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What is in my line?

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Gustatorian

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When I change kegs, I always switch to new vinyl in my lines. But I've always wondered what's precipitating out of the beer/growing in my lines after a keg has been on for a few months (see photo below). If a beer sits in a line for too long, I assume something will grow. But is a draft line like this safe to use again? Is there something preventative that I can do to make sure stuff like this doesn't happen?

FWIW, if I reuse vinyl I will clean it with a 15 minute circulation with line cleaner, rinse that, then circulate sanitizer through it.

IMG_7601.jpg
 

dyqik

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It's probably "Beer stone" - deposits of calcium oxalate. It will pretty much always happen, and it needs removing to properly sanitize the lines.

You can remove it with beer line cleaner (e.g. Five Star Liquid Line Cleaner) or Five Star Beer Stone remover. I pump LLC through my lines for 20 minutes or so when changing kegs, and that usually gets rid of it.
 
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Gustatorian

Gustatorian

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It's probably "Beer stone" - deposits of calcium oxalate. It will pretty much always happen, and it needs removing to properly sanitize the lines.

You can remove it with beer line cleaner (e.g. Five Star Liquid Line Cleaner) or Five Star Beer Stone remover. I pump LLC through my lines for 20 minutes or so when changing kegs, and that usually gets rid of it.
This stuff is fairly mobile. I've always assumed calcium oxalate would adhere to draft line...
 

dyqik

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This stuff is fairly mobile. I've always assumed calcium oxalate would adhere to draft line...
I'm not sure how strong the flakes of calcium oxalate are, but I could imagine them lifting off when the line is flexed. When I clean my lines, they definitely come off in small flakes (maybe 1/10th inch or smaller).
 
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Gustatorian

Gustatorian

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I'm not sure how strong the flakes of calcium oxalate are, but I could imagine them lifting off when the line is flexed. When I clean my lines, they definitely come off in small flakes (maybe 1/10th inch or smaller).
Do they come off into the glass when the beer is poured? Ever noticed any change in flavor in your beer due to the stones?
 

dyqik

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I've not noticed either. I believe the risk is of infection if the lines aren't sanitized well enough.
 
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