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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: ryang on November 04, 2010, 12:31:43 pm

Title: Root beer and kegs
Post by: ryang on November 04, 2010, 12:31:43 pm
I've have seen so many warnings about putting root beer in a keg and then having to have that keg be a 'dedicated' root beer keg.  Has it not occured to anyone else that there is a reasonable chance that keg had root beer in it while it was a pop keg? 

Are these cautions the same as those who believe it is necessary to have 'dedicated' sour-beer carboys, tubing, etc?

Just seems silly to me.  Clean it well and I can't see why it won't work.
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: bonjour on November 04, 2010, 01:01:10 pm
After several extended soaks with hot PBW and changing out all rubber several times, I'm still chasing issues.
Don't take these warnings lightly

YMMV
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: Joe Sr. on November 04, 2010, 02:35:40 pm
Sure, pretty much all the kegs we get have had soda in them.  I've gotten kegs that had ginger ale residue in them as well as kegs from root beer.

Root beer residue (lingering smell, taste) is by far the hardest to get rid of.

Absolutely the rubber parts all need to be removed and replaced.  As well as much soaking and scrubbing if necessary.

I keep a keg of root beer and it is dedicated as I don't see the point of continually changing the gaskets.  I also maintain a dedicated tap and disconnect as I doubt you'll ever get those flavors out.
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: The Professor on November 04, 2010, 07:08:44 pm
A simple soak in caustic solution (and inexpensive and simple  replacement of the rubber parts at the same time) will totally eliminate the root beer residues. 
Just be sure to follow good safety practice working with the caustic...such as gloves, and even protective eye gear in case of a splash. 

It's definitely nasty stuff, but perfectly safe with the proper precautions...and it gets the job done fast and thoroughly.
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: tschmidlin on November 05, 2010, 12:15:46 am
Yes, you can clean it with caustic or other cleaners and replace the seals.  You don't have to throw away the root beer ones, save them for next time you make it.

That being said, I would have a dedicated soda keg if I made it with any kind of frequency at all.  :)
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: ryang on November 05, 2010, 07:13:18 am
Interesting.  I'm a bottle kind of guy and I'll use any kind of bottle that takes a cap, no matter the previous contents.  I even go to the recycling center and pull out bottles there which usually are full of nasties - they clean up fine.  Was just curious about the root beer thing.  I guess just because root beer is one of the more flavorfull pop's it tends to stick around huh?
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: bonjour on November 05, 2010, 07:31:22 am
While I'm not afraid of caustic, I've never used it for cleaning.
How about a simple how to?  What chemical, how much/strong, temps, how long?

Thanks
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: Joe Sr. on November 05, 2010, 08:15:50 am
Interesting.  I'm a bottle kind of guy and I'll use any kind of bottle that takes a cap, no matter the previous contents.  I even go to the recycling center and pull out bottles there which usually are full of nasties - they clean up fine.  Was just curious about the root beer thing.  I guess just because root beer is one of the more flavorfull pop's it tends to stick around huh?

The big difference is the rubber seals inside the keg.  The rubber holds the flavor and smell just about forever.

Glass does not. 

Stainless is easily cleaned. 

Rubber needs to be replaced.
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: tschmidlin on November 05, 2010, 09:54:34 am
The big difference is the rubber seals inside the keg.  The rubber holds the flavor and smell just about forever.

Glass does not. 

Stainless is easily cleaned. 

Rubber needs to be replaced.
Exactly - you need a dedicated set of o-rings for soda, the stainless keg will not retain flavors if you clean it well.  You might even want two sets of seals for soda, one for root beer and one for everything else, unless you like a root beer flavor in your ginger ale.
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: violaleebrews on September 07, 2012, 10:38:19 am
Wow!  Glad I stumble upon this as I made plans to brew some root beer with my son, keg-carb it and bottle/jug it. 

Will it retain the flavors even if it's only in there for a few days?

Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: Pinski on September 07, 2012, 10:48:12 am
While I'm not afraid of caustic, I've never used it for cleaning.
How about a simple how to?  What chemical, how much/strong, temps, how long?

Thanks

Five-Star, the makers of Star-San makes a caustic line & tank cleaner that should do the trick. I believe the recommended application is about an ounce per gallon, at "room" temperature for 5 minutes. Use long heavy "brewers" gloves and eye-protection, particularly if you plan on reaching into and scrubbing kegs with a caustic solution.  You do NOT want caustic solution to come into  contact with any part of your person.
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 07, 2012, 11:15:24 am
Wow!  Glad I stumble upon this as I made plans to brew some root beer with my son, keg-carb it and bottle/jug it. 

Will it retain the flavors even if it's only in there for a few days?

I don't know for sure, but I certainly wouldn't re-use it without pulling all the rubber and at least giving it a good soak and cleaning.  If the seals pick up the rootbeer smell, you'll definitely be able to tell.

New seals are cheap, though, so go for it.
Title: Root beer and kegs
Post by: majorvices on September 07, 2012, 11:45:00 am
I have a corny dedicated to rootbeer. I never put anything but rootbeer in it.
Title: Root beer and kegs
Post by: bluesman on September 07, 2012, 01:03:12 pm
Glad I caught this thread as I have a keg filled with root beer right now. I'll probably just dedicate it to root beer.
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: Joe Sr. on September 07, 2012, 03:03:45 pm
Glad I caught this thread as I have a keg filled with root beer right now. I'll probably just dedicate it to root beer.

Dedicate a a line and tap to, it too.  I just leave mine tapped at all times with a long line and a picnic tap.
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: morticaixavier on September 07, 2012, 03:52:27 pm
I have a keg 'dedicated' to plain (plane?) water. just so it doesn't taste like beer. I keep meaning to make up some soda syrup to mix in the glass. gotta get a good from scratch rootbeer recipe. and some sarsparilla root.
Title: Re: Root beer and kegs
Post by: In The Sand on September 07, 2012, 04:04:01 pm
As everyone has said, if you have a root beer keg, soak in PBW, throw away o-rings and get new ones.  I just bought a reconditioned keg that apparently had root beer in it before.  FWIW, I soaked in PBW and threw out the o-rings because they seemed to hold the most odor in.