Author Topic: cleaning beer lines  (Read 2203 times)

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3218
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2019, 06:54:56 PM »
Commercial standard seems a bit excessive at the Homebrew level, but most of my serving is from refrigerated lines and cobra taps in chest freezers at 34F or so (with the exception of 4 faucets mounted on a fridge in the garage, which typically only has 1 or 2 beers pouring from it at a given time - garage temp during October to March is typically below 50).  The beers that I run through quickly are on lines that are changed and cleaned as each keg kicks - rarely more than a couple weeks, but sometimes as long as a month. (I serve a lot of friends - it is not my consumption rate!)

Maybe I should consider cleaning every 2 weeks, but so far, so good with my standard protocol - Cheers!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3829
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2019, 07:07:06 PM »
I figure it's not the amount of beer through the line, but the time with beer in the line that determines when cleaning is needed.   My process has improved to where I might go less often and not have the problems I once did, or just go with between kegs (every couple weeks anyway) but I'm cautious,  and my system is so hassle free it just isn't a burden.   But again, what works, works.  Do what gets you beer that tastes good to you.  I would advise that faucets should be completely disassembled at each cleaning, even  if you don't have vents to clean, or you may be surprised.  Stuff can really accumulate around the lever and under the bonnet where there's a region of "drag" or low flow.   I learned the hard way.

Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk

Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3218
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2019, 07:16:02 PM »
Good points, Robert.  I am disassembling faucets tonight based on the discussion and your recommendation - hopefully no gunk, but it’s a small task to ensure contaminant-free dispensing.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2500
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2019, 09:24:48 PM »
It is amazing what difference clean beer lines can make.

I cleaned my lines and took the taps apart on Sunday afternoon.  Once they were all reassembled and not leaking anymore (I have a question about the leaks) the beer tastes great again!

I was getting an odd, kind of infected taste from all four beers on taps in December and was wondering if my brewing hiatus during our kitchen remodel had caused me to make some major mistakes.  I had flushed all the lines and taps before kegs back in the keggerator but that wasn't clean enough.  Alas, all my guests drank, sort of sour, beer over the holidays because of a lack of time to clean. 

Now for my question; can tap shanks go bad?

I have 3 -10(ish) year old, chrome shanks and one stainless steel shank.  I don't remember why I replaced the odd duck right now, maybe I stripped the threads or something.
 
When I reassemble everything, which I've done dozens of times over the years, two of taps were leaking at the junction where the Perlick faucet connects to the shank.  I had to fiddle with them to get the pressures applied in any given spot adjusted "just right" to make them seal.  I'm wondering if you all think they can wear out?  Once we clear the holiday debt I'm leaning towards replacing them with stainless steel.

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

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3829
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2019, 10:17:35 PM »
Funny you bring it up.  This weekend I replaced my original chrome shank with stainless (already went with stainless faucet.) The chrome had completely worn off and it was all exposed brass on the interior surfaces, and just a few years old.  I'm not exactly sure what off flavors brass is supposed  to contribute but I'll be interested in seeing what difference this makes.  Hard to say right now, I was sick all last week and don't trust the taste buds just yet.  I just know I'd rather have all stainless in contact  with the beer.

I also noted that the new shank (Intertap like my faucet) is of a different design than my old satandard, Ventmatic type,  both the bore profile and the seat, though the threads match.  So I can see that some faucets and shanks might mate more successfully than other combinations.

Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 10:20:46 PM by Robert »
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2500
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2019, 11:57:03 AM »
Funny you bring it up.  This weekend I replaced my original chrome shank with stainless (already went with stainless faucet.) The chrome had completely worn off and it was all exposed brass on the interior surfaces, and just a few years old.  I'm not exactly sure what off flavors brass is supposed  to contribute but I'll be interested in seeing what difference this makes.  Hard to say right now, I was sick all last week and don't trust the taste buds just yet.  I just know I'd rather have all stainless in contact  with the beer.

I also noted that the new shank (Intertap like my faucet) is of a different design than my old satandard, Ventmatic type,  both the bore profile and the seat, though the threads match.  So I can see that some faucets and shanks might mate more successfully than other combinations.

Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk

Thanks Robert!
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline goose

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2019, 03:39:33 PM »
I figure it's not the amount of beer through the line, but the time with beer in the line that determines when cleaning is needed.   My process has improved to where I might go less often and not have the problems I once did, or just go with between kegs (every couple weeks anyway) but I'm cautious,  and my system is so hassle free it just isn't a burden.   But again, what works, works.  Do what gets you beer that tastes good to you.  I would advise that faucets should be completely disassembled at each cleaning, even  if you don't have vents to clean, or you may be surprised.  Stuff can really accumulate around the lever and under the bonnet where there's a region of "drag" or low flow.   I learned the hard way.

Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk

Disassemble faucets, ABSOLUTELY.  Great point, Rob.
Goose Steingass
Wooster, OH
Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Wayne County Brew Club
Mansfield Brew Club
BJCP Certified
AHA Governing Committee Member

Offline Wilbur

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 492
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2019, 07:43:24 PM »
Funny you bring it up.  This weekend I replaced my original chrome shank with stainless (already went with stainless faucet.) The chrome had completely worn off and it was all exposed brass on the interior surfaces, and just a few years old.


Reminds me, I need to do that as well. I need to play around with trying to link up my faucets as well, for some reason none of the perlick bottle from adapters seem to fit my perlick faucets.

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3218
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2019, 01:38:13 AM »
Yep, the faucet that is presently not tapped came off like a breeze and there was some gunk inside, but surprisingly little (Perlick 525 SS ), so my regimen of running cleaner through was probably adequate for quick cleaning with lines attached.  Even so, a disassembled soak is happening every other month going forward.  It’s just too easy to do and Perlick says a soak without disassembly should suffice for most tap set ups...but I have replacement gasket kits from a buddy who does maintenance for a chain of restaurants and has leftovers by the scads, so no reason not to disassemble for a deeper clean.

Cheers fellow janitors!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3829
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2019, 01:46:40 AM »
When I disassemble and soak (which you know is every cleaning) I pull out the gaskets and as long as they are still in good shape put the same ones back.  If you don't gouge them or something in prying them out they last a long time.  I usually replace them on the same schedule as beer line -- whatever that may be.

Sent from my SM-J727V using Tapatalk

Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline BrewBama

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2588
Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2019, 10:09:17 PM »
I ran a brush thru my silicone transfer hoses today. I think they needed it — the right one met the brush, the left one is on deck.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.” — St. Arnold

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL