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Keg Infection

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Uncle Fester

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All,
Been a looooong time since I posted anything, but it's a new year, so here goes.

I have a 3 font T bar sitting on a freezer, running an STC1000. One beer line has developed an infection. The usual, antiseptic, band aid type of infection.

I have tried a few things, running caustic soda (1tblspoon/litre) through the font, followed by PBW (1 tblspoon/litre) and finally starsan (1 cap/litre)

Infection is still there.

Going to the next step, pulling the keg apart and soaking it. My question, given that the tub I will use to completely immerse my keg in is about 50 litres, what chemicals should I use, what concentrations and what order?

Starting with the keg, and finally re-sanitising the tap (I have a garden sprayer with a liquid disconnect on it for flushing the lines and font.)

All replies gratefully accepted.


Happy new year,

Fester.

**EDIT**

I found this post from way back:
Raising A Keg Form The Dead

- many recommended using boiling water to sanitize a keg. Would filling a keg with boiling water and then running it through the font be worth trying as a chemical free alternative?

TIA,

Fester
 
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Danscraftbeer

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Thorough cleaning should do it but that failing I will use pure phosphoric acid sanitizer for everything. Diliuted correct its rinse free. I add 1ml per liter into the clean keg then fill with boiling water. Seal, roll it etc. Leave it to cool down like cubing.
Disassemble everything in the serving lines, I will soak clean them in a strong warm bath of sodium percarbonate then boil the cleaned parts in sanitizer. Replace the beer line too if its that persistent but I've never got an infection like that yet, touch wood.
 

Uncle Fester

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Thorough cleaning should do it but that failing I will use pure phosphoric acid sanitizer for everything. Diliuted correct its rinse free. I add 1ml per liter into the clean keg then fill with boiling water. Seal, roll it etc. Leave it to cool down like cubing.
Disassemble everything in the serving lines, I will soak clean them in a strong warm bath of sodium percarbonate then boil the cleaned parts in sanitizer. Replace the beer line too if its that persistent but I've never got an infection like that yet, touch wood.
Thanks - Will get onto it straight away.

Fester.
 

Grmblz

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Oh dear, here we go again, OK this is NOT the recommended thing to do with stainless, BUT as a one off neutron bomb it works, BLEACH! yeh I know, pitting, residual taste yada, yada, despite what they say on the label all "domestic" as opposed to "commercial" sanitisers have their limitations, bleach kills just about anything, so unscrew the posts and dismantle them, pull the tubes and washers/grommets out, remove the lid, unscrew the PRV, chuck all the bits in a container and fill the keg and container with a bleach solution, make sure the post threads are soaked, pull the PRV a few times to soak all of it's internals, put the liquid out tube into the keg through the big hole so that it's completely submerged, I'd use 1L bleach to 23L water, yeh it's overkill, chuck all the rubber bits (little o rings in disconnect poppets, every bit of rubber, in the bin, soak everything else for an hour then rinse, rinse, rinse, then rinse with a strong solution of acid sanitiser (will help re-passivate the stainless, and neutralise the bleach) do the same with your disconnects, and taps, now it becomes problematic, I would normally advise replacing the line, but seeing as you have a font, that might be too much grief, I wouldn't put bleach through a line normally but if it's a real pita to replace the line then run some bleach through it, just be aware it'll take a lot of flushing afterwards.
Sorry Uncle, I know it's a massive, but at the end of the day you'll have a clean system. Just be aware that bleach and stainless don't really play nicely together, but a lot of the bad rap has come from people using it on a constant basis, leaving it to soak for days etc. With care it can be used successfully, and will even kill you if you're silly enough. 🤣
 

MHB

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Personally I would go with Iodophor. Bleach, well the free Chlorine in it, will damage stainless, Iodine wont. It is however just as good at killing bugs and Iodophor also contains acid, the phor part of the name is a clue.
Other than that Grumblz procedure is pretty much the way I would tackle the problem.
I would replace any lines to taps that may have been exposed and if possible all the small parts, they cost a shed load less than losing another brew.

One think I do disagree on is the notion that acid sanitise will be strong enough to passivate stainless. The chemistry is a bit involved but it simply lacks the ability, even undiluted I suspect it isn't up to the job. Passivation is reasonably exacting. There is a fine line between enough oomph to chemically dissolve out the Iron (Fe) and leave the Chrome and Nickel behind and eating the whole thing, which is what passivation is all about.
Citric Acid wont work either, except under very specific conditions and in concert with other chemicals, yes there are passivating preparations that contain citric acid, but the stuff from woolies isn't going to work- ever.
Mark
 

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