Beer line cleaning question

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arla

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How often?

I guess I'm just trying to make sure I'm doing what I should...

I have a keezer, but currently just have picnic taps (in fact just a picnic tap, not even multiples) what I have (to date) been doing is cleaning out the hose when I kick the keg... is that acceptable/often enough, anticipated. It takes me a while to go through a keg (just because sometimes I drink that, sometimes I drink other stuff) so maybe 1-2 months?

When I pulled off the picnic tap this last time (ball-lock keg) I noticed that the connection joint seemed pretty sticky, is that normal?
 

porterpounder

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Once a keg is more than most bother. Many just run sanitizer through after and clean a couple times a year unless the lines start to look junky in between. As long as there is beer in the line and it's under pressure it shouldn't get funky.
Sometimes you're going to get gunk collecting at the connections, but as long as it's not clogging the line and, again, under pressure you're OK. If it wont clean, then clip the end of the line to get rid of the gummy piece, cut the old piece off the tap and just reconnect the it.
 

Bean

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There are a lot of factors to look at here so there isn't an across the board answer.

But here is what I do, I will clean mine every keg or once every two months. I also use this time to check O rings, make sure everything is tight and where it should be. I soak all my quick disconnects and and taps as well. If I am going to have a party or I notice mold growing in the tap I will clean my system outside of the 1 keg or 2 month rule. I figure you can't over clean your lines.

If that seems like a lot... go to your local bar where you never have an issue with the beer and ask the head tender or GM how often they clean their lines.. (they have to know because the health board requires the process to be written in their SOP's) this will give you an idea on what it takes to get your favorite beers to taste the way they do, but keep in mind they are running more product through their lines than you so you will want do it a little more frequently than them.
 
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