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Help with keg cleaning chemicals

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  • Help with keg cleaning chemicals

    Looking for some keg cleaning advice. We have an ABE Keg Commander. It has 2 reservoirs with one reserved for sani. We’ve tried both 5 Star Liquid Caustic Cleaner (1 gal in 25 gal of water) at 170 degrees, and also (per 5 Stars advice) Acid 6 around 140 degrees (1.5 Liters in 25 gallons). We run a low wash cycle of up to 2 minutes, and a high wash cycle of up to 4 minutes. Kegs are not cleaning to our expectation, with many of the spears having a yeast-like film near the bottom of the spear. Rinsing is with cold tap water at around 75 PSI. We feel like we need a better chemical. The low wash cycle is slowly running the chemical down the spear for 2 minutes, but it isn’t cleaning. To test the theory, I put the spear directly in the reservoir for 2 minutes, then ran it under tap water. Same result, still dirty. This tells me it is a chemical problem. What are folks using successfully for chemicals? I’d ideally like to hear from ABE customers, but honestly I’m sure it’s the same with any system. The system seems to function 100% perfectly so I really don’t think it’s a machine issue. Thank you in advance. I can’t continue to pull every spear out and manually clean by hand.
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  • #2
    Try using an MSA based cleaner to remove beer stone and biofilm . Running it at a 1% solution acid strength will supply the correct amount of acid plus it’s one of the only acids that can be blended with Surfactants there by removing organic debris as well as scale.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    • #3
      Keg washing

      Left you a PM
      Steve Bradt
      Regional Sales Manager
      Micro-Matic Packaging Division
      Eastern United States and Canada


      • #4
        You can contact me at

        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


        • #5
          It looks as though you are simply not wetting this part of the spear in spite of having low flow periods. This is why the more recent keg washing systems from the big boys, GEA and undoubtedly Micromatic amongst others now have different speed flows during the delivery cycle to ensure you get some decent wettage of all parts of the keg, including the spear. Looking at the rest of the spear, it appears to be clean, so the majority is getting wetted. Your cleaning chemicals look to be OK.

          On the chemical front, consider using something other than caustic particularly if you don't have adequate initial air purging of the keg. Lt's say you have a 30 litre keg full of CO2, this will turn nearly 3 litres of 2% caustic to bicarbonate, so after a few kegs with a small reservoir you will have almost completely ineffective detergent.

          One of the problems with old keg washers, homemade keg washers or cheap commercial ones.

          I suspect you have had similar but more detailed responses, with resolutions to this problem from Bob and sbradt.

          But I stuck my nose in because their responses don't give any general guidance to anyone else who is in a similar situation.
          Last edited by dick murton; 03-29-2020, 11:01 AM. Reason: Added comment about caustic degradation