- 1 What do you clean beer lines with?
- 2 How often should draft beer lines be cleaned?
- 2.1 Do you use hot or cold water to clean beer lines?
- 2.2 Can you clean beer lines with cold water?
- 2.3 Can you use vinegar to clean keg lines?
- 2.4 How often should beer lines be replaced?
What do you clean beer lines with?
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 often should draft beer lines be cleaned?
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.
Do you use hot or cold water to clean beer lines?
Draft Line Cleaning The store will not work correctly in the case when cookies are disabled. When it comes to maintaining the best quality beer for your customers, the routine cleaning of your draft lines is an essential practice. Over time, a buildup of bacteria, mold, yeast and sediment (beer stone) can accumulate in your lines, affecting your beer’s flavor profile and causing foaming.
Remove your draft line from the keg and make sure any beer remaining in the line is removed Mix a cleaning solution of P.B.W using 1 to 2 ounces per gallon of hot water to put through the draft line under pressure. You can use a line cleaning kit available at any homebrew store listed here Run the solution through your draft line, letting it soak for up to 30 min. to remove any buildup Run clean water through the draft line, under pressure, to flush out the cleaner Tap the next keg and let beer run through the line, checking for any issues
BREWPUB/RECIRCULATION METHOD (20FT OR MORE):
Make sure to use protective gloves and eyewear If you have a glycol power pack, turn off the system, as the cold temperature of the system can interfere with the effectiveness of the cleaning solution Disconnect all the couplers in your cooler, then place a bucket under your faucets to drain any beer left in the line Take apart your faucets and soak them in P.B.W (1 to 2 ounces per gallon in hot water) Connect your faucet jumpers onto your faucets, making sure to spin the shank coupling nut until hand tight. Connect your out tube for the flush, making sure the end is in your sink. Take your duel flush couplers and connect your lines in the cooler, making sure to check all your lines in the process. Prime your pump with flowing warm water by sticking your intake line in a bucket of flowing water. Make sure no air is being pushed through the line. You can then make your connections, ensuring proper flow throughout the line. Start off slow. An ideal flow rate would be 1-2 gallons per minute. Do not go past 40 pounds of pressure as this will cause leaking. Once all the beer is removed, and you only see water, mix your cleaning solution. We recommend using Five Stars Liquid Line Cleaner, at a ratio of a ½ ounce per gallon of water, circulating for a minimum of 5 minutes. Make sure to compensate for the water that you used to flush out the beer in your lines. Turn on you pump, pushing the cleaner through the line. Make sure the cleaner is running through the entire system. Clean the system for 20 minutes. Afterwards, take your intake tube and repeat the step of flushing with flowing water. This should bring your beer lines back to a neutral pH in approximately 10-15min. Shut down the pump and begin to put the system back together. Make sure to clean your shanks with Star San (1 oz. per gallon of water) and a brush, before putting your faucets back on. Prior to connecting your couplers, you can also brush them clean with the same Star San solution. Turn your system back on and get beer flowing back through your lines.
We hope you find this information valuable when it comes to breaking down the proper way to clean your draft lines. Taking these steps will ensure that your facility will be clean for your customers or friends to enjoy your next great beer. Cheers! Copyright © Five Star Chemicals & Supply, LLC. All rights reserved. : Draft Line Cleaning
Can you clean beer lines too much?
If cleaning beer lines is a hated job among bar owners it is for two very good reasons; the amount of beer wasted equals money down the drain and the amount of time that is dedicated to it. However it is clear that if neglected it can prove catastrophic to a business.
The question of how often lines should be cleaned is one we are asked at Beer Piper all the time but it’s not only us; popular Google searches – including the wonderful “how often do you have to clean beer lines?” which certainly has the ring of someone who finds it a chore – indicate that it’s not only a widely asked question but a valid and critical one.
There are varying claims as to the length of time one can safely leave between cleans from one week to six weeks. If you have noticed a drop in trade or your staff are beginning to outnumber your customers, you may well be one of the many bars that believe that any more than a week is an acceptable standard.
- Yeast build up can occur in a very short space of time and the raw materials, grain and water, contain varying levels of calcium which can clog lines.
- The longer the periods between cleaning, the greater the risk to your product and the more intensive the clean required when you do finally get around to it.
Given the challenge to remain profitable in the face of stiff competition from supermarkets, government regulation and so on, it makes economic sense to review your operation and make adjustments where possible. The latest research recently published by Cask Marque into pub operations shows that low yields can be the result of poor cellar management and beer line cleaning in particular.
