Author Topic: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?  (Read 1459 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2269
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2013, 11:52:57 AM »
Right after a keg kicks I flush with very hot PBW, rinse and then flush with Starsan.  I take apart taps for cleaning pretty regularly and use BLC a couple times a year using the pimp my system link posted by TheDarkSide.
Jon H.

Offline Slowbrew

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1658
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2013, 12:04:08 PM »
I flush all the serving lines in mine whenever I remember the system needs to be cleaned.  If that is 3 times a year I would be surprised.   ::)

I clean them before our Oktoberfest and will do it again before the family comes in for Christmas.  The rest of the year?  If I start to notice a problem, maybe.  I really should be more worried about it but there are just so many other things that require more attention.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Online denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11694
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2013, 12:21:04 PM »
I'm surprised at how many people of the regular posters use picnic taps.

In my case it was the only choice.  I have a very small house and there's no room near my beer fridge to put a CO2 tank and keep it hooked up.  I use picnic taps and pull the kegs out as needed to add CO2.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

cornershot

  • Guest
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2013, 12:46:04 PM »
I use picnic taps for most beers but have a tap on the fridge door for whatever beer I have that my wife prefers. For some reason she won't use picnic taps. I give them a quick plain water flush once or twice a week and clean them perhaps once a month. I don't have enough taps for all kegs so if I switch kegs the post and qd get sprayed with star san. I spray star san up the faucet nightly, if I remember.
I recently built a keg washer and plan on rigging it up to clean lines as well.

Offline djsanta

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 34
  • "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks"
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2013, 01:03:38 PM »
My kegerator has a two-tap tower.  The ball locks are cleaned and sanitized and beer lines get flushed with StarSan with each keg change.  I disassemble and clean the faucets a couple times a year unless I notice an issue earlier.
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout
Conditioning: SMASH Pale Ale
Fermenting: nada
Planned: Vienna Lager, Imperial Red, Oatmeal Stout

Online blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2462
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2013, 01:18:30 PM »
i brew 10 gal batches, and I change every new batch, or every other keg.

lately, i've been partially filling a 3 gal corny with BLC, blasting each line at 20 psi, and letting them soak for 20-30 min, then water rinse, then sanitizer.

i only dissasemble the faucet and QDs every 4-6 months now with the above practice. and i rarely find anything inside them (everything is refrigerated). 

I change lines every 12-18 months. 
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline Steve in TX

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 812
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #21 on: November 26, 2013, 06:57:41 PM »
If you disassemble your QDs, be careful.  There are o-rings and other parts that can go right down the drain.

I use a big tea ball when cleaning parts. Soak and to rinse in the ball then dump into a towel.

cornershot

  • Guest
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #22 on: November 26, 2013, 07:46:31 PM »
If you disassemble your QDs, be careful.  There are o-rings and other parts that can go right down the drain.

I use a big tea ball when cleaning parts. Soak and to rinse in the ball then dump into a towel.
Great idea!

Offline alestateyall

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2013, 09:04:02 PM »

This might sound bad. I have 4 kegs and just use one picnic tap that I pull on and off. I clean it every once in a while =)

The first time I disassembled the tap and QD I was amazed (and grossed out!) by what was in there.

QD's can be disassembled? Mine must be really nasty.

I have cobra taps. I rinse everything with star san between kegs and then hang the line to dry if not using right away.

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5697
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2013, 09:37:31 PM »

This might sound bad. I have 4 kegs and just use one picnic tap that I pull on and off. I clean it every once in a while =)

The first time I disassembled the tap and QD I was amazed (and grossed out!) by what was in there.

QD's can be disassembled? Mine must be really nasty.

I have cobra taps. I rinse everything with star san between kegs and then hang the line to dry if not using right away.

yup, the slot on the top of the QD will take a flat head screwdriver and will twist until the top disk comes off. at least that's what mine are like.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline beersk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1889
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2013, 06:41:09 AM »
After a keg kicks, I make about a gallon or so of hot PBW solution in the keg, shake it like hell, then run it through the line, letting it soak for a little bit before running it all out. Then I rinse the keg as well as I can and run a little starsan through the lines. Every few kegs I'll do the same with BLC, letting it soak in the lines for 30 minutes. I take my faucets apart to inspect/clean maybe once a year, also change the lines somewhere around once a year.

A new procedure I'm going to be including is to disassemble my gas lines, soak in PBW, rinse and dry, every time I get my CO2 tank filled, which is once every 15 months or so. It's a 20lb tank. After having just gotten over an issue with dirty gas lines, it's better to be safe then sorry.
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Online Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2332
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2013, 08:30:25 AM »

This might sound bad. I have 4 kegs and just use one picnic tap that I pull on and off. I clean it every once in a while =)

The first time I disassembled the tap and QD I was amazed (and grossed out!) by what was in there.

QD's can be disassembled? Mine must be really nasty.

I have cobra taps. I rinse everything with star san between kegs and then hang the line to dry if not using right away.

yup, the slot on the top of the QD will take a flat head screwdriver and will twist until the top disk comes off. at least that's what mine are like.

I lost one of the small o-rings inside the QD, so (I'll say it again) be careful.  I opened it up, tossed it in a bucket to soak and never thought about o-rings until beer came shooting out the top of the QD when I hooked it back up.

I wound up buying a bag of something like 100 o-rings from McMaster Carr if anyone ends up needing one.  I will never, ever go through the amount of o-rings I have for this size.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Online blatz

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2462
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2013, 08:31:28 AM »
After having just gotten over an issue with dirty gas lines, it's better to be safe then sorry.

how did they get dirty on the inside?  from beer getting sucked into the line? 
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline Pinski

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1569
  • Portland, Oregon
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2013, 09:05:00 AM »
After having just gotten over an issue with dirty gas lines, it's better to be safe then sorry.

how did they get dirty on the inside?  from beer getting sucked into the line?

Likely getting pushed from a pressurized keg into a non or lower pressurized line.  I have check valves on my keg lines to prevent this from happening, to a point I guess. I try to remember to reduce the pressure in my kegs when I'm connecting to them to keep beer/foam out of gas lines all together. 
Thank you BEER!

Online Joe Sr.

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2332
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: How often and thoroughly do you clean your lines? And why?
« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2013, 09:06:30 AM »
After having just gotten over an issue with dirty gas lines, it's better to be safe then sorry.

how did they get dirty on the inside?

I heard beersk had bad gas...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton