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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: rylo1984 on July 24, 2010, 09:38:52 am

Title: keg & beer line cleaning
Post by: rylo1984 on July 24, 2010, 09:38:52 am
Hey all,

I'm new to the forums but have been browsing around and there is a lot of great information here...

I just kicked my first keg of homebrew and was wondering what is the best method and cleaner for cleaning the keg?

Also, what is the best method and chemical/cleaner for cleaning out the beer line, shank, and faucet?


Title: Re: keg & beer line cleaning
Post by: a10t2 on July 24, 2010, 09:46:27 am
For kegs/posts/lids/etc., I disassemble the keg, then soak everything in OxiClean for an hour or two, rinse well, reassemble, and sanitize.

For lines, I use BLC (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/cleaning-chemicals-equipment/sanitation-cleaning/beer-line-cleaner.html). I haven't found anything else that will pull all the crud out. Rinse very well afterward.
Title: Re: keg & beer line cleaning
Post by: hopaddicted on July 24, 2010, 10:00:56 am
How much OxyClean do people use per gallon of water?

I had a couple of old kegs donated (amazing how much people are willing to give away if you give away homebrew!) and used BLC and it cleaned 5+ years of crud up like a champ.
Title: Re: keg & beer line cleaning
Post by: denny on July 24, 2010, 10:06:37 am
How much OxyClean do people use per gallon of water?

I use 2-3 heaping Tbsp. per keg.  Usually, I use PBW and do 1-2 Tbsp. per keg. 
Title: Re: keg & beer line cleaning
Post by: rylo1984 on July 25, 2010, 08:21:34 am
Thank you everyone for the information...

When using OxiClean or PBW for cleaning the keg, do you just let it soak overnight and do you have to fill the keg all the way with solution?

I don't have my next batch of beer ready to keg yet and was also wondering should I just rinse out the keg for now and do the soak overnight with OxiClean or PBW the day before I keg the next batch?  I'm assuming that would take care of the cleaning and the sanitizing needed?

Also, regarding the BLC for cleaning the beer lines -- do you recommend a hand pump to push the solution through, or just putting the solution in the keg and pushing it through with CO2 for several minutes?  Should I use the BLC to clean the inside of the shank and faucet as well, or only the line?

Thank you very much for the help!
Title: Re: keg & beer line cleaning
Post by: tom on July 25, 2010, 10:43:10 am
I fill my kegs with hot PBW and soak the fittings in a hop bag hanging in the keg from a post threading. But a more efficient use is to fill just above halfway, soak for 30 minutes, then turn it over in a bucket. The PBW that comes out will clean the top too. If the keg isn't too dirty you can re-use it in another keg.

The usual rule-of-thumb is to clean when done, and sanitize before using.  To sanitize them I fill my kegs with StarSan, let soak for a few minutes, then push it into another keg with CO2. This leaves the keg clean, sanitized and full of CO2 which prevents any oxidation of the incoming beer.

To clean the beer lines I put hot BLC in a keg (2-3 gallons) and push it through the lines into another keg, leaving the lines filled. Then repeat with the other lines. Then rinse with water and sanitize with StarSan.

Brew on, Tom
Title: Re: keg & beer line cleaning
Post by: euge on July 25, 2010, 12:01:30 pm
All good answers. Now I'll chime in. Since you asked. ;)

When a keg kicks it is rinsed out immediately with hot water from the sink sprayer. A scant Tbs of Oxyclean is tossed in then I hit it with the sprayer until about a quart of water is in. Close keg shake well. Drain and spray completely out, repeat if necessary until all the gunk is gone.

Keep an 11/16 and 7/8 wrench handy and take off the posts. Rinse/Starsan. After the first time they'll easily come off. Usually they come cranked on pretty good and it really isn't necessary to do that.

Meanwhile take the pick-up tube and rinse it out. Draw a length of weed-trimmer string and a scrap of paper towel to swab out the tube. Run a little sanitizer through and replace along with posts.

Sanitize keg and leave upended in sink or bucket for a couple minutes. Clean lid, sanitize. Replace on drained keg. All this takes just a few minutes.

Oxyclean is great on the lines I'm finding out now. I fill an empty keg with a gallon of hot water and a Tbs of Oxyclean and pressure it up. That solution is run through the lines and tap. Then another gallon clean hot water. I was amazed at how quick and effective this is.

I would imagine that taps on the outside of a kegerator would need disassembling and cleaning more often than my cobra-taps- which stay cold all the time.