Keg Cleaning

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by The Brew Mentor, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2012
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    Mentor, Ohio
    There are plenty of videos on breaking down a keg and cleaning them. You can watch one or here are the steps.

    1) Hose and brush off the outside and remove any stickers with a razor blade. Wipe off the glue with thinner or Goo-Gone.
    2) Remove the lid and hose out the inside. Pour about 1 gallon of a mixture of hot (boiling) water and PBW or similar oxygen based cleaner into the keg. Secure the lid and shake vigorously. This will pressurize the keg.
    3) Invert a plastic bowl over the liquid out side and carefully depress the poppet.(Caution! The spray is very hot!) This should spray out some of the hot cleaner and fill the dip tube with hot cleaning solution. Now let the keg soak for a minimum of 15 minutes shaking occasionally. Flip the keg upside down for 1/2 of the soak time.
    4) Vent the pressure and take the keg apart. Reserve the cleaning solution in a separate bucket. Disassemble the posts, removing the washers and poppets. Remove the dip tubes and washers. Remove the large o-ring and the pressure relief valve from the lid.
    5) Put all of the parts into the bucket with the reserved cleaning solution.
    6) Inspect the inside of the keg using a mirror to see under the top. Thoroughly clean the inside of the keg using a Scotch Brite pad if needed.( No Brillow Pads) Rinse completely.
    7) Clean all of the lid and post parts. A small brush is helpful. A tubing brush will be needed to clean the inside of the tubes. Rinse completely.
    8) Grease all seals and washers with Keg Lube or similar product. Replace any damaged or smelly o-rings. (If the keg had root beer in it, the smell will stay in the o-ring.)
    8) Rinse everything with Star San sanitizer.
    9) Re-assemble everything. Put a little sanitizer in the keg, seal the lid, give it a shake and its ready to store.
    I go one step further and pour 1 gallon of boiling water into the finished keg and shake. This insures that everything seals properly and gives me peace of mind.

    This is the process I use for used kegs I get prior to using them. After they're in rotation, I just rinse them out. pour 2 gallons of boiling water into them, shake them, depress the dip tube (step 3), dump out and then add sanitizer for storage or reuse right away.

    I will inspect empty kegs for beer stone, but I've found I can fill about 10 times before having to rip them apart again and it goes pretty quickly after the 1st time through.

    Hope this helps.


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