Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Keg Cleaning and Kegging Witbier (Super Exciting!! (not rly))

What up? Tonight I tapped the cider to check carbonation... okok I caved to temptation... no judge. Carbonation is good, flavor is mild and very refreshing. Super easy to drink for an 8% abv-ish bev... great summer drink. Still pretty sweet, so the girls will probs dig it...

Goals tonight were to clean the keg and tap from the SMaSHed Pils. Then sanitize and keg the Inefficient Witbier. Before I get to the wit, I thought I could give a quick run through on how I clean the kegerator. Mundane, I know... but maybs helpful?

Biggest thing to keep in mind, the longer things get left sitting, the grosser they get... so I try to clean as soon as possible after a keg kicks.

First I take the freshly empty keg, relieve pressure, and open. I put a little water in, swirl, and pour out sludge. Then I add a scoop of Oxyclean free (tip learned from HBT) fill with hot water, put lid back on, and roll the keg around on the floor to mix. Then I hook keg of warm oxyclean up to gas and the beer line of the tap I want to clean, I run the oxyclean through the line and tap 'til it runs clear. Disconnect that keg and put aside until next time. 

Take another keg from the closet that has been soaking in oxyclean since last time. Disassemble keg, tap, and beer line disconnect. Put all those parts in an oxyclean bath for an hour or so.

 Tap, disconnect, and keg parts sitting in Oxyclean bath...

Empty keg of oxyclean and rinse thoroughly with water. Rinse all parts and reassemble keg and kegerator. Fill clean keg with water, hook up and run plenty of water through tap. Disconnect keg and drain water from beer line by opening the tap and pressing the pin in on the disconnect. If I was going to leave the tap empty for a while, this is how I would leave it. Then take the keg, still filled with water, open, add sanitizer, close up and roll around on floor. After draining sanitizer, it's ready to go...

Tedious? kinda... but bottling is 50x more worse. Also, I will confess... I have... in the past... switched out kegs without cleaning the tap. (no judge) Phew... glad I got that off my chest. I feel so liberated! Srsly though... I really don't see the need to clean the tap and lines every time a keg is changed. I'm thinking bars rarely do... (correct me if I'm wrong) Obv if the tap sits with old beer and sludge in the lines for weeks, it needs to be cleaned...

On to the wit...
 Gravity reading is 1.010 3 days in a row... def done. Pic does not do the color justice. Paler than it looks. This is where White Ale (witbier) gets it's name. Also, 1.040 OG (original gravity) to 1.010 FG (final gravity) works out to just under 4% abv... so this isn't a killer beer, but I'm thinking it will be just fine for the crowd I will be serving to.

 Yummy?? Smells better than it looks, you'll have to take my word. I smell the orange and spice... a little belgian funk (very mild). Also, under the layer of scum (krausen) on top, the beer is very clean. When you siphon, you are taking the beer from underneath the krausen so this doesn't end up in the keg.

Looking into the bucket as I am siphoning.

So... filled keg, purged with co2, sealed, tossed in kegerator, and put on 30psi to force carbonate. Also, can I point out that I brewed this on the 14th, today is the 24th and this will be carbed and ready to drink in probs 2 more days. That is grain to glass in 12 days for those counting (anybody?) That is pretty awesome and the reason I like to brew this style often.

So... 5 gallons each of Cider and Witbier on tap for family party on Memorial day? Sure! That's it for tonight... Later.


  1. Wit looks perfect. My wit came out more wheat than wit but that's extract brewing for ya

  2. Thanks! Wit was one of my favorites to brew when I did extract. The color of my wits was one of my biggest motivations to go AG to begin with.