Cleaner Smell in Keg and Can't get it out

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Samlbowles

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Sorry if I am posting this and something similar has already been brought up, I have been looking everywhere online for a couple days and I cannot find the answer to this.

I am brand new to kegging. I got a keg from a good friend of mine he picked up somewhere but hadn't ever used it. It was a little cruddy and had liquid in the bottom, most likely a soda, but smelled lemony almost like a sprite. Unsure though. I gave it a good soak with PBW for 24 hours, rinsed it really well, gave it a good soap and rinse, then another quick 2 hour round of PBW because there were still components I could not get out of the keg. Rinsed again and scrubbed down. After all that, the keg was really clean. I sanitized the keg, put it under pressure, and waited until my beer was cold crashed in order to fill it.

I filled the keg with my beer, force carbed, and the beer tasted like it had an underlying beer taste that was mostly cleaner. I ended up dumping that beer, it was undrinkable. I then went to inspect the keg again, and it smelled exactly like the beer tasted. I rinsed it again, cleaned it well, soaped it again, and the cleaner smell was gone. I thought I had eradicated the problem, so I put the lid back on the keg and let it sit while my next beer fermented.

Fast forward to yesterday, I opened the keg back up and the cleaner smell was back, just from sitting there with the lid on! I left the lid off the keg overnight last night and there is no smell in the keg at all.

I put the lid back on for a couple hours and lo and behold, the smell reared its ugly head. I have a brand new lid, brand new o-rings, and brand new posts on the keg. I am completely baffled as to what the issue can be here...

If anyone has any insight I would absolutely love to hear what it could be!

Cheers!
 

tracer bullet

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What part did you say originally couldn't be removed?

Generally it's the rubber parts that retain smells, root beer especially if a used keg haha. Replacing those with lots of cleaning of the stainless should take care of everything.

Seems there has to be something left behind. How about the tubing, the gas-in and liquid-out?
 

SlobberinDog

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Yup. Like tracer said. Pull the whole thing apart, dip tube and both poppits. I will fill the thing up with 160° water and pbw and let it sit over night. Then once you’ve got everything out rinse with another round of 160° water. Then once rinsed with that I’ll rinse again with cool tap. Then sanitize.

As for cleaning the hell out of the dip tube I use these
4 Pack 32 Inch Long Nylon Dip... Amazon.com: 4 Pack 32 Inch Long Nylon Dip Tube Brush Feeding Tube Brushes Cleaning Brushes Keg Line Cleaning Brush with Soft Nylon Bristles Head for Cornelius Keg Line Tube Corny Keg Feeding Tube Racking Lines

They are a nice tight fit and damn near indestructible.

Good luck! And welcome to kegging. You won’t go back to bottling ever again.
 

tracer bullet

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Agreed on the brushes, I have the same. Need to run them through the tubes a bunch of times as well until you're sure they are clean. Could consider replacing them as well now that you've already had a bad batch and still an issue.
 

seatazzz

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Didn't see this above, so I'm going to add my two cents. OP, you said after you left the lid off, there was no smell; but after you put it back on, shazam the smell was back? Have you replaced the big o-ring on the lid? That thing is a big smell-holder. They are also very cheap. And keg lube (or if you don't have access to it, vaseline) smeared liberally on the o-ring will also help mitigate how much smell the thing absorbs. And stop your co2 from leaking, if that's an issue (and it will be, eventually; happens to all of us).
 
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Samlbowles

Samlbowles

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Thank you all for your replies! Yes, when I got the brand new lid, I replaced the o-ring then. The lines aren't the issue, it is definitely in the keg. But what I did not think to replace were the o-rings on the tubes. I have done that now, cleaned with another round of PBW over night, and taking suggestions from my club, scrubbed with BKF, a small amount of bleach in water, rinsed that out, then soaped again just to make sure before I replaced all my o-rings. We shall see if all that did the trick!!
 

pvtpublic

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If nothing is working for you, try straight white distilled vinegar. That's my go-to. Dump a liter or two in that sum-gum, shake it like a baby, and let it sit for a day. Rinse, lather, repeat. Rinse, just rinse.
 
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