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Old 06-18-2010, 06:57 AM   #1
mczspub
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Default Very simple commercial keg cleaner

This is a stupid do it yourself for bars and large home bars. I just thought i would share this with everyone. This application can also be used for homebrewing. I own a bar with 28 taps and my friend who cleans taps on the side cleans my taps every week and a half for $100. He has a $600 machine with all the things that connect all the lines in my walk in. Recently I wanted to buy my own but 600 seems a lot. So looking through all the options i see the cleaners that use the pressure of your own system to clean your lines. http://www.kegworks.com/product.php?productid=20863&cat=395&page=1

So what i did was this ----> Disassembled 2 kegs and filled one with my cleaner and water up to the top and filled the other one with warm water. Now when i need to clean a line i hook up that keg run it for a couple of minutes and then i tap the other one with water. You can also use a corny keg for this if you have extras! (sounds like a waste of a corny if you only have a kegorator or a keezer but the larger size works for me and i only had to sacfrice 2 $30 deposits for it.)

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Old 06-18-2010, 09:12 AM   #2
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Hey, good idea. I actually had this idea a while back and decided to contact the manufacturer of BLC to ask what they thought. Basically, there are two main problems.

1) BLC is an alkaline solution. Using CO2 to push it and leaving it under pressure will, over time, cause carbonic acid to form in the solution, thus negating the pH.

2) Over time, the BLC will pit the stainless and basically ruin the keg.

This two things can be overcome by 1) using compressed air to push the solution and 2) not caring about the eventual demise of the keg.

In case you're interested, here's his exact response:

Quote:
Hi Mr. Simmering,
Thank you for submitting your question about our product B*L*C®.
I would not recommend a prolonged storage situation with B*L*C® in a keg for the following reasons.
1. B*L*C® is an alkaline liquid. Even in use concentrations the pH of the solution is going to be highly alkaline ... depending on how much you add to the water in the keg. If you are using a standard beer keg the metal of the keg is going to be in constant contact with the alkaline solution. Over time ... over repeated storage cycles ... you will start to cause corrosion to the metal surface. Now, you won't eat a hole in the keg overnight, but with time that surface will get pitted and any future use of that keg for other functions might get limited. That pitted surface will be harder to clean at some future date if you were to put beer in it.
2. If you use CO2 to push the cleaner thru your system you are potentially going to reduce the cleaning power IF you keep constant CO2 pressure on the keg. Chemically CO2 will go into the water and form carbonic acid H2CO3. This mild acid gives the sharp taste to beer that has been over carbonated in a keg due to too high a CO2 pressure. Constantly pushing CO2 into a keg containing an alkaline cleaner has an accelerated action of the mild carbonic acid being immediately neutralized by the alkaline OH in the cleaner. This chemically pulls more and more CO2 into the solution. Over time the pH of the alkaline cleaner will start to drop due to the mild acid neutralization. Now, the initial alkalinity of the cleaner is so high that this is not a factor in cleaning, BUT if this storage under CO2 goes on for weeks or months? the loss of alkalinity might result in reduced cleaning action.
3. Your question did not mention the conditions under which you are storing this keg. There is always the overriding concern of safety. A keg of liquid that is highly alkaline is potentially dangerous if someone gets into it. It might get tapped as a keg of beer. A child might have access to the keg and release the cleaner causing chemical burns to skin and eyes ... especially if the keg is under pressure.
Summary ... our chemical cleaners for beverage systems are in use every day by both professional technicians cleaning commercial systems and private individuals cleaning home equipment. Most make up a cleaning solution that will be used up within a matter of minutes or maybe a few hours. The cost of a cleaning application is so economical that there is not much financial motivation to either save the solution or store it for future use. The convenience of mixing a liquid cleaner into water is such a quick process that the time saving of mixing a larger quantity for future use is fairly inconsequential.
I would be happy to pursue this further with you if you have any question or comments.
Regards,
Dr. Landman
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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yea I thought about that and it just so happens that i use gmix to push my beer. Its sopposed to be a lot better then co2 and i actually use it for my homebrewing as well and it works good. What i have been doin is filling the keg with beer line cleaning solution and water and clean as many lines as i can with the keg then when the keg is empty i rinse it out and wait till the following week where i do it again. so the keg shouldnt be in that bad of shape over time.

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Old 06-18-2010, 08:52 PM   #4
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This one is not much more. Seems like it would be a good solution.

http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-beer/line-cleaning-cid-135.html

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Old 06-18-2010, 08:59 PM   #5
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As long as all your taps are regular American sankey (Sankey-D) that should work and pushing with beer gas (Guinnes-mix/g-mix) would keep much co2 out of the solution (g-mix is still something like 25% co2) even if you left it in the keg for awhile. If you ever needed to you could probably buy that plastic cleaning can from foxx equipment cheaper (they are wholesale only) you can request a paper copy of their catalog or download a PDF (the PDF has no prices). It looks like their version (page 101) has a metal connection head rather than plastic like the one kegworks sells.

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Old 06-18-2010, 10:36 PM   #6
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I wouldn't think the CO2 would really hurt anything. You're not carbonating the cleaner, you're pushing it out with CO2.

When you're done cleaning, just let the gas out, or top it off with cleaner again to push the gas out!

I got nothing for the corrosion though.

Plasti-dip line the keg?

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Put some duct tape over the gauge - Or better yet - Replace the high pressure gauge with a plug - High pressure gauges are useless!
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