Author Topic: Keg sanitation is over rated?  (Read 1995 times)

Offline SwashBuckling Drunk

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Re: Keg sanitation is over rated?
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2010, 08:38:06 AM »
SBD, your process will be fine right up until it isn't.....

Exactly.  We all learn by "pushing it" to some limit.  Just sharing my experience.

Offline denny

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Re: Keg sanitation is over rated?
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2010, 08:40:38 AM »
Exactly.  We all learn by "pushing it" to some limit.  Just sharing my experience.

I completely agree with your "pushing it" statement.  My own experience in trying what you're doing is what prompted me to make my previous statement!  ;)
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Offline SwashBuckling Drunk

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Re: Keg sanitation is over rated?
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2010, 08:53:53 AM »
Please share Denny

Offline euge

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Re: Keg sanitation is over rated?
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2010, 09:11:54 AM »
I clean my kegs every time. Takes 5 minutes to completely clean- including disassembling the posts. Hot water and oxyclean gets rid of the sludge that is always there.

Why risk beer that was carefully made at one of the most critical aspects of it's short life?

However, rinsing out kegs with hot water and racking is OK if it's going into a cold kegerator and will be drunk up soon. The cold temps and alcohol should retard any growing infection.
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Offline denny

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Re: Keg sanitation is over rated?
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2010, 10:18:00 AM »
Please share Denny

Years ago, on rec.crafts.brewing, this very topic came up.  I started just rinsing out kegs (if even that) before refilling them.  My theory is that the low pH of the beer, along with the alcohol content, made the beer resistant to infection.  The flaw was "resistant" didn't mean "impossible"!  It worked fine for a few months, but then I started noticing off flavors in beers where the kegs had been reused several times without cleaning.  It finally went away when I tore all of those kegs down and gave them all a thorough cleaning and sanitizing.  Of course, it's possible that I had a run of bad beers caused by something else, but circumstantial evidence pointed to the lack of keg cleaning.  Since then, I always clean and sanitize kegs and the problem hasn't reappeared.
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Offline piszkiewiczp

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Re: Keg sanitation is over rated?
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2010, 10:32:31 AM »
One problem could be the tendancy for bateria to form biofilms. These are aggregations of cells that adhere to surfaces and protect themselves with an extracellular slime layer that is resistant to simple rinsing or even the milder cleaners/sanitizers. Over time, these could become a source of off flavors or contamination. Biofilms won't necessarily for after the first skipped cleaning, or even the tenth, but eventually......

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Keg sanitation is over rated?
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2010, 11:43:11 AM »
The only time I've ever done the whole rack a beer in is if
1) the beer is going to be gone in short order
and
2) I'm racking the second half of a batch into the keg.
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Offline SwashBuckling Drunk

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Re: Keg sanitation is over rated?
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2010, 12:25:29 PM »
Please share Denny

Years ago, on rec.crafts.brewing, this very topic came up.  I started just rinsing out kegs (if even that) before refilling them.  My theory is that the low pH of the beer, along with the alcohol content, made the beer resistant to infection.  The flaw was "resistant" didn't mean "impossible"!  It worked fine for a few months, but then I started noticing off flavors in beers where the kegs had been reused several times without cleaning.  It finally went away when I tore all of those kegs down and gave them all a thorough cleaning and sanitizing.  Of course, it's possible that I had a run of bad beers caused by something else, but circumstantial evidence pointed to the lack of keg cleaning.  Since then, I always clean and sanitize kegs and the problem hasn't reappeared.

Makes sense and fits with what I'm doing/ plan to maybe do more.  I don't intend to keep refilling the same kegs over and over this way, but rather not sweat it occasionally. I'll never tear my kegs down after every brew.  Most beers don't last more than a few months around here (like I said, wifey likes to drink).

Thanks for some insight based on actual experience