- 1 Can you use dish soap to clean keg lines?
- 2 What happens if you don’t clean beer lines?
- 3 Can you clean beer lines with hot water?
- 4 How often should you clean beer lines?
- 5 Should you clean beer lines?
- 6 How do bars clean beer lines?
- 7 Do you have to clean keg lines?
- 8 Can old beer lines be cleaned?
- 9 How long should beer line cleaning take?
- 10 Is beer sediment OK to drink?
- 11 Can you leave water in beer lines overnight?
- 12 Why does beer line cleaner go green?
- 13 What is the best way to remove beer stain?
What can I use to clean my beer lines?
How to Clean the Lines – Professional bars recirculate a cleaning solution through each beer line for several minutes, but this is impractical for most hobbyists. And, thankfully, it’s usually unnecessary. Recirculation is certainly beneficial for long-draw systems in which beer travels 20 feet (6 meters) or more from keg to faucet, but most home draft lines are 10 feet (3 meters) or shorter.
Run a cleaning solution through the draft line under pressure until the flow runs clear. Wait while the solution soaks in the lines. I usually go for 15 minutes. Run clean water through the draft line under pressure to flush out the cleaner. Tap the next keg. Open the faucet and let it run until beer comes out. Pour your first pint from the new keg.
You don’t even need any special equipment to get started. Prepare your cleaner solution in an empty keg, pressurize it with carbon dioxide, and push it through the line just as you would beer. Then repeat using a keg of plain water. You don’t need to use full kegs.
- Just a couple of quarts is really all that’s needed.
- Learn how to build, maintain, and troubleshoot your home draft system with Craft Beer & Brewing’s Draft Systems online course.
- Sign up today! All of this pressurizing, though, is a waste of carbon dioxide, so consider building or purchasing a special hand pump-based line cleaner.
These are available from retailers, or you can build your own from a hand pump paint sprayer, a spare corny keg liquid post, and a coupler that adapts the pump’s outer thread to the post’s inner thread. Whether you build your own or buy a ready-made product, these simple devices hold a quart or two (1–2 liters) of fluid, and you supply the pressure with a few strokes of the piston.
- You’ll save carbon dioxide and water.
- As for the cleaner you choose, OxiClean works well as long as you don’t allow the lines to sit empty between kegs.
- If you plan to tap a new keg right after emptying the old one, then flushing with OxiClean and rinsing with hot water is probably sufficient.
- OxiClean won’t remove beer stone, though, so for more thorough cleanings, consider a product such as BLC Beer Line Cleaner.
It’s safe for your equipment but has the added oomph to remove beer stone. Finally, don’t forget that beer lines should be replaced periodically. The more beer you brew and drink, the more frequently you should replace your lines: Once a year is fine for most of us, more often for chuggers, and less often for sippers.
How do you clean beer lines without gas?
How to Clean Beer Lines Without a Kit – Technically, you can clean your beer lines without a kit using a DIY beer line cleaner. Although this is not something we would recommend doing, especially if you are not a pro-level DIY expert, it is still possible. You will have to use some of your DIY skills to build a homemade keg cleaner. Here are the main components:
- Pressure cleaner (obtained from any DIY store for ~$10)
- Liquid post
- 17 mm spanner wrench
- Thread tape
Once all your cleaning components are ready, follow these steps to clean beer lines without a kit:
- Start by taking the original nozzle off and, after applying some thread tape to create a tight seal, attach the liquid post to the pressure cleaner.
- Tighten it with the spanner wrench.
- Next, fill the pressure cleaner with some hot water and add a cleaning solution (PBW or similar). Connect the dirty beer line to the liquid post on the pressure cleaner.
- Tap the faucet to let out all the beer that’s left in there and then pump some cleaning solution into the beer line. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water.
We highly recommend always using a specific beer-line cleaning solution, rather than vinegar, baking soda or any bleach-containing substances for the cleanest and safest results.
Can you use dish soap to clean keg lines?
Tue, Nov 10, 2015 – 11:11am #1 Offline Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago Apprentice, member since Stop using dish soap in the brew house – HOW TO CLEAN BREWING EQUIPMENT Do NOT use dish soap for anything that comes in contact with your beer or equipment to make that beer. It leaves residue that can be harmful to your beer.
