Proposed process for cleaning/filling sanke keg w/out removing spear - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

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Mar 12, 2014
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I kegged my first homebrew with a corny keg with great success a week or so ago. I brewed another beer about a week ago and plan to keg within the next few weeks.

At the current moment I have 2 Sanke kegs available and I have the sanke to ball lock conversion posts attached to a commercial sanke I have on tap, so I can easily pour from commercial sanke and corny through my single tap kegerator.

The "problem" I have is that I don't have a spare corny keg to transfer sanitizer/beer to the sanke keg without removing the spear. Since I have the necessary hardware to clean and fill the sanke without removing the spear (and I've had trouble messing around with manually removing the spears), I'd prefer to try to clean and fill without removing the spear.

Without a spare corny keg (I may purchase another soon) at the moment, is there a way for me to do a closed cleaning and beer transfer into the sanke?

Here are my proposed steps, which are just modified from the closed transfer method I used to sanitize and fill my corny keg. Will these work?

1. Attach sanke to ball lock conversion posts to sanke coupler. Attach coupler to sanke keg (should I remove gas/liquid check valves prior?)

2. Fill bucket or fermenter with spigot with 5 gallons of pbw/sanitizer

3. To transfer cleaner to sanke keg, Attach tubing with liquid qd to spigot, open prv on coupler and attach liquid qd to liquid out post in sanke coupler. Pull prv manually or attach gas qd to gas out post on coupler to vent

4. Attach co2 to sanke keg

5. Push all cleaner out through the tap at 10-15psi. Store o2 purged keg until ready to fill with beer. Obviously with pbw I'll have to do a few rinses with hot water. How much/how many times will suffice? Will this adequately remove any old beer from the commercial keg?

6. Prior to use, release prv on sanke coupler

7. Fill keg with beer using same steps 2-3 above

8. After filling purge/vent keg several times at 30psi

Thanks in advance for the help!


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Jul 18, 2012
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Leesville, NC
I only use sanke kegs , but I remove the spear for cleaning and filling . I'm pretty sure most breweries clean in place and fill in place too. Having said that , they use a pretty powerful pump and clean by pumping up the spear and draining out the gas port ( the keg is upside down).
I'm pretty sure they fill upside down through the gas port.
Hope that helps


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Apr 14, 2013
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San Mateo
If you do use this method you will need to ensure that you are using a stainless steel probe/body for your coupler - if not you run the risk of etching your coatings down to the brass over time. Any questions of where that etching is going to go? That's right - in your keg.

The quick answer is yes you could do it this way - but it will be such a PITA you wont want to do it that often. Trust me - the first time will be fun but...
You will just not be able to generate any force to wash the PBW or Oxy away so you will have to shake it up vigorously to do so. Sound like fun?
I have no idea how many times you will need to do this but the test is put filtered water in and then smell the water as it comes out - your nose knows....
TRUST ME - this is not the way to clean a sanke.

This method works well - but is $$$ to put together and it has it share of foibles for sure (the first comment being my own experience)

Kegging beer in a sanke is an expensive art for the homebrewer - hence - the corny
You might save yourself quite a bit of time and $ by buying a corny or two...