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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Draft system maintenance questions!
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:13 PM   #1
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Default Draft system maintenance questions!

To skip right to my questions, just scroll down for the bold.

About two years ago, I put together a draft system with a single tap for my house. Using quick disconnects, I put it together so I can use either commercial sankey kegs or ball style home brew kegs.

So far, I've only used two commercial sankey kegs with my system. Shortly after I floated my first keg, I cleaned out the system. After the last keg though, I was bad, and let the keg sit in the beer fridge hooked up to the draft system for about 8 months.

I'm gearing up for the prime indoor drinking season now (BCS Championship Game, New Years, and the Super Bowl), and I wanted to get my draft system in shape before I put a new keg on it. So, I purchased 4oz of Beer Line Cleaner and set to work. I mixed the BLC in with 8 quarts of water in my ball lock keg and flushed it through the lines and tap, and used some of it with a new toothbrush to clean the gunk off the sankey coupler, as well as poured some through the quick disconnect lines I've got attached to that.

After that, I ran 5 gallons of StarSan from my home brew keg through the lines and tap, and also through the sankey coupler and those quick disconnect lines attached to it.

The lines appear very clear, and there is no gunk coming from the tap. After flushing the system with StarSan, should I have flushed the lines with water? Was what I did sufficient enough to clean up my draft system?

When I put together my draft system 2 years ago, I scavenged parts from a kegorator system my uncle had given me that was in rough shape. I was able to get two 5lb CO2 bottles from the system, and two years ago, the local AirGas places took them for exchange for two new filled cyclinders. I've only used one of the bottles so I've got the second 10lb cylinder in a closet somewhere.

Yesterday, when I was cleaning my draft system out, I was still using the first bottle of CO2 to push the cleaner through the lines. So to date, that one 5lb cyclinder has pushed two 7.5 gallon kegs, and about four 5 gal kegs of cleaner through the lines. How long should a 5lb cylinder of CO2 last? Should i switch out cylinders now or wait until the one I've been using runs out?
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
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As far as the cylinders go, you can weigh it to see how much CO2 is left. There is a tare weight on the bottle that indicates the weight of the cylinder without CO2 and regulator attached.

I usually let mine run out before I fill it. It will happen quickly - there's no lag time. You have gas and then you don't.

For comparison - I have 2 5-lb cynliders and a 2-tap and a 3-tap keezer. I generally fill up both bottle once a year. I brew 1-2 times per month and force carb all my beers. I usually do 1-2 commerical kegs per year as well. I also use the CO2 for pushing star-san and Oxyclean when I clean my kegs and to flush O2 from my kegs when I keg or bottle.

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Old 12-26-2013, 10:18 PM   #3
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Test your back up cylinder to make sure you're covered/it's still full. Otherwise it sounds like you're in good shape.

If you have star San sitting in the lines, I'd drain them and let them air dry - the acid will eat your lines, and you don't want that. If you can't drain an dry then I'd rinse and pack with clean water, then drain that and do a quick star San flush before setting up for the next keg.

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Old 12-27-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys.

My lines aren't filled with StarSan, its just the residual stuff left in the lines after it started blowing foam out. Do you think it'll be ok for a week? In a week, I can flush a couple cups of water through the system and put the keg on for the BCS game.

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