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Old 01-15-2013, 09:35 PM   #1
ajwillys
 
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I have a five tapper and lately have been having an empty tap pretty much all the time. I've decided to fill that void with a soda (perhaps rotating and maybe homemade), but I want to make sure I don't taint the equipment permanently. I've done a root beer in the past and it ruined my keg, tap, lines, etc... forever with the taste/smell of root beer.

Are there any other pre-made concentrates or individual ingredients I need to watch out for to make sure that it doesn't soak into the plastic and rubber components of my system, forever banishing it to a specific soda?

 
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:29 PM   #2
patthebrewer
 
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I don't think it would permanantly taint equipment, afterall most of use old soda kegs. The way I get them clean of soda "stuff" is with an overnight soak in B-rite. Kills the "soda" completely. I was thinking of getting into soda also but If I have to dedicate a tap line permanantly......
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:55 AM   #3
ajwillys
 
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Oh, there's no doubt about root beer. It ruined my line, my tap, and the rubber in my kegs (I actually use sanke's, but I'm not sure it matters). I've heard its not true for many soda's (specifically, cola's/citrus, etc..) but I didn't know for sure. I'm considering a homemade lemon lime with actual juice but make it less sweet and "lighter".

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:35 AM   #4
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When I worked for a brewer, we would never put our beer on a line that had root beer. At a minimum, the vinyl will permanently hold that smell and will need to be replaced. I think stainless would be OK, but any vinyl/rubber material that it contacts is probably no longer beer-friendly. It's easy to replace on a small system, but on a long-draw glycol system the line is permanently damaged.

With that said, root beer is the only product that I ever ran into that did that damage. Beers with flavors like Bud Light Lime did not damage the lines. Even cases where people had wine on tap did not create issues with the lines.

I suspect you would be OK with other flavors. However, I really never dealt with any bars that poured soda through draught lines (except for Root Beer)
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:55 AM   #5
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Well, that is most unfortunate!! I was about to keg some root beer extract that I picked up...

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrantedFED View Post
Well, that is most unfortunate!! I was about to keg some root beer extract that I picked up...
I can't speak to the keg piece...only the lines. Those are easy enough to replace in our simple draught systems, but you will definitely need to replace those if you decide to do root beer.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Any stainless or mostly non-permeable parts are probably fine. For me it was the line, the rubber seals on the keg and the gaskets in the tap and coupler. I was able to finally get most of the smell out of the harder rubber in the tap and coupler by making up a thick baking soda paste and soaking them in it. Overnight, the water would dry out so I'd just add more to re-pastify it. Every so often I'd change out the baking soda as well. I kept the line and if I ever do it again, I'd re-use that 30 feet of line (to counteract the high pressure) and just put a picnic tap or cheap (non-Perlick) tap on it.

With that being said, I'm surprised this isn't more known in the soda forum. I guess that means no one has come across other flavors that have this same effect.

 
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:35 PM   #8
twalte
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajwillys View Post
With that being said, I'm surprised this isn't more known in the soda forum. I guess that means no one has come across other flavors that have this same effect.
The flavor may not be as noticeable with the heavier style beers that homebrewers tend to favor. However, with a light lager any off-taste really stands out...especially root beer.

When we did find lines that provided "off flavors" to our light lagers, we would often switch our lines with a heavier craft. That seemed to solve the issue for our beer and the off-taste was not noticeable in the heavier craft.

Light lagers are just so unforgiving when it comes to off-tastes.
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