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Old 08-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #1
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Default How to clean the beer line cheap and easy.

DIY Beer Line Cleaner that is cheap and easy.

How many of homebrewers actually clean the beer line? I'm specifically thinking about my draft towers with faucets on my Kegorator. Like myself, probably not that often. When I first started kegging my beer, the beer line was cleaned by running new beer though it. I didn't know that dirty beer lines made my beer taste funky.

Beer line at restaurants, bars, clubs etc is typically cleaned as often as weekly. In watching the process of cleaning the line at a bar, I noticed a lot of cleaning liquid flowing through the keg spout. So, where does that leave a homebrewer on a limited budget? I wanted a do-it-yourself project that used existing equipment and was quick and easy.

The challenge: Move a large amount of cleaning solution through the beer line. The answer: A keg, cleaning solution (BLC Beer Line Cleaner by National Chemical) and CO2. It's that simple, and these are items readily available to a homebrewer.

Fill the keg with water and cleaning solution per the instructions, hook the beer line to the output and the CO2 to the input and let it flow. I think you should run at least a gallon of cleaning solution through each faucet. Follow up a second time with clean water to clear out the cleaning solution. It's that simple. I use a 3-gallon keg for cleaning my kegorator, but a regular keg would obviously work as well.



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Old 08-30-2012, 11:59 AM   #2
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-...leaner-226497/
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by stubbornman View Post
+1

In addition to cleaning after kicking a keg, you can use this to clean beer lines with kegs full of beer.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:59 PM   #4
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I actually clean beer lines for a living. Super easy and the laws vary by state. Usually 1 week to a month between cleanings and yu have to clean when ever yu switch brands. But I often clean or change my beer line

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Old 08-30-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by stubbornman
I saw this beer line cleaner, and although clever, I wanted a high volume of liquid, which this DIY project was missing.

DL
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dlester View Post
I saw this beer line cleaner, and although clever, I wanted a high volume of liquid, which this DIY project was missing.

DL
I disagree on two accounts.

A. That pump sprayer holds 1/2 gallon. Just fill it up twice. That to me is much easier than using a keg and CO2 to push cleaner through the lines. I've used both, and the sprayer is much easier.

B. Caustics need contact time. Moving cleaner through the lines isn't nearly as important as the cleaner getting contact time with the inside of the lines. I start pumping hot oxyclean or BLC through the lines until the lines warm up, then I shut off the faucet, and allow the inside of the lines to soak for 30 minutes or so. Then I come back, open the faucet, and run the remaining cleaner through.

If my last beer was a hoppy beer, the oxyclean solution literally comes out green after a 30 minute soak. That doesn't happen for me by merely running a gallon or two of solution through the lines.

I'll then rinse the pump sprayer out, and fill it with hot water. I'll run a full container of hot water through the lines, then follow that up with cold Star san.

It's super easy to rinse and re-fill the little hand sprayer, you can't say the same for a keg. Kegs aren't difficult, but that little hand sprayer is just sooooo easy to use.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by scottland View Post
I disagree on two accounts.

A. That pump sprayer holds 1/2 gallon. Just fill it up twice. That to me is much easier than using a keg and CO2 to push cleaner through the lines. I've used both, and the sprayer is much easier.

B. Caustics need contact time. Moving cleaner through the lines isn't nearly as important as the cleaner getting contact time with the inside of the lines. I start pumping hot oxyclean or BLC through the lines until the lines warm up, then I shut off the faucet, and allow the inside of the lines to soak for 30 minutes or so. Then I come back, open the faucet, and run the remaining cleaner through.

If my last beer was a hoppy beer, the oxyclean solution literally comes out green after a 30 minute soak. That doesn't happen for me by merely running a gallon or two of solution through the lines.

I'll then rinse the pump sprayer out, and fill it with hot water. I'll run a full container of hot water through the lines, then follow that up with cold Star san.

It's super easy to rinse and re-fill the little hand sprayer, you can't say the same for a keg. Kegs aren't difficult, but that little hand sprayer is just sooooo easy to use.
I certainly didn't mean to discount your DIY project. I think that anyone reading this thread will see the usefullness of both ways of cleaning the beer lines.

I didn't see any threads using a keg, other than your side note that you prefer the sprayer. Being that I like blogging and posting, I thought I would throw in my two cents.

I think no matter the debatable points of any DIY project, everyone should chime in with their projects to better enrich homebrewers. Especially since a lot of our equipment is hand built.

DL
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:24 PM   #8
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I run oxyclean through it and let it sit for a while. Then I run starsan through it while I sanitize my keg. I let it sit in the line until I attach the keg with beer. Seems to work well for me.

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Old 08-30-2012, 10:34 PM   #9
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I run oxyclean through it and let it sit for a while. Then I run starsan through it while I sanitize my keg. I let it sit in the line until I attach the keg with beer. Seems to work well for me.

Great idea, I assume you have a beer line right off the keg.

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Old 08-30-2012, 10:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ctforte View Post
I actually clean beer lines for a living. Super easy and the laws vary by state. Usually 1 week to a month between cleanings and yu have to clean when ever yu switch brands. But I often clean or change my beer line
Good to know. Do you have any expertise to add?

DL
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