Cleaning Immersion Chiller

Morning all. I’m about to brew my first batch using an Immersion Chiller. I know I have to clean it before it’s inaugural plunge. I’m just wondering if anyone has any preferred methods for cleaning the copper. I was going to dip it into some Oxi-clean (my preferred cleanser for bottles, carboys, etc.). Not sure of the chemical reaction of the cleanser with copper. Any thoughts? Thanks for your feedback.

I don’t use a immersion chiller any longer. But when I did I would just give it a got spry with the hoses and scrub it down.

I added my immersion chiller in the last 15 minutes, so if I did somehow miss anything it was going to get killed during the boil.

I use a product called Aseptox for all my cleaning now. It is a food grade no rinse cleaner and has worked extremely well on my chiller. After use I soak it for a day or so and it comes out like brand new.

Probably the most important thing about cleaning the chiller is drying it before putting it away. Water left on copper will turn it green. It’s kind of a pain to get in between each coil but worth the time I think.

Personally, I just hose it off with the garden hose when I’m done with it. Prior to use, if I see any blatant residue or dust bunnies I’ll wipe it down with a paper towel. Put it in your boil 15 minutes before the end and sanitation isn’t an issue. Anything that goes into the boil, you don’t have to be anal about its sanitation.

Rinse the chiller off after you use it so wort dosen’t congeal on it. It’ll be fine because the heat of your kettle will kill any nasties hanging out on it. However…if you let it sit for too long, you will notice a “patina” starting to oxidize on the surface. Remove your tubing and boil the chiller in vinegar for 5 minutes. Pull it out, rinse it off, and will look as good as the day you bought it.

Cheers…and Brew on!!

A 24-hr StarSan soak will return the copper to its original color.

It is normal for copper to oxidize to a dull color. If you “clean” the copper with vinegar or star san, what you are actually doing is dissolving that oxide layer in an acid. Over the long term you could actually eat a hole in it, so I would avoid doing this. That would probably take a while so its not a huge concern, but its an unnecessary effort anyway.

Now, if you have a green patina forming, those contain toxic compounds and absolutely should be cleaned off.

Personally, I have never done anything fancier than letting my chiller air dry, and I’ve never had any green buildup.

On a new chiller, take the time to clean it with some dish soap and a rag/green scrubby. You don’t want any manufacturing residue in your beer. You don’t have to scrub the living daylight out of it. Just give it a cleaning.

After that, you can’t hut the thing buy doing the same.

You don’t want any dish soap on it either though.

+1 to that.

I would think warm water and a good wipedown would be sufficient for cleaning a brand new chiller. If you feel the need to use a detergent, PBW or oxyclean would be best.

You can use dish soap to clean brewing gear in a pinch, BUT: use an unscented variety, and go VERY easy on how much you use. The last thing you want is soap residue or perfumes in your beer. Speaking from unfortunate personal experience here. Yuck.

I just rinse mine off with the kitchen sink sprayer and let it dry then put it in to a old carboy box that i kept. close it up and next brew its good to go. Cheers

If a disclaimer like this needs to be made, the OP doesn’t need to be brewing beer.

Obviously, just like your dishes, you will rinse the items. :roll:

When my new chiller arrived, I boiled it for 20 minutes thinking that may remove any oils, hung it up to drip dry, soaked it in Starsan over night, hung it up to dry again, when it was dry I put it back in the box it came in. After each use,hose off, let it dry , place it back in the box.

I boiled mine in vinegar and water initially. After each use, spray off and dry.