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Old 10-30-2012, 01:48 AM   #1
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Default Neccessary to dismantle/sanitize kegs?

Hi, I'm new to kegging and wondering if you really need to take off the posts and ensure everything is sanitized.

I kegged a few times in 2011, gave up brewing, and left a little beer in each keg. Now the posts are totally impossible to remove. I will have access to proper deep sockets/impact wrenches in a month, but want to keg tomorrow as is.

I filled both kegs with hot PBW and ran thru the lines and perlick faucet, which appears to clean both. Tastes clean after rinsing....so no prob?

I normally use the kegs at fridge temps only and don't let them sit more than a month, so I am trying to talk myself into forgoing sanitizing for this brew,

Thanks for any advice!!

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Old 10-30-2012, 11:29 AM   #2
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I breakdown and clean/sanitize all my kegs before I refill them. It's amazing the gunk you find. Now, I know some will sorta rinse/sanitize their kegs before refilling. But, if the keg has been sitting with beer in it for 2 years? Dude.... Would you make spaghetti sauce in a crock pot and leave it dirty on the counter for 2 years and then just rinse it off to reuse? I use simple open box wrenches to take off the posts, no need to buy a whole socket set. Sometimes, when I first get the kegs (which still have soda syrup in them from years ago, sound familiar?), I have to tap the wrench with a hammer to break it loose. Your spending all this time and money to make a brew, why jeopardize it?

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Old 10-30-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
I breakdown and clean/sanitize all my kegs before I refill them. It's amazing the gunk you find. Now, I know some will sorta rinse/sanitize their kegs before refilling. But, if the keg has been sitting with beer in it for 2 years? Dude.... Would you make spaghetti sauce in a crock pot and leave it dirty on the counter for 2 years and then just rinse it off to reuse? I use simple open box wrenches to take off the posts, no need to buy a whole socket set. Sometimes, when I first get the kegs (which still have soda syrup in them from years ago, sound familiar?), I have to tap the wrench with a hammer to break it loose. Your spending all this time and money to make a brew, why jeopardize it?
Agree 100% with Hammy, I also clean them every time.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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Once you take the posts, and hold the long diptube up to the light and see all the crap in there, you'll want to do it every time! Plus, it takes a total of 10 minutes.

There are some brewers I know who only break down their kegs every second or third time, and just refill them when empty with a quick rinse. I think they are happy with that, so it really depends on the person.

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Old 10-30-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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I have 1 wrench I use to take down my kegs. I always take them down for cleaning. I fill the keg with oxyclean. Let it sit a hour or so and then run the oxyclean though the lines to flush them. Then I take apart the kegs and taps and soak them in oxyclean for a while. I rinse everything well and then add starsan to the keg and run that though the lines to rinse them. I leave the starsan in the lines until it's time to serve beer.

I keep one keg for cleaning and use it when I need to clean the tap and lines when switching kegs. I just fill it with oxyclean, push it though the lines, clean the taps, then push starsan.

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Old 10-30-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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I clean them each time I use them. I do not completely break them down each time though. I rise completely, fill with water + oxyclean then let sit for an hour or two. Scrub with a brush inside, pump the solution through the line to clean the dip tube + line, then rinse. I pump clean water through after a rinse to rinse the tube and beer line. Sanitize then fill.

To not waste c02 I put a gas fitting on a line for an air compressor and push the fluid with with air.

Every 2nd or third use break break them down to check the dip tube for gack and check the O rings.

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Old 10-30-2012, 07:33 PM   #7
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I have found that you can actually use a picnic tap to creat a siphon and open the pressure relief valve to rinse through the dip tube. no gas or compressed air needed.

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Old 10-30-2012, 08:01 PM   #8
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I'm one of those that Yooper alluded to who clean out the keg every few batches. This is usually because I make a few batches in a row. I also use Oxyclean, and boiling water afterwards.

If I'm doing a quick cleaning, I just use hot water and blow through with CO2. I'm lucky to have a 20# tank and my refilling station is under a quarter mile down the street.

OP... if it's been years, you'll want to clean it out.

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Old 10-30-2012, 08:11 PM   #9
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I usually break down everything when I clean it. I started doing this because as others said a lotta gunk can be left over in the keg and sometimes random hop particles can get stuck in the poppet springs. I usually put everything back together and run sanitizer through the lines to sanitize and haven't had a problem.

You couls just run percarb through and sanitizer and call it good but you might get an infection. However, if you are going to be drinking the beer quickly and it's refridgerated the whole time it probably won't be noticable.

Just a separate note that you might wanna change some of those O-rings if they have been sitting around for that long.

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Old 10-31-2012, 01:10 AM   #10
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Thanks for the advice, I am surprised how many brewers dissemble and sanitize their kegs! I will do that for sure now I know better.

I had thought I was safe bc it was going to be in the keg for a short time only, at 4 degrees. Maybe part of the reason the posts are so stuck in the first place was that I did not dissemble for the last couple of brews last year, then get a little dried beer to glue them together...

Thanks for the tips! Seems like a lot of brewers use OxiClean, here in BC its not really available as the stuff called that could be anything.

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