Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through January 20, 2006 * The cheapest best way to clean kegs < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
  ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page        

Author Message
 

Dave Aronoff
Member
Username: Daronoff

Post Number: 196
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 141.214.17.5
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 04:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Friends,

I just got a corny keg system. How do you clean the beer lines and the keg parts in an economical manner. I see that people sell all sorts of beer line cleaning "equipment" that all look like funny sprayers, etc. I was just going to soak everything in hot water + oxyclean and use a carboy brush for easy to reach surfaces. What do you do? All advice is appreciated.
Thanks,
Dave
 

ELK
Senior Member
Username: Elkski

Post Number: 1305
Registered: 01-2003
Posted From: 67.177.25.240
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 05:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Beer lines- I take the end fitting apart as in ball lock and picnic taps and soak the small parts in hot water/oxyclean. I drain the parts in a strainer then rinse well and flush with starsan and reassemble beer lines and store in ziplock in fridge till needed.
Kegs- I take all the poppets off and clean like beer line parts every time. I dont take the relief valve off unless the keg is new to me. on my used kegs I take apart and rinse out as much gunk as possible 2/3 times and then soak in 3-4" of oxyclean on the bottom for 10 mins. Then I get my hand in there barely and scrub with scotch bright pad (green) all vthe way up and rinse a repeat with oxyclean and then rinse and cover with starsan. I use a brush to get inside the dip tubes and have seen gunk in there. I will then dump out the starsan and reassemble and put a plastic shopping bag over the top to catch the dust. I just open dump out any starsan and use when needed. I sometimes will store extra starsan in a keg and use later or just dump out and use the keg. As a side note my keg parts have never had any gunk in them.

(Message edited by elkski on January 09, 2006)
 

Dave Aronoff
Member
Username: Daronoff

Post Number: 197
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 141.214.17.5
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 05:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nice ELK; thanks. Do you soak the big oval corny lid in oxyclean then star san too?
Thanks,
Dave
 

ELK
Senior Member
Username: Elkski

Post Number: 1306
Registered: 01-2003
Posted From: 67.177.25.240
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 06:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

yes I do and with the valve open and flush as best I can.
 

Dave Aronoff
Member
Username: Daronoff

Post Number: 199
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 141.214.17.5
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 06:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Danke.
Thanks,
Dave
 

4 Hounds Brewing Co.
Member
Username: 4houndsbc

Post Number: 116
Registered: 07-2002
Posted From: 12.18.36.40
Posted on Monday, January 09, 2006 - 09:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My cleaning procedure is much simpler.

I rinse the keg several times with warm water. I then just fill the keg with PBW and recirculate with a pump for several hours (while I am doing other things). During the recirculation, I either put the lid in the PBW as well (just dunked in the open top of the keg with the relief valve locked open) or I put it in a container with water and oxy clean. When all is done, I rinse well and run some water in each of the posts. Invert to drain and dry.

I very rarely have to brush anything but when the mood hits, I have a long handled brush that can reach the bottom of the keg.

Simple, effective, and if the cleaner cannot get to the spot with the PBW, neither can the next batch of beer.

Cheers!

Jim
 

Dave Aronoff
Member
Username: Daronoff

Post Number: 200
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 68.42.70.162
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 12:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks; but I ain't got no pump Jim. Also: is PBW better than Oxyclean? It sure costs more...
Dave
-----------
Ann Arbor,
Michigan
 

Connie
Advanced Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 634
Registered: 10-2000
Posted From: 24.98.80.132
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 12:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oxyclean works well for me.
 

Dave Aronoff
Member
Username: Daronoff

Post Number: 201
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 68.42.70.162
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 01:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cool.
Dave
-----------
Ann Arbor,
Michigan
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 4361
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.229.8
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 03:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe that overall PBW is a superior cleaner. However, I'm not sure this is of the utmost importance from a homebrew perspective. If used correctly, a number of cleaning agents will do a good job.
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1190
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.225.248.227
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 04:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Powdered dishwashing detergent works well too.
 

George
New Member
Username: Ggenovez

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 24.0.68.122
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 05:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Richard,

Looked all over the house from some Oxy. No luck. Don't know what PBW is.

I do have some powdered dishwashing detergent

Any special tricks? just let it sit? how much? ...

