Author Topic: cleaning beer lines  (Read 2080 times)

Offline soymateofeo

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cleaning beer lines
« on: January 03, 2019, 08:16:53 PM »
The amount of cleaning I put into my beer lines is ridiculous with all this circulation and all that.  I have 3 lines to clean.  Can I just fill a keg with 3 gallons -ish of BLC, pump some BLC through and let it sit for a few minutes.  Then remove the faucet and clean it out with a brush. rinse clean.  Reassemble and flush with water?  no recirc needed? 

Offline nbarmbrewer

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2019, 10:06:23 PM »
Yes you can! Just let it sit for about 20 minutes then give it a rinse.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 10:16:41 PM »
That's exactly how I clean mine.

This reminds me, I need to clean them again.  It's been a while.  ::)

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

Offline Robert

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 11:12:00 PM »
Recirculating actually saves me a lot of solution.  I only need enough to keep the pump reservoir above minimal level once the line is filled.  Less than making up a keg and flushing a couple of times.   Recirculation is also more effective  than static ("pressure pot") soaking.  Anyway, glad you're disassembling the faucets.   I super-simplified at one point, made a rig that allowed me to recirc without faucet removal.   God, did the crap grow in there.  So whatever is easiest for you, just check to make sure it's really getting the job done.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 11:50:32 PM »
This is why I took Tommy’s lead and simply installed flow control faucets directly onto the kegs. No lines to clean. Disassembling faucets is therapeutic to an old mechanic. Cleaning lines is not. I’m loving this setup.


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Offline soymateofeo

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 02:10:37 AM »
What type of pump do ya'll use?

Offline Robert

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2019, 02:49:07 AM »
What type of pump do ya'll use?
300 gph fountain pump immersed in a little paint bucket. Output is 1/2" NPT so I took a PVC pipe cap, drilled and tapped it to thread in a barb, and out from there via the silicone tubing to a male flare fitting.  This either connects to a flare nut on a jumper to standard draught cleaning connector on shank, or beer line.  Beer line, or cleaning jumper, returns to this bucket.  So I can run the circulation either direction.  Very cheap, easy, and plenty capable.  With additional cleaning connectors and jump lines between shanks, you could easily do three lines at once.

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« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 03:21:14 AM by Robert »
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Offline soymateofeo

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2019, 07:22:00 AM »
That looks dope! My setup may have been too complicated.  I like the quick connectedness of it.

Offline Robert

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 01:29:23 PM »
And if you have three lines, let's say you have a cleaning connector on a length of tube ending in a flare nut as I do.  If you put that on the shank on (say) the left, then use a flare connector to join the beer line on the left with the one in the middle, then use a cleaning jumper to connect the shank in the middle and the one one the right -- well, you can run either way like I do, but through the whole system at once.  While you hand clean those faucets and QDs.  I'm sure others do this, and can advise just how many lines you can run before you need the next beefier fountain pump (they're all still cheap.)
Rob Stein
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Offline narcout

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2019, 08:23:31 PM »
I'm probably in the minority on this one, but I just don't clean my lines.  I run about 3/4 gallon of Iodophor solution through them every time I change the keg, and once in a while I remove the clean the faucets.

I do try to change them out every 12-18 months though.

Not sure if it helps, but I'm using that Barrier Silver anti-microbial tubing that Morebeer sells.

https://www.morebeer.com/products/ultra-barrier-antimicrobial-pvc-free-tubing-316.html
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Offline goose

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2019, 02:41:19 PM »
There is also another alternative (I would include a picture but still can't figure how to put a picture in this post).

I designed a line cleaner using a 1.5 gallon garden "pump" sprayer that I modified to put a beer out keg plug in place of the spray wand ( I think this might have been in a gadgets issue of either BYO or Zymurgy some years back).  I fill the sprayer with either BLC or caustic solution made with hot water, pump up the pressure in the sprayer, connect it to the tap line and flush the line into a small pail.  I do not recirculate the cleaner through the system since I am a bit of a purist and want clean caustic flowing through the lines.  The solution sits in the lines for about 5-10 minutes before I repeat this procedure (about 3-4 times) through the six tap lines I have here (the 1.5 gallon mixture is sufficient to do this) and use the stuff in the pail to clean my drip tray and any beer that may splashed on the floor at the same time.

Word to the wise!!!!!  When mixing the solution always add the BLC or caustic TO the water, NEVER the other way around (think adding it alphabetically, B/C to W) to prevent the BLC or caustic from splattering and possibly causing chemical burns.  The same method is used to add strong acid to water.  Strong acids and bases generate a good amount heat when they dissociate in water and could splatter out of the mixing vessel.  Adding a small amount of strong acid or base to a larger volume of water dissipates the generated heat rapidly through the cooler medium and prevents splattering.

Once the cleaning cycle is complete, I flush each line three to four times with clean hot water pumped from the sprayer and I am done.  It's easy and only takes about an hour or so to clean all my lines.

If someone can guide me on how to attach a picture to this thread, I will do so.  The attach an image icon does not work for me somehow.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2019, 01:33:44 PM »
I use the garden sprayer (hand pump) with keg out post mounted to it.  Easy peasy.

Every time I read a post on cleaning, it makes me clean the lines and faucets...

I think I am going to be proactive this year and calendar it for every couple months, to make sure it doesn’t slip by me.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2019, 02:15:39 PM »
... calendar it ...

That’s the only way I can remember stuff.


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Offline goose

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2019, 03:43:23 PM »
I use the garden sprayer (hand pump) with keg out post mounted to it.  Easy peasy.

Every time I read a post on cleaning, it makes me clean the lines and faucets...

I think I am going to be proactive this year and calendar it for every couple months, to make sure it doesn’t slip by me.

Same with me.  It reminds me when to clean my lines.  Fortunately, I just cleaned mine last week before this thread began!  I too want to get on a couple month schedule.  I kept a log and the last time I cleaned them was four months ago.
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Offline Robert

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Re: cleaning beer lines
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2019, 04:04:21 PM »
Yikes.  You guys get away with this?  I clean, at a minimum, every two weeks -- commercial standard.   I've tried going longer, but the quality suffers.  Then maybe my beers, typically more delicate traditional lagers and ales, show flaws sooner than big, crafty hop bombs.  Well, what works.  Must be determined on a practical basis.

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Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

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