Our Apollo-hopped pale ale fermented out in one week instead of two, so I had to clean out a recently kicked keg to make room for our newest brew. What better way to do that than to use my newest toy: a kegerator cleaning kit.

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This lovely kit was a Christmas gift and it’s primary purpose is to reduce the amount of water I need to use when cleaning the kegerator lines between brews. Without the smaller bottle, I have had to fill and pressurize a keg three times; once with cleaner, once with water, and finally with sanitizer. That’s 15 gallons. Not ideal.

Instead the kit comes with a bottle that holds about a half gallon of liquid. To use it, I remove the tap head (it needs a good soak in cleaner anyway) and screw on a short hose attached to the bottle. I then hold the valve at the other end of the line open and up end the bottle of cleaning solution to flush old beer out of the lines. After letting the solution sit for a bit, I flush the tubes with warm water and then finally sanitizier (which I ran from the keg since it needed to be cleaned anyway).

Ultimately it worked well and I’m confident that my kegerator will be able to serve tasty pale ale soon enough. The only strange thing was that as the cleaning solution flows out of the bottle, there is no way for air to replace it. Instead the bottle deforms from the vacuum. I’m really not sure that’s suppose to happen, but we’ll see.

On the beer end, our experimental pale ale tastes pretty good flat and warm. It’s definitely bitter (to be expected with a high alpha hop like Apollo) but not overly so. There seems to be some other flavor in there but I’m so use to pale ales being citrus-y, it’s hard to nail down. We’ll have to see how it turned out in a week or so.