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Old 04-25-2013, 07:42 PM   #1
KingPin
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Default First time Kegging - HELP

Okay I've been lurking and posting here and there for a while but I was wondering If I could get some help and feedback on kegging up my first batch of soda.

I have been naturally carbing rootbeer for a while but SWMBO is not keen on the idea and I've never been able to get my flavors quite right; so enter my corny keg.

I'm wondering if someone would be willing to guide me step by step as to what I'd need to get started. I'm really not sure how to tell what condition my cola Co. kegs are in (seals, tubes, etc) and then what parts and pieces i'd need to clean, carb, and serve.

I know its a lot to ask so TIA.

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:57 PM   #2
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Start by thoroughly cleaning your corny keg(s). Remove the posts which will give you access to the dip tubes inside. Clean everything very well. I do a cleaning solution of oxyclean followed by a good rinse, followed by sanitizing in starsan. All parts and o-rings. If you are using pin lock kegs then you will need a special socket with notches in it so it can slip over the pins.

Inspect all orings. If you see cracking in any then it needs to be replaced. If a ring is hard and/or brittle then it needs to be replaced. If a ring has any tears in it then it should be replaced. You'll have orings in the following places: around post, on each diptube, and large one around lid.

Once you have your corny keg put back together with good orings it's time to see if it holds pressure. With everything sealed up, attach co2 at about 20-30psi until it stops pushing gas. Remove co2 and listen for any obviously leaks. If you don't sense any leaks then spray post and lid with starsan or soap solution and look for bubbling. If you don't hear any leaks and see any bubbling then you've likely got a good, sealed keg. You may want to leave the keg that way for several days or longer just to see if the gas eventually escapes.

The usual suspects are good cleaning agents: oxyclean, beer line cleaner, pbw, etc.
The usual suspect is good for sanitizing: starsan
You may want some keg lube (food grade lubricant) for your orings to help with good sealing.

Depending on the style of corny keg you have will determine the type of disconnect you need for your keg (ball lock or pin lock). A co2 tank with co2 regulator and some gas line.

Again, depending on your corny will determine the type of disconnect for serving. Beer/liquid line and some kind of faucet for serving (picnic/cobra).

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Old 04-26-2013, 02:17 AM   #3
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St. Pug.....That is excellent information. I have a small co2 tank that I use for carbbing up the odd 2 litre bottle of soda already. I am currently looking for oxyclean and starsan and hopefully a local source for o-rings and such for the corny keg.

I'm just not sure where to start but I think I may give it a whirl. I found some posts that talk about how much beer line to get; I think it was yooper who said they used 40feet of 3/8 ID ?? not overly sure but that seems like a lot of line for simply dispensing soda.

Anyway; I'll keep reading and wait for the parts to assemble. Thanks again for the head start.

King

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Old 04-26-2013, 02:45 AM   #4
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No problem. I should have mentioned poppets. These are little spring do-dads stuck up inside the posts and have a little rubber end to them, but I don't think it's an oring. They can go bad over time but I've never had to deal with a bad one yet. The spring can get soft and not push the little rubber seal hard enough, and I'm sure the rubber itself can wear over time.

As long as you can attach a gas disconnect to your co2 tank, and control the pressure then it should work.

Often times you can find Sun brand Oxygen Cleaner at walmart or dollar store - unscented is best if it's available (however I use a scented oxyclean and it's fine also).

Starsan can certainly be found at a brew supply shop or potentially a dairy shop. There are other sanitizers available but I would highly recommend starsan.

Lowes and Home Depot are good sources for orings if needed, but I would inspect yours first and determine if you think they need to be replaced. They might be good enough as-is.

I've never dispensed soda but I'm fairly certain it get carbonated under much higher pressures (25-30 PSI maybe) at fridge temperatures. This is the serving pressure as well which is why you need such a long length of beer line; it keeps the dispensing speed in the right range so you don't have a firehose or pure foam. I believe the beer line diameter is 3/16 ID rather than 3/8, and I'm thinking the length is more like 20-25 feet rather than 40, but I may be wrong on this.

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Old 04-26-2013, 03:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpug View Post
I've never dispensed soda but I'm fairly certain it get carbonated under much higher pressures (25-30 PSI maybe) at fridge temperatures. This is the serving pressure as well which is why you need such a long length of beer line; it keeps the dispensing speed in the right range so you don't have a firehose or pure foam. I believe the beer line diameter is 3/16 ID rather than 3/8, and I'm thinking the length is more like 20-25 feet rather than 40, but I may be wrong on this.
I want to chime in on the length of the hose. When I got my set up, I got a picnic tap with only 6ft of beer hose, and have not had a problem with the "firehose" effect or pure foam. It may be because I'm only carbing water and not soda. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:16 PM   #6
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Picked up PBW, Aspetox, and a picnic tap. I know the tap doesnt really fit with the purchase but it was a good price at the time. I will do my keg takedown and maybe put some pics together on Imgur to show what I've got.

I need to find a good source for the gas and liquid disconnects.

Also for those that KEG what is your preferred method for securing the tubing to the disconnect? I've seen metal clamps and such being used.

King

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