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Old 06-29-2012, 10:55 PM   #1
Nov 2010
Floyd, VA
Posts: 444
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

Just finished off a keg of apfelwein last night. Can I just rack my other wine that ready to go into it without any major risk of infection? Since the keg isn't out of the keezer and still all sealed up is cleaning/sanitizing still required?

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Old 06-30-2012, 12:12 AM   #2
Apr 2009
Seattle, WA
Posts: 830
Liked 32 Times on 30 Posts

Cleaning/sanitizing isn't required, but it all depends on how risky you like to be! If the first batch wasn't contaminated and the second batch isn't contaminated, there's no additional risk of infection (above the standard risk that would come during racking whether you cleaned it or not). Assuming any leftover apfelwein in the keg won't screw up the next batch's flavors (for instance for beer, I wouldn't rack a pilsner into a keg that just had a stout) its certainly possible.

Of course the buzz kill in me does want to point out that seldom are batches completely free of other organisms. Normally they occur below taste thresholds and you don't have to worry about them, but if your first batch happened to be slightly infected, even if it didn't seem so, all those infecting bugs are still in the keg with a fresh batch to work on, potentially making their way to taste thresholds. Another problem (at least for beer, not sure about wine), is that when I finish a keg there's always a collection of yeast at the bottom that settled out. Leaving that in there means that now, rather than one batch's worth of yeast you've now got two, which means that it will take a little more volume to clear the yeast layer out of range of the diptube. I don't remember that much yeast in my apfelwein though, so this might not be a problem.

If you're the risky type (or at least non-paranoid type), feel free to go for it. Since I'm a little paranoid I'd probably go ahead and do a quick wash/sanitizing, but it all depends on how much your time is worth!

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Old 06-30-2012, 12:21 AM   #3
Jun 2011
chesapeake, va
Posts: 80
Liked 18 Times on 9 Posts

Sure you can... I wouldn't though. For me it's easy enough to clean a keg and sanitize it. Then I'd rack my next batch into it. Your setup and priorities may be different.

But it is sad when a keg is out. One of mine just popped tonight also.

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