated its use here. The less gnarly chemicals, the better. 

 

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On 11/5/2020 at 11:58 AM, Golden Beaver Distillery said:

We use our pressure Ryobi washer everyday, cuts down on chem use, too.  

Haha I think I have the same Ryobi HAHAHA!!!

On 11/5/2020 at 1:54 PM, Hammer Spring said:

People have copper mash tuns!?

A lot of people have a lot of supercilious things. First distillery I worked at had a copper condenser.......

On 11/5/2020 at 2:38 PM, kleclerc77 said:

Right! I barely use caustic at all anymore. I love the fact that I have almost completely eliminated its use here. The less gnarly chemicals, the better. 

If you're not using caustic and acid how do you know you're killing microbes?

Power washers- do you guys struggle with hard water scales issues at all in your cookers and do you find the power washer to remove those films?

OP end of the day, whatever works works! Just make sure you are spic-and-span fucking clean! Sanitation is the most important aspect of our job.

 

 

 

Edited by SlickFloss
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4 hours ago, SlickFloss said:

If you're not using caustic and acid how do you know you're killing microbes?

Power washers- do you guys struggle with hard water scales issues at all in your cookers and do you find the power washer to remove those films?

 

 

 

 

We've learned to embrace the local microbiome here. Out of everything, that's something that no other distillery will be able to replicate. I like the way our ferments end dry and sour, and we lose that nice sourness in the finished ferment when we were nuking the tanks with caustic and/or P3. If you strike everything just right and get your ferment going nice and quickly, you shouldn't have to worry about microbial competition for sugar right off the bat. I make sure to get all of the little nooks and crannies - temp probe sockets, etc, when cleaning. Occasionally I'll let hot water and caustic sit in the exit port of our mash tun - that seems to be the only place I can't quite reach with anything else and will develop some bad funk. 

This power washer gets the job done. We tried a less powerful one before that wasn't cutting it, but the 2300 PSI model does the trick. I will let some hot water sit in the bottom beforehand so the steam softens everything up a bit first.

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  • 2 months later...

We use 'zero-water' for just about everything, so we don't get any mineral build up.  We ferment in the tun and only use enough nutrient to keep the yeast happy and haven't had a problem with any left overs mucking things up.  It's fairly small so-to-speak (100 gallons) and all the ports are tri-clamp, so I pull them all out to clean it each time to avoid any crud hiding in the ports.  Generally tho, the Ryobi power washer has been the right tool for the job - we bought some PBW after it was recommended earlier in this thread, but haven't even had to use it yet.

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  • 9 months later...

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