cleaning boiler elements

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Re: cleaning boiler elements

Post by Scooby » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:10 pm

Hum.... it takes over 15l to cover my element.

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Re: cleaning boiler elements

Post by Patterd Ale » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:14 pm

Scooby wrote:Hum.... it takes over 15l to cover my element.
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Re: cleaning boiler elements

Post by LeeH » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:09 am

Holy thread revival batman!

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Re: cleaning boiler elements

Post by Fil » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:53 am

when brewing with recycled kettle elements i would often find a few mm of calcium build up on the elements, but if attacked with a bit of elbow grease asap post boil, its soft and easily removed with a green kitchen scrubby or even better a SS version.

If left overnight however its sets solid and will need a chemical approach, citric acid even a weak solution will work well given time.. to avoid huge volumes however you can wrap the element in tissue and moisten with your chemical solution, squeeze the tissue so it makes a good positive moist contact with the element and keep an eye on it to ensure it keeps moist.
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Re: cleaning boiler elements

Post by orlando » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:01 pm

Reducing your mash & sparge water alkalinity to <30 (Pales etc) eliminates a lot of the conditions that lead to problems. You can have the elements clean with just a spray after that. I've never had to use anything other than water by doing so.
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Re: cleaning boiler elements

Post by bigchris » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:09 pm

If it's scale on the element then something mildly acidic, such as vinegar or citric acid, with a soak, should shift it. If it's dark from overheated malt, then I find covering the element with boiling water and stirring in a half a dishwasher tablet, does a great job.

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Re: cleaning boiler elements

Post by wolfenrook » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:04 pm

I have a hidden element in my boiler. However we had to clean off a scorch recently after I made a Witbier.

I put enough water in to cover the bottom, then added about 2 cups of white spirit vinegar. Turned the boiler on and brought it up to boiling point for a couple of minutes. Turned it off and let it stand for about 30 minutes. I then chucked in a load of bicarb until it no longer fizzed (basically neutralising the vinegar). Emptied the liquid and gave it a good rubbing with a non-stick dish sponge, then my wife took over and put a bit more bicarb onto the scorch and gave it some elbow grease with the dish sponge (I have dodgy hands and wrists thanks to arthritis, so couldn't keep going for long enough). I then gave it a good rinsing out.

She left it lovely and shiny, no marks no left over scorch.

I switched to using a mix of RO water with tap a few brews ago (my mash pH was way too high), so not getting any lime build up in there luckily. bigchris is spot on though, any weakly acidic solution soak will remove lime buildup given enough time. You just have to remember that the more lime there is there, the more acid you need to remove it (so either more solution, or more strongly acidic).

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