CO2 flushing of kegs.

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Wingeezer
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CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by Wingeezer »

Unless I forget to do it, I flush empty kegs with CO2 before filling the keg. also, once the keg is full and closed and I start to carbonate, I pull the relief valve once or twice for good measure to try to ensure no O2 in the headspace.

Recently (can't remember where) I read where some people in preparing to transfer beer to a keg, first fill the keg with water, then use CO2 to force the water out before filling with beer.

I would switch to this method if it really makes any significant difference, but I'm not sure it does.

Any thoughts on this? Does anyone here use the water flush method and do you see a benefit?

Brian.
Save the whales ...................................... collect the whole set.

Baulz
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Re: CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by Baulz »

I can't see the point of doing it with water, using Star San would make more sense.

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Wingeezer
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Re: CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by Wingeezer »

Baulz wrote:I can't see the point of doing it with water, using Star San would make more sense.

The only thing I can think is that it is to ensure that you only have CO2 in the keg and not a mix of CO2 and air - but if CO2 is heavier than air, it seems to me that just flushing with CO2 - as I do anyway - would drive the air out.

Maybe it could be argued that when flushing with CO2 you never know how long to leave the CO2 flowing, but if you use CO2 to drive a kegful of water out, then you do know for sure that all you have in there is CO2.


Whenever a keg is empty, I dismantle and clean it thoroughly (brushes / oxyclean / star san, then store empty under CO2 pressure.

When ready to use, I dismantle again, rinse again with water / star san, lube O-rings, then re assemble and flush with CO2 before transferring beer, then burp the kelp a few times.

That's the approach I have taken since starting to keg.

Brian.
Save the whales ...................................... collect the whole set.

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bellybuster
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Re: CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by bellybuster »

ya there's a long thread going on about it on HBT right now. Find my comment for a laugh.
The whole oxidation thing is very over stated. Way back I was part of a club and we purposely tried to oxidate beer. I mean we did everything including bubble pure O2 and none of the blind taste tests were even close to being able to ID oxidation.
I have never worried about it too much since.

Even with big beers destined for some time in the keg I simply fill from the bottom and then purge the head space a few times, never an issue. I have a freshly tapped stout thats been in the keg probably a year and its wonderful.

this has been my opinion, not to be construed as fact or policy

Dave
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Re: CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by Dave »

Wingeezer wrote: Whenever a keg is empty, I dismantle and clean it thoroughly (brushes / oxyclean / star san, then store empty under CO2 pressure.
When ready to use, I dismantle again, rinse again with water / star san, lube O-rings, then re assemble and flush with CO2 before transferring beer, then burp the kelp a few times.
Brian.
You do more than I.
When a keg blows, I dismantle fully, poppits everytime, and toss parts in to clean it by soaking in a pbw clone for an hour or more. I only fill the keg 50% let soak, then over turn into pail for another time, in order to reduce the amount of hot cleaner used.Rinse with tap water/ starsan and reassemble lubing O-rings, then store with a pint of starsan in it under CO2 pressure, having checked for leaks.

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lumpy5oh
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Re: CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by lumpy5oh »

bellybuster wrote:ya there's a long thread going on about it on HBT right now. Find my comment for a laugh.
The whole oxidation thing is very over stated. Way back I was part of a club and we purposely tried to oxidate beer. I mean we did everything including bubble pure O2 and none of the blind taste tests were even close to being able to ID oxidation.
I have never worried about it too much since.

Even with big beers destined for some time in the keg I simply fill from the bottom and then purge the head space a few times, never an issue. I have a freshly tapped stout thats been in the keg probably a year and its wonderful.

this has been my opinion, not to be construed as fact or policy
+1. I think it's a waste of CO2 to fill the keg and then push it out with beer. Purging the head space is plenty.
Some people are like slinkies. Not really good for much, but bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.

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Reignman
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Re: CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by Reignman »

I purge my kegs a few times and that is it. I take apart a dirty keg and soak the parts in warm tap water. I grab a blue scrubbie and stick my arm all the way to the bottom and clean it. Rinse it and put the parts back but don't tighten them. I stick a grocery bag over the keg to keep dust and crap out and store them in my basement.

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Diceman
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Re: CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by Diceman »

I think what you are doing now is good ( pulling the relief valve ) .
Think about it .. co2 is heavier than oxygen .
Oxygen is at the top of the tank , so , the relief valve is the only place you can purge oxygen from because the pickup tube for the beer is at the bottom of the tank where the co2 is .
Makes sense to me .
fermenter : high gravity fermented Vienna Lager , re-fermenting with abbey ale yeast . kinda experiment .

lylo
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Re: CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by lylo »

I'm thinking that it probably is good to purge slowly and at low pressure I have this vision in my head of the CO2 going in via the short on tube and straight out the relief valve. Let the heavy CO2 get to the bottom before purging.
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bellybuster
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Re: CO2 flushing of kegs.

Post by bellybuster »

Diceman wrote: Think about it .. co2 is heavier than oxygen .
this is kind of a fallacy. Sort of. CO2 in the presence of O2 or plain old air in our case for the most part will readily mix and pretty much instantaneously. The CO2 is not "pushing out the air" it is diluting it. By purging the air space we are diluting the air with CO2 hopefully to the point where it doesn't matter.

This also comes into play with the magical "layer" of protective CO2 in a fermenter. Not really the case. Unless there was no air in the first place there will always be some. The second a fermenter is opened the air will mix with the CO2. it is hoped that the dilution will remain below worrisome levels.

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