Empty Beer Line Storage on Kegerator

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Bullhog

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So as I understand it most people here never have an empty tap line, I am not in that boat and often do for long stretches of time. I have a 4 line system and typically have 2 kegs on, sometimes 3, rarely 4 (4 requires special setup, but possible). So here’s what I do to store my empty beer lines, wondering what others do or if you think I could do better.

Rinse with hot water, clean with BLC (or other if necessary), hot water rinse, starsan, drain/purge with CO2. Then before I need it I will run more starsan before tapping a new keg.

Can I improve on this?
 
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day_trippr

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I doubt it :)
That comprehensive regimen should see you through well, imo...

Cheers!
 

Jayjay1976

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I'm still new to kegging, but I'll run starsan through my beer lines from a keg filled with it, then disconnect with the lines and tap still charged with it. I keep a transfer hose on hand with liquid disconnects on both ends, it always stays filled with starsan when not in use, I just blow it out prior to use and charge it up again before putting it away. Guess I can say its working so far? Starsan is like windex, only tastier.
 
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Bullhog

Bullhog

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I keep a transfer hose on hand with liquid disconnects on both ends, it always stays filled with starsan when not in use
I’ve read multiple times that keeping your lines filled with starsan is bad, but I can’t remember why.
 

Jayjay1976

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I’ve read multiple times that keeping your lines filled with starsan is bad, but I can’t remember why.
I use EVAbarrier beer lines not PVC or whatever, and I assume it is less permeable. I haven't noted any weird cloudiness or residues as of yet, but that could change. I just don't like the idea of having moisture in there and the air carrying spores and whatnot that will set up camp in the crevises. I prefer a clean crevise.
 

fermbreezy

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I'm arriving a bit late to the show here but I've got similar issues @Bullhog. My liver can't withstand having something on tap all the time.. or wait, is that my self-control?

I have empty lines left and right of different lengths and diameters. I have pvc and silver lined, pvc free (have not tried EVA yet), but one thing I will tell you is that storing any of them in garage results in a distinct odeur-de-garage characterized by the sum of all the smells in there which DO translate to an off-flavor for the first pour of the night on any tap.

Now, I store my lines in the house but still have issues with odors on lines that have dried since the last clean cycle. I use Easy-Clean recirculating through my pump for several minutes then flush with water or Saniclean. Maybe I should try BLC?

@Bullhog Have you had any issues with your lines empty or were you just wondering about preventative measures?
 
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Bullhog

Bullhog

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Have you had any issues with your lines empty or were you just wondering about preventative measures?
Its a non stop battle for me, but I’m also a trained taster so maybe I’m more sensitive.

The problem I’ve had the most is with pediocacus when leaving them empty. Regarding that, when it is slightly bad, it sucks a lot of the hops from the beer, but still decent beer. When it’s really bad you start to notice the tell tail signs of an infection. Also in the past when I’ve left moisture in the lines, it would start growing things. Bad beer....I have since moved to the silver lined lines, but not willing to stress test them.

With the method I’ve described above I’ve been having good luck, but I haven’t been using it very long. I have a large pile beer line ready to replace whenever I taste anything wrong.

I’ve gone a little overboard these days, I clean my lines between kegs and sometimes in the middle of a keg if it’s been a while. I just can’t stand the beer being transformed by the serving lines, and a slightly dirty line can change things very subtly to where you think it’s just an ok recipe, but it’s really a bad beer line if you hook it up to a cleaner tap.

Wish I had better news for you.
 

fermbreezy

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Yeah, I'm with you on that one. It's pretty frustrating to have a batch in both bottle and keg formats just to notice defects due to the line.

It's also pretty cruddy to toss a bunch of plastic/rubber out after one use. That's what my local coffee shop has started doing with their cold brew and herbal tea lines. I was talking to the owner who was saying even despite cleaning the hoses thoroughly after each run they'll still taste like the last batch of whatever was on tap so he'll toss the old line and just cut a new segment from the bulk coil he has.

I suggested stainless steel lines (assuming the product exists because of those tap coolers I've seen) but I searched on Google earlier today and didn't really find anything other than replacement coils of like 50' or 100' for those tap coolers. I'm sure that would be a fail-safe, lifetime reusable alternative but I haven't found the supplier yet.
 

duncan.brown

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Given the pandemic's effect on bars and pubs, there's a lot of recent advice from the pros on how to handle extended shutdown of draught systems. Google some combination of the words covid, draught, beer, and clean. This is a good example:


The general advice seems to be to clean with a caustic like BLC, flush with dechorinated water, and then dry with a CO2 or air flush. This seems like a good procedure to implement at the home-brew scale.

I've built my own trunk lines and I really don't want to have to replace them often. Although I haven't noticed a negative effect from StarSan sitting in the lines for a few days, I don't think I'd want to go longer than a week like this.
 
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