If you are the owner of a draft beer system, whether it is in your home or at your business, you probably already know the importance of keeping the beer lines clean. Beer is alive (think: yeast), so even if the tap system isn’t used regularly, your tap lines still require regular cleaning. Yeast and sediment can get trapped in your beer lines, clogging them, tainting the beer, and even causing a health hazard. If the lines are not cleaned frequently enough, then you run the risk of a microbial infection that could ruin the entire keg.
If your draft system is being used regularly (think: restaurant as opposed to home bar), then you should have it cleaned at least every two weeks. Businesses are usually required to post their cleaning schedules, so make sure that yours complies with local regulations. Depending on the usage and length of the beer line, the frequency of cleanings may vary.
If you have a home bar, then six weeks is the standard schedule for cleanings. It’s also good practice to clean the beer lines every time you finish a keg.
The first step for cleaning beer lines is to turn everything off—that includes the tap, glycol pump, kegerator, and CO2 tank. Begin with a surface cleaning of all parts and all areas around the tap. You can use soap and water for this surface cleaning.
Then you’ll want to sanitize all parts. Completely disassemble the faucet and soak all pieces in cleaning solution.
Note: Beer line cleaners typically contain toxic chemicals. Be sure to read all labels carefully and make sure to handle these chemicals only when wearing protective gear.
Flush the lines with water to remove any remaining beer that might dilute the cleaning solution. Next, put cleaning solution into the lines. The type of solution and method will depend on your beer line manufacturer’s instructions. There are a number of different pieces of equipment you can use to clean the beer line. Consult an expert if you’re not sure which to use.
Once you’ve cleaned the beer lines, make sure to again flush them thoroughly with water. Check the pH levels of the beer lines before putting everything back together, because if any chemical residue remains, it could be detrimental to the next person to drink a beer from the tap.
In order to ensure that you get the perfect pour every time, make sure that you clean the beer lines frequently. If you ever notice your beer tasting sour or strange, chances are it’s time to clean the lines.
If you’d prefer to let the professionals handle the cleaning of your beer lines, contact Clean Beer in Milford, MA today. Whether it’s a one-time cleaning or regularly scheduled maintenance, we will ensure that your draft system is clean and healthy.