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CharlosCarlies
07-31-2014, 11:28 AM
We're extremely short on staff, so trying to find the most efficient way to clean lines. We have 20 taps and the tap room is only open every Saturday.

I've been looking into using a 4-head cleaning can, but every line cleaning chemical I've seen uses a caustic solution which has me concerned with pushing it through w/ CO2. Most of the reps I've talked to act like it's no big deal and that everybody does it; however, as a brewer I've always been taught to prevent using caustic in a CO2 environment as much as possible.

- Is the reaction time not enough to allow the caustic and CO2 to react?
- Should I just get a small nitro tank and push it through w/ that?
- What about just using a hand keg tap on one of the valves?

Cheers and thanks in advance! I hate cleaning lines, so anyway to make it easier will be extremely helpful!

Bainbridge
07-31-2014, 12:07 PM
Why not just use PBW?

Run hot water through to rinse line and warm up taps. In with PBW (I recirculate it through 6 lines at a time, but you'd just let it soak 20-30 minutes. Hot water rinse. Acid cycle every now and then too.

CharlosCarlies
07-31-2014, 01:03 PM
That's what I was thinking as well, but everybody's basically acted like I was weird for asking about the caustic/CO2 issue. Thanks Russell!

gitchegumee
07-31-2014, 05:04 PM
Most of the products sold as beer line cleaners are not caustic soda (NaOH), but instead non-caustic alkaline cleaners like potassium hydroxide, sodium carbonates or sodium metasilicate. More and more draft line cleaners are acid based now. Take a closer look at those beer line cleaners' formulations or MSDS. You shouldn't be using caustic soda.

CharlosCarlies
08-01-2014, 08:26 AM
non-caustic alkaline cleaners like potassium hydroxide

Potassium hydroxide isn't caustic? That's new to me...

Either way it does react w/ CO2, right? That was my biggest concern since almost every alkaline draft cleaner is using at least some % of it.

beerguy1
08-01-2014, 08:31 AM
THe short amount of time that the caustic contacts the CO2 will cause no trouble. THere are quite a few of us here that blow out the kegs we are cleaning with CO2 as we dont trust running compressor air into our tanks. I have done it this way for over 10 years with nice clean lines and no issues.

Cheers

martyl
08-01-2014, 08:36 AM
We clean 12 lines weekly or more often and recently switched from expensive beer line cleaners to PBW ( because our taproom manager didn't order it in time) and are getting fantastic results. Much better than the "beer line" cleaners. I will not switch back to line cleaners. PBW, rince, Sanitize and every couple of weeks acid and rinse after PBW rinse.

CharlosCarlies
08-01-2014, 08:36 AM
THe short amount of time that the caustic contacts the CO2 will cause no trouble. THere are quite a few of us here that blow out the kegs we are cleaning with CO2 as we dont trust running compressor air into our tanks. I have done it this way for over 10 years with nice clean lines and no issues.

That's kinda what I was wondering...thanks for the confirmation. Would seem that the short contact time, small surface area (assuming no heavy shaking), and warmer temperature would prevent much CO2 saturation. I'm thinking I might just try it and titrate half-way through to see if we're losing much chemical.

Thanks everybody!

tariq khan
08-01-2014, 04:19 PM
This is what I just bought and it works great and QUICK!
http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-beer/line-cleaning-pid-EBC300.html


Cheers

T

gitchegumee
08-01-2014, 10:47 PM
Charlos; Sodium hydroxide is referred to as caustic soda. Potassium hydroxide is referred to as potash. They are both strong alkaline bases when in aqueous form. In this regard they are both "caustic", meaning that they are chemically corrosive. Perhaps I should have used the phrase "non caustic soda based". Best to refer to the exact chemical name rather than the colloquial term. So most line cleaners are not based on sodium hydroxide.

TGTimm
08-05-2014, 01:23 PM
This is what I just bought and it works great and QUICK!
http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-beer/line-cleaning-pid-EBC300.html


Cheers

T

While that pump looks real nifty, we went the cheap route and bought a SHURflo model 8025-213-236 electric diaphragm pump. Produces plenty of pressure to clean 4 lines or 2 double-tap jockey-boxes at once, has a pressure cut-off so it doesn't blow lines, and cost ~$100. Add a couple of double-flushers and some serial cups (if you have serial kegs), four faucet adaptors, and some line, and your entire cost for a recirculating cleaning system is about $250.

