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Old 01-13-2014, 03:14 PM   #11
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I've had an empty keg sit around for several days. It cleaned out okay. I'd at least rinse it out and fill full of water. But then you're halfway there to cleaning it!

Nothing worse than going to rack a keg to find it isn't clean yet

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Old 01-13-2014, 03:35 PM   #12
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At a minimum you should rinse it out with hot water.

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Old 01-13-2014, 03:39 PM   #13
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I built a quasi-automated carboy/corny washer. I leave the empty keg in the cooler until I am kegging another batch. If left alone, it really only has the same propensity for growing anything as it did while it had beer in it. I don't see the hurry. Of course, I don't wait more than a few weeks.

I run both the carboy and dirty keg on the washer to save a little on oxiclean/tsp90 and starsan. The washer has hoses with liquid and gas disconnects along with a 10' hose with a liquid post attached. The liquid post allows me to run cleaner and sanitizer through the dirty beer line. The starsan used in the final step is two gallons from a bucket mixed during the prior brewing session.

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Old 01-14-2014, 12:35 AM   #14
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I let them sit until I'm about to run out of empty kegs.

At that point, I bust out the bucket-based keg washer (featuring 1hp Harbor Freight dirty water pump), place it in the bath tub, fill with 3-3.5 gallons of 120F H20, and add a level "1" scoop of OxiClean.

Vent the keg, remove the lid, add a few ounces of water, swirl, dump the remaining yeast in the toilet. Hook up the QD's, place the keg on the washer, and plug in the pump.

Sounds like a long process, but it's about 3 minutes of setup time and 1 minute of work per keg.

Let the keg washer run for 10-15 minutes per keg. When done, disconnect the QD's and let the keg dry up-side-down on a towel. Top off water and OxiClean as needed between kegs. Hook up next keg and keep going.

After all kegs have been washed, I rinse the bucket keg washer, then run all the kegs through for a ~1 minute rinse. Let dry again, sanitize and seal up.

On Saturday, I washed 14 kegs in ~4 hours. 95% of the time was spent brewing (started before grain milling, finished during the boil) and playing video games.

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Old 01-14-2014, 12:42 AM   #15
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As long as you leave it pressurized it wont get gunky. Im not proud to say that I *sometimes* leave my empties dirty until needed again, but they are never any harder to clean than when they have freshly kicked.

I mean hell, the used kegs I buy look like they came from WW2, the post o rings are rotted out and they have a half inch of dust on them, and they still have liquid gunk in them! If you have opened it, clean it. If not, no worries.

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Old 01-14-2014, 03:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davekippen View Post
As long as you leave it pressurized it wont get gunky. Im not proud to say that I *sometimes* leave my empties dirty until needed again, but they are never any harder to clean than when they have freshly kicked.

I mean hell, the used kegs I buy look like they came from WW2, the post o rings are rotted out and they have a half inch of dust on them, and they still have liquid gunk in them! If you have opened it, clean it. If not, no worries.
But the beer lines.. can they wait?
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Old 01-14-2014, 04:15 AM   #17
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But the beer lines.. can they wait?
Yes, again, no rush until you depressurize them.
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