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Cleaning The Lines

Written by The Restaurant Doctor UK Team
Last Updated: 29th October 2023

<<< 6. Cleaning The Cellar | 8. Changing Kegs >>>

Cleaning your beer lines is vital if you want to serve quality tasting draught products.

If you don’t clean your