Kegerator line cleaning

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Merz69

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What’s the best way to clean your kegerator lines/faucets ? I seen a few videos using special hand pumps and such. Can’t you just use an empty corny keg and use co2 to push some PBW or Oxyclean - then rinse with water - then push some star San through - blow some CO2 through, then tap a new keg ?
 
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Merz69

Merz69

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Seems like a good way to get your empty keg cleaned and ready for the next batch too :)
 

grampamark

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You can use C02 to push cleaner and rinse water through the lines and faucets, but you’ll use quite a bit of C02 in the process. You can buy a basic, 1 gallon, garden sprayer for 10 bucks and use that as a dedicated line/faucet cleaner.

My LHBS charges 10 bucks to refill a 5lb tank. It’s worth the price of one tank fill to have one of these cheap sprayers around.
 
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Merz69

Merz69

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Don’t you need co2 to clean the beer line inside the keg ? Do you disassemble every time ?
 

IslandLizard

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You can use a pump (pond pump, solar pump, brew pump, sump pump, etc.), and recirculate PBW through the lines and taps, then flush out with water, followed by Starsan recirc.

It's not the speed of recirc liquid that cleans, it's the cleaning solution itself, soaking (contact), and the movement of the liquid by the pump.

To clean a few lines at the same time you can get/make adapters to connect them.
Faucet to faucet with a piece of hose, QD to QD with "double sided post," in series, a chain.
Or connect them in parallel for less resistance and higher flow rate.
 

OleBrewing

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I made an adapter for my air compressor. Fill a keg with hot water and ozyclean rinse lines then let them sit then run the rest thru. I do this and work taps back and forth and plug the outlet to bring solution out front of tap. Works well for me. I do waste a tall beer once reconnected for last rinse of lines.
 

Kickass

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You’re supposed to clean your keg lines?!?

I do mine once a year. Keg of hot PBW followed by a keg of hot water. Yeah wasted CO2 but hey, I only do it once a year.
 

OakIslandBrewery

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I bought one of those pump sprayers from the home improvement store and on the wand end, put keg beer QD post. I just fill the sprayer with a mixture of beer line cleaner or PBW then flush out each beer line. The tap end is open into a bucket. After that I flush the lines with just water. If you have multiple taps, you can be creative like IslandLizard says and use those QD to QD post adapters. I use two of those to clean five taps/lines. Works slick.
 

DavidWood2115

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I clean mine about 1/month and when the keg kicks using a small fountain pump, hot tap water, and OneStep (a no-rinse cleaner similar to PBW but without the disodium metasilicate), recirculating for 15 minutes. I thought this would keep them pretty clean. However, I just changed over to EVA Barrier tubing yesterday and was rather surprised (disgusted?) to see the state of the old vinyl tubing after I cut it off the barb.
IMG_1865.jpg
I think I will switch to regular cleaning with PBW and occasional cleaning with BLC/LLC.
 

OakIslandBrewery

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Regular vinyl tubing should not be used for beer lines. I think lots of us try to save money by doing so (me included) but money is better spent on good quality beer lines like EVA Barrier. I typical buy it in bulk to save some $$$. Regular cleaning makes a big difference to keep your beer tasting good.
 

DavidWood2115

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Regular vinyl tubing should not be used for beer lines. I think lots of us try to save money by doing so (me included) but money is better spent on good quality beer lines like EVA Barrier. I typical buy it in bulk to save some $$$. Regular cleaning makes a big difference to keep your beer tasting good.
I misspoke. It was Food Grade PVC, not plain vinyl tubing. Kuri Tec Klearon 73 K010 Clear Food and Beverage Grade Phthalate Free PVC Tubing, to be exact. Not as O2 impervious as EVA Barrier tubing, hence my switch.

Edit: Clarifying that Food Grade PVC is vinyl, but not random big box vinyl.
 
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odie

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I got a small 1.5? gal keg. I just fill it with a couple quarts of hot water and flush the lines between kegs. Once or twice a year I will run a cleaner then take the faucet and QD apart and give it a deep cleaning.
 

