You have probably heard that you should clean your beer lines. In fact, you may have heard that it is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your quality of beer and of course, customer satisfaction. Cleaning your beer lines is not only important, but vital to your bar.
Is It Really Necessary?
You may be inclined to think that getting your lines professionally cleaned is a waste of time, money, or a bit of a scam. However, most bar owners are shocked to find out how much sludge (a gross, black substance which coats the inside of hoses and faucets and is comprised of proteins extracted from the bypassing beer) is really in there lines. Without professional grade materials, methods, and best practices, much of the grime can be left behind. While this “sludge” isn’t dangerous to human health (after all it’s just residue from the actual beer) once it accumulates it can begin to taint the taste of the beer.
When Do Beer Lines Need to Be Cleaned?
A commercial beer line will require frequent, thorough cleaning. It’s recommended that commercial lines are cleaned at least once every two weeks. A residential beer line will probably not require frequent cleanings because the volume will not be as high. In addition, a shorter beer line will likely be used in a residential setting and will require cleaning every month to five weeks. Unless a bar has a system set up for reoccurring cleanings in place, the time periods between cleaning will often begin to stretch longer and longer, decreasing the quality of the draft and the experience of the patron.
Understanding the Process
It’s important to have a general understanding of what will happen when your beer lines are cleaned. First, don’t be too disgusted when you see the amount of sludge and grime that will come out. It may even look a bit like a snake skin.
Here are some of the things you can expect to be done:
- The coupler will be cleaned (point of contact between your system and the customer)
- Cold water will be flushed through main system
- Cleaning solution will be flushed through the main system
- The FOB detectors will be cleaned
- Each beer line will be repeatedly flushed to ensure cleanliness
- The lines are flushed again with water to remove all traces of cleaning supply
- Beer is run through the lines until it looks and tastes good
The process is often more complicated than this as each system is different. However, this is the general outline that will be followed. If you are not convinced of the importance of beer line cleaning, you will be after you see them cleaned for the first time.
At Clean Beer, we understand the importance of cleaning beer lines. We offer the full spectrum of servicing beer lines, from installation to cleaning and maintenance. At Clean Beer, in Milford, MA, we sell new and used beer line equipment, home kegerators, ornate and imported dispense towers, and much more. Clean Beer is the home of the clean beer line experts, contact us about your home or commercial tap needs.