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Old 12-31-2012, 01:42 PM   #1
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Default Corny Kegging off flavor

I have several corny pin-lock soda kegs that I used for a few years, and I just couldn't get the off-flavors out. So I switched back to bottling.
My bottles always turn out great! As good or better than commercial beer.

Before I toss the kegs out, I'd like to get some ideas from the forum.
I really love the ease of kegging.

Off flavor is hard to explain. I don't know, rancid soda? musty?
I soaked the kegs in oxyclean and rinsed well.
I replaced all rubber parts, rings, poppets
I normally sanitized with iodophor.
I always force carbonated with CO2.
CO2 is from a welding place

Ideas:
I will try naturally carbonating instead of force carbonating.
Do I need a carbon filter on the CO2?
Should I buy my CO2 from aomewhere else? Is there a such thing as food grade CO2?
Should I replace the vinyl faucet hose?

Thanks

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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I had a similar issue and found my problem was with my beer line. As a matter of practice I change my line every time I tap a new keg. It's cheap and gives me peace of mind. I use 10' of 3/16' ID line from home depot. I have tried others and this one seems to be the one that works for me. Not saying this will solve your problem, but just something to consider (which it seems that you have done). Good luck.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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Any lingering smells in the kegs when empty? Tried running water through it to see if the flavor follows?

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLWIII
I had a similar issue and found my problem was with my beer line. As a matter of practice I change my line every time I tap a new keg. It's cheap and gives me peace of mind. I use 10' of 3/16' ID line from home depot. I have tried others and this one seems to be the one that works for me. Not saying this will solve your problem, but just something to consider (which it seems that you have done). Good luck.
You change your line with every new keg?! With 5 taps, that'd en up costing me a lot of dough. I use beer line cleaner... but I am also guilty of just switching from an empty to a full keg without cleaning- no off flavors, no problems

If you're getting soda flavors, that sounds like it has to do with the keg. Where is your corny source?
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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The only thing never mentioned was whether the dip tubes were scrubbed clean. I've read of similar persistent flavor experiences that were resolved by thoroughly cleaning the dip tubes.

As for replacing beer line with every kicked keg, well, whatever floats your boat, but cleaning them might suffice - that seems to work for everyone else.

Otoh, perhaps the vinyl flavor provided by cheap Home Depot tubing diminishes by the time a keg is emptied, requiring replacement...

Cheers!

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Old 12-31-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
You change your line with every new keg?! With 5 taps, that'd en up costing me a lot of dough. I use beer line cleaner... but I am also guilty of just switching from an empty to a full keg without cleaning- no off flavors, no problems

If you're getting soda flavors, that sounds like it has to do with the keg. Where is your corny source?
Yep, every keg, but I also usually only have two or three in rotation at any given time and only make about 5 - 8 kegs per year. So, that costs me $10 - $16/year. Again, just a peace of mind for me since I know it works for me. Now, if I get to brewing on a larger scale I'm sure my tune will change.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLWIII

Yep, every keg, but I also usually only have two or three in rotation at any given time and only make about 5 - 8 kegs per year. So, that costs me $10 - $16/year. Again, just a peace of mind for me since I know it works for me. Now, if I get to brewing on a larger scale I'm sure my tune will change.
I see. I swap out 4-5 kegs per month... 45-60 a year or so
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:38 PM   #8
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Keg Source:
They were sourced from a co-worker and they were caked with nasty soda that had to be cleaned, but hey, it's stainless steel, right?

When empty there is no smell, but that's a good idea to put some clean water in it and see if it tastes good after sitting for a day or so.

Dip Tube:
I soaked that in Oxy with the keg, and it was a long time ago I think I ran a test tube brush with oxy clean through it. I will do it (again?) for this test batch.

lines:
I will replace the faucet line also.

Maybe also i should sample some beer with a thief or dipper to see if the flavor is there after carbonating, but before i hook up CO2 & faucet.

Thanks for the great feedback!

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Old 12-31-2012, 06:44 PM   #9
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One of the reasons I went back to bottling is because I ran into a homebrew shop owner ( or employee) who said "kegged beer will just never taste as good as bottled beer."

Any thoughts on that?

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Old 12-31-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
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Keg beer usually is known for tasting better than bottle. Think about it. There is 0 UV absorption through stainless where even brown bottles let some through. Temperature swings are not as drastic. Usually kegs (commercial) are filled/transported/etc cold so that there is less chance of degredation. As for Homebrew kegs, I believe I am repeating correctly that bulk aging together as a larger volume means for a more sonsistant and usually tastier end product. The biggest complaint about kegging is the up front cost of your system and the hassles of running out of gas/leaks or the soul wrenching depression when you pour one of your favorite brews and get a mug of foam <sniffle>

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