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Sanitising Kegs

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grunter

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I have had a look at some previous threads re this but am still not quite sure whether napisan is a good sanitiser for kegs or whether it is just used to clean them.

What does everyone use to sanitise their kegs?
 

redbeard

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dont use napisan for stainless steel kegs. it is ok for plastic fermentors or glass bottles but will very slowly eat the ss. use keg line cleaner or iodophur for sanitizing. most hbs with keg equipment have these. with iodophur you dont need to rinse afterwars. hot water is good for cleaning & rinsing.

cheers
 

pint of lager

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Make sure you understand the difference between cleaning, and then sanitising.

Cleaning is removing soil buildup and beerstone. In kegs, especially in commercial breweries and pubs sodium hydroxide is used. This stuff is extremely corrosive. Please read and follow every safety direction you can find. I do not use this stuff often, and cannot remember the correct amount to use.

Other detergents may or may not be suitable for stainless steel.

Sanitising is killing all the bugs on a cleaned surface. Many cleaning agents do a good job at this, but must be rinsed thoroughly as they are not wanted in a glass of beer or in your stomach. After rinsing, the lines and kegs are at the same sanitation level as your rinse water, be it good or bad. Most brewers use a no rinse sanitiser such as weak phosphoric or iodine after a thorough cleaning and rinse out of the detergent.

Sodium percarbonate is an excellent cleaner for stainless steel, plastic and glass. This information came from a metalurgist and reading. My kegs often get a soak for days at a time with 1/4-1/2 a cup of homebrand napisan which is sodium percarbonate and topped up with water. Very occaisionally, they get a sodium hydroxide soak if there is a beerstone buildup from previous owners.

Redbeard is confusing bleach and sodium percarbonate. Bleach is corrosive to stainless steel, do not use it.

I am under the impression that the use of sodium metabisulphate is bad on stainless steel, but cannot remember where I read this, and have not come across anything to back this up. The issue of sodium met as being unsuitable generally in breweries has already been discussed in a previous thread. There are far better products to use.

For further reading, check out earlier threads, the brewwikki site and John Palmer's book.
 

redbeard

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PoL is right, i was confused :) however, i still wouldnt use napisan in ss, as it takes several rinses to get all the slippery foamy stuff out.

cheers
 

warrenlw63

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Redbeard,

Might have something to do with how much you're using. Tablespoon full per keg seems to go a long way. More seems to require more rinsing. Add it to hot water and leave overnight and no longer.

I usually only need to rinse twice, ie; completely fill the keg, dump the water, fill again and dump etc. That's about it. I used to find if I rinsed out Napisan with hot water it tended to foam more during rinsing and require an additonal rinse. So cold water rinses are more effective. From what I could work out it seems like hot water rinsing more or less re-activates the stuff.

Then just sanitize with a no-rinse iodine solution. Easy as. :D

Warren -
 

nic0

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I have also been using the home brand oxyaction stuff to clean my kegs, it works wonders. To sterilize I just use boiling water from the kettle.

Is sodium percarbonate safe to use on glass or does it etch it?
 

pint of lager

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Sodium percarbonate is suitable to use on glass. It does make everything very slippery so I tend to avoid it for this reason. Make sure you rinse it thoroughly.

One point I missed in the earlier posts about keg cleaning, is after rinsing with cold a few times, rinse with a kettle full of boiling water. Then follow up with iodine.

I use PSR for washing stuff up in the sink. It is not so slippery to work with.

For any really badly soiled bottles, I leave them soaking in buketc of water with a decent squirt of dish washing liquid. They soak that way for a week or so till I get around to cleaning them out.
 

warrenlw63

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When I use Nappisan in Glass Carboys I always make sure I use dimpled rubber gloves and stand on a soft surface (read lawn) when I empty them. just needs a bit on the outside of the carboy and it's like a bar of soap.

Don't leave it in the carboys or kegs any longer than a day or so. Effectiveness is lost after this and it tends to stink a bit if left too long as well. :blink:

Warren -
 

jayse

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Hi fellow keg cleana-up-arers.
Not so much a piece of advice i would say is universal but in practice i haven't found any problems in using 'napisan' by itself, ie i don't use any other product to santise after cleaning. My theory being if it can santise a babies nappy which has been coated in baby poo then it should kill anything i can throw at it. :eek:
Anyway like i said iam not advising people to do this iam just saying it works for me without any problems at all.
I clean and santise everything with it from CFC to fermentors and kegs, also all my glass wear, its been five years since i have had to use it on dirty nappies though. :blink:


Happy keg cleaning.
Jayse
 

pint of lager

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Jayse is right, sodium percarbonate makes a great sanitiser, except then, you have to rinse it off thoroughly, and the level of sanitation drops to whatever your tap water is.

