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Common Beer Line Cleaning Questions
Q: Why do dispensing lines have to be cleaned?
Beer lines have to be cleaned because a scale called calcium oxalate, commonly reffered to as "beer stones" form on the fittings, lines and taps. If not completely removed in a cleaning process, beer stones will leave an unsanitary surface that can harbor microorganisms. Line cleaning with the proper equipment and chemicals, eliminates the build-up of beer stones protecting the integrity of the product.
Microorganisms or bacteria will grow very quickly if a sanitary environment is not maintained, causing off-flavors and shortens the shelf life of your beer. Regular cleaning assures that bacteria does not have the opportunity to reach levels which affect the quality/taste of the beer.
Q: How often should I clean my lines?
Line cleaning should be done on a regularly scheduled basis about every 6 weeks. A standard cleaning kit will perform approximately with scheduled line cleanings. We recommend that you clean your lines every time you switch out a keg.
Q: How do I clean the Beer Line and Faucet?
Once a week the beer line and faucet should be cleaned with fresh water. You will need the CK100 Cleaning Kit to do the following steps.
- Shut off the pressure supply at the cylinder. Remove tap from barrel.
- Remove the cap and pump on the cleaner. Fill jar with fresh water and reassemble.
- Remove the faucet from the shank (use the spanner wrench). Rinse under fresh water with faucet in open position.
- Connect the cleaning attachment on the end of the cleaner to shank coupling nut - tighten slightly with spanner wrench. Place hose and coupler into a bucket and pump water through line. If tap has a shutoff, be sure it is open.
- Remove cleaning attachment, replace faucet, tighten coupling nut with spanner wrench, Retap barrel. (Before retapping make sure beer faucet is closed.)
Q: How do I clean my direct draw system?
Periodically the system must be cleaned with cleaner. This should be done when a new barrel is tapped. You will need the CK100 Cleaning Kit to do the following steps.
- The pressure source in direct draw dispensers is bottled CO2 gas. This gas is reduced to the proper dispensing by a regulator and then delivered to the barrel through a flexible hose and keg coupler. This coupler has a check valve in it prevent beer from backing up into the hose and regulator. Before a new barrel is tapped this line should be "blown out" by quickly opening and closing the regulator outlet valve allowing a surge of gas to travel through the coupler. The coupler should then be rinsed in a bucket of fresh water.
- Next, mix 1/2 oz. BLC (tap and line cleaner) to each quart of warm to hot water. Do not allow concentrate to contact skin.
- Remove the cleaner cap assembly, fill the jar and reassemble, leaving the remaining solution in the bucket.
- With the barrel on tap, the coupler should be blown out by quickly opening and closing the regulator outlet valve.
- Remove the coupler from the beer line and place in bucket. (Save the black connector washer.) Remove the faucet from the shank using the spanner wrench. Disassemble it, and place parts in the bucket.
- Attach the cleaning attachment on end of cleaner hose to faucet shank coupling nut. Tighten slightly with spanner wrench. Place beer line end into bucket and pump the solution through the line.
- Remove the tap and faucet parts, brush thoroughly with faucet brush. If coupler has a shutoff, make sure it is in open position. Rinse in cool fresh water. Reassemble the faucet.
- Use the faucet brush to clean around shank end and coupling nut.
- Detach cleaner and rinse with cool fresh water. Fill with fresh water and re-attach it to faucet shank coupling nut, pump water through beer line (make sure end of line is in bucket). Disconnect cleaner and replace the assembled faucet. Tighten coupling nut slightly with spanner wrench. Now attach beer line to coupler (making certain to reinsert the black hose washer). You are now ready to tap the new barrel.
- The drip tray should be cleaned out with a sponge using the same solution and rinsed.
- Periodically the inside of unit should be cleaned with the same solution and a damp sponge.
- When barrel is empty and the unit is not going to be used for a while, the above steps should be followed to prevent yeast build up and sediment in the beer line.