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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Lines and picnic taps moldy - is the beer OK?
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:40 AM   #1
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Default Lines and picnic taps moldy - is the beer OK?

I've been chasing some off, astringent flavor in my last 4 or 5 beers. All tasted fine prior to kegging and post carb and age time smelled fine, tasted good at first, but had this lingering bitter, closer to soap than anything else.

Last week I got a keg filled at a local brewpub and today I sampled it and it had the same off-flavor. Talking with a buddy said, what about your lines? A quick peek inside the picnic tap and that gasket was all black. *yuck* I can't believe I didn't check this before.

So, obviously, time for new lines and new taps; it seems you can replace that silicon gasket inside the tap and a new tap is about $4 anyhow.

My keg cleaning routine is:

- Pull from kegerator when floated
- Within a day or two, rinse with water
- Mix up 2 gallons of 120F water and 4 scoops of oxyclean (Don't have the free kind yet)
- Put keg on my DIY keg/carboy washer and recirc for 20 minutes
- Switch oxywater out for clean water at 120F and recirc for 20 minutes
- Fill with a couple quarts of starsan, swirl, flip and push out bev line jumper into another empty keg.
- Keg stays pressurized until the next fill.

I sometimes, but not always pull off the gas and bev posts and soak. Usually if the keg isn't sealing, I pull off and re-lube them.

So, the 25 gallon question is: What about the beer in the keg? Would it be infected? If I get all new lines, will that clean things up? I'm about to order, so I won't know myself for a few days.

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Old 06-24-2012, 01:51 AM   #2
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What are the actual lines? Are they Bevlex (3/16" ID) or something else?
Try using PBW instead of oxy...

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:23 AM   #3
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What are the actual lines? Are they Bevlex (3/16" ID) or something else?
Try using PBW instead of oxy...
Bevlex (3/16" ID)

I've got some BLC on order, and I do plan to switch to either PBW or Brew Clean (http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=314)

I found one of my taps that's still good, just switched the bevlex line for brand new line. Going to test out the beer I got from the brewpub first.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:29 AM   #4
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The other thought I had was maybe I wasn't getting all of the oxy off of the inside of the keg and diptube etc.

I have two test kegs that I just finished cleaning, and they smell a bit like the oxy clean fragrance. So I did a vinegar wash (1/2 cup in 2.5 gallon of water) and then a hot water rinse. Now they smell empty, clean.

Going to see about jumpering the brewpub beer into the now properly cleaned, rinsed kegs and test tomorrow with the new line and new keg.

Still wondering if having these crudy lines would get down into the keg somehow....

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Old 06-24-2012, 03:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ne0t0ky0 View Post
[...]Still wondering if having these crudy lines would get down into the keg somehow....
Save for some bizarre scenario, it seems highly unlikely that could happen...

Cheers!
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:05 AM   #6
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Save for some bizarre scenario, it seems highly unlikely that could happen...

Cheers!
That was my guess as well. Which leaves me with a few other thoughts

- Not rinsing keg well (left over oxyclean/star san residue)
- I don't have check valves and I don't suspect a backflush in the dual regulator, but maybe something is going on with the co2 tank/regulator/lines
- I've got a bad tongue and I'm freaking myself out.

I did swap out the 20# tank, dual regulator and co2 lines. Purged a keg and hooked it up to the new one.

I've got a beer in primary that I'll keg in another week, so I'm hoping to have everything else eliminated equipment/kegging-side. And this beer I brewed with RO water + base water profile. Hydro sample from last week had no *hint* of off/bitter, just good clean IPA beer flavor.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:15 AM   #7
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I seriously doubt it's StarSan residue. It could easily be oxy residue though.

I would get check valves for the regulator. You don't want to have something happen and have beer flow back up through the regulator.

I've been using PBW to clean my kegs and lines with, without any issue at all. I let the keg sit with PBW solution in it for a while (anywhere from a half hour to a couple of days), connect it up and push some through the beer lines at higher pressure (about 15psi). I then rinse the keg out and run clean water through the line and tap (same pressure). Once a few quarts have been pushed through the lines (keg is completely rinsed out first) I then run a couple of quarts of StarSan solution through it all. I shake the hell out of the keg with StarSan in it to completely coat the inside and let it sit for at least 10-20 minutes. Then it goes through the line and gets left in there until beer is ready to flow through. I simply push the StarSan out with the first partial pour and discard it (lose an ounce or two of beer).

IMO/IME, PBW rinses out faster, easier, and cleaner than oxy does. I used oxy early on in my brewing life, but since I've started using PBW, I won't get oxy for anything. I simply purchase the 8# containers of PBW so that it costs less per pound. I typically mix it up at about 1.5oz/gallon. Use hot [tap] water and it works even better.

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跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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