Disassemble, Cleaning and Sanitizing a Cornelius Style Keg
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    So, here we have a dirty empty keg and a beer. Two things need to be done here. Clean and sanitize the keg and drink that beer



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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    I start by removing the lid from the cornie. I have already released the pressure via the relief valve

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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    Here we have the yeasty nastiness that is leftover from a nice batch of beer


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    We will need tools to remove the ball valves, poppets, dip tube and air inlet. I use an 11/16 socket for the smaller ones, a 7/8 socket for the larger ones. The star shaped one, I just use a set of channel locks

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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    I need a better picture of this, but you can see the poppet inside the actual assembly of the ball lock. 


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    In order, we have the inlet tube, the poppet and the ball lock assembly. This is the IN side of the keg


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    The OUT side of the keg will have a poppet and assembly. Other than those two pieces, you have the dip tube


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    S, besides the keg shell, here are all of the parts. We can see the lid, the dip tube and you'll notice that for ease, I separate the IN and OUT sides of the kegs ball lock assemblies


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    Here is the technique I use to knock the loose yeast from the keg, and also my wife's finger over the left side of the lens


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040

    I rotate and dump and continue to rinse until it is nice and clean

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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    Now it is time cor a cleaning agent. I use Oxy Clean. It works well. You can use PBW or whatever your choice is for cleaners. Oxy is cheap, plentiful and works great.


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    I usually add 1.5 quarts of hot hot water and this amount of Oxy


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    I use my sausages to cover the inlet and outlet ports and shake it violently


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    The dip tube goes into the tub with about 1/4 inch of water. I add the same amount of Oxy as I did for the keg, maybe a bit more if your tub doesn't slant like mine. 


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    I pour a little Oxy on the ball lock assemblies


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    With the dip tube and the ball assemblies soaking, I take a bit of time and use my carboy brush on the inside of the keg. 


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    Now I turn the top of the keg to inside the sink and rinse first with hot water. I am actually spinning the keg so I get every square inch rinsed. I then switch to cold water and rinse again. 


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    Now we are going to need a sanitizer. I use Star San and prefer it as a sanitizer. I have tried ever other method and have found that star san is the best. 


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    I use about this much star san to a quart of water. You don't need to mix up a whole bunch of this as it just needs two minutes of "wet time" to sanitize. The foam is your friend


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    This is what it looks like prior to shaking it up with the lid on


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    And after a good shaking. The foam creates the wet time that is necessary for sanitizing. 


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    I figured I needed to replace the sanitizer in the racking cane and after rinsing the dip tube I hook it up to the racking cane and use the end of the tube to pour sanitizer on the ball lock assemblies.


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    I put the poppets in the respective assembly and put the dip tube and inlet tube in their holes and quickly flip the ball lock assembly onto the threads and tighten them down. I do my best not to overtighten and use a slapping technique with the socket wrench as to not torque it on there


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  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    And there we have it. We have accomplished our goals of cleaning  and sanitizing a cornie keg and finishing off that really good homebrew


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  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,454
    Nice. I like especially like the progression of the beer.
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    That's good stuff and I don't even keg yet. I have a question re: star san. Directions say no rinse, but the foam has always given me trouble. Especially with a carboy, it is hard to get the foam out of a carboy, I end up rinsing over and over. Is that an issue with sanitizing or is that standard?
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    Benvarine said:

    That's good stuff and I don't even keg yet. I have a question re: star san. Directions say no rinse, but the foam has always given me trouble. Especially with a carboy, it is hard to get the foam out of a carboy, I end up rinsing over and over. Is that an issue with sanitizing or is that standard?


    this freaked me out to. i used all "one step" sanitizer for years, but switched to star san 6 months ago or so.
    thankfully, homebrewforums members convinced me that star san foam is no big deal at all since it is mostly air. now i just shake it decently to get a decent amount of the foam out and go about my business.
    had to troubles whatsoever from the foam
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 88,596
    According to Five Star, the foam breaks down into what amounts to yeast nutrients. Even the tiny bit of yeast left in whatever beer you are putting into a keg should still consume the tiny bit of star san foam left.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040
    I will leave some in the bottom of the keg, say 1/4 to 1/2 cup or so. When I am ready to keg, I give the keg one last shake as a final sanitizing step. Dump her out, fill her up and give her hard gas.
  • LothosLothos
    Posts: 2,146
    i use ioda 4 for my kegs and carboy's
    Ain't that a Bitch
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 121,933
    i assume you mean idophor :)
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    djsethall said:

    I will leave some in the bottom of the keg, say 1/4 to 1/2 cup or so. When I am ready to keg, I give the keg one last shake as a final sanitizing step. Dump her out, fill her up and give her hard gas.


    hard gas is the worst.
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,040

    djsethall said:

    I will leave some in the bottom of the keg, say 1/4 to 1/2 cup or so. When I am ready to keg, I give the keg one last shake as a final sanitizing step. Dump her out, fill her up and give her hard gas.


    hard gas is the worst.


    Depends if it is on the "in" side or the "out" side