Cleaning Corny kegs?

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redneckbeagle

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Does anyone have any suggestions or know of any how to's on cleaning Kegs?

I have just bought 4 Pepsi Corny kegs and want to replace the seals and clean them. Not sure how to clean the dip tube either? Do I need to take it out?

Also anyone know a good place to get seals?

Thanks,

redneckbeagle
 

ShortSnoutBrewing

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Google is your friend...

http://www.leeners.com/kegcleaning.html
http://www.ebrew.com/primarynews/intro_keg_system.htm
http://www.jerseybrewers.com/Introd_to_Kegging_By_Paul.htm

and on and on. I'm sure there is something in the wiki too, I would think.

Yes, tubes come out, and should be cleaned/soaked. Use the same cleaner you use for the rest of your equipment. I clean once or twice, then fill the keg with warm water and add some baking soad and let sit over night. All the small parts I put into a glass with baking soda to soak. This should help take away the soda smells/flavors.

To be safe you should probably also replace all the O-Rings.
 

BierMuncher

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Other than the large o-rings, you can pick up the small o-rings at Lowe’s in the plumbing department. Dirt cheap too. Your LHBS should carry the large ones.

Get yourself a closed socket wrench for those posts. The first time, you may need to knock the wrench with a hammer to break loose the gummed up sugars. I remove and clean my liquid (out) tube between every batch.

Get yourself some keg lube for the large o-ring and the external post rings. It makes all the difference. If you can’t get keg lube easily, use food grad mineral oil (grocery store).

I use 1 tsp of Oxyclean along with a tsp of bleach and a drop of Dawn. Give it a good blast with hot water…swish it around and clean what I can reach with a sponge and do a hot rinse.

Then upside down in a large bucket to drip dry.


post2.jpg

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homebrewer_99

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Do they all have the same size posts or are they mismatched?

Some are 7/8" and others 3/4". They also use different poppets.

I have both kinds and are willing to trade if you need/have/want to.

Iin the end it's beneficial to standardize your posts to one type so all you need is one type of poppet. ;)
 

BrewPuppy

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I use bleach when cleaning/sanitizing my glass and plastic pieces, but never in my stainless. Bleach creates micro pockets in stainless and repeated use will create lots of nooks and crannies for "bugs" to live. I wash my kegs as soon as they go empty so that things don't get too sticky.

I use about 3 gallons of HOT water with just a touch of dish soap. Then I shake the keg like I've got a real bad case of Parkinson's. I also set it down upside down for a few minutes.
To get the dip tube clean, I simply attach my picnic tap and dispense the soapy water through it. This cleans my keg and picnic tap at the same time. To push all of the water out, I have an air-in connector with a short piece of tubing attached that I then connect to a bicycle pump (to save my CO2). To connect the pump to the tubing, I use an adapter that I picked up at WalMart. It is meant for inflating large things like mattresses and exercise balls.
I rinse the inverted keg as best I can with the sink sprayer, then twice refill with hot water, shake, and dispense as before.
Last is two gallons of One Step to sanitize. Again, shake and dispense.
I let my kegs drip dry in the shower. Once dry, I push some CO2 into the empty keg before putting it away for storage. Make sure to purge the atmospheric air through the relief valve. Now it is ready for more beer.
 

jcb317

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You can also pick up the o-rings at mcmaster.com
Item number 9452k172 - Dip Tube, 9452k23 - Post, 9452k218 - Lid. They sell the tube and post o-rings in 100 packs for under $2 a pack and the lid ones in 10 packs for just under $13 i think.
 

CatchinZs

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I always just use hot water and automatic dishwasher detergent to get them good and clean inside....then upside drip dry.

StarSan soak for all removable parts. Then reinstall and put a little StarSan in the keg and shake it a few time to make sure that I get everything covered.
 

FSR402

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I take mine apart every time I clean them. 3 gallons of HOT water and some Oxiclean. I then pull the post off and drop them in some water and oxiclean in a bowl to soak. I have a LONG thin brush for the diptubes I will run it thru a few times then I pull the tubes out. I then have a big brush for cleaning kegs that I stuff in there and move it around for a few minutes.
Waiting to clean them until I have two of three to do helps. After one is clean I dump the water/soap into the next one and repeat.

If you rinse them out well before you add the soap and water there really is not much to clean out at that point.
I have only had to use keg lube one time to get a keg to seal but it's nice to have it around just incase.
My LHBS sell kegs for $28 with all the new seals you need, but you have to clean them and replace the seals yourself.
 

camiller

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How dirty are they?

If they have been setting open in a junkyear for years vs. sealed up in a warehouse you might need/want to buy a dip tube brush to get all the spiders out.... and if the inside is really filthy you could probably modify a carboy brush. Otherwise the suggestions above would work for you.
 

TexLaw

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I highly, highly, highly recommend running BLC through the keg, at least when you first get it and then occasionally thereafter. I run a quart (as diluted according to the directions) through every time I blow the keg.


TL
 

ggltd

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Great info- thanks for compiling this. One question I didn’t see referenced. I just bought 4 cleaned used kegs. The black rubber tops and bottoms turn your hands (and anything else they touch) black. Also there seems to be some minor cracks in the rubber probably due to age. Any tips on what to do with this, or am I being too picky.
 