- It reduces head retention, the scented soaps and chemicals can effect your beer flavor, and dish soap can create off flavors in your beer.
- Only use PBW & Star San to clean and sanitize brewing equipment and glassware in the brewhouse.
- They are restaurant quality and food grade safe.
- All restaurants and bars use these products to clean and sanitize.
Even Randy Mosher agrees! (see resources below). Please use only these steps when cleaning shared brewhouse equipment, it’s the brewing industry standard.
What happens if you don’t clean beer lines?
Don’t Let Dirty Draft Lines Ruin Your Beer by Jessie O’Brien The beer-making process is complex. There are a lot of opportunities for mistakes, up to the very moment when the beer goes through the draft line and into a glass. It’s why keeping lines clean is crucial for any brewery, bar, or restaurant that values the quality of their beers.
- Beer lines are the very last point of contact and the last point where something can go wrong,” said Michele Wonder, a Certified Cicerone and draft services professional with Perfect Pour Services in Portland, Oregon.
- The company helps install, clean, and maintain systems for commercial and home clients.”These brewers have worked exceedingly hard to ensure that the flavor of their beer and the integrity of their product is at the maximum, and it can really fall down on that last leg,” Wonder said.
“A lot of brewers understand that, and a lot do not.”
Why is Draft Line Cleaning Important? Signs of a Dirty Line How Often Should You Clean Draft Lines? How to Properly Clean Draft Lines The Sins of Draft Line Cleaning
A dirty draft line won’t kill your customers, but it will kill your reputation. That’s because the alcohol will eliminate harmful bacteria that will make you ill, but the unclean lines can dramatically affect flavor. No matter how diligently a delicious beer is brewed, if it’s poured through a bad line drinkers will notice.
Lines are made of vinyl tubing. The porous material is subject to bacteria build up, which often results in a vinegary, acidic taste. Diacetyl can also accrue in a dirty line. The acid has a buttery flavor that creates a slick texture. “It’s just going to taste nasty,” Wonder said. “It tastes like old gym socks.”Other than unwanted funky flavors, another indicator of an unclean line is a darkening opaqueness of the vinyl tubing.
Buildup on external parts are other clues to look out for; grime on the faucets and the keg couplers are signs of well-past due cleanings.When it comes to line cleaning, the Brewers Association’s free downloadable Draught Beer Quality Manual “is the Bible for draft cleaning,” Wonder said.
- The manual suggests a full line cleaning every two weeks.
- Wonder has customers who schedule every four weeks.
- Smaller customers like offices may wait every eight weeks.
- But she says any commercial business should not surpass the four-week mark.
- People wish that frequency of service was based on quantity of dispense, but that’s not the case,” she said.
“There is product in the system whether it’s sitting there or whether it’s used on a regular basis.” The Draught Beer Quality Manual suggests replacing lines every 12 to 18 months. But Wonder says when regularly maintaining the lines, they can last up to two to three years.
- Customers should also be aware that the price of their bill isn’t an indicator of whether or not a business prioritizes maintenance.
- We have lots of dive bars that clean on a very regular basis.
- I definitely know of some high-end places that do not clean at all,” she said.
- Some of the finest five-star restaurants have the scariest kitchens you’ve ever seen.” Wonder says the optimal way to clean lines is with mechanical action, pumps that achieve better circulation and flow rates.
Homebrewers can get away with pot soaking, pumping chemicals into the line and letting it sit in a bucket of solution. Wonder suggests all commercial businesses use the mechanical action method.1. To start, uncouple all the kegs. Use a towel and bucket to make sure no product gets on the kegs and the cooler floor.2.
Drain all the beer from the system.3. Take a cleaning coupler and attach line one to one side of the coupler and line two the other side, and create a loop in that line. If you have a four-line system, use another coupler that connects lines three and four.4. Remove the faucets with the spanner wrench.
