Do you know what beer line cleaners do? No, not the kind you use to clean your house - I'm talking about the kind of line cleaner that cleans your draft beer lines.
Believe it or not, there is a science to keeping those lines clean and free of bacteria, and if you're not using the right line cleaner for the job. You could be compromising the taste and quality of your beer. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at what beer line cleaners are used for and how they can help keep your taps running smoothly.
Beer Line Cleaners and Why Their Important
Beer lines are a necessary part of any draught beer system. Beer line cleaners help to keep your beer fresh and tasting great by removing bacteria and build-up in a beer system.
Beer line cleaners are designed specifically for this purpose and are an essential part of any bar's cleaning routine. Cleaners carry active ingredients that break down the organic matter that can build up in beer lines, including beer stone, yeast, and protein deposits.
Cleaners also help to remove mineral deposits that can accumulate over time. Build-up can cause off-flavors in your beer and make it more difficult to clean your lines. Selecting the right beer line cleaner is essential for maintaining a healthy draught beer system and ensuring that your beer tastes its best.
Beer Line Cleaning Equipment Used on Draft Systems
Using the right cleaning solution is important and beer line cleaning supplies help any draft beer system dispense great-tasting beer. We will discuss the equipment that is used below by professionals.
Beer Line Cleaning Kits
A beer cleaning kit is important to use and makes cleaning dirty beer lines easy. Tap lines need to be cleaned every 2 weeks. This is recommended by the Brewers Association. Today, there are cleaning kits to help with any type of draft beer system and draft beer lines.
This type of beer line cleaning equipment can be broken down into three different kits
The Hand Pump
Recirculation Cleaning Pump
The Hand Pump Beer Line Cleaning Kit
This method is used on your standard home kegerator's and small commercial kegerator's where a solution is actually put into a hand pump and pump through where the faucet is on the kegerator and exits through where the coupler is. This type of cleaning uses a static clean where the solution sits in the system for at least 20 minutes. After that the chemicals are flushed out of the kegerator and then the beer system is set back up with the equipment reattached so beer can be poured.
Cleaning Keg Beer Line Cleaning Kit
This method can be thought of as the second best for cleaning beer lines with a cleaning keg cleaning kit. You actually use a keg either plastic or a 304 stainless steel that's gonna be filled with solution. Then you'll use the standard coupler to attach to the keg that's filled with a cleaning solution and pressurize that cleaning solution through the faucet on the kegerator or beer system.
Recirculation Pump Cleaning
Clean beer lines are a result of this type of clean. Using recirculating pumps in a draft beer system whether that's air cooled, a remote system or Direct Draw will result in 80 times more clean than your static type clean. Used for kegerators. This is the method used in commercial systems across the country and it helps get rid of yeast bacteria mold and beer stones that are commonly found in a draft system.
This type of cleaning solution paired with the right cleaning chemical will result in top quality, beer fresh taste and tasty beer that consumers and clients will keep coming back for more.
They're a few different types of cleaning solutions out there when it comes to cleaning beer lines. One is a caustic solution that we use every two weeks on a draft beer system. Typically it's a 2 to 3% solution used with a cold to warm water and then the second solution is an acid solution. That's used once a quarter on beer systems to target beer stones.
Beer Lines Cleaning Process
Not all beer line cleaning is created equal. Using the right type of cleaning equipment, the cleaning kit and the right procedures will lead to the great taste in beer. Which retailers, restaurants and breweries can serve their customers. In this part of the post we're gonna talk about that process. Our standard operating procedures are extremely helpful and what we use on a daily basis cleaning our clients beer lines.
Doesn't matter if we're working on long draw systems , direct draw or air cooled systems. After the cleaners finished with this. It will yield the proper performance from a draft beer dispensing system.
- So first things first. We will make a list of where the taps are on the tap beer system.
- Second, we will shut off all the gas to the beer system and then untap the coupler probe from the kegs in the walk-in. Open up all the faucet heads to drain the existing beer out of the lines into the drip tray.
- Next, we'll take off all the tap handles and lay them on the counter in the same order that the tap handles were displayed.
- After that, we will use a faucet spanner wrench. Also known as a beer wrench. To take off each beer faucet and we're gonna put them in a cleaning solution of caustic. Let them sit anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.
- Next, we will put our line jumpers on the beer tower. Where the beer faucets were. Then we will go into the walk-in and add our couplings to the keg couplers in the beer cooler. This creates a circuit that we can then hook our recirculating pumps up to, and recirculate the beer system properly.
- Once our circuit is completed we will go through our jumpers using a faucet wrench just to make sure all of our connections are firm. We will take a look at the keg couplers. Make sure those connections are firm and once that is set up. We will use clean water in a bucket or in a sink and start flushing out all the beer in the beer system.
- After, all the beer is out of the beer system. We add our cleaning chemical. Follow the directions on the bottle, but it's usually a 2 to 3% caustic solution. Recirculate for 15 mins.
- With the system recirculating. Take apart the beer faucets. Scrub them and clean them using a faucet brush or cleaning brushes. This also gives us time to go back into the cooler and scrub the outside of our beer couplers. WIth a standard cleaning brush.
- Make sure the couplers are clean and aren't forming any buildup of yeast bacteria or mold on the outside. If left unattended the build up of organic material on couplers will affect the dispensing of a beer system, and also give beer an off flavor taste.
- Next we will rinse all of the caustic or chemical out of the beer system with cold water not hot water. And will do this anywhere from 5 to 15+ minutes. Basically we will flush out all the chemical until we get a pH reading of neutral (7), using PH paper. This will let us know that all the chemical is indeed out of the beer system.
- Finishing up, we will reattach all the faucets on the beer tower with a faucet wrench. Take apart all the couplings in the cooler with the beer couplers and attach the couplers to their distinguish beer kegs other king or new kegs. Once all our kegs are connected and faucets are connected we are now ready to pump up the beer in the beer system.
- Turn the gas pressure on and we will use the same gas pressure as before we won't touch the regulators in this process. Everything should stay the same.
- Once we have draft beer coming out of the faucet. We will close that faucet and let the beer get down to temp. If it's on an air cooled system direct draw or glycol system.
- Finally, clean up we will wipe down the countertops the floor the cooler and make sure everything is like we found it. This is the draft set up and take down of the beer line cleaning process.
We have found over the years sticking to this procedure yields us to the best beer lines and clean lines that we see in the industry. Most importantly leading to fresh beer for our customers.
To wrap up. We talked about beer line cleaners importance and finding ones that know what they are doing. They actually yield more money for retailers, restaurants, breweries in the industry by taking care of your beer lines. Part of owning a draft beer system is taking care of a beer system the right way.
We hope you learned something about why beer line cleaners are important to the industry.
Please reach out to us we're here to help and look forward to talking with you