How To Clean Your Draft Beer Lines & Faucets

Prioritizing the cleaning your draft system is key to protecting the quality and flavor of your beer, health of your customers, and life of your draft system. Here are our recommendations on how to clean your draft beer lines.

Did you know that beer line cleaning is one of the most overlooked and neglected parts of draft beer and beverage system ownership?

Draft beer is food, and the same care and attention for handling food should be the same for draft beer systems. This includes all draft beverage products, i.e., wine on tap, coffee on tap, kombucha on tap, tea on tap, and draft cocktails.

Beer line cleaning and management is an industry issue, and with your help, we can make it much better. 

We have put together our recommendations for how to clean your draft beer lines and faucets. These exceed many regulations and health codes (including the Brewers Association, which does a great job with their recommendations)…

BUT the design of your system and the cleanliness of each component are key to protecting the quality and flavor of your beer, protecting the health of your customers, and making your entire draft beer system last longer.

Being preventative and prioritizing the small investment of cleaning your draft system(s) regularly will deliver the kind of growth worth celebrating…

The growth of your profits and the number of happy customers pour after pour!

Here’s how to clean your draft beer lines and faucets…

 

How To Clean Your Draft Beer Lines & Faucets - Prioritizing the cleaning your draft system is key to protecting the quality and flavor of your beer, health of your customers, and life of your draft system. Here are our recommendations on how to clean your draft beer lines.

Cleaning Methods For Direct Draw Systems

Direct Draw Systems aka “short-draw draft system.” There are two methods for cleaning a direct draw cooler.

Pump Type:

It’s a plastic container with a hand pump on top. The beer faucet is removed. The cleaning solution is pumped through the line and soaks for a minimum of twenty (20) minutes. This setup allows the cleaner to be connected to the shank. The chemical solution is pumped backward down the beer line.

Note: You must use a ball lifter in most couplers to prevent the check ball from stopping the flow.

Pressure Pot Cleaning:

Some cleaning cans/pots have the option to change caps to accommodate different types of keg couplers. Some more expensive stainless steel cleaning cans have the keg valves permanently installed. These cans work like a standard keg: the same gas pressure forces the cleaning solution through the beer lines.

The chemical cleaning solution is correctly mixed in the container (water always goes first). Allow the cleaning solution to soak for a minimum of twenty (20) minutes.

How To Clean Your Draft Beer Lines & Faucets - Prioritizing the cleaning your draft system is key to protecting the quality and flavor of your beer, health of your customers, and life of your draft system. Here are our recommendations on how to clean your draft beer lines.

Cleaning Methods For Long-Draw Systems

And here are the cleaning methods for remote aka “Long-Draw Systems.”

 Pressurized Pot Cleaning: 

Some cleaning cans/pots have the option to change caps to accommodate different types of keg couplers. Some more expensive stainless steel cleaning cans have the keg valves permanently installed. These cans work like a standard keg: the same gas pressure forces the cleaning solution through the beer lines.

The chemical cleaning solution is correctly mixed in the container (water always goes first). Allow the cleaning solution to soak for a minimum of twenty (20) minutes. This method is the same as the direct draw system, but you’re going to use more chemicals and water. Cleaning accessories are available to make the cleaning process more efficient for larger draft systems.

Mechanical (re-circulating cleaning):

Mechanical cleaning requires a motorized cleaning pump. Circulate the cleaning solution for a minimum of 15 minutes. Circulating the cleaning solution through the draft beer system is 80 times more effective than static (soaking)cleaning the lines.

Mechanical cleaning is the preferred method for cleaning draft beer lines here at Draft Beer Intelligence.

How To Clean Your Draft Beer Lines & Faucets - Prioritizing the cleaning your draft system is key to protecting the quality and flavor of your beer, health of your customers, and life of your draft system. Here are our recommendations on how to clean your draft beer lines.

Cleaning Methods For Draft Beer Faucets

Faucet hygiene is critical to the operation of your draft beer system. It’s the final point of draft beer system dispensing, and the faucet is almost always visible to your customer.

Several different types of beer faucets are available that require specific cleaning method(s). To maintain a clean, sanitary beer faucet, they should be completely disassembled, chemically soaked, and scrubbed every two (2) weeks.

We recommend retailers rinse faucets with fresh water at closing daily. This daily routine will keep your beer faucets and lines cleaner.

The other benefit is that beer becomes sticky, like glue, as it dries out. The daily rinsing will prevent this, and your pours will always be easier, which means you won’t need to crank on a beer handle on your first and second pour.

There are also faucet plugs that insert into or cover the beer faucet opening when beer is not pouring.

We suggest the beer plugs that insert into the faucet because they are more sanitary and easier to clean. The plugs that cover the beer faucet are much harder to clean and maintain. These simple steps will help keep your beer faucets cleaner and more sanitary.

 

 

Beer Line & Faucet Cleaning Summary: 

Draft Line Cleaning: Minimum Every Two Weeks (14 days)

  • Clearly posted documentation of line cleaning and servicing records is recommended in all keg coolers.
  • Push beer from the lines with warm water.
  • Clean lines with 2% caustic solution for routine cleaning of well-maintained lines, or with 3% caustic solution for older or more problematic lines. Contact your chemical manufacturer to determine how much chemical is needed to achieve these recommended concentrations. If you use non-caustic-based cleaners, such as acid- or silicate-based cleaners, be sure to use the cleaning concentrations recommended by the manufacturer. For best results, maintain the cleaning solution temperature between 80°F and 110°F during the cleaning process.
  • Using an electric pump, a caustic solution should be circulated through the lines for a minimum of 15 minutes at a steady flow rate that ideally exceeds the flow rate of the beer. If a pressurized cleaning canister is used (though not recommended), the solution needs to be left standing in the lines for no less than 20 minutes before purging with clean water.
  • Disassemble, service, and hand-clean faucets; hand-clean couplers.
  • After cleaning, flush lines with cool fresh water until pH matches that of your tap water and no visible debris is carried from the beer lines.

Acid Cleaning: Every Quarter (Three Months)

  • Acid cleanings should be in addition to caustic cleanings, not as a replacement.
  • Push beer or caustic cleaner from lines with warm water.
  • Clean lines with acid line-cleaner chemical mixed to manufacturer’s guidelines. Maintain a solution temperature of 80-110°F.
  • Circulate the acid solution through the lines for 15 minutes at a steady flow rate that ideally exceeds the flow rate of the beer. If a pressurized cleaning canister is used (though not recommended), the solution needs to be left standing in the lines for no less than 20 minutes before purging with clean water. After acid cleaning, flush lines with cool fresh water until the pH matches that of your tap water and no visible debris is carried from the lines.

Hardware Cleaning: Every Quarter (Three Months)

  • Disassemble, service, and hand-clean all FOB devices (a.k.a. beer savers, foam detectors).
  • Disassemble, service, and hand-clean all couplers.

 

Do you need support with your draft beer line & faucet cleaning?

Here at Draft Beer Intelligence, our standards and commitment revolve around you; the brewers, restaurants, bars, hospitality, and consumers. Clean beer lines will ensure the appearance, aroma, and flavor experience intended by the brewer is delivered pint after pint.

So, let’s give your customers a reason to keep coming back! Contact us anytime if you have questions or need support with your draft beer line cleaning.

Check out our other similar posts:

Why Proper Draft Beer Line Cleaning Is So Important

How Clean Is Your Draft Beer System? (proper cleaning recommendations included)

The Dirty Secret You Don’t Know About Draft Beer Line Cleaning Regulations

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