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Old 08-26-2012, 11:21 PM   #1
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Default Starsan turned cloudy in keg

I have had a problem with beer going bad after a week or two in the keg. I think my problem was inadequate cleaning and rinsing of Oxyclean. I have switched to PBW and I am slowly getting away from this problem. The rinsing is easier and my equipment is becoming squeaky clean again.

The last batch in question was 10g and split into 2 corny kegs. One keg turned bad and the stayed very good. I marked the bad keg and cleaned them both with the same PBW method. I rinsed well and filled them both with 5g of Starsan of the proper concentration. They sat this way for 2-3 weeks.

Today, I was preparing to rack a fresh 10g batch to these kegs, and for no real reason, I racked the Starsan to white plastic buckets. GUESS WHAT? The "bad" keg Starsan was cloudy and the good keg was clear. Both had pH of 2.5 so the Starsan was still good.

I think have heard that hard water (minerals) can cause Starsan to get cloudy. I am on city water which is relatively low in mineral content. My guess is that there was some mineral deposit, maybe beerstone or leftover cleaner residue, that turned the Starsan cloudy.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Side Note: I did not use the "bad" keg. It is outside soaking in PBW again. I racked to a different "good" keg.

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Old 08-27-2012, 02:13 AM   #2
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Maybe try a hot caustic rinse? Use something stronger than pbw like sodium
hydroxide. It should dissolve anything organic.

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:08 AM   #3
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To ensure I get complete coverage from my cleaners and sanitizers in my kegs, I will fill them most of the way, let them set, then stick a 5 gallon over the top, and flip it over so the bucket contains the inverted keg.

This ensures that all interior surfaces make contact with the cleaning and sanitizing agents.

When I am done, I simply pull the keg out and the liquid stays in the bucket.

It is a little tricky to make the flip, but once you do it a couple times it becomes second nature.

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:22 AM   #4
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Not sure if this relates, but I sometimes use oxyclean to clean kegs and carboys, and I've found if u let them sit for longer than a few hours, or days in my case, crystals or sediment will cling to the walls and not rinse off. I almost trashed my carboys until someone said try distilled vinegar mixed with water- and it did the trick for the glass carboy, as well as the keg! Try using 2 cups of vinegar and half gallon of water and shake it around then let it sit for 30 min. Shake and rinse, should do the trick!

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Old 08-27-2012, 03:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shataway View Post
I have had a problem with beer going bad after a week or two in the keg. I think my problem was inadequate cleaning and rinsing of Oxyclean. I have switched to PBW and I am slowly getting away from this problem.

I'm also becoming less of a fan of oxyclean even with the lower price tag.
PBW works better. I still use some Oxyclean but do a deep cleaning residue strip with PBW or vinegar every 2-3 cleanings.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:13 PM   #6
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Vinegar sounds interesting. The downside is that I would need to clean again to remove the vinegar.

I am thinking I need something acidic to remove the minerals. But if I can't see or feel the minerals, how do I know they have been removed? Is sqeaky clean good enough?

I also have saniclean and clr that i could use. Any thoughts on these with time and concentration?

Thanks

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Old 08-27-2012, 02:19 PM   #7
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My star san gets cloudy very shortly after adding my water to it. Our water is a touch on the hard side and it reacts with it and causes it to get cloudy. I've heard from the Five Star folk that it's not uncommon to have happen and that as long as the pH is within range it's not a big deal.

As for the poster who mentioned vinegar, I've used distilled white vinegar soaks to clean off some real stuck on gunk before. I don't use it very often because you have to rinse the heck out of it to get that vinegar smell out even when you dilute it. Though that's how I clean my coffee maker regularly. The acidity of vinegar is good stuff.

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Old 08-28-2012, 12:19 AM   #8
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After a 24 hr soak in PBW, I got out the keg cleaner drill attachment and gave the inside a good scrubbing. After thoroughly rinsing, I would not call it squeaky clean. I mixed up some double strength saniclean solution, shook it around, and let it soak for an hour. I drained it without rinsing and inverted the keg to dry. After letting it air dry for a bit, I looked inside and found sections of shiny metal and places where a very fine white powder had accumulated. The white powder would wipe off so I just gave the keg two more rinses and it is now inverted to dry again.

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Old 08-28-2012, 12:09 PM   #9
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After it was mostly dry, I did not find any white powder and the surface was very shiny. I will check tonight if the surface changes which may be due to the stainless repassivating.

I wish I had a dry empty keg to compare to.

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Old 08-29-2012, 12:02 AM   #10
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Still shiny. In goes another 5g of starsan. It will probably be another month before I need to use this keg. Thanks for the hrlp everyone!

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