Proper beer line maintenance is a crucial area for bar and restaurant workers. Neglecting adequate care can taste a beer’s off-flavors to their patrons. This action would leave customers unhappy with their experience. All sorts of nasty things can collect and will grow in beer lines that aren’t kept clean for a while. These include fast-growing bacteria, hairy mold, yeast, and beer stone. These contaminants can create foaming and taint the taste and aroma of your beer.
We got to have hardship and effort to make our beer the best. From preparing the yeast starters to precisely sanitizing the equipment. Using fresh hops and fermenting in a temperature-controlled room. Every step followed is a chance to improve quality. So why, then, most of us feel lazy about cleaning our beer lines?
Beer lines are easy to clean, and there’s no reason not to do it as soon as the keg kicks.
Why Should You Clean Beer Lines?
All beer systems, regardless of the length, must be cleaned every 2-3 weeks.
Here are nine reasons why it is so important.
- It stops beer from being infected with bacteria and wild yeasts. Bacteria and wild yeast that grows in the beer line will damage the smell and taste of the beer. Most of it growing in beer lines will ferment and produce carbon dioxide. It is released into the beer, causing spoiling problems, which result in a ton of beer wastage a pub gets. It reduces its potential profits.
- Proper sanitation. A smooth beer line reduces the build-up of biofilms in the equipment. Once lines have become tainted, it is tough, if not impossible, to remove the taint. There is a need to replace the lines, and it can be expensive! Thus, Regularly cleaned lines will last longer. It saves the expense of replacing lines and pub closure.
- Correct dosing of line cleaning is essential. Keep in mind, (BLC) solutions that are too strong can leave chlorine-like TCP in the equipment. It will go taints on the lines which are noticeable in the beer. But, the underdosing line cleaner means that the clean is not sufficient. Regularly clean the lines; if they are not, it makes no sense.
- Clean the cask and keg lines at least every week to prevent onerous tasks.
- Wash the cider and stout lines more often than the other items in the shop.
- Usually, You wouldn’t serve a customer food on a plate that hadn’t been cleaned for two weeks. So why should you offer them beer from lines that had not been washed for two weeks?
- Customers will eventually notice when the beer is dispensed through unsanitized beer lines. The beer’s taste is greatly affected. They don’t always tell you, but they certainly won’t buy another drink or worse they won’t revisit the pub. In the end, you’ll lose revenue.
- Beer nozzles are a significant cause of infection to the beer. Beer lines should be cleaned with a recommended solution and let dry overnight. Whatever you read online, DON’T clean nozzles with soda water. It never works, regardless of the bubbles!
- Clean lines will have an impact on your sales.
What Are The Tools You’ll Need to Clean Your Beer Lines?
The procedure of cleaning Beer lines usually takes a few minutes. It is easily accomplished using either a hand-pumped or pressurized cleaning bottle. You don’t even need any special equipment or special skills to get things started.
To be specific, here are the tools you need to have to clean your beer lines.
- Hand pump cleaning kit. For home use, you better have a beer line cleaning kit that uses air pressure. It’s either hand-pumped or powered by your CO2 tank. Any will do. It should include the following items: Bottle, Hose Assembly, Rubber Beer Washer, Wire Brush & Wire Ball Lifter.
- Beer line cleaning solution. From a popular opinion, OxiClean works well. As long as you don’t allow the lines to sit empty between kegs for an extended period. Anything is fine. If you intend to use a clean barrel right after leaving the old one, then flushing with OxiClean and rinsing with hot water is necessary. OxiClean won’t wholly dissolve beer powder. But, for more comprehensive cleanings, consider a product such as BLC Beer Line Cleaner.
- Spanner wrench. It is a tool that provides a grip for lockings, such as a nut or a bolt.
- Bucket/ 1 gal. Minimum tub (for collecting spent solution and water)
9 Steps For Cleaning Your Beer Lines
Cleaning your lines isn’t an optional thing. Cleaning your beer lines is a must and the right thing to do. So, prepare yourself.
Here are nine steps to help you through it.
- STEP 1: Turn off your CO2 tank and regulator. Turn off the valve on the CO2 tank and let out any remaining gas by adjusting your regulator back down to 0 psi.
- STEP 2: Disconnect the coupler from your keg, and run the beer line into the bucket. First, release tension from the beer storage. Disconnect the coupler (the keg tap) from the keg.
- STEP 3:Drain the beer from the lines. To do this, first, open the Beer faucet. Then, while holding the coupler over the bucket, place the ball lifter into the bottom of the coupler. Open the ball test valve. By this, it should remove out any residual from the beer that may remain in the line.
- STEP 4: Empty the bucket of any beer that was drained from the system. In the bucket, mix 1 gallon of warm water with 1 ounce (1 tbsp) of the beer line cleaner. Mix it well. Fill the keg with a cleaning solution (BLC or OxiClean) and water. Connect it to the faucet shank. Wait while the solution soaks in the lines. I usually go for 15 minutes.
- STEP 5: Remove the faucet. Unscrew it from the tower using the provided spanner wrench. Set aside it in the bucket with a BLC or OxiClean solution.
- STEP 6: Flush the system. Attach the bottle and hose assembly to the tower. Be sure that the beer washer is in place. Tighten the hose to the tower using a spanner wrench with the coupler over the bucket with the cleaning solution. Lift the bottle upside down so that the cleaning solution begins to run through the lines. DO NOT SQUEEZE THE BOTTLES. Keep the bottle in this place until about half of the filtering solution has been run through. Rinse out any residual solution and refill with clean water. Reconnect the jar, and flush the beer lines by pumping water through the system (do two times)
- STEP 7: Clean the faucet. Take a part of it that has been soaking in the cleaning solution. To do this, unscrew the handle from it. Unscrew the collar. Unscrew the bonnet from it and slide the washer and lever out. Slide the staff out. Use the wire brush to clean the inside of the faucet thoroughly.
- STEP 8: Rinse the system. Rinse the faucet components in the clean, cold water, and put it back together. After the line has soaked for the needed 15-20 min, insert the wire ball lifter into the coupler to drain out any cleaning solution. Empty the cleaning solution from the bottle and the bucket and rinse out. Refill it with fresh, clean water and re-attach to the tower. Lift the bottle upside down to run the whole bottle of warm water along the lines to rinse them.
- STEP 9: Remove the bottle and hose assembly from the tower and re-attach the faucet. Remove the wire ball lifter from the coupler. Turn your CO2 back on and adjust the regulator to the proper setting (usually between 12-14 psi). The beer line system is now clean and ready for the keg!
Learning how to clean the beer lines is also essential for your DIY Home Bar With Kegerator.