How do you remove beer stone using only commercial products?

Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:32 pm

I have one fermentor that is crudded up with beer stone. The first thing I did was quit using it (because sanitation issues), but for the last week I have been exploring ways to remove the stuff.

Beer stone is said to be calcium oxalate in an organic matrix. In my case it's a hard, chalky, white deposit that ranges from the fill line to about 5 inches below it. Thus far I have attacked it with:

1. A concentrated (37.5%) HCl rinse: No effect.
2. 6 molar tri-sodium phosphate: No effect.
3. 85% phosphoric acid rinse: No effect.
4. EZ-Off oven cleaner (contains NaOH) which was mentioned in a web article on beer stone: Minimal effect after three 24 hr applications.

One article mentioned that HCl was effective in removing beer stone. My earlier negative results may have been due to limited contact time, so this evening I prepared 5 gallons of 7.5% HCl (equals 2.42 M) by diluting one gallon of 37.2% (12.1 molar) swimming pool grade HCl to 5 gallons with tap water in the offending fermentor. I'm going to let it soak overnight and see what happens.

Have any of you found any quick easy way to remove beer stone?

NOTE: This fermentor is a 7.5 gallon HDPE plastic bucket. I would never use HCL in a stainless vessel!

Charlie
"Yes officer, I know that I smell like beer. I'm not drinking it, I'm wearing it!"
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Re: How do you remove beer stone using only commercial produ

Sun Nov 01, 2015 7:16 pm

Here's a good discussion over on AHA forum:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/f ... pic=1561.0
-B'Dawg
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Re: How do you remove beer stone using only commercial produ

Mon Nov 02, 2015 5:10 pm

Have you considered an acid based non-abrasive cleanser, such as Bar-Keepers Friend or Zud? The acid in the product breaks down the Ca in the stone.

That being said, get a new bucket!

It's cheaper than spending money on cleaning supplies. Your local hardware store carries the exact same HDPE buckets that are found in restaurant supply houses for a LOT less money.
Alan Marks
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Re: How do you remove beer stone using only commercial produ

Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:36 am

A 24 hr soak with the aforementioned 7.4% HCl completely removed the beer stone! It didn't loosen up and it didn't slough off. It dissolved. Poof! Gone. No actual scrubbing was involved, and that's my kind of solution to a problem.

alan_marks wrote:That being said, get a new bucket!

It's cheaper than spending money on cleaning supplies.


What? And miss a chance to muck about with chemicals? I have a very sincere looking piece of parchment that swears I have an earned degree in chemistry. If I did things the easy way I'd be kicked out of my guild! :-)

Charlie
"Yes officer, I know that I smell like beer. I'm not drinking it, I'm wearing it!"
Charlie
 
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Re: How do you remove beer stone using only commercial produ

Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:11 pm

Charlie, so did you use Bar Keepers friend on the beer stone? I dont see the aforementions 7.4% HCl solution. I have a big beer stone ring around the inside of my big mouth bubbler fermenter and just cant seen to get it off.
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