The difference, the report claims, could be as much as 50 barrels a year between a bar that cleans its lines regularly against one that doesn’t. If you are one of those Landlords/ladies that allocates time to clean the lines when customers are still in their beds on a Sunday morning, help is at hand in the form of Beer Piper.
Imagine being able to clean lines on demand while selling virtually all of the beer in the line first. Not only are you demonstrating your duty of care through superior cleanliness, you’ll be able to ensure your beer tastes immaculately crisp and fresh day after day.
Can you clean beer lines with cold water?
Cleaning the Beer Lines. Make sure the cleaning vessel is free from dirt and other contaminants, then fill the cleaning vessel with clean cold water.
What is the black stuff in beer lines?
Mold can be introduced into your tap system through exposure to the air. Therefore, it can often be found as surface growth on components of a tap system that are exposed to air such as the faucets, keg couplers, and drains. Mold can be identified by its brown or black color.
Do you turn gas off when doing a line clean?
– 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. Breweries and line cleaning companies have spent many years looking into line hygiene and how to keep dispense systems clean so it is always best to follow their recommendations. There are a few models available on the market, each works in a slightly different way. Some are more effective than others so it is always best to research each unit thoroughly to make sure that they will work for your establishment. Preparation
Always perform the beer line clean when the pub or bar is closed – This gives greater safety to customers and staff (People have been seriously injured drinking beer line cleaner) and it will also reduce the pressure on you to get the line back in service, allowing you to do a thorough clean. Switch off the remote chiller units the night before – Beer line cleaners are not designed to be cooled below 0ºC and will freeze causing you issues and delays in waiting for the lines to thaw out. Frozen beer line cleaner can also cause flavour taints to the beer lines which can be difficult to remove. Use warning signs on the beer engines and fonts to show line cleaning is being performed – This is another safety plus as it lets other staff who may be around the area know that the beer line will contain cleaning fluid. Signage can be made by yourself using a printer or some breweries will provide them.
Make sure the cleaning vessel is free from dirt and other contaminants, then fill the cleaning vessel with clean cold water.
Turn off all of the gas taps to the kegs.
Disconnect all Keg Couplers and give them a spray with a cellar hygiene spray. Use a brush to get remove any built up dirt deposits.
Spray each Cleaning Ring Main socket and attach each coupler to the cleaning ring main.
Turn on the gas or compressed air supply to the cleaning pump.
Bleed each FOB detector until all of the beer has been replaced with water.
Pop to the bar and open each tap in turn until all of the beer in the lines has been replaced with water, before closing again.
Head back down to the cellar and add the correct amount of beer line cleaner to the cleaning vessel (The manufacturer will have the correct dosage on the back of the bottle).
Fill the cleaning vessel back up to the full mark with cold water.
Bleed each FOB Detector until the water is replaced with beer line cleaning solution.
In the bar open each tap until all of the water in the lines is replaced with beer line cleaning solution, before closing again.
Leave the beer line cleaner to soak in the beer line system for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer – Have a cup of tea or bacon sandwich to pass the time! (wash hands before handling food).
Open each beer line tap again to remove the used beer line cleaner, and allow each one to fill with fresh solution.
Check the FOB detectors in the cellar are still full to the top and bleed any which have dropped or have any air bubbles inside.
Leave the lines to soak again for the recommended time. – Have another cup of tea!
Open the taps and remove the used beer line cleaner, replacing with fresh, once more, check the FOB detectors are still full and leave for one final soak – More Tea! Rinse out the cleaning vessel thoroughly with clean cold water and fill it to the full mark with water. Bleed each FOB Detector until the beer line cleaner has been flushed out and replaced with water.
Pop back to the bar and open each tap in turn, replace all of the beer line cleaner in the lines with water, and then pull through at least 2-3 pints extra to ensure all of the beer line cleaner has been removed.
Head back down to the cellar, empty out any water from the cleaning vessel. Turn off the gas or compressed air supply to the cleaning pump.
Disconnect the keg couplers from the cleaning ring main and reconnect each one to the correct keg, give each cleaning ring main socket a spray with a cellar hygiene spray.
Turn on the gas supply to each keg.
Bleed each FOB Detector until the water is replaced with beer. Head back to the bar and open each tap in turn, replacing the water with beer. Check the beer for clarity, colour and taste.
Your Beer Lines Are Now Clean! If you would like any further advice about cellar and bar management, just
Can you use vinegar to clean keg lines?
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.
How often should beer lines be replaced?
A regularly scheduled beer line cleaning program will involve replacing draft beer lines every year and having the lines cleaned every two weeks. Bar owners will know that it’s time to replace draft beer lines when they see discoloring lines, with small spots of beer stone inside.