Disassemble the faucets and soak them in a bucket with PBW Liquid (alkaline safer cleaner) or Liquid Circulation Clearner (LCC) caustic solution.5. Set up the mechanical pump. Put the input part into a bucket of water first. Connect line one to the first position in the tower.6.
- Add a jumper line that connects line two to line three and an outlet hose connected to four.
- Begin pushing clean water through the system with the outlet hose draining into a sink or drain.7.
- Continue cycling until there is nothing but water going through the system.8.
- Now flush the line with PBW Liquid or LCC.
Caustic solutions have specific dosing. The brewers manual suggests caustic solutions as the best practice for line cleaning, but Wonder says many people prefer using Powdered Brewery Wash (PBW). “It’s aces, I love it to death,” she said. “I use it all over my house, I use it all over the brewery.
It’s a lot more environmentally friendly. It doesn’t have the need for such precision in dosing and can be handled by people with a lot less chemical experiences.”9. Once ready, run the solution through the line until the output runs clear. Then you can begin recirculating the cleaning agent throughout the system by moving the output hose from the sink or drain into the bucket of cleaning solution to form a loop.10.
While the circulation is happening, brush all the components, visually inspecting the soft parts like the coupling gaskets for wear and tear. Replace parts as needed.11. After the solution is finished cycling, flush with multiple buckets of warm water to ensure no residual cleaning solution is left in the system.12.
Reassemble the system.13. Once retapped, pull all the water in the line through the tap until beer flows.14. Cheers! Draft line cleaners should be aware of these common mistakes. • Not recirculating for a long enough time.• Not using the correct temperature of the cleaning chemicals is not accurate. Water with PBW needs to be 120 degrees and above to be used most efficiently.
Recirculating at that temperature isn’t necessary, but hot water is needed to mix the solution. • Inaccurate dosing-especially with caustics. Wonder says a titration test to see what percentage the solution is at is ideal for caustic. She has seen many professionals run way more or less than they need.
Not giving enough time and attention to faucets and the couplers is another no-no. • Using inferior hardware like brass and copper-plating. Stainless steel will pay for itself in the long-run, she says. Wonder also suggests keeping a cleaning log to have some sort of record and accountability. She hopes that one day draft line cleaning will be as transparent as health department scores.
The transparency will encourage everyone to maintain their systems and keep beer safe and delicious for customers. “If you’re a brewer, remember that this is the last thing that touches your beer. This is the last thing that can mess up your beer,” Wonder said.
Can you clean beer lines with hot water?
Temperature – The temperature of solution you use for cleaning is important. Depending on the type of cleaner. Will determine the right water temperature. It’s recommended with a warm water cleaning solution (around 80- 110 degrees Fahrenheit). Is best to loosen up any build-up or contaminants.
How often should you clean beer lines?
How often should I clean the beer lines? Unless you have special brewery approved equipment then you should clean (or if you employ a cellar services technician have them do it) at a minimum of every 7 days.
Should you clean beer lines?
Cleaning Lines and General Maintenance – Here are BA-defined minimum standards for draught cleanliness:
At a minimum, you should clean your draught line every two weeks with an alkaline detergent cleaner to remove protein and films that build up quickly. The cleaning chemical should be recirculated through the product line for a minimum of 15 minutes at a velocity up to two gallons/minute. Soaking product lines is not recommended, but the cleaning solution should be left in-line for at least 20 minutes if recirculation is not an option. All faucets should be completely disassembled and cleaned every two weeks. Make sure to replace any damaged seals or gaskets. Acid cleaning should be performed quarterly to remove inorganic compounds such as “beer stone,” which are mineral deposits. All vinyl jumpers and vinyl direct draw lines should be replaced annually. Couplers should be replaced based on condition. Inspect the coupler bottom seal and O-rings, to make sure they are properly lubricated with a food-grade lubricant. Good quality, well-maintained couplers, faucets and shanks can last a lifetime. Parts that are 100 percent stainless steel are the most reliable and will provide the best quality experience for your staff and customers. Always make sure to rinse lines with clean water after cleaning! Draught lines may need to be replaced after pouring root beer, fruit or pepper-flavored beers, sour beers, margaritas or ciders in order to avoid permanent flavor influence.
How do bars clean beer lines?