Recirculating cleaning is much faster and does a much better job. Selling my pressure-can static system paid for more than half the cost; time saved in a couple of cleanings paid for the rest.

Check out the ABA's Draft Beer Quality Manual for details....

Aspetz
09-20-2014, 11:30 AM
Firstly, take a look at this:
http://www.brewersassociation.org/educational-publications/draught-quality/

Don't use a pressure pot, you'll regret it five years from now when you find yourself thinking your draft beer isn't as brite it is from your brite tanks.
Get a small pump and loop two couplers together. In the trade we use a proprietary enzymatic cleaner mixed with 1% of penetrate from National chemical in solution. We recirculate this solution while we disassemble and thoroughly scrub the two faucets. 10 seconds of water, 10 seconds of a phosphoric acid sanitizer to passivate parts, neutralize any remaining caustic, and sanitize and clear with water and move on to the next two. No CO2 contact with any solution and a much much cleaner and safer draft system. 20 lines should take a little over an hour depending on how long the run is

d_striker
09-20-2014, 09:59 PM
While that pump looks real nifty, we went the cheap route and bought a SHURflo model 8025-213-236 electric diaphragm pump. Produces plenty of pressure to clean 4 lines or 2 double-tap jockey-boxes at once, has a pressure cut-off so it doesn't blow lines, and cost ~$100. Add a couple of double-flushers and some serial cups (if you have serial kegs), four faucet adaptors, and some line, and your entire cost for a recirculating cleaning system is about $250.

Recirculating cleaning is much faster and does a much better job. Selling my pressure-can static system paid for more than half the cost; time saved in a couple of cleanings paid for the rest.

Check out the ABA's Draft Beer Quality Manual for details....

What's your setup look like with this pump? Do you just use a 5gal bucket as a reservoir?

TGTimm
09-22-2014, 12:12 PM
Yep. Two clean 5 gal. buckets make the job go faster. We have a sink located near the faucets, so the rinse water goes directly down the drain. Now if I can only get my flaky fellow employees to actually use the cleaning system more often....

One line connects to the output of the pump, with a faucet adapter on the other end. The input line to the pump has an SS barb and 90 on the end for the pickup. The 90 keeps the pickup from suctioning onto the bottom of the bucket. Another line has an SS barb on one end, and faucet adapter on the other. The third line has faucet adapters on each end. Output from pump to one faucet, link couplers for that faucet with another using double-flusher, jumper line from second faucet to third, double-flusher to forth, output hose to forth faucet.

This set-up lets me clean four lines at once. I tried cleaning more, but started to blow lines due to restriction--our altitude requires a bit more restriction than at sea level.

d_striker
09-23-2014, 12:22 AM
Yep. Two clean 5 gal. buckets make the job go faster. We have a sink located near the faucets, so the rinse water goes directly down the drain. Now if I can only get my flaky fellow employees to actually use the cleaning system more often....

One line connects to the output of the pump, with a faucet adapter on the other end. The input line to the pump has an SS barb and 90 on the end for the pickup. The 90 keeps the pickup from suctioning onto the bottom of the bucket. Another line has an SS barb on one end, and faucet adapter on the other. The third line has faucet adapters on each end. Output from pump to one faucet, link couplers for that faucet with another using double-flusher, jumper line from second faucet to third, double-flusher to forth, output hose to forth faucet.

This set-up lets me clean four lines at once. I tried cleaning more, but started to blow lines due to restriction--our altitude requires a bit more restriction than at sea level.

Thanks for that explanation. Are you using 3/16" tubing as your jumpers on the faucet shanks?

TGTimm
09-23-2014, 10:23 AM
I think so. We're using Banner Perfecta line, the heavy-wall stuff. Even at the proper cleaning temp of 135-140F, the pressure can cause thin-wall lines to swell and rupture. Order your fittings to match.