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Thread: Sanitizing kegs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    283

    Sanitizing kegs

    First, I'm lazy. Second, cleaning and sanitizing kegs is not my idea of fun. So, it is not uncommon for a dozen dirty kegs to pile up in the garage. After cleaning the kegs, I just line them up and push Star San through all of them. I fill the first keg completely and put an extra gallon or two in the second keg: this way, all the kegs completely fill with sanitizer giving contact with all surface area. The jumper from the first to second keg is out to out posts. The jumper from the second to third keg is in to out and the valve on the third keg is left open. The last keg ends up storing the sanitizer until it is time to do this job again. (PH checked before reuse.) All the clean, sanitized and completely filled with CO2 kegs are hung up on hooks, ready to have a fermenter drained into them without exposing the beer to any air or contaminants.

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    Last edited by seafra; 02-20-2011 at 04:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    161
    Sounds like an effective and efficient process. I liked the idea so much that I followed your process this weekend to clean/sanitize 5 kegs. However I have a nagging voice in the back of my memory that says I probably shouldn't leave Star-san in a keg. Somewhere I have the vague idea that I was warned against this as it can cause corrosion. True or false?
    Also, How do you clean out the jumper? I'm pretty sure on this, that the star-san will gradually degrade the plastic and cause it to become "slimy" or gelatinous.
    Thanks for the post.
    Beerbreath
    "Beer; it's not just for breakfast anymore!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    283
    Star San will not corrode stainless steel. I have stored it in kegs for several months and they show no pitting. Some of my kegs will hang on the wall with a bit of Star San left in the bottom for most of a year with no problems.

    Another member of the board wrote to Star San and posted their reply, some time ago. They said it is not a problem for long term storage.

    I don't believe Star San can dissolve plastic. It is packaged in high concentration in plastic bottles. The ratio of 1 oz of Star San to 5 gallons of water is 640 to 1. If the concentrate doesn't eat through the bottle, I don't think the a 640/1 dilution will eat tubing.

    Star San can slim your lines. Using too strong of a solution will cause that milky coating to form faster. Beer line cleaner will get rid of it. Hot water and dish soap can work too. As BK advised, I leave lines filled with BLC rather than sanitizer. I flush them with Star San before use, though.
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    Last edited by seafra; 02-20-2011 at 05:01 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    161
    Thanks for that clarification. I was thinking the particular chained polymers in the flexible beer lines would present a different platform than the more rigid plastic containers and so be vulnerable to reaction. But I like the BLC suggestion too.
    Beerbreath
    "Beer; it's not just for breakfast anymore!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4,101
    I spoke with the head chemist from 5 Star at the NHC this year. He recommended AGAINST storing a Starsan solution in stainless. His comment was that it would not normally corrode stainless, but over time there could be some pitting at the waterline. He cited an instance where someone stored it in a keg for a couple of years and the keg was worthless after that. Wouldn't even hold pressure.
    -Beerking
    "Asking whether computers can think is like asking if submarines can swim."

    Inventor of the Rauch HellerBock style of beer!
    GABF 2008 Pro Am Silver medal! (Rauch HellerBock)
    1st place Smoked/Wood Aged Beer - 2008 Longshot NE Region

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