The Beer Line Cleaning Process – No matter who’s responsibility beer line cleaning may be, the operator simply must ensure that their beer lines are properly cleaned. In order to adequately clean your lines, the Brewers’ Association has provided a step-by-step cleaning procedure to follow,
- First, get the right equipment.
- Next, embark on the cleaning process.
- Considering the recommended cleaning cycle of fourteen days, come up with a log for your draught line cleaning.
- Provide special cleaning services for any gaps that may occur after this ideal time.
- To protect beer lines during off seasons, provide special service for seasonal accounts.
When cleaning the lines, ensure that you rinse faucets thoroughly of beer. Also, check that there is no physical buildup of molds.3 Take note of the following procedures:
Push beer from lines with cold water at a velocity of 2 gallons per minutes within a minimum period of fifteen minutes. Use an alkaline detergent or other caustic solutions to remove protein and films Circulate the caustic solution and leave in lines for twenty minutes. Disassemble and hand clean faucets and couplers. Remove all cleaning chemicals completely from the lines with cold water. After rinsing, repack lines with beer
Do you have to clean keg lines?
Common Beer Line Cleaning Questions – Q: Why do dispensing lines have to be cleaned? A: Regular cleaning of your beer lines, faucet, and keg coupler is crucial for maintaining a sanitary environment, preventing the build-up of yeast, mold, and bacteria.
- This regular cleaning assures that bacteria does not have the opportunity to reach levels that might cause off-flavors and shorten the shelf life of your beer.
- Line cleaning with the proper equipment and chemicals will also eliminate the build-up of calcium oxalate or “beer stone”, a mineral deposit that builds up when dispensing draft beer.
If left unchecked, these beer stones can flake off into your beer causing an off taste, as well as creating an unsanitary surface that can harbor microorganisms. Q: How often should I clean my lines? A: In commercial environments, line cleaning should be performed at least once every two weeks.
- For home environments that may not cycle through as much beer and have a much shorter beer line, we recommend that you clean your lines every time you switch out a keg or every five weeks, whichever is shorter.
- Q: How do I clean my lines? A: There are several different methods for cleaning beer lines, including hand pump cleaning kits, pressurized cleaning kits, and re-circulating cleaning pumps.
To use a hand pump cleaning kit :
Shut off your CO2 Regulator, untap the keg, and remove the beer line from your keg coupler. Attach the beer line to the cleaning kit coupler. Pour the measured amount of the cleaning chemical into the open cleaning bottle, following the manufacturer’s specifications on the label. Add water as directed, ensuring that you do not overfill the container. Insert the pump and twist to tighten. Pump to pressurize the cleaning bottle. Place a bucket or pitcher under the faucet and open the faucet to allow the cleaning solution to flow through the line. Pump until dry. Rinse the cleaning bottle and fill it with clean, cool water and repeat the cleaning cycle to rinse the line of cleaning chemicals.
To use a pressurized cleaning kit :
Fill the cleaning bottle with line cleaner solution. Secure the bottle cap onto the mouth. Detach the keg coupler from your keg and attach it to the cleaning bottle cap, tapping it as if it were a keg. Place a bucket or pitcher under the faucet to catch the cleaning fluid and pull forward on your faucet handle to begin. Your CO2 canister will force the cleaning solution through the keg coupler, through the beer lines, out of your faucet and into the bucket. Pump until dry. Rinse the cleaning bottle and fill it with clean, cool water and repeat the cleaning cycle to rinse the line of cleaning chemicals.
To use a re-circulating cleaning pump :
Connect keg couplers with cleaning cups or cleaning adapters. Fill a bucket with warm water and place the “in” hose into the water. Connect the “out” hose to the dispense system and turn the pump on, flushing beer out into a second bucket until the line runs clear with water. Rinse out this second bucket and refill with an appropriate line cleaning mixture. Place the “in” hose into this bucket, creating a closed loop. Turn the pump back on and allow this mixture to recirculate for a minimum of 15 minutes. Refill the first bucket with fresh cold water and place the “in” hose back in this bucket. Pump cold water from the first bucket into the second bucket to rinse the system, refilling the first bucket and dumping the second bucket as needed.
