Author Topic: keg cleaning  (Read 1588 times)

Offline tomas77

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
keg cleaning
« on: February 19, 2011, 09:00:01 AM »
I have seven kegs that I recently purchased earlier this year and brewed enough to fill them all to last throughout the winter.  Some to age and some to drink.  This winter has kept me from using the outside hose to rinse out the kegs once they are kicked so nothing is really settling inside.  I rinsed and sanitized right away which has seemed to work just fine for me.  Now I have a few kegs that are sitting around with little or no beer in it and was wondering if I would have to strip all parts away and clean or just do the same as i've always done as soon as good weather is upon us. Thanks.

Offline corkybstewart

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1345
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 09:58:29 AM »
I will usually leave empty kegs until I have 4 or 5 to clean at the same time.  Then I rinse them to get the loose stuff out, and heat water up to about 185.  About 1/2 cup of PBW in the first keg will clean it just fine within 20 or 30 minutes, then I use a jumper hose to pump it to the next keg, and continue until they are all clean.  I rinse each keg as it's cleaned, and once they all are clean I pump about 1/2 keg of nearly boiling water through the jumper from one keg to the next.  Turn them upside down to dry overnight then put the clean lids back on.  In 16 years of kegging I've never stripped one down after the initial teardown/cleanup.  OTOH I know people who completely disassemble their kegs after each use.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline tom

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1110
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2011, 10:35:42 AM »
+1 on cleaning kegs after use. I too fill the corny with hot PBW. I also take apart the posts and poppets and hang them in the corny in a hop bag.

And keep all the parts together with each keg. There are at least 3 different thread sizes and it can be a b**** to get them all back together.
Brew on

Offline tomas77

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 11:28:43 AM »
I will usually leave empty kegs until I have 4 or 5 to clean at the same time.  Then I rinse them to get the loose stuff out, and heat water up to about 185.  About 1/2 cup of PBW in the first keg will clean it just fine within 20 or 30 minutes, then I use a jumper hose to pump it to the next keg, and continue until they are all clean.  I rinse each keg as it's cleaned, and once they all are clean I pump about 1/2 keg of nearly boiling water through the jumper from one keg to the next.  Turn them upside down to dry overnight then put the clean lids back on.  In 16 years of kegging I've never stripped one down after the initial teardown/cleanup.  OTOH I know people who completely disassemble their kegs after each use.
This pretty much what I do.  Thanks.

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 10:46:47 PM »
No disassembly here.....

As soon as it kicks rinse with hot water, immediately fill with sanitizer and rinse out the beer line under pressure. Then the keg sits with the sanitizer in it until next use.
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline tom

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1110
  • Denver, CO
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 11:20:05 PM »
What kind of sanitizer?

I highly recommend cleaning the kegs, not just rinsing. If not you'll get beerstone buildup and bacterial contamination.
Brew on

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2011, 12:04:33 AM »
I use iodophor for this particular application.
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8197
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 10:47:56 AM »
Once it kicks, just leave the CO2 pressure in the keg and it will be fine for months.  Not much is going to grow in there with just a CO2 environment - I've left them for months and never seen any sign of something growing in any of my kegs.  Even after that long a pbw soak cleans them up just fine, although I recently built a keg cleaning rig that makes it go much faster.  I break mine down completely each time but lots of people don't with no problems.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7658
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 12:05:10 PM »
It all depends on comfort level. I too take apart my kegs so the dip-tube and it's poppit can be inspected for any crud that tends to collect in those places. They should at least bear inspection occasionally. However, I have been known to just rinse the junk out of a keg- fill it and back into the kegerator it goes without even sanitizing.

The first time a keg is broken down it can be a real b!tch since, well it tends to be all stuck together. But subsequent tear-downs go easy. I keep appropriate size wrenches in the kitchen drawer next to the sink.  :D

Hot water, oxyclean and starsan.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline dbarber

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 07:02:57 AM »
I usually wait until I have a few kegs and clean/sanitize them all at the same time with hot PBW and star san.  I may not be necessary, but I break down a keg after each use.  I would be pissed if I had an infected beer that could have been prevented by with a throrough cleaning.   
Dave Barber
Orwigsburg, PA
AHA Member, BJCP National

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8810
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 07:47:43 AM »
1. Hot rinse
2. Hot PBW soak
3. Hot rinse
4. Sanitize
5. Purge and pressurize with CO2
Ron Price

Offline gsandel

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 338
  • www.onbeer.blogspot.com
    • View Profile
    • On Beer
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 08:33:30 AM »
Bluesman Wrote:
Quote
1. Hot rinse
2. Hot PBW soak
3. Hot rinse
4. Sanitize
5. Purge and pressurize with CO2

This looks like my regimen, except for the purge and pressurize.....Bluesman, do you then just fill it when you are bottling, or do you repeat the sanitation when kegging?  I like the idea of not having to re-sanitize, but my paranoia doesn't allow me to feel comfortable about it.  Perhaps I could just use my spray bottle of star san to coat everything when cracking it open to fill?  Or do you push beer into it using co2? 
You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8810
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 08:46:01 AM »
Bluesman Wrote:
Quote
1. Hot rinse
2. Hot PBW soak
3. Hot rinse
4. Sanitize
5. Purge and pressurize with CO2

This looks like my regimen, except for the purge and pressurize.....Bluesman, do you then just fill it when you are bottling, or do you repeat the sanitation when kegging?  I like the idea of not having to re-sanitize, but my paranoia doesn't allow me to feel comfortable about it.  Perhaps I could just use my spray bottle of star san to coat everything when cracking it open to fill?  Or do you push beer into it using co2?  

There's no need to sanitize again.

I keep about a pint of Starsan solution in the keg while in storage under CO2 pressure so that all I have to do is shake the keg and pump it through the dip tube upon kegging. I then siphon directly from the primary into the keg that is filled with the residual CO2 gas leftover from being pressurized.
Ron Price

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 14113
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 09:24:14 AM »
As soon as a keg is empty, I rinse with hot water and clean with PBW.  I pressurize it and put on a Post It with the date.  That way, when I go to use the keg, if it doesn't have pressure I know it's leaky.  About every 4th or 5th use I break it down for cleaning.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline gsandel

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 338
  • www.onbeer.blogspot.com
    • View Profile
    • On Beer
Re: keg cleaning
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2011, 02:08:43 PM »
All useful advice! Thanks!
You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...