Author Topic: Keg Cleaning  (Read 1346 times)

Offline linenoiz

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Keg Cleaning
« on: September 07, 2011, 09:47:09 AM »
Last week I bought a couple of used kegs. Last night I finally got around to getting them ready for service. The first one I opened had about a half gallon of decade old Pepsi in the bottom of it; smelled very much badly. Dumped that out, rinsed it real a few times, and filled it with hot PBW to soak overnight. I can probably get this one cleaned and ready for service.

Then I get to the second keg. When I opened the lid on that one, I noticed a big trail of slimy mold growing down along the side. I gave that one the same treatment, each rinse flushing out big glops of gross slimy mold. It's currently soaking in PBW.

So the question is about the moldy keg. Should I even bother trying to save this one? How does one get rid of the mold? I'm assuming a (new) toilet scrubber would dislodge almost all of it, but certainly some spores will remain behind to flourish and destroy any beer I put in this thing. The only way I know of to deal with mold is with bleach, but it is my understanding that bleach and kegs are not a good match.

Offline denny

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2011, 09:50:22 AM »
I doubt you'll have any residual mold on SS.  Just be sure to clean it thoroughly, sanitize (this sounds like a StarSan job) and you should be good to go.
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Offline dhacker

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2011, 10:02:34 AM »
 . . and don't neglect the dip tube.
Just brew it...

Offline EHall

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 10:09:18 AM »
and change out all the orings...
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 10:10:13 AM »
Yes, soak everything in pbw.  Take it apart completely, including removing the prv, do the pbw soak, clean off any visible grunge, sanitize it, and you should be good to go.  But don't forget to replace all of the seals or your efforts may be wasted.

<edit> like ehall said. :)
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Offline roguenationpatriot

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2011, 10:29:54 AM »
You could always give it the bleach(1 cup to five gallons water) treatment, so long as you rinsed very throughly afterward.
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Offline wiley

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2011, 10:40:27 AM »
Yes, soak everything in pbw.  Take it apart completely, including removing the prv, do the pbw soak, clean off any visible grunge, sanitize it, and you should be good to go.  But don't forget to replace all of the seals or your efforts may be wasted.

<edit> like ehall said. :)

+1 for replacing all seals / gaskets -- make sure you don't forget the seals on the poppets!

Offline richardt

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2011, 10:54:26 AM »
The non-porous surfaces (i.e., stainless steel) can be cleaned and sanitized.
Replace the non-porous surfaces (e.g., o-rings and short plastic gas-in tube, if applicable).

If you haven't bought a dip tube brush yet, you should.
You can't clean the inside of the tube w/o mechanically scrubbing it.
If you don't have a dip tube brush on hand, try using sturdy fishing line.
Pass the line through the dip tube and make a loop.
Put some old nylon hose or a small piece of a rag through a loop in the fishing line and pull it through a few times.

Bleach + water is OK for 10-20 minutes in a SS carboy. 
I don't do the bleach treatment every time.  Just when I get a new (reconditioned) keg.

I would NOT leave bleach/water in overnight like you're doing with the PBW.  Just 10-20  minutes. 
I usually seal up the keg and flip it upside down so the entire upper 1/2 also gets a good soak (tubes, poppets, lid, etc.) for 10-20 minutes, as well.  This is followed by a good thorough rinse immediately afterwards and then the sanitization step (usu. starsan).

Offline linenoiz

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2011, 11:09:24 AM »
Whew. Thanks for the advice, I'll sleep a little easier now. I'm still probably going to sweat for a while when I eventually put beer in this, though. Glad I don't have to fabricate a flame thrower (although I was kind of looking forward to that...).

I didn't mention it originally, but I have replaced all the gaskets and o-rings and have scrubbed the dip tubes with a dip tube brush. I do need to get a gas-in dip tube as the moldy keg one was plastic and scratched and black and gross (the one in the other keg was SS, so I'll reuse that one), as well as some new poppets.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2011, 01:10:30 PM »
Check the hole for the gas diptube.  In some of the kegs I've gotten that had plastic gas diptubes, they are narrower than the stainless ones and there is a neck in the hole to make it a tight fit.  You can't get a standard sized stainless diptube through there without drilling it out.  They may make narrower stainless diptubes, I don't know.
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Offline dano14041

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 02:20:58 PM »
I haven't found a stainless dip tube that would fit as a replacement to the plastic, but I found the plastic ones here:
http://www.chicompany.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=376_1_3_79&products_id=1070
and here:
http://www.williamsbrewing.com/TAPERED-PLASTIC-GAS-DIP-TUBE-P2570.aspx

I ordered a couple extra just in case I broke one during cleaning or got another keg with one.
Tulsa, OK

Offline EHall

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Re: Keg Cleaning
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2011, 02:38:13 PM »
You can always drill it out to accomodate the SS diptube...
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