Posts Tagged ‘keg refurbishing’

keg gasket replacement/refurbishing

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

after a successful weekend pouring the marzen as a “movemberfest” at ML’s movember fundraiser party, I was motivated to keg the small beer from my last brew session, which I had dry hopped with a couple ounces of willamette for about a week.  since my only remaining kegs were uncleaned and not rebuilt, a gasket replacement and general cleaning was in order.

  • simply put, buying “reconditioned” kegs with the gaskets replaced is a rip-off.  morebeer sells refurbished kegs for $17 more than their unrefurbished counterparts.  also, stores like northern brewer don’t even carry refurbished kegs, and their new ones run over three times the price of used.  rebuilding a standard cornelius keg only takes a couple bucks and a few minutes of your time:
  • after giving your keg a general external washing (I blast mine with a garden hose jet setting) and quick scrub to remove dirt, syrup, and any other external debris, grab a socket wrench and unscrew the beer OUT post on the keg.  you will need either a 7/8″ or 11/16″ ‘deep’ socket, depending on what style posts you have.  I recommend picking up both sockets at a place like harbor freight, especially if you keg with any frequency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • once you remove the post (you might have to wrestle with it a little after unscrewing), pull the dip tube out of the keg and and roll the o-ring at the top of the tube down and off of the tube.  sometimes the o-ring is fused onto the top of the dip tube from years of abuse, in which case a razor blade or thumbnail may come in handy to pry 0-ring loose.  if you see any mineral deposits or other gunk on the dip tube, scrub them off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • take your replacement o-ring and slide it back up the tube, then replace the dip tube.  note that the gasket replacement kit contains five items – two dip tube o-rings, two post o-rings, and one lid gasket.  major retailers sell these for $3-4 online, but I have found some for as little as $1.50 a set.

 

  • do the same with the gas IN post of the keg.  a few things to note here – (1)the gas in dip tube is much smaller than the beer out post, and may be either metal or plastic; (2) the gas in dip tube can be a pain in the ass to pull out of the gas in post.  be sure to clean the dip tube thoroughly, as these things are usually filthy – a q-tip soaked in PBW works well.  while replacing the o-rings on the dip tubes, I also like to punch the poppets out of both posts (using a pen tip or chopstick) and soak the poppets, posts, gas in dip tube, and lid pressure relief valve (the valve that screws into the lid of the keg) in a hot PBW solution for a few minutes and rinse with hot water.  a word of warning, however – the gas IN and beer OUT posts are NOT interchangeable, so make note of which is which (one usually has a different shape or is notched).
  • after the posts, poppets, and dip tubes are clean, reassemble and hand tighten the posts.  next, remove and replace the post o-rings.  a razor blade or knife makes this job a lot easier.  then replace the lid gasket and you’re all set!

 

 

  • after replacing the gaskets, I like to shake up a good amount of PBW and hot water in the keg.

 

 

 

 

 

  • while the hot PBW sits in the keg, I then clean the beer out dip tube by running hot PBW through the beer out post via my homemade line cleaner.  I then rinse the keg a couple of times with hot water and shake up some star-san in the keg, which I also run through my beer out line.

 

  • after dumping out the sanitizer, the keg is ready to fill with your beverage of choice.   my small beer finished at 1.004 for an ABV of 4.22%, and a sample tasted promising, as the earthy hops blended nicely with the toned-down roast profile.  I primed the keg with 4.7oz. of wildflower honey and will give it about a month to carb up.
  • despite the rising cost of stainless steel, by buying inexpensive gasket kits and keeping an eye out for the occasional bargain, I can pick up kegs for $20-25, which is about half of what they go for in “refurbished” condition.  good luck!