No matter which cleaning method you use, be sure to soak the keg coupler and faucet in a mixture of water and cleaning chemicals, scrub them with a cleaning brush, and rinse them clean with water. This is also a good time to check that all parts are in good condition and do not need to be replaced.
Can you use dish soap to clean brewing equipment?
How to Clean a Fermentor – First, make sure to use a powerful cleaner designed specifically for beer brewing and wine making, Choosing Your Cleaner Skip the dish soap! It is a fragrance-filled degreaser, so it does us no good against protein and mineral scale.
Additionally, the fragrances will leave a film of oil which will ruin head retention and affect flavor. Bleach is corrosive and must be rinsed carefully, and Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) is not environmentally friendly. A strong alkaline cleaner designed for brewing, like Powdered Brewery Wash ( PBW ), is the ticket.
Also available in tablet form. One Step is good alternatives. These brewery-specific cleaners are safe for all materials we use in brewing. How to Clean To prevent biofilms and caked-on scum you will want to get cleaning as soon as possible. So dump and rinse, then fill your fermentor most of the way with warm water and the correct dosage per gallon of the cleaner.
- Scrub well with a soft cloth or sponge and let soak for at least 20 minutes or even overnight.
- Abrasive pads or brushes should not be used on plastic carboys or buckets as they may create scratches that will harbor bacteria.
- Scrubbing is essential for most approaches so we can physically remove that dirt.
Scrub as much as you think you need to and then scrub that much again. Biofilms and deposits can be invisible to the naked eye.
Can old beer lines be cleaned?
Beer lines (including couplers and faucets) need regular servicing. To clean the lines, you will likely need the help of a professional. The professional will use a beer line cleaning solution designed to attack and dissolve proteins, carbohydrates, hop resins, and biofilms; as well as kill bacteria, molds, and yeast.
How do breweries clean kegs?
Keg Cleaning with Acid and Detergent Only Cleaning kegs in breweries has traditionally been accomplished by using hot water and alkaline liquid cleaning solutions comprised of sodium and or potassium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and potassium hydroxide (KOH) utilize extremely high (12-14) pH to hydrolyze (break down) soil to remove it.
Sodium hydroxide is also known as caustic soda or lye and potassium hydroxide is known as caustic potash. In the last few decades, formulators have included surfactants, (detergents) and sometimes chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) along with the caustic to assist wetting and protein removal. A decade ago, craft brewers began using a new generation of non-caustic, alkaline, oxygenated cleaning solutions instead of using caustic.
(See The New Brewer, March/April, 1996). These powdered non-caustic alkaline cleaners are safer for employees than their caustic predecessors due to their lower pH at use level. Caustic cleaning solutions are used in the brewery because they are relatively inexpensive, can be recycled (re-used) and do a good job of removing protein-based soils.
They do not, however, address calcium and magnesium hard water scale deposits nearly as well as acidic cleaning solutions. Non-caustic cleaners tend to cost more per pound than caustics do but they do not promote beerstone (calcium oxalate or C2CaO4) formation as much as caustics. Non-caustic cleaners are not normally recycled because the cleaning mechanism utilized is displacement, not hydrolysis like caustics employ.
Acids blends, often containing phosphoric and nitric acid, are commonly used in the brewery to remove beerstone deposits, passivate metal, (stainless steel), and neutralize caustic cleaners. Unlike alkaline cleaners, however, acids by themselves are not usually very good at removing protein-based soil that are encountered in the brewhouse and fermentation vessels.
- Once the fully fermented beer has been allowed to get cold and age, the soil left behind does not have nearly as much protein soil, especially if the beer is filtered or fined to remove much of the yeast and protein.
- Here, the primary problem soil in brite tanks, serving tanks, kegs, and tap lines is beerstone.
Given the fact that the soil in kegs is primarily calcium and magnesium scale in nature and the cleaning cycle time is typically very short, one would surmise that using an acidic formulation might be a better choice than using either caustic or non-caustic cleaners in this scenario.
