Author Topic: Best way to store empty kegs?  (Read 2150 times)

Offline Allen Brown

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Best way to store empty kegs?
« on: June 27, 2016, 11:51:34 AM »
I have been storing my empty kegs full of water mixed with Star San, so they are clean and sanitized when I'm ready to use them again.  Any issues with this method?  Does the solution go bad over time?  Is there a better way?

Thanks,

Allen
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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 12:01:15 PM »
Sounds like a lot of water being used. All it takes for StarSan to sanitize is contact and foam is contact. Cut that liquid volume back to a pint and shake the keg keeping the surface contact wet for a couple of minutes and then let it go until needed. Much less wasted H20.
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 12:04:26 PM »
StarSan will lose its acidity (and effectiveness) over time when exposed to the air. The NorthernBrewer site says it will last 3-4 weeks in a sealed container (i.e. Bucket with a lid). In a sealed, pressurized keg it will last a long time.

I use a similar technique when cleaning my kegs, but I fill them with StarSan and then use CO2 to push it out so that I'm left with an empty, sanitized keg at around 30psi. Often I sanitize multiple kegs at the same time, so I can just push the StarSan from one keg to the next.

I did hear advice long ago about using distilled or RO water to keep StarSan stable in a spray bottle over long periods of time (which I also do). I guess minerals in the water play a part in StarSan eventually losing its effectiveness. If you're ever concerned and you have a pH meter, StarSan remains effective at a pH of 3 or lower.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 12:07:49 PM »
Sounds like a lot of water being used. All it takes for StarSan to sanitize is contact and foam is contact. Cut that liquid volume back to a pint and shake the keg keeping the surface contact wet for a couple of minutes and then let it go until needed. Much less wasted H20.
Yes. However if you want the benefit of completely purging The keg of oxygen, filling  with StarSan and pushing with CO2 seems to be the only way (per the study presented at NHC this year).

To minimize water waste in that case I just reuse the solution and top off with a little more StarSan if needed. As long as you're sanitizing very clean equipment you can reuse it many times this way.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 12:10:24 PM »
Clean. Sanitize. Push the sanitizer out with CO2. Prairie it to some level, say 10 to 20 PSI. You then have a sanitized, O2 free keg ready to fill. If it does not hiss when you pull the PRV before filling, you have a leak to find and fix.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2016, 01:10:01 PM »
I have been storing my empty kegs full of water mixed with Star San, so they are clean and sanitized when I'm ready to use them again.  Any issues with this method?  Does the solution go bad over time?  Is there a better way?

Thanks,

Allen

I would probably not leave the kegs filled with an acidic solution like star san. I always run hot PBW water through each keg after cleaning them out thoroughly with hot water first. Then, rinse with hot water again after the PBW rinse several times to be sure no residue remains. After that, the kegs are sealed and just left that way until I need them for packaging where they undergo an iodophor treatment and purging prior to filling with beer. That way I know they are freshly sanitized and ready to be filled.

Offline Allen Brown

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2016, 01:12:49 PM »
Lots of great advice.  Thanks!
Allen

Offline Stevie

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2016, 01:39:13 PM »
After cleaning I fill a keg with starsan and push it out. I too store under pressure, but I use a pressure that is less than my typical serving pressure. 10psi or so. The thought here is an issue might not present itself above serving pressure and I am then stuck scrambling to fix a full leaky keg.

Starsan made with mineral free water lasts a very long time if stored in a bucket. I keep mine for months .

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2016, 01:44:26 PM »
You cou;d just clean them and then store them. No need at all to store them with sani in them, or water. If you want to be particularly anal clean, sani and purge them with co2.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2016, 02:23:09 PM »
Now that I better appreciate and understand the importance of purging kegs of oxygen, I fully agree with methods that Jeff mentions. Fill each keg with sanitizer and push it out with CO2 to provide a sanitized, oxygen-free, and pressure-holding keg. If you have multiple kegs, you can just fill the succeeding keg with the sanitizer that you've pushed from the last keg and won't have a big waste of sanitizer. 
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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2016, 03:52:55 PM »
You cou;d just clean them and then store them. No need at all to store them with sani in them, or water. If you want to be particularly anal clean, sani and purge them with co2.

That's what I do.  I clean them and once they're dry I put enough CO2 on them to seal them.  I sanitize right before I use them.  If they aren't pressurized when I go to use them, I know I have a leaky keg.
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Offline chumley

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2016, 07:30:24 PM »
Clean. Sanitize. Push the sanitizer out with CO2. Prairie it to some level, say 10 to 20 PSI. You then have a sanitized, O2 free keg ready to fill. If it does not hiss when you pull the PRV before filling, you have a leak to find and fix.

I do this as well.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2016, 09:12:29 PM »
Clean. Sanitize. Push the sanitizer out with CO2. Prairie it to some level, say 10 to 20 PSI. You then have a sanitized, O2 free keg ready to fill. If it does not hiss when you pull the PRV before filling, you have a leak to find and fix.

I do this as well.



Same here.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2016, 10:26:17 PM »
It must be one of those days.  My first thought was put beer in them.   8)

I clean, rinse and pressurize them.  As was stated earlier, if they aren't under pressure when I pull them out of storage I have a leak to find.

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Offline brewsumore

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Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2016, 05:15:23 AM »
I clean, sanitize, dry completely, and then store sealed and dry.  I re-sanitize with Star San and drip-dry before filling.  Sometimes, for a really hoppy beer I'll purge the keg with co2 before filling.