Maalea

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I bought one of those pump sprayers from the home improvement store and on the wand end, put keg beer QD post. I just fill the sprayer with a mixture of beer line cleaner or PBW then flush out each beer line. The tap end is open into a bucket. After that I flush the lines with just water. If you have multiple taps, you can be creative like IslandLizard says and use those QD to QD post adapters. I use two of those to clean five taps/lines. Works slick.
I use the hand pump sprayer as well. After I kick a keg, I fill up an electric tea kettle, pour the boiling water into the sprayer, pump it into the keg and then through the keg line
 

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When my kegs kick I mix up a gallon of sanitizer and pour half in a 2 liter bottle. I then change out the beer QD for a gas QD and put a carbonator cap on the bottle. Then I hit it with 30 psi co2 and run it through the line and tap to rinse well. Next I use the rest of the sanitizer to soak awhile before flushing on thru. You just have to hold the bottle up to drain all the way.
I have also used beer line cleaner in this way then rinse well with water.
 

kiwipen

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I used to push a cleaning solution from a keg trough my beer lines and let it sit before pushing more trough, but when I took the tap of the shank there were always still some dirt there that I had to remove with a brush or paper towel. That made me wonder if there were other spots that weren't getting cleaned properly.

Now I recirculate cleaning solution trough the lines with a pump for 15 minutes and when I remove the tap it's all clean.

After cleaning I push a few liters of hot water trough followed by a little Starsan that sits for a few minutes before being pushed out with co2.
 

seatazzz

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You can use C02 to push cleaner and rinse water through the lines and faucets, but you’ll use quite a bit of C02 in the process. You can buy a basic, 1 gallon, garden sprayer for 10 bucks and use that as a dedicated line/faucet cleaner.

My LHBS charges 10 bucks to refill a 5lb tank. It’s worth the price of one tank fill to have one of these cheap sprayers around.
Mark would you mind showing how you attach the QD to the wand end? I too use co2 to flush my beer lines with hot oxyclean water, then rinse (really not as often as I should) but something simple like this would encourage me to do it more...HD has these sprayers for as cheap as allmymoneyzgone and I can go get one tomorrow.
 

Maalea

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Mark would you mind showing how you attach the QD to the wand end? I too use co2 to flush my beer lines with hot oxyclean water, then rinse (really not as often as I should) but something simple like this would encourage me to do it more...HD has these sprayers for as cheap as allmymoneyzgone and I can go get one tomorrow.
My sprayer has a wand that unscrews. I slipped some tubing over the threads and clamped it down. The opposite end I attached the disconnect for the keg in post.

EDIT: the wand end is larger than the quick disconnect, so I used a small piece of beer line tubing to build up the post thickness on the QD.
 
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Knightshade

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I hook up an aquarium pump to a couple duotight fittings and push BLC up the line and out a faucet which dumps back into the same bucket. Let that run for 15 minutes.



I got a bug sprayer off of Amazon..or maybe at harbor freight. Can’t remember.
But I snipped off the end, then shoved a carbonation cap into it. (Orange thing in the pic above)

I use that to flush out the BLC with fresh water, then Star San, then I’ll leave the line full of RO water until I’m ready to hook up another keg. When that time comes, I’ll use the bug sprayer again to run some Star San through first.
 

grampamark

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Mark would you mind showing how you attach the QD to the wand end? I too use co2 to flush my beer lines with hot oxyclean water, then rinse (really not as often as I should) but something simple like this would encourage me to do it more...HD has these sprayers for as cheap as allmymoneyzgone and I can go get one tomorrow.
My son borrowed my sprayer to pressure test something so I can‘t post a pic of the actual plumber’s nightmare :cool:

The sprayer I have happens to have a wand with an OD of 3/8”. All I had to do was remove the nozzle from the wand and slide a piece of 3/8” ID tubing over the wand. To attach a QD, assuming yours have MFL threads, all you need is an FFL swivel with a 3/8” barb.
A76FC84F-809D-4A3E-A7CD-FE97E9C65569.jpeg
I don’t usually use a QD on the wand. I back flush the faucets and beer lines. So, instead of the swivel on the 3/8” tubing I just slip a piece of 1/2” ID tubing over the 3/8 and the other end over the end of a faucet.

E53B27B4-E90B-435C-8B91-B517E31AA8C6.jpeg
 

deuc224

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I run starsan thru my lines after every keg change but clean them after every other keg change. EVA barrier lines all the way thru, not for the microb properties but because they are super simple to connect and seal up. I even got the last straw bottle filler and connected some duotight fittings to it and its really damn convenient.
 

Knightshade

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Does anybody have a method they use to keep the faucets open when the return springs are installed?

I like having them in there so nobody accidentally leaves them open when pulling a pint. But if there is an easy way to keep them open while the BLC or other is recirculating, that would be even better!
 

OakIslandBrewery

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Depending on how you taps are set, meaning how they are mounted, maybe a block of wood (or something else) between the tap handle and where the shank mounts to keep the tap handle pushed forward. My taps are mounted into a board (tap tower) so there's a space between them and the tap handle, about two inches with the tap handle pulled open. I've heard of rubber bands being used but I'm not sure on that.
 
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