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Old 02-11-2010, 03:31 AM   #1
xinunix
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Default Cobra/Picnic Tap, QD & Beer Line Cleaning Frequency?

I just started kegging, filled my first keg about 10 days ago. I attached a beverage line tonight (just a standard picnic/cobra tap) to see how things were progressing. Carbonation is coming along just fine but not quite done yet.

I have been searching and have read pretty much every post on the site related to this topic. Based on my reading I think I understand how people generally clean/sanitize, especially when doing it between kegs. What I can't quite figure out is how often to do it. I will be stuck with picnic taps for a while so I want to establish a consistent routine. Kegs, lines and taps will be kept in my fridge at 37-40F.

I anticipate it will take me 8-10 weeks to kick a keg, I plan to have 3 on tap at a time. Given that, should I clean my beverage line setups more often than just between kegs? Would once a month be a better practice or is that just overkill? I know there is no "right answer" here, just looking for opinions from those with a similar setup that have been doing it for a while...

Also open to any other advice you might have on the cleaning/sanitizing process specific to picnic tap setups (aside from not using them of course...)?

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Old 02-11-2010, 07:41 AM   #2
MachineShopBrewing
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I just clean and sanitize everything when I empty a keg. You can fill your keg with PBW and then star san and push it through the lines with co2 to clean.

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Old 02-11-2010, 08:18 AM   #3
mordantly
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i flush the keg/line with a gallon of water. flush with a half-gallon of starsan, and hook up next one. or if the line is to remain out of service, i use co2 to blow the starsan out of the vinyl tubing only, or it can get slimy and have to be rinsed again. i leave starsan in the keg and shake/blow the dip tube prior to filling next.

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Old 02-11-2010, 03:26 PM   #4
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Star san is not a cleaner.
And there is no reason to sanitize beer lines. A thorough cleaning between kegs is sufficient. Unless you kegs last a long time.

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Old 02-11-2010, 10:59 PM   #5
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I clean the lines every two weeks to once a month. Industry standards are every two weeks. (not that it happens at many bars but it should!)

Depends on how often you want to change out your lines...

Bar with thousands of dollars in beer lines (long glycol chilled lines) that only want to install them once clean them often!

If it was my bar I would say it needs to be done daily. That way the guy responsible for it and making $8 an hour would do it every few days at least.

Homebrewers can change their lines cheaply whenever they want. We also have short lines and beer that gets drank quickly.

To check to see if a line is infected pour a few ounces of beer in the morning and smell and taste before you have brushed your teeth. It has sat all night in the line and if it is infected you will smell and/or taste the infection.

my lines are ten years old and still in good shape. I go over board. I run warm caustic, then star san with a little iodine, rinse with water, and then blow lines not in use somewhat dry with Co2. Periodically i run a weak bleach solution and limit contact time to less then 10 minutes and rinse with water. I also have soaked them in distilled vinegar for an hour-- great beer stone remover.

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