View Full Version : Techniques for cleaning old (really old) kegs?

01-14-2016, 08:03 AM
The owner of our brewery bought an old brewpub that had 36 kegs sitting in it. All of them dirty and some still full of beer. They have been sitting in this condition for about 15 years. I removed the spears and was able to work with micromatic to get those rebuilt beautifully. Just a breakdown, Bi-tek soak, rinse and reassemble. So I turned my attention to the kegs themselves. I did a phosphoric soak. Did not clean the old beer junk caked onto the sides. So I did a 24 hours bi-tek soak. Some removal but there is still a ton of gunk in there. Any suggestions on what might be my best bet for removing that stuff? It would be nice to get them cleaned because it would add 36 1/2 bbl's to my cooperage with very little investment.

01-14-2016, 08:10 AM
3M Schotchbrite pads--maroon--and about 30 gals of Elbow Grease.

dick murton
01-15-2016, 12:53 PM
If you are talking about the insides, try using hot (60 - 65 C max) NaOH at 1 - 2% with 150 - 250 ppm hypochlorite for 20 - 30 minutes, though you may need to repeat, recirc for longer. Rinse well, replace the "rubber" seals (and preferably the entire spear) once you happy with the internal finish. I suggest you only do a couple at first, to get a feel for how much effort is required. I also suggest that you fill with water and check at dispense pressure, then if OK, at whatever max allowable keg pressure is for leaks, before you clean more and try a dispense with beer before you clean any more, let alone fill with beer.

01-18-2016, 02:27 PM
Thank you. I will give that a shot.