That is why many people follow up with a no rinse sanitiser.
 

Steve Lacey

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pint of lager said:
except then, you have to rinse it off thoroughly, and the level of sanitation drops to whatever your tap water is.
[post="47313"][/post]​
I've often thought about this when dutifully rinsing everything in idophor. How is it that we worry about rinsing with tap water, yet when making a kit will happily top up a fermenter from 4 or 5 L to 20 to 22 L with straight unadulterated tap water but not get infections? It strikes me that the beer-spoiling bugs in treated water supplies must be pretty much rare to non-existent. depends on where you live I suppose.

Steve
 

pint of lager

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Yes Steve, exactly.

Most household drinking water as supplied in Australia has to meet strict guidelines about how safe it is to drink.

For these households supplied with sanitised drinking water, a good wash with a detergent such as sodium percarbonate, rinsed off thoroughly and used straight away should be good enough. If the brewing item is not used straight away, it could be rewashed and rinsed prior to use. Bugs love to grow in damp conditions.

Full mashers tend to go the extra step. They are sticklers for detail and sanitation, their wort has been boiled for 90 minutes, and make the extra effort to rinse with a no rinse sanitiser to match the sanitation of their wort.

Maybe someone like Darren could step up and comment about the level of sanitation for kit brewers washing with detergent and then rinsing with plain tap water with no extra step of iodine or phosphoric.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Hmmm a few bugs in a wort that will be pitched with yeast in minutes is one thing, having a few bugs in a keg about to be filled with finished beer is another.

Jovial Monk
 

Darren

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Howdy,
I would never advocate washing and sanitising only with detergent bearing in mind that people use different sources of water (dam, rainwater tank, well, etc). The microbial load could vary considerably from all these sources.
In response to Steves reply, I am unsure that you can say outright that kit beers topped up with tap water are not infected. I have tasted many, many kit beers in comps. I would say that approx. 10% of them have some level of sanitation problem. Is this the result of topping up with "tap" water? I do not know.
I think it is more of a problem prior to ferment. ie I would always sanitise with a good sanitiser and rinse with sanitised water before pitching my yeast.
Post-ferment sanitation probably doesn't need to be so rigorous as the alcohol in the beer will provide some level of protection.
Always keep in mind though, that it doesn't matter how much sanitiser you put in. If it isn't clean it won't be sanitised.
Finally, There are no beer spoilage organisms that can survive in "mains" water that has the correct levels of chlorine/chloramine.
But, who wants to risk 6+ hours of brewing for the sake of boiling a kettle and rinsing a fermenter/keg.
chhers
Darren
 

sosman

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Napisan is for babies. It is an excellent cleaner but is mostly filler. Try to get some 100% sodium percarbonate.



Forget sodium metabisulfite as a sanitiser.

Bleach is good but needs real good rinsing and shouldn't stay in contact with SS for long.

I personally use 2% phosphoric acid for sanitising, usually with trace amounts of detergent added (LABSA). The great thing about it is it is no rinse and yeast eat it for breakfast.

http://brewiki.org/CleaningAndSanitation

I have never used Iodophor but many great brewers use it and swear by it (and a few crappy ones too).

I used to pull my kegs apart every time I filled them but now I rarely bother. I use compressed air to force cleaning then sanitising solution from it. While I am at it I clean my pluto gun and beer lines. A bit of food grade grease on the hatch o-ring helps to seal it.

cheers
 

Bricey

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I have been using Milton anti-bacterial solution as my sanitiserever since I started brewing. Active ingrediant is Sodium Hypochlorite, and use to a mix of 250ml milton to 25l.

Hospital grade and even advocated for the use in sanitsing homebrew equipment on the bottle!

Its cheap to use if you get a no name brand equivilant.
 

Goat

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Sounds interesting Bricey I note from their web page however (http://www.miltonpharma.com/the-milton-method.cfm ) that it contains 16.5% NaCl do you rinse? That seems like a lot of salt to me.

The product does seem to kill an impressive number of bugs (see the bottom of the page on that link) not that any of those names mean much to me.
 

warrenlw63

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Hey Sosman! What type of espresso machine you got? :D

As well as homebrewing. Home coffee roasting is my second passion? :super:

Need something to fire me up in the morning after all the beer. :p

Warren -
 

Bricey

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Yep gaot, I most certainly do rinse.

Just enough to make sure that thier is no lingering milton smell. It has a pretty characteristic odour, but so long at thier is no trace it should be cool.
 

warrenlw63

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Bricey,

Milton is really just a milder, more user friendly form of bleach. OTOH it's also more expensive.

Use bleach you'll more or less get the same results and spend less money.

Warren -
 

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