Golddiggie

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I took the posts off my first corny yesterday. It wasn't that easy, since it seems like they were put on with an impact wrench. None the less, after getting the 7/8" deep socket, and a 12" long 3/4" black iron pipe, I was able to use my 3/8" ratchet set to break them free with a minimum of trouble. I had been struggling with my 7/8" ratcheting box wrench, but couldn't get enough leverage to get them to break free. The standard handle length on my ratchet (6") also wasn't enough. But, put the pipe on there (snug to the head of the wrench) and a couple of taps (hand, no hammer needed) and both came free fast.

Basically, with the pipe, you make a long handled ratchet for dirt cheap (pipe was about $3)... To get a ratchet handle the same length will cost you over $20 (if not $30+)... So for under $10, I had what I need to take the posts off of any corny I get in the future too (I already had the 11/16" deep socket)...

The pipe on the handle is an old trick. Something I picked up from my father many, many years ago. Not sure where he got the idea, but I've seen others use it before, when having one long handle ratchet just doesn't make sense (too limited in it's usefulness)... A couple of different lengths of pipe and you can break almost anything free. Just be sure the ratchet is up to the task. Would really suck to use a 3' long pipe on the tool, only to have the handle snap off from the stress.
 

jmf143

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The pipe on the handle is an old trick. Something I picked up from my father many, many years ago. Not sure where he got the idea, but I've seen others use it before, when having one long handle ratchet just doesn't make sense (too limited in it's usefulness)...
“Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world”

Archimedes, 220 BC
 

Golddiggie

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“Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world”

Archimedes, 220 BC
I know the mechanics behind it are ancient, but adapting the tool used so that you don't need to purchase an expensive ratchet handle for a few uses is different.

12" ratchet handle: $20+ (even a 3/8" drive breaker bar is close to $15)
12" 3/4" iron pipe: <$4
Not having a uni-tasker: Priceless

Personally, I'd rather not have yet another tool in the box that has only a few uses (or just one)... Of course, a breaker bar probably IS in my father's old tool boxes (if my brother-in-law/sister haven't lost it by now)...

You can use the pip you would from pipe clamps if you need to have a really long breaker bar... Like 3' long (or more)... Good luck finding an actual breaker bar with that long a reach for a reasonable rate...
 

camiller

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“Give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I will move the world”

Archimedes, 220 BC
I know the mechanics behind it are ancient, but adapting the tool used so that you don't need to purchase an expensive ratchet handle for a few uses is different.

12" ratchet handle: $20+ (even a 3/8" drive breaker bar is close to $15)
12" 3/4" iron pipe: <$4
Not having a uni-tasker: Priceless

Personally, I'd rather not have yet another tool in the box that has only a few uses (or just one)... Of course, a breaker bar probably IS in my father's old tool boxes (if my brother-in-law/sister haven't lost it by now)...

You can use the pip you would from pipe clamps if you need to have a really long breaker bar... Like 3' long (or more)... Good luck finding an actual breaker bar with that long a reach for a reasonable rate...
Extending the length of a tool handle for more leverage is probably just a day or two younger than the invention of tools to begin with. I've also jammed the end of a socket wrench handle into a tire iron (the cross kind) for more leverage. I also managed to twist the end off the tire iron. Now I have an pneumatic impact wrench and impact sockets.

As far as a 3' breaker bar, those are generally in the realm of 3/4" and 1" drive sockets anyway, the longest 1/2" drive breaker bar I found was 25" and cost $12.
 

jds

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+1 on the dip tube brush...you wouldn't believe what's hiding in there...:(
Yup. I recently looked down the tube of a couple of my kegs, and promptly went out and bought a dip tube brush. Yeech.

I know the mechanics behind it are ancient, but adapting the tool used so that you don't need to purchase an expensive ratchet handle for a few uses is different.

12" ratchet handle: $20+ (even a 3/8" drive breaker bar is close to $15)
12" 3/4" iron pipe: <$4
Not having a uni-tasker: Priceless

Personally, I'd rather not have yet another tool in the box that has only a few uses (or just one)... Of course, a breaker bar probably IS in my father's old tool boxes (if my brother-in-law/sister haven't lost it by now)...

You can use the pip you would from pipe clamps if you need to have a really long breaker bar... Like 3' long (or more)... Good luck finding an actual breaker bar with that long a reach for a reasonable rate...
The 11/16 X 7/8 Craftsman closed-end ratcheting wrench is currently selling on craftsman.com for $10.49 plus shipping. I like it because (a) it's got the most common sizes for my ball-lock Corny posts and (b) I can throw it in the drawers that hold my brewing/cleaning gear, so I don't have to go out to the garage and rummage around for the right 12-point deep-well sockets to take the posts off of a keg. Is it a uni-tasker? Yep, in the current incarnation, it is. However, it's a uni-tasker that saves me time and effort.

While you may want a breaker for the first time you take posts off (I used a mallet, and it worked fine), it's usually fairly easy to take them off after.
 

DocksideBrew

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I fill my kegs with hot water and oxyclean, put lid on and hit it with compressed air, shake it around for a minute or so. Let it sit for 30 minutes and shake again. Then I hook my air compressor back up @ 20 psi and force the oxyclean solution through the dip tube and out through disconnect and dispensing line. Then fill back up with fresh water and repeat the steps with the water once or twice. Tip upside down to air dry. Keg lube on o rings too. For those of you using oxyclean what ratio to water do you mix?
 
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