View Full Version : Tap line cleaning frequency

11-20-2015, 05:17 AM
How often do you need to clean the lines connecting kegs in the walk in cooler to the serving taps?

There is a service that does it every two weeks for retailers. I'd like to hear from professionaals that run their own tap rooms how often they clean their own lines or how often itis really necessary.


11-20-2015, 09:22 AM
We clean ours every two weeks, with an acid wash every other cleaning. I know of others who do it every week, and some bars I've visited don't remember when it was last done--I don't visit twice.

The price of a continuous-cleaning set-up--pump, adapters, etc, can set you back anywhere from ~$1,000 to ~$250, depending on how many bells and buzzers you think you need. We went with the lower end (SHURflo pump and made up our own jumpers and lines) and it does the job very well. It takes between one and two hours to clean 8 lines, longer if the beer-line-cleaner is followed by an acid wash.

11-20-2015, 10:05 AM
The Brewers Association recommends every two weeks. You can and should do it yourself. Couple hundred bucks investment in a pump, some connectors and whatnot and you're good to go. Though it's a pain in the butt and I don't like doing it... :)

11-20-2015, 11:15 AM
We clean 4 taps a day, three times a week, with 24 taps, that cleans the entire system in two weeks. We also do a deep clean breakdown with acid wash 3-4 times a year. Our taplines are tested routinely by our lab and rarely show any issues, if they do it's after an unfiltered beer was on tap for a while, so we usually clean those more often if we can.

12-01-2015, 03:23 AM
Thanks for your replies.

Are guys are pumping caustic from a keg or bucket in a recirculating loop? I've seen the service guys using a keg so not sure how they would recirculate it back in a closed loop.

The few times I've done this myself, I used acid and pushed it with the CO2 pressure to a waste bucket. I know caustic and CO2 cause a vacuum so I'm wondering if I can use acids consistently or is the caustic is necessary?

12-01-2015, 08:14 AM
If "the service guys" were using a keg, they were probably static cleaning--filling the lines with a cleaning solution, letting them sit, then flushing them out. Continuous flow cleaning is much more effective, easier, and faster.

Download the Draught Beer Quality Manual here: http://www.draughtquality.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DQM_Full_Final.pdf and read the section on line cleaning--heck, read the whole thing.

Yes, caustic cleaning is important--it's the regular cleaning regime. Acid cleaning will only remove beerstone, and is most effective AFTER a caustic cycle, which breaks down organics in the lines. We typically acid wash only every few cycles.

12-01-2015, 10:00 AM
I had this same problem before. I was using a line cleaning pump and a line cleaner from FOXX Ewuipment. It took forever doing 8 lines 1 at a time. It was a 2-1/2 hour process going cleaner/rinse/sanitizer for each line. I ran into our local draft guy and he showed me his manifold which is basically a line with 7 coupler caps and 1 ball lifter cap. All of my lines are hooked up in the cooler. I run from one tap (the one with the ball lifter) and it flows through all the other taps and down my drain.
Works awesome

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

12-01-2015, 10:12 AM
The whole idea of continuous flow cleaning is recirculation. A bucket of cleaner is continuously circulated through the lines for 12-15 minutes.

You need to analyze your set-up and figure out how to set this up. The idea is to make a single circuit of several lines--four is about the maximum due to line restriction--get the pressure high enough to push many more than four, and things (usually lines) start bursting.

If you use beer pumps, you won't need a cleaning pump (the beer pumps do the work), but you will need flow-reversers. These are available for any brand of beer pump.

You'll need a jumper--this is two faucet adapters linked by 3/8" beer line. The jumper goes from one faucet mount to another. Double-flusheres--you'll need two--link from one keg coupler to another. Two more faucet adapters hook the pump to one faucet mount and the return/drain line to another. Configure these so that there is one single circuit from the pump, through the lines and double-flushers to the return/drain line.

Be aware that not all double-flushers work with all keg couplers. Some don't lift the check-ball enough to allow the reversed flow.

Figure 1/2 hour or so for cleaning four lines.