Kegging is one of those great Hallelujah moments for brewers. Why would I ever go back to bottling now? But while there's only one container to clean and sanitize, its mission critical to get the job done right.
Here's a simple method that allows you to be sure that your kegs are clean, santized and ready to go whenever you need them. It also has the advantage of using less cleaners and sanitizers and purging your kegs of all that staling oxygen.
- Gather up as many kegs as you have to clean (TPB generally does this four at a time)
- Spray each keg out with hot water to remove any of the obvious gunk.
- Every other cleaning or so, remove the posts and soak the posts, poppets, and the gas dip tube in PBW. (Tip: Use different containers for gas and liquid fittings to avoid confusion.)
- Fill the first keg with a scalding hot solution of PBW and run a brush through the liquid out dip tube.
- Rinse and seal the posts and poppets back in place. Rinse and seal the keg with it's lid.
- After 15 minutes, push the PBW out of the keg with CO2 through the liquid out using a jumper hose. (2 liquid fittings on either end of a short piece of hose)
- Rinse out the newly empty keg and let sit upside down to drain with the lid off.
- Fill the empty keg with a 5 gallon solution of Saniclean/Starsan/Iodophor.
- Push the PBW solution out of the other keg and rinse it out.
- Using the jumper hose, push the sanitizer from the first keg into the second. Seal the keg with CO2 and set off to the side.