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Old 10-20-2010, 03:24 AM   #1
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Default Contamination issue! Help!!! PLEASE!!!

OK so I've Googled this and asked the guy at Rebelbrewer here in Nashville and no one has ever heard of this. I have a 3 keg keezer with Perlick taps. The last 3 beers I've tapped have spoiled. Thats the only way to describe it. They taste like chlorine. Yes chlorine, like pool water. Even has a chlorine smell. One Amber, one Oktoberfest (that was a sad day) and one Porter. Out of the carboy, there's no problems. Taste and smell are right on. However after even two days, the chemical smell and taste starts. This last time, I bleached all of my equipment and keg components. Then Sani'd everything to get rid of the bleach. I've localized the problem to one particual keg so its not the air or hoses. What is it?!? Its just one keg and its driving me crazy! I would just ditch the keg, but what would cause this?!?

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Old 10-20-2010, 03:41 AM   #2
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I'd replace all the seals on the keg. If it's truly localized to that keg, that's probably where it's hiding And break down the connectors and give them a good inside out cleaning when you replace the seals in them.

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Old 10-20-2010, 03:45 AM   #3
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Strange. I would be inclined to think it is not actually the keg but more of a contamination problem in your hoses, lines when you tranfer to the keg. Possibly even a water source problem. If you really have narrowed it down to simply one keg that makes it hard to say. If you have enough kegs on hand try swaping out a part here or there and see if that stops it. Of course if there is a residual infection in that keg you could transfer it from beer to beer if your sanitation and cleaning isn't up to par. You could try kegging some water and taste it after a few days to see if it does the same thing.
In all reality, if it truely is the keg, you might want to set it aside and use it only as a starsan container........ that's if you run out of options.

Also, make sure you have changed all the o-rings and it's not a lingering flavor/smell from soda infused buna o-rings that you never changed out.

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Old 10-20-2010, 04:00 AM   #4
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you need to pull it all apart and soak it in star-san or iodophor

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Old 10-20-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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(Edit)Sorry missed where you said you isolated it to one keg.

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Old 10-20-2010, 03:06 PM   #6
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Have you already swapped lines to verify it is really isolated to one keg and not one keg and it's normal set of lines?

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Old 10-20-2010, 05:02 PM   #7
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You dont need to use bleach if you are using a no rinse sanitizer. No bleach = No chlorine taste\smell?

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Old 10-20-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
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Using bleach on stainless steel is not a good idea. Stainless is chemically sensitive to chlorine, and contact with bleach can result in staining and damage the surface of the SS keg, which can result in off-flavors.

I would recommend using PBW according to the label to clean kegs. Seems to always work wonders for me.

You might find some interesting information about chlorine bleach in this thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/can-bleach-used-stainless-steel-all-78558/

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:40 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the posts, I'll address what Ive tried b/c Im baffled. First: Im a HUGE sani user. I never use bleach, I have two buckets strictly dedicated to Star San and PBW. My buddy is an engineer so we're really big into eliminating suspect for contamination which is why Im baffled. We've eliminated carboys as its come from two different ones I've used. One plastic and one glass. I used a really diluted bleach solution only the one time, not a normal practice at all. It was a last resort. I think the only thing I can think of is keg lube. I lubed one new set of orings with an old tub of keg lube. Suspect?

Its all I've got, Im really contemplating using the keg for star san like Scut Monkey suggested. I cant waste another batch. Oh and I did try another line. No love. Both tasted like hot dog water mixed with chlorine. Ok it was just chlorine, but you get my point.

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Old 10-21-2010, 06:27 AM   #10
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Are you sure it's not your water that by coincidence was poor when you used only that keg. The chlorine flavor just makes me think of the water. It sounds like you have tracked the source very diligently though. Other than checking your water and changing out a few keg parts (lid, poppits, etc) here in there I'm not sure what else to suggest to try to track down the culprit.

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