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got a batch of beer just about ready to put in my keg.and I don't have any
sanitizer,to clean my keg,don't have time to order it and get it in time. my
question is, is there something else I can use, like vinegar, or alcohol.
any suggestion would be helpful.

thanks Jim

Re: sanitation

Stephanie Davis wrote:
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You're in a hurry, so I'll chance answering this. I'm no expert, but
I've run off several five-gallon batches of extract-kit beer.
A weak solution of ordinary unscented / no additives chlorine laundry
bleach (about one tablespoon to the gallon) would do the job. Let the
bleach work for a couple of minutes and then rinse it with boiled water
to remove the chlorine odor. Otherwise, hey. Vodka might work.

Karl S.
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 KJV

Re: sanitation


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Be careful advising Chlorine with Kegs.  If it's a Corny, it's more
than likely made of Stainless Steel.  Stainless and Chlorine are two
things that should not be put together.

I'd ask this:  what's the hurry?  Aging beer is usually the best route
to making better beer.  Wait a few days while you order some
sanitizer, then sanitize and rack.

Being in a hurry and brewing beer are two things that, like SS and
Bleach, shouldn't ever go together.

Re: sanitation

NobodyMan wrote:
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Having spent several days shooting a safety video at a Coca Cola
bottling plant I can conclusively say that they sanitize all their Corny
kegs with hot chlorinated water.

In fact part of the safety video focused on making sure the plex door on
the keg cleaning machine was closed before starting it so you don't get
hit in the face with hot chlorinated water.

Everything else stainless (everything in the entire building is
stainless) including the zillion dollar 120 station bottle filler is
purged and sanitized with chlorinated water between batches.

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Pete C.

Re: sanitation

This topic is an open wound with salt in it.

Some people say don't use Chlorine with Stainless, others say it's ok.

Kegs are made from the same Stainless Steel as surgical instruments (various
degrees obviously, 304, 316, etc), having worked in a Central Sterile Supply
of a hospital we were not allowed to use Chlorine to clean or sanitize the

All the literature I find on the internet & reading of books (not just
homebrewing, but metalurgy, sanitation and others) supports NOT using
Chloride (salts), Iodine or Chlorine on Stainless, it destroys the
passivative nature of the metal (the ability of the metal to protect itself
from corrosion).  Chlorine is fine for anything but stainless.

If Coca Cola uses Chlorine to sanitize their kegs, then that would explain
why Coke tastes like crap, they are cutting corners & using a cheap
alternative sanitizer, just to save a few bucks so their corporate execs can
drive a company Mercedes to & from work.  They may even be using (ugh)
aluminum kegs (

Since you aren't CC & don't work for them, don't follow their practices.
Sure, sanitizing your keg with Chlorine once or twice, or three times or
more may not seem to cause any harm, but in the long run, why take the
risk??  Corny Keg, 1/4 barrel or 1/2 barrel, it doesn't matter, Stainless
Steel is Stainless Steel.

I have to agree completely with NobodyMan on this one.  Wait a couple days
until you can get the proper sanitizing solution, your beer isn't going
anywhere and a couple of extra days in the secondary fermenter shouldn't

Take about 5 minutes and Google "Stainless Steel Chlorine" and see what we

Another alternative I will suggest is called a Quaternary Ammonia sanitizer,
almost all restaraunts use this as their sanitizer of choice, it's safe even
if it's not fully rinsed off and it's as effective as Chlorine.  Any food
service store worth their weight carries it and it is very inexpensive.

Relax...have a homebrew!!!


Re: sanitation

However, if you don't have a Stainless Steel keg (which has only been
assumed) then go ahead and use chlorine..... but remember how strong that
stuff is so only use a small amount as advised (1 tblspn per gallon)

Re: sanitation

PieOPah wrote:
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Thanks for the heads-up on stainless steel and chlorine bleach. It seems
counterintuitive that there'd be a problem, but I'll defer to the more
experienced brewers. I'll avoid that combination now.

Karl S.
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 KJV

Re: sanitation

"Karl S." wrote:

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John Palmer, the author of How to Brew, is a metallurgist by trade.  He says
don't use bleach on stainless and that's good enough for me.

Life begins at 60...1.060, that is.

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