Author Topic: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets  (Read 1538 times)

Offline johnnyb

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 242
  • Pembroke, NH
    • View Profile
Do you keep a spare keg handy for cleaning and sanitizing lines and faucets?

I only own 4 kegs and my new kegerator has 3 taps and a 4th CO2 station for use as the on deck circle. Do I need another keg for cleaning lines and faucets?

 

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 06:36:48 PM »
I use a modified garden sprayer. I clean all of my lines at the same time reusing the BLC. I want to build a pond pump based recirculating system, but that is low priority right now.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=226497

The hardest part of the build was finding a liquid post with the right threading. I took the fitting to my LHBS and went through a bin of posts until I succeeded.

Offline leejoreilly

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
  • Washington, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 08:25:42 PM »
I use a modified garden sprayer. I clean all of my lines at the same time reusing the BLC. I want to build a pond pump based recirculating system, but that is low priority right now.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=226497

The hardest part of the build was finding a liquid post with the right threading. I took the fitting to my LHBS and went through a bin of posts until I succeeded.

I used to keep a spare keg with a gallon or so of Starsan in distilled water, to run through my line now and then. About a year ago, I made one of the above beer line cleaners, which works like a charm. I use it every time a keg kicks, usually leaving the beer line cleaner in the line, maybe overnight. I still have the spare Starsan keg, but only because I haven't used all the sanitizer in it yet, and I haven't needed the keg.

Offline AmandaK

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1850
  • Redbird Brewhouse
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 02:33:32 PM »
I use a modified garden sprayer. I clean all of my lines at the same time reusing the BLC. I want to build a pond pump based recirculating system, but that is low priority right now.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=226497

We have this too. I keep it filled with BLC in the basement so when we blow a keg we just pump out the line with BLC. No sense in keeping another keg around just for "cleaning purposes".
Amanda Burkemper
KC Bier Meisters Education Director
BJCP Assistant Education Director
BJCP Master/Mead

Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline johnnyb

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 242
  • Pembroke, NH
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2015, 03:36:20 PM »
Do you need to rinse with anything or do you just blow the lines clear with beer?

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 03:55:35 PM »
I clean, soak, rinse, sanitize

Offline toby

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1021
  • Galvez, LA
    • View Profile
    • Beer Judge Chronicles
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2015, 04:16:13 PM »
Relatively manual on my end.  I typically use BLC every 3 or 4 beers (unless I'm taking something off that has strong flavors like coffee or ginger and then it's immediately after) run through the setup twice with a hand pump like the one below.  I remove the faucets and keg disconnects and soak them briefly (as in a couple minutes) with the tap in the open position in the BLC solution.  Rinse.  Then I run Star San through everything after it's reassembled.  I keep one of my older kegs filled with StarSan for sanitizing competition bottles and beer lines after cleaning.

http://www.morebeer.com/products/pump-draft-cleaning-kit.html

Offline leejoreilly

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
  • Washington, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 12:38:54 PM »
Do you need to rinse with anything or do you just blow the lines clear with beer?

When I hook up a new keg, I blow out the beer line cleaner with the first few ounces of the "new" beer. It's probably going to be trubby anyway, so no loss.

Offline johnnyb

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 242
  • Pembroke, NH
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2015, 09:21:08 PM »
Thanks all!

Offline brewsumore

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 623
  • Spokane, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 09:14:14 PM »
I use a modified garden sprayer. I clean all of my lines at the same time reusing the BLC. I want to build a pond pump based recirculating system, but that is low priority right now.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=226497

The hardest part of the build was finding a liquid post with the right threading. I took the fitting to my LHBS and went through a bin of posts until I succeeded.

That's a long thread - I didn't read much of it, but I liked its simplicity and wanted to upgrade from the pump bottle beer line cleaning tool I previously made, that was a pain because it screws onto the liquid line flare fitting rather than directly into a QD.

Anyway, so I bought the FloMaster bottle at Home Depot, and found a Watts brand brass adapter at Lowe's that, similar to the initial post via the link, connected the ball lock liquid post to the FloMaster with a single fitting.  It's probably also found in the HomeBrewTalk thread, but here's the Watts brand brass compression adapter fitting that will work to connect the FloMaster to typical Pepsi threads of a ball lock liquid post:

WATTS Part# LFA-117  labeled as Compression / Lead Free / Adapter  3/8 in OD x 3/8 in FIP

It is NOT a flare fitting.

Caveat:  the 3/8 OD post on the adapter only turned several turns, and just a tad loosely into the liquid post, but it was plenty of purchase to create a good seal when using teflon tape.  I had to wrap a lot of teflon tape (7 - 10 wraps) on the adapter male side, and 5 - 6 wraps on the FloMaster plastic male threads to get a great seal.  But tightened down this works well - nary a drip when the bottle is pumped up with pressure.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 09:19:02 PM by brewsumore »

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2015, 09:42:37 PM »
I had to wrap a lot of Teflon tape on mine to maintain pressure. Connecting to the flare isn't too bad, better than connecting to the faucet shank.

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2489
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2015, 10:08:37 PM »
I like BLC, but sometimes my lines develop a biofilm that BLC can't defeat. That is when a strong lye solution works wonders. I hang the line in a U configuration and fill it with the solution. An hour or two soaking leaves the tubing interior film free. After rinsing the line, it goes into starsan.

PS: lye solution is dangerous and you need to protect your skin and eyes from any contact. Use something like goggles and gloves to prevent contact.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline brewsumore

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 623
  • Spokane, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2015, 11:18:30 PM »
I had to wrap a lot of Teflon tape on mine to maintain pressure. Connecting to the flare isn't too bad, better than connecting to the faucet shank.

True that!  But I had leak problems, had to go with barbed hose adapter connections to different size hoses, hose clamps, etc.  A mess.

I first tried the Watts A-176 (part #) flare fitting and it would not fit into my liquid post, so that's why I went back to the store with FloMaster bottle and liquid post in hand, and tried parts until I got one that worked.  YMMV.

Martin - thanks for the lye suggestion.  Much better than replacing lines!
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 11:26:55 PM by brewsumore »

Offline brewsumore

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 623
  • Spokane, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2015, 11:31:09 PM »
I like BLC, but sometimes my lines develop a biofilm that BLC can't defeat. That is when a strong lye solution works wonders. I hang the line in a U configuration and fill it with the solution. An hour or two soaking leaves the tubing interior film free. After rinsing the line, it goes into starsan.

PS: lye solution is dangerous and you need to protect your skin and eyes from any contact. Use something like goggles and gloves to prevent contact.

Do you care to share what product and water to product ratio?  I'm curious if you use a hardware store product or order pure lye, or other approach.  Thanks!

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2489
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Tell Me Your Process for Cleaning and Sanitizing Lines and Faucets
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2015, 11:38:35 PM »
Do you care to share what product and water to product ratio?  I'm curious if you use a hardware store product or order pure lye, or other approach.  Thanks!

Since I'm only using the lye as an equipment rinse, I'm not concerned with it being food grade. On top of that, the potential for hazardous impurities in this type of chemical is not high. I use the typical hardware store product. Red Devil is the brand currently on my shelf.

I do not mix the solution to any set strength. I just dip my finger tip in the solution and rub my fingers together. If the solution feels slippery, its strong enough. It's slippery since the solution is turning the fats and oils in my skin into soap. Needless to say, I wash it off my fingers IMMEDIATELY.
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks