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Scorched Molasses


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Anybody know how to remove scorched molasses from the bottom of a boiler? I have no direct access to the bottom of the boiler so using steel wool or elbow grease is out of the question.

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Have used an acid from local dairy processor. Non-pitting copper/stainless safe. Don't know name as it was small quantity from an employee there.

Curious, if all sugers were fermented out how did you scorch it that bad?

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How do you clean your equipment now? If you use Sodium Hydroxide (caustic), that should do the trick.

I would try 180F water and about a 2 to 3% solution of caustic and recirculate if you can, even some sort of small pump or blender would help.

If you can get a hold of Hydrogen Peroxide 34% that would also be a good addition.

You could try that at about 1/2 % addition, but watch out for the reaction.

This can foam rapidly, so an addition would be better after about 15 min. of caustic work and I would add about 1/2 of the amount at first and then more in another 15 min.

You might also need to let this set overnight.

Then there is also my (non favorite) using caustic along with Sodium Hypochloride (bleach).

It normally does the job but can be very rough on the stainless if not used correctly and then treated with an acid wash after it is rinsed out.

Using bleach and caustic is what dairy farmers do but they want to kill the bugs in the tank and replacing the tank in 20 yrs. isn't a big deal, I want my tanks to last longer than that.

When using the bleach you must keep the water temp. below 140 F or the chlorine will flash off and you don't want to breath that or come in contact with the gas when it does.

Making mistakes is easy but cleaning them is much harder.

Best of luck! :wacko:

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You could also try PBW (professional brewers wash) from 5 star chemical. It works pretty well for removing crud and it won't melt your face off. I believe it was originally devised as an alternative to a more dangerous caustic.

We get it direct from 5star, but if you didn't want to wait on a shipment, you could probably score enough to handle this one instance at any homebrew shop.

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And if it's really bad an old trick with kegs was to use a sanding disk on end of a long all-thread rod. Double lock it with nuts and washers, attach to a drill and buff away. 100grit works great, do it dry.

A 3" disk will fit a 2" hole, a 6 will go in a 4 also.

Centrifigul force spins them out flat once you poke them through the hole. Just don't use steel wool. Will leave a steel pollished finish that will effect taste.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick note on PBW...

we use the stuff extensively.

It's a metasilicate, and over time it will leave a silicate scale on your stainless. You can especially see this if you leave the manway undogged while you cycle your CIP where the chem dribbles down.

It's a real b^*&^ to clean off. I don't like using chlorinated caustic, but it does the trick. The thing is, if you have been using PBW a lot, then it continues to work...but if you hit your tank up with caustic AFTER prolonged use of a metasilicate, it just doesn't seem to clean very well...because it does a cruddy job of dissolving the silicate coating that the chung is sticking to.

Whatever you do, don't let your metasilicate dry on the metal. Speeds up this process. I could post a picure of our keg washer that would make you cry.

For baked on molasses carbon, I'd try Simple Green with very hot water. Simple Green will rinse away and not affect your distilling afterwards.

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Just to be clear, I only advocate a single application of chlorinated caustic AFTER prolonged usage of PBW. After the single application, standard non-chlorinated caustics should work fine. The point being that using caustic on a stainless vessel after a lot of PBW doesn't actually work very well.

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