Avery Brewing Company, based in Boulder, Colo, recently purchased a new Comac keg cleaning and sanitizing machine. To reduce chemical costs and attempt to remove the beerstone deposits in the kegs, Avery contacted Birko to try an acidic and detergent approach instead of the chlorinated caustic approach that they had been using with the previous machine.
The previous machine did not recycle the cleaning chemical. It simply drew the chemical into the line and was not recycled, so the cleaning chemical went immediately down the drain at the end of the cleaning cycle. Using this approach, it was taking 190 ml (over 6.4 ounces) of chlorinated caustic per keg and since the machine did not have a reservoir for recycling chemical so it was very wasteful.
- The new machine, which has a 60 gallon reservoir for recycling chemical was charged with one gallon of acid and two ounces of detergent additive.
- The concentration works out to 2 ounces per gallon of the nitric/phosphoric acid blend and only about 250 parts-per-million (ppm) of the detergent additive.
The pH of the use solution was 1.0 – 1.5 and tested out to 3000 ppm as phosphoric acid using the LaMotte Acidity test kit. The machine does a purge to remove any remaining beer and carbon dioxide from the keg, does a hot rinse, cleaning cycle, three burst rinses followed by a steam sanitizing cycle.
How long should beer line cleaning take?
Pressurised Cleaning – You should use this method if your beer lines are less than ten feet long. ● Use a hand pumping cleaning bottle and fill it up with the cleaning chemical. Depending on the chemical, you might need to mix it with water. ● Pump the cleaning solution through the beer line.
Is beer sediment OK to drink?
What’s The Sediment At The Bottom Of My Beer? – Firestone Walker Brewing Company “What is that floating around at the bottom of my beer?” This is a question we hear commonly about our hazy beers. And the short answer is: it’s an entirely natural, safe, and edible byproduct of our pursuit to provide you with the maximum mouthfeel and flavor complexity.
But we wanted to know more, so we sat down with Amy Crook, Firestone Walker’s Director of Quality Control, to learn a bit more about this phenomenon. Keep reading to get the scientific breakdown of sediment in hazy beers. To understand sediment in beer, you must first know how we create the haze in these beers.
Hazy beers have two features that separate them from clear beers. First, they typically use oats and wheat malt in the grain bill, which are high in proteins. And second, they are unfiltered. We first stack the grain bill with higher-protein malts. Proteins interact with yeast and polyphenols to create a protein-derived haze.
- Filtering a beer removes all of the yeast, proteins, and polyphenols from the liquid.
- This results in a brilliantly clear beer.
- But by bypassing the filtration step for our hazy beers, we keep those compounds in solution, adding to the pillowy-soft mouthfeel of the beer and providing the haze we want.
As a beer ages or if it is agitated during transport, these compounds can precipitate out of the liquid and fall to the bottom of the can or bottle. Haze complexes can also coalesce into larger-sized particulates, thus resulting in the sediment you may see in Mind Haze or Double Mind Haze.
- So, while the sediment may not look the prettiest, it is perfectly safe, and it’s a beneficial signature of an authentic hazy beer.
- We brew a handful of hazy beers, particularly in our of IPAs.
- If you’re new to the haze, we’d recommend checking out our original IPA.
- But if hazy isn’t really your style, we’d point you to our other IPAs like or,
Join us to get exclusives on beers, merch, events, news and more: : What’s The Sediment At The Bottom Of My Beer? – Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Should the beer tap touch the beer?
6- Never Let the Beer Touch the Nozzle If you are filling your glass from a faucet, it is crucial to ensure that the beer doesn’t touch the faucet. The beer left on the outside of the tap is one of the most prone places for bacteria growth.
Can you leave water in beer lines overnight?
Draught Shutdown & Recommissioning To ensure your draught system is kept in the best possible condition, and ready to come back to action as soon as the Government’s social distancing measures are lifted please follow this advice to enact a temporary shutdown.
