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Old 02-12-2008, 11:07 PM   #1
mdf191
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It sounds from the forums that alot of you take apart your kegs for cleaning after each batch. I have had a keg which has gone through 3 brews, and I haven't taken it apart. It give it ton of rinsing soaking and run BLC and star san through it and all the lines before each new use. So far so good.... I have been avoiding taking it apart and removing the dip tubes because I worry I will mess something up and they will not hold pressure after I tinker with them.

Should I be intimidated, or it its pretty hard messing them up? Or can I just carry on with my past cleaning methods?

 
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:11 PM   #2
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Ask yourself.

Is the better time to learn after the infection?
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:34 PM   #3
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eh, I don't worry too much between each keg fill. I don't even clean my beer line...i just drain it, then let it fill with the new beer.
after a few fills, I'll tear down the keg and clean it, lube it, sanitize, as well as run BLC thru the taps.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:59 PM   #4
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+1

Sometimes you can "miss" things a few times before they catch up to you. Even in professional breweries, there is this phenomenon whereby a lot of "new" breweries end up with their first infection problems after several years of success, because by that time all the little bugs that don't usually affect beer have finally taken a firm foothold and can bloom in big numbers, resulting in a persistent infection. Many times the only solution is to completely shut down the brewery and do a 100% cleaning and sanitization, which is DISASTER from a financial standpoint. On the homebrew scale, it's not the finances that hurt you, it's the lost batch of beer and related embarrassment.

The labor involved with taking apart, cleaning, and reassembling a corny keg is really quite minimal. I give everything a once over with B*Brite, a rinse, and a sanitization with Iodophor. Once you get the hang of it, you can do it quickly and use only about 2 quarts of liquid at each stage.

Frankly, you could skip the cleaning stage most of the time, maybe only do the clean/scrub routine every 3rd or 4th batch. But I'd still at least remove the posts and dip tubes, rinse everything, and sanitize after every batch. You'll be thankful later on.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf191

Should I be intimidated, or it its pretty hard messing them up?


Easy-Peasy. Just crack it open with an 11/16 wrench and pull out the dip tube.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:26 AM   #6
WAID
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer
Easy-Peasy. Just crack it open with an 11/16 wrench and pull out the dip tube.
Or 7/8" like two of the three kegs I have.

 
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf191
I have been avoiding taking it apart and removing the dip tubes because I worry I will mess something up and they will not hold pressure after I tinker with them.

Should I be intimidated, or it its pretty hard messing them up?
Just make sure that what you take off from one side of the keg goes back on that side of the keg. If it means tagging one side so you know which is which, then whatever. I mark my kegs "In" and "Out" with paint marker. Some have it molded into the plastic. "Out" has a long dip tube, "in" is gas which is the short one.

Thing is, the posts are slightly different size, externally.

Not much else to it.

Will this help?

http://cruisenews.net/brewing/kegging/index.php

Or maybe this?

http://www.bodensatz.com/staticpages...Maint#cleaning
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:24 AM   #8
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While you're at it:

replace the internal o-rings on the tubes, then they definitely won't leak on you. Plus if you give the old ones a sniff, you may find that they smell like soda.

Replace the external o-rings on the posts. They are notorious for causing the intermittent leaks that empty CO2 bottles, then disappear when sprayed with soap solution.

cut a quarter inch off of the dip tube with a tubing cutter so that you get clear pints from start to finish

cut the gas in line as short as possible to avoid getting foam in the gas line if your keg changes temps while in the keggerator

disassemble the pressure release valve and clean it out, there will be some nasty gunk in there, I'm sure.

Then when you reassemble, use a little keg lube on the rubber parts.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:08 AM   #9
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How do you get the pressure release valves apart?

 
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:57 AM   #10
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on my kegs they just unscrew. From pics, I've noticed that these corny kegs have a wide variety of pressure valves installed, but I'm reasonably sure that they all unscrew. Then if you really want to fully disassemble them, you have to push the pin that goes through the flipper thing out with a drift or centerpunch and the valve will come out the bottom. Watch out, it's spring loaded and will try and fly across your workshop! Clearly this procedure isn't normally done since all of mine had soda syrup in them. Lastly, be very careful with these valves as it is very difficult to find replacements or parts for them. If you want to post pics of your valve specifically, I'm sure we can figure out how to properly take it apart.
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