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Old 06-21-2008, 12:45 AM   #1
PeteOz77
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Default Beer Line Cleaning

Just wondering:
• How often everyone else cleans their beer lines
• What chemicals
• What equipment and procedures
• What happens if you wait too long to clean them.. as in how does it affect the flavour?

Ummm, I hadn't cleaned mine since I started kegging in January....

I started to notice an unfamiliar flavor in my beer... actually ever since I had one bad keg that tasted like bandaids, every beer since had a little bit of that flavour. I was being lazy and not cleaning my lines and I just figured I had done something wrong to a few batches.

So I filled a keg up halfway with hot water, dumped in about 1/3 cup bleach (so yeah a fairly strong conncentration) and ran most of it through the line, then left it sit in the line for about 7-8 minutes, ran the rest through, the rinsed the keg very very well until all bleach smell was gone, then filled it up halfway with cold water and ran all of that through the line, making sure that when I was done, there was no bleach odour left in the water that was coming out of the tap.

It made a BIG difference to the taste of my beer. The off flavour is still there, but just a hint of it. I might flush the lines again when this keg goes dry.

So how do you guys maintain your lines?



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Old 06-21-2008, 01:13 AM   #2
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I clean mine after each keg blows.
Warm water and BLC (Beer Line Cleaner)
Just dump a few qts of warm water in and about an oz of BLC then open the tap. When the solution starts comming out, shut it off and let it sit for about 15 min, then repeat a few times. Gets them brand spanking new.



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Old 06-21-2008, 03:26 AM   #3
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Everything I've read in the lead up to my kegging system is to clean the lines after each keg blows. If I'm killing kegs quick during a party, I suppose I'll wait until afterwards, but from the looks of things it shouldn't take too long to do it properly.

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Old 06-21-2008, 03:42 AM   #4
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I've "cleaned" mine after every keg. I have a 2.5gallon keg I fill with one step cleaner. Run it through, then run through with iodaphor.

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Old 06-21-2008, 04:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunkensatyr View Post
I clean mine after each keg blows.
Warm water and BLC (Beer Line Cleaner)
Just dump a few qts of warm water in and about an oz of BLC then open the tap. When the solution starts comming out, shut it off and let it sit for about 15 min, then repeat a few times. Gets them brand spanking new.
Satyr, do you mix a fresh batch of BLC every time or can it be saved and reused?
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:31 AM   #6
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Man do I feel lazy.
I have 8 kegs on tap and 5 sitting in the brew room. I have been kegging for about 10 months and I have never cleaned the lines. They are never dry. One keg kicks I unhook and hook it up to the next one. Then run a pint or two tru it to "clean" the line and sediment from the keg and we are good to go.

I do try to teep the lines hooked to beers that are close to what was in it though.

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Old 06-21-2008, 02:01 PM   #7
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I have started to flush them with Star San everytime I swtich a keg. Perhaps I should get some beer line cleaner and use that. What is the difference?

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Old 06-21-2008, 02:05 PM   #8
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When a keg blows, I'll rinse it out. Then I'll mix up a quart or two of BLC. I flush all of the lines, wait 10 minutes, flush again. Then I'll make some no-rinse sanitizing solution in the keg and flush the lines again. By laying the keg on its side, I can blow out the lines. Then I hook up the kegs and run out a half pint or so.

I leave the rest of the sanitizer in the keg until I need the keg.

Sounds like a lot of work, but at the rate I drink, this only happens every other month or so.

SH - BLC is designed to remove scale & beer proteins. It's a cleaner, not a sanitizer.

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Old 06-22-2008, 10:26 AM   #9
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Short answer - when I rotate the keg.

Long answer:
Every time I think about it, my LHBS is out of BLC. I used to use straight-A, but it turns into a solid brick with humid air. So right now I am using a light mix of OxyClean after I blow a keg and rinse it well, it also serves to clean out my drip tray, If the tap has set empty I also pass some idophor through it. I set up a full SS tap setup so bleach is not an option. Oxy is pretty cheap and it works so well on my SS kegs, pots, and all I don't see any need to go with anything else.

Any easier ideas?



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