Push remaining beer through the lines with clean water. Run your line cleaning solution through thoroughly, and leave to rest with line cleaner for 15 minutes. Flush through once more with clean water.Empty and rinse line cleaner vessel. Prepare a sanitiser solution in it to introduce into the draught system. One recommended option is Sodium Metabisulphite, which is sold commonly as Campden tablets. Follow manufacturer’s guidelines for recommended dilution rate. Pull the solution through the system.If it is safe to do so, repeat this cleaning procedure every four weeks during temporary shut down.Do not cover up the nozzles on your beer taps. If left for an extended period of time this can risk developing mould. Give the taps a thorough clean with food grade sanitiser.Leave couplers disconnected from kegs, and clean them inside and out, being sure not to leave them resting on the cellar floor.Turn off the gas supply to the draught system. Turn off the remote coolers and any under bar cooling you may have.Keep your cellar cooling active. If left at ambient temperature this may encourage the growth of mould.
Once you are eventually ready to reopen your bar for draught service: 1. Pull water through the system to flush out any sanitiser. Do a thorough line clean in line with your normal procedures.2. Give all couplers a thorough clean, and check products are still within their best before date before reconnecting kegs.3.
Why does beer line cleaner go green?
– Publicans sometimes ask us why is it necessary to flush water through the lines before line cleaning? Why not fill the system with line cleaner straight away? There are several reasons why you flush the beer from the lines before cleaning with a line cleaner.
The first is to reduce the cleaning time (even though this answer may sound odd). Flushing with water helps to push out any accumulated debris which is not stuck to the walls in the lines, such as loose bits of limescale, floating protein, yeast and beer stone. Also, when bacteria starts to grow in a beer line system it is small floating single organisms (Similar to Plankton in the sea) which has not yet stuck to the walls of the line.
When you flush with water you remove most of these floating bacteria cells which means that the beer line cleaner can work on the more difficult to remove bacteria which has already stuck to the line walls and started to form biofilm. If you just added beer line cleaner straight to the line its cleaning power would be used up on the floating bacteria meaning your clean would be less effective.
- Second is the beer itself.
- Beer line cleaners are not just for removing bacteria, a good quality one will also remove any sugars, water hardness salts, beer stone salts, proteins as well as clean the lines of tannin stains.
- Beer naturally contains all of these items, so when the line cleaner pushes the beer from the line some of its cleaning power will be used to “clean” the beer rather than any residues within the pipe, making the cleaning less effective.
You can see this if you use a purple beer line cleaner as it will turn green/yellow if it comes into contact with beer showing its cleaning power is being used on the beer and not for cleaning the pipes. Thirdly there is safety. If the lines are flushed with beer line cleaner to remove the beer within the pipes at the start of cleaning then you run the risk of someone drinking beer which contains line cleaner that has been left around the bar.
Line cleaners are extremely dangerous and should never be ingested as they can cause severe damage to your throat and stomach (one gentleman who recently accidentally drank beer line cleaner has had to have this throat removed). Flushing with water means that any beer removed from the lines will only contain water.
If you have any questions about best hygiene practice for your cellar and glass preparation just ask our friends at : Flushed Away – the importance of water in your beer line clean
What acid is used to clean beer lines?
Caustic (sodium hydroxide, NaOH, and potassium hydroxide, KOH) cleaners are typically used to clean draught lines (AKA tap lines or beer lines), with acid cleaning taking a back seat and only used as needed to tackle calcium oxalate (beer stone) issues.
Acid cleaning does not remove biofilm as readily as caustic cleaning, but acid cleaning is recommended for beerstone removal on a quarterly basis. The Brewers Association recently published the Fourth Edition of the Draught Beer Quality Manual (DBQM) and can be found online here, The DBQM recommends cleaning beer lines with caustic every 14 days to keep the lines in good shape,
For most beers, this works just fine. But what happens when a non-standard beer is put on a draught line and then ends-up flavoring a different and subsequent beer put on the same line long after the non-standard beer is pulled?
What is the best way to remove beer stain?
Steps to Clean –
- Soak for 15 minutes in mixture of one quart lukewarm water, one-half teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon white vinegar. Rinse.
- Sponge with rubbing alcohol, using light motions from center to edge of stain.
- Soak for 30 minutes in one quart warm water with one tablespoon enzyme presoak products.
- If color stain remains, launder in chlorine bleach if safe for the fabric, or in oxygen bleach.