Thanks
 

Pascal Desbiens
New Member
Username: Aumaitrebrasseur

Post Number: 7
Registered: 01-2006
Posted From: 66.130.39.3
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 01:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Actually, PBW is the one that was the most efficient for me. I throw in 2 tablespoons of PBW with a gallon of hot water, put the lid on, and than shake the whole thing a couple of times (3 at least) on a 30 minutes period. Once this is done, i throw in a 5 PSI CO2 pressure and let everything goes out by the 'out' keg exit.

After that, i rince the keg 3 times with hot water (everytime, i let everything goes out again by the 'out' exit) and one more time with cold water. The keg is shinning!!

I than sterilize it with the same procedure with StarSan or Oxysan and here we go! When it's time to fill it up, i plug the conical's exit to the 'out' keg exit and open the both the conical and the keg's purge valves and let it fill!!

No contact with bacteria from this procedure!
 

George
New Member
Username: Ggenovez

Post Number: 11
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 24.0.68.122
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 01:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Pascal,

What is PBW?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 4367
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.229.8
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 01:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here you go, George: http://www.fivestarchemicals.com/tech/pbw.pdf

PBW was originally developed for Coors in the late 1980s. It is more effective but safer and more environmentally friendly than caustic cleaners that have been traditionally used in brewery and food processing applications. It's especially effective at removing organic solids with minimal contact time at lower temperatures.

However, in some ways PBW is overkill for many homebrew situations. Myself, I use automatic dishwasher detergent because it is so much less expensive and easily avialable in bulk. I may scrub slightly more than I would if I used PBW but I'm convinced my equipment is just as clean. I would use PBW (and have done so commercially) if it weren't so expensive here in Canada.
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1192
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.225.248.227
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 02:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George, regarding powdered dishwashing detergent. I use a heaping tablespoon with about 3 or 4 gallons of very hot water in a corny. I slosh it around, let it sit for 30 minutes on one end then the other. Rinse thoroughly after that. I'll use a brush if I need to.
 

Marty Michael
New Member
Username: Carwash

Post Number: 18
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 156.152.45.91
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 02:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cleaning corny kegs. I rinse the keg well with hot water. I thin take off the posts/lid/etc, remove poppets, and toss everything into the keg. I then fill the keg with hotwater and generic oxyclean 1 tablespoon per gallon(no blue crystals - I used sun oxygen cleaner) all the way to the top (till it runs out the top) and just let it sit for an hour or so. You may want to turn the dip tube upside down once to make sure you get both ends well. You could just let it sit overnight and it will remove everything, no scrubbing necessary for me. I then rinse everything well with hot water. This is how I clean my kegs between uses and it is very cheap.

Now, sanitize as you choose. personally, I have gotten away with doing nothing more and have never had a problem, but it is probably best to use a sanitizer afterwards, especially if you do not trust your rinse water (starsan or iodophor are both great sanitizers but iodophor stains plastic/clothes/etc).

Note- The generic oxyclean ( no blue crystals) contains sodium percarbonate (just like one step cleanser which is sold as a sanitizer but is not nearly as effective as starsan or iodophor) and also contains sodium carbonate (washing soda) which is why it requires rinsing while one-step does not. I read the label of my oxyclean-like cleaner and make sure that it states that it contains sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate.
 

Steve Jones
Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 155
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 199.190.8.12
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 09:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As for the expense of PBW, you can minimize it by ordering in bulk. Our club members get together every year or so and place a pallet order with North Country Malt. Our last order (September) we also bought a a 5 gallon bucket of PBW - 50 lbs - for $99. So I got 10 lbs PBW for $20, whereas at the LHBS it goes for 8.99 a pound. We also bought a case of 4 1-gallon jugs of star san for $19.50 a gallon - I had just paid $12.95 for a quart a few months earlier.

Imported malt at $0.60 per lb is another good reason for bulk purchasing.

I do support my LHBS whenever I can, but I don't have an unlimited amount of money I can spend on my hobby so I'm always looking for ways to stretch it whenever I can.
 

George
New Member
Username: Ggenovez

Post Number: 15
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 151.193.220.29
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 10:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Steve,

Where do you get your malt & PBW from? might be able to organize something with a local club as well
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1949
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.38
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 10:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

www.northcountrymalt.com

I'll also vote for oxyclean & get it at costco/sams for cheap.
 

