When you own a brewery, you must know how to properly clean and sanitize your kegs to keep your equipment safe and in a suitable condition. The inside of kegs can become dirty with dried yeast or old beer, which could create an environment for bacteria to grow. Learn the steps you need to take to clean your kegs with this guide.
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Begin the Cleaning Process As Soon as the Keg Is Empty
Leaving an empty keg to sit instead of cleaning it right away could make this chore trickier later because you’re leaving debris inside. This is especially true when you leave the kegs in a room without temperature control; buildup will occur on the inside when it gets hot and musty. Once you empty a barrel at your brewery, immediately begin the cleaning process to make it easier on yourself.
Depressurize the Keg and Remove the Spear
To begin, you must first prepare the keg for cleaning. Depressurize the barrel so there is no remaining CO2. You should also remove the keg spear to access the inside of the barrel.
Rinse the Keg & Use Cleaning Solution
Before you dump any cleaning products or solutions into the keg, rinse it out two to three times to remove as much debris as possible. After a few rinses, you can add hot water and the cleaning solution (according to the manufacturer’s instructions). Shake the barrel vigorously and let the solution sit inside for about 10 minutes to loosen any remaining buildup.
Soak in a Sanitizing Solution
You want to sanitize your keg after cleaning it to further minimize bacteria growth. Sanitizing solution is more effective after cleaning, so take the proper cleaning measures before this step. Find the best keg sanitizing solution, and read the directions on the bottle to determine how much of the solution you need.
Allow the keg to soak with this solution inside for about 20 to 30 minutes. Shake the barrel again to cover all areas with sanitizer.
Pressurize the Keg and Dispense the Sanitizer
After 30 minutes, you can pressurize the barrel again with couplers and the CO2 system. Forcing the sanitizer through your tubes and lines will also give them a quick clean. Once you purge the solution, your keg is ready for use.
Properly cleaning and sanitizing your brewery kegs is essential to minimize the bacteria growing inside. You never want to reuse a dirty keg because it could contaminate your next brew. Use this guide to ensure you’re taking the appropriate steps to clean the kegs at your brewery.