Best solution to sanitize kegs right before filling

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

dude1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
164
Reaction score
17
I have this friend who is a much more experienced brewer than me, he produces and sells about 250GAL (1000L) a month, who uses Oxi in his stainless kegs right before filling them, without rinsing obviously.

I read everywhere that Oxi is a cleaning solution and StarSan for sanitation, so I'm quite surprised he uses Oxi as the last step before the beer.

Also, I bought some kegs from him and some had turned bad. Plus, we went to a restaurant where he sells his kegs and some had a problem too.

So, I have a couple of questions:

1. Is it a good idea to use Oxi right before filling stainless kegs?
2. Wouldn't StarSan be more appropriate at this stage?
3. Can any of these two solutions alter the taste of the beer in a stainless keg?

Thanks
 
Last edited:

myndflyte

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2014
Messages
1,327
Reaction score
591
Location
Lake Mills
I'm not sure how he doesn't rinse after using Oxy. I can't seem to ever get it totally dissolved and there are always little grains of it left behind. That being said, I wouldn't use Oxyclean as a no rinse sanitizer. Mainly for the reason above but also because it isn't a sanitizer. I would definitely be using Starsan as the last thing in the keg before filling it. And if anything is going to affect the taste of beer, it would be the Oxyclean that hasn't been rinsed out.
 

balrog

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
3,873
Reaction score
3,660
I agree. A lot. Especially since Oxi, true Oxi, has more than just sodium percarbonate (sodium carbonate or washing soda for instance).
 
Joined
May 24, 2008
Messages
377
Reaction score
67
Location
Woodstock
In my opinion he has a problem!!! Grab him quick and get this changed. The beer taste will thank you and save countless customers. Bad move.... He needs training!! Send him this post.. I have brewed since 1971.
 

mongoose33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
8,048
Reaction score
7,728
Location
Platteville, WI
You clean 'em, you rinse 'em, and you sanitize 'em. In that order, and without omission.

You want nothing contaminating the beer, whether it be bacteria or unrinsed cleaning solution.

I usually clean my kegs 4 or 5 at a time, and in each case I'm filling them w/ Star-San then pushing that out with CO2, into the next keg. Sanitized and purged. I leave them that way until I fill them.
 
OP
D

dude1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2014
Messages
164
Reaction score
17
I'm filling them w/ Star-San then pushing that out with CO2, into the next keg. Sanitized and purged. I leave them that way until I fill them.
How do you push all the StarSan to the next keg?
I just measured the rod and it's 2cm above the bottom of the keg (53.3cm minus 51.3cm).
If the last 2cm of StarSan stay in each keg, that's quite some StarSan mixed with the beer.
 

Attachments

mongoose33

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
8,048
Reaction score
7,728
Location
Platteville, WI
How do you push all the StarSan to the next keg?
I just measured the rod and it's 2cm above the bottom of the keg (53.3cm minus 51.3cm).
If the last 2cm of StarSan stay in each keg, that's quite some StarSan mixed with the beer.
1. Fill keg with star-san.

2. Attach gas line to OUT Liquid post (you read that right). Apply gas in short bursts until bubbles come out of the top of the keg. Do not apply a lot of gas in a hurry unless you want to see what a surge of Star-San erupting from a keg looks like. Something like 10psi will do, you can add more pressure if you want the liquid to move faster.

3. With the lid sitting in the mouth but not installed, let the bubbles fill the underside of the lid and the limited headspace in the keg. Know what's in those bubbles? CO2.

kegbubbles1.jpg kegbubbles2.jpg

4. Install keg lid in and amidst the bubbles. You now have a keg full of star-san (mostly) and some CO2-filled bubbles at the top.

5. Attach CO2 to the IN gas post. Attach a jumper to the OUT liquid post, and either feed another keg with lid removed with the Star-San or deposit in a 5-gallon bucket for re-use. Here's a jumper; I move the Star-San from one keg to the next. But you could remove the QD from one side and just push that Star-San into a bucket. Or use something like the pic below.

jumper.jpg

6. When the star san is fully pushed out of the first keg you'll get bubbles in the second keg's star-san, and at that point, remove the jumper or, guess what, you'll get the geyser of Star-San.

7. All that to get you to here: your purged keg is full of maybe 10psi of CO2, and a little bit of star-san. I attach a 1-sided jumper to the OUT liquid post, and blow out the rest of the star-san. I rock the keg back and forth, and the CO2 pressure inside the keg will blow out virtually all the Star-San that is sitting in the bottom. What tiny bit that's left is of no consequence. Stop blowing it out just before the pressure drops to nothing, and remove the 1-sided jumper. That keeps the keg, now sanitized, under a slight bit of CO2 pressure. Purged and sanitized.

jumperoneside.jpg

Star-San doesn't have to dry--in fact, it's no longer effective when the surface is dry. Star-San is flavorless and odorless, so it's not going to do anything to the beer. In fact, I don't really have to blow out the remainder of the star-san, I doubt I could even tell--at worst, it'll slightly dilute the beer with the ounce or two that's left in the keg after purging. But I blow it out anyway because I can. :)

For fun, and to say you did, take a sip of Star-San and see how it tastes. You won't be able to taste anything. I've done that, it's not harmful in that small amount.
 
Last edited:
Top