4 Hounds Brewing Co.
Member
Username: 4houndsbc

Post Number: 117
Registered: 07-2002
Posted From: 12.18.36.40
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2006 - 10:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dave, I do think PBW works better than Oxyclean for kegs but you are correct it can be much more $$. I agree with others....if you buy in bulk with others, the PBW can be quite cheap.

I would not however hesitate to use Oxyclean if I ran out of PBW. I have found that with good old Detroilet water the Oxyclean tends to leave a white mineral-like deposit when left in contact for long periods of time.

Simple soaking will work if you do not have a pump. I am still not convinced you have to disassemble everything to get things clean.

I bought my pump for about $90. I believe you could modify many pumps for much cheaper than that. A dishwasher pump comes to mind or how about pumps from Harbor Freight.

One of the best things I ever did was invest in the pump for the keg cleaning station. I never have to worry about cleaning kegs. Just fill and turn on the pump.

Cheers!

Jim
 

Dave Bossie
Member
Username: Boss_brew

Post Number: 174
Registered: 05-2005
Posted From: 205.179.133.99
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 12:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I very rarely tear apart my kegs to clean them. I immediately rinse with hot water several times, and sanitize with Iodofor or Star San. I make sure to pressurize so that I can run some water/sanitizer through the dip tubes and relief valve. I then let it drain for awhile, and store with some co2 pressure. With a new keg, I tear it down and check it more carefully. No problems so far! I think total tear downs after each fill is overkill...YMMV
Dave
 

Steve Jones
Member
Username: Stevej

Post Number: 156
Registered: 08-2001
Posted From: 24.159.47.161
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 02:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I built a carboy/corny keg cleaner using an old dishwasher pump, an old bottling bucket, and some 2x4s.

The bucket has a hole in the center of the bottom with a makeshift bulkhead fitting. The bucket sets on the stand (which extends halfway up the side of the bucket for stability) and the pump is mounted beneath. The pump outlet goes thru a flex hose to the bulkhead fitting. Inside the bucket is a 1/4 ID x 16" copper tube sticking straight up, fastened with a compression fitting. The bottling bucket spigot feeds the pump inlet.

I put a couple gallons of hot PBW mixture in the bucket, turn a carboy upside down over the 1/4 ID tube in the bucket, and turn on the pump for a few minutes to a few hours. I can do several in succession with the same cleaner.

Then I can take off the 1/4 ID tubing and replace it with flex tubing connected to a liquid QD. I put a gas QD (no hose/tubing) on a corny keg, then connect the liquid QD and turn it upside down in the bucket. The pump pushes the cleaner up thru the down tube, against the bottom of the keg, and it cascades down to the top of the keg, where it drains out of the gas QD and pressure relief valve into the bucket and back to the pump.

Repeat with star san for sanitizing.

I stripped down the kegs when I bought them (6 or 7 years ago) and replace the gaskets. I've not torn them down since, and I think that the 'clean in place' setup gets every nook and cranny that contacts the beer.

(Message edited by stevej on January 11, 2006)
 

Dave Aronoff
Member
Username: Daronoff

Post Number: 202
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 67.42.251.33
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 04:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey all! These are great! This will really help when it comes time to clean.

Jim: did you say "Detroilet"? If you meant Detroit, that is hilarious!
Dave
-----------
Ann Arbor,
Michigan
 

4 Hounds Brewing Co.
Member
Username: 4houndsbc

Post Number: 118
Registered: 07-2002
Posted From: 12.18.36.40
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 03:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve, that is just what I was imagining. If I had more time, I would have built something similar. As it is, I just bought a Marsh pump and some minimal fittings to recirculate. I do have to "waste" 5 gallons of PBW each time with my setup but I make sure to clean several kegs in succession to minimize the loss and conserve our precious PBW resources.

I forgot to mention cheap dishwashing detergent. I used to use this quite a bit and found it worked very well. Get the cheapest stuff you can find without any scents added. Lemon scented is a bad thing when washing kegs with pourous o-rings.

Dave, yes.....there really is a Detroilet. It is on the banks of the beautiful Detroit River. Just north of Zug Island (the name is fitting) and south of Windsor (oddly enough this is true). As long as the city cannot get it's act together (corrupt city council and mayor), I and my money will affectionately call it Detroilet from the comfort of the suburbs. If they would only move the Joe all of my duckets would stay out of the city (Go Wings!).

Cheers!

Jim
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 4385
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.229.8
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 04:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just to correct 4HBC's geography, Detroit is actually NORTH of Windsor. As one who was born in Detroilet (it does have a certain ring to it) and now a Canadian resident, I can comment with some accuracy. I can also report another odd experience I had this summer in Leamington, Ontario, also south of and not far from Detroit. In this odd corner of Canada I found places where English was not spoken (of course this is not at all unusual in parts of Quebec) and I had to rely on my pidgin Spanish. For a moment I thought I was in the Rio Grande Valley.
 

4 Hounds Brewing Co.
Member
Username: 4houndsbc

Post Number: 119
Registered: 07-2002
Posted From: 12.18.36.40
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Darn lack of coffee. Yes of course Detroilet is north of Windsor. Sorry for the confusion. Usually my perceptions of north/south are modified after returning from the ballet in Windsor. :-)

Cheers!

Jim
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1950
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.38
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 04:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you are getting white residue from oxyclean, try using less powder and warmer water... I also do not disassemble kegs when cleaning.
 

4 Hounds Brewing Co.
Member
Username: 4houndsbc

Post Number: 120
Registered: 07-2002
Posted From: 12.18.36.40
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 05:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hophead, I have actually found that the hotter the water, the more film. I am using the oxyclean at far less than any suggested concentration for soaking (as listed on the back of the bucket).

Your mileage may vary. Please drive through.

Jim
 

Beertracker
Senior Member
Username: Beertracker

Post Number: 1011
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 207.155.34.42
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 08:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I prefer BLC for my beer lines & stainless fittings. Just my 2-cents!
CHEERS! Beertracker

"From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." ~ Saint Arnold of Metz (580-640) - Patron Saint of Brewers

 

tranquil_liza
Intermediate Member
Username: Tranquil_liza

Post Number: 280
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 69.245.106.189
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 12:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

first i rinse the gunk out. next, i hose in one gallon of super hot water...no cleaners. rubber glove on...i stick my skinny little arm in there and swish around with a wash cloth. dump and rinse upside down with a bottle wash attachment. let drip dry.

small parts...boil for 5 min and let rest.

iodophor before the next use.
 

Dave Aronoff
Member
Username: Daronoff

Post Number: 203
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 67.42.251.33
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 12:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cheers all!
Dave
-----------
Ann Arbor,
Michigan
 

Yam
Junior Member
Username: Yam

Post Number: 81
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 24.247.193.42
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 11:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have not had a problem with film from oxy with cool Toledo water. Interesting since it all comes from the same lake. I tend to fill 2/3 full soak for 20 min then invert the keg in a bucket and soak for another 20 min. I usually disassemble.

Jey
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1199
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.225.248.227
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 02:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, that's unbelievable. You are an expert at EVERYTHING! Even Detroilet. I've never heard of the place and I lived in MI and used to go to Windsor all the time.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 4393
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.229.8
Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2006 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Richard, Leamington is the self-proclaimed "tomato capital of Canada" and about 35 miles southeast of Detroit. There is a huge Heinz ketchup plant there as well as other processors. As such, it has attracted many Hispanics, some of whom have settled permanently. I was there last summer to take the ferry to Pelee Island (another interesting place, by the way). As I said, for a moment I thought I was in the Rio Grande Valley. The food certainly beat the lame excuse for Tex-Mex cuisine where I currently live. I had my choice of about 10 different Mexican beers.

As for my knowledge of "Detroilet," I was born there and spent most of my first 25 years in Michigan. Downtown Detroit (not that I'm there often) is three hours and change by car from where I am living now.
 

Sean Richens
Intermediate Member
Username: Sean

Post Number: 259
Registered: 04-2001
Posted From: 142.161.98.196
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 02:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Note: Don't use green Scotchbrite on stainless, it's too harsh. Only use white or silver. Where I work we keep the green pads locked in the machine shop for polishing welds, etc.
 

Craig Henry
Intermediate Member
Username: Sail

Post Number: 303
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 204.22.24.206
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 08:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

4hounds, Do you have a few snapshots of your configuration. Just curious to see. Yours sounds like a fairly simple solution in comparison. I have been thinking about going crazy with the quick-connects.

I would rather spend time drinking than doing major disassembly. Hell, if you brew it strong enough, the alcohol kills most infections anyway, doesn't it - just kidding....

Craig - East Lansing (Northwest of Detroilet)