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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Cleaning corny kegs (specifically yeast-related)
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:42 PM   #1
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Default Cleaning corny kegs (specifically yeast-related)

Search didn't help much, so I'll ask here:

I came across a large # of corny kegs for a good rate, and the previous owner stored a lot of Belgians, gruits, lambics, etc. in these cornys, and he warned me that they have a ton of yeastie beasties in them that I'll have to clean before reusing. His quote was "Pedio's, brett's, rosarea, these have dangerous amounts of yeast in them, careful dude."

Do I need to do anything past the standard 30 minute Oxyclean/PBW + 1 hour StarSan regimen? Is there anything that is going to make it through this?

Do I need to take any extra care to the poppets or dip tube? Or just clean and san as usual?

FWIW, I already did my PBW wash, and inside looks crystal clean + clear. It did a great job on the crud caked to the sides.

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Old 12-26-2007, 09:45 PM   #2
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Since he intentionally stored such a large amount of bacteria in those kegs, I'd be a little more thorough. Discard all of the o-rings/seals/poppets, and boil the dip tubes and fittings. I'd be tempted to dump some boiling water into the kegs themselves, as well. Then sanitize as usual.

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Old 12-26-2007, 10:07 PM   #3
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hmm, this sounds like one of the times where bleach might come in handy. Strong bleach solution, rinsed very well is probably what I would do.

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Old 12-26-2007, 10:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimmia
hmm, this sounds like one of the times where bleach might come in handy. Strong bleach solution, rinsed very well is probably what I would do.
I actually do not own bleach. I'm somewhat sensitive to it, so it's inconvenient for routine cleaning (house, not brewery).... so it winds up that I never use it, and it just sits around, so I quit buying it a long time ago.
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:11 PM   #5
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Now that I think about it a bit more, it may not have been that good of an idea, anyway, a strong bleach solution would probably be pretty corrosive to the keg itself.

Edit: http://brewingtechniques.com/library...inestable.html
Gives some basic info, and based on that, I'm not sure I would trust boiling water only.

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Old 12-26-2007, 11:03 PM   #6
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Just got back from Kirk's - I got all 3 o-rings for each keg, but did not get poppets - he suggested that I just sanitize the poppets, and try the o-rings, as the poppets are much harder to match up on that many used kegs.

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Old 12-26-2007, 11:36 PM   #7
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Hopefully you got all five O rings for each keg.

CLIFFS: clean with OxyClean, disinfect with whatever.

For a known contaminated corny, the first thing I would do is take it apart.

Second, fill it about 2/3 with steaming hot water with one scoop unscented oxy Clean. Let it soak ten minutes or so and abuse a carboy brush.

Then invert into a retired ale pale and soak some more.

After the keg is out of the pail, drop the small bits in to soak.

Next, personally, I would put the kegs back together and push hot water and OxyClean through both poppets in both directions keg to keg with CO2.

Recall you can't disinfect a poppet until after it is mechanically clean.

After the oxyclean I would then open the keg lids, rinse, then re-seal and push more rinse water through the poppets with more CO2.

Finally push in your disinfectant, again both ways throught both posts.

Once you get a batch of beer through a keg uncontamintated, then I would settle down a little bit about the poppets, but first time through that is the hardest place to clean.

You might PM land_honey, I think I read somewhere he spends money to buy some of those bacteria...

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Old 12-27-2007, 12:23 AM   #8
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Er, yes. Five total. Three styles, of which there are 2 of two varieties. I actually just dumped a bunch of each small one in my bag, so I could do at least 3 kegs w/o restocking. I think I'm going to put in a big McMaster order.

For now, I've replaced tube and post o-ring on both in/out on 2 kegs. I didn't replace the lid o-ring yet, I just soaked the ones I had in StarSan for about 20 minutes. I haven't decided if I want to replace the lid ones yet because they looked almost brand new as if he had just replaced both pretty recently. (The post rings and dip rings were both worn to hell though.) I bought spare lid rings, though, and might replace them yet.

I thought about replacing just one (for the Hobgoblin clone I have in secondary right now, and CARE if it comes out OK) and leaving the other one (for the random Honey Wheat that I was just messing around with and don't care about final results).

Unfortunately, I can't push either way yet, I can't buy my CO2 bottle till next week's paycheck... These are just for post-secondary storage at the moment.

Off topic, oddly, the first I pulled apart was 7/8" 6-point and 7/8" 12-point, and the other keg was both 11/16" 6-point. I thought they were closer to standardized than that. Oh well

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Old 12-27-2007, 04:17 AM   #9
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hmmm, sounds like the one keg has two gas disconnects on it. technically it'd work if you use a gas QD for the beer line.

as for poppets, I found Williams Brewing's catalog to be very helpful in telling you what poppet your keg should be using if its a pin lock. pretty sure all actual Cornelius kegs are ball lock and standardized poppet. its the clones and pin locks by Firestone that had different 'generations'.

FWIW, Williams also carries 'refurb' lid o-rings that are supposedly a little fatter and a little softer which helps older kegs get a good lid seal. A few of the kegs I got at Kirk's only like to seal the lid a certain way, under extra psi. so I plan to snag a few of those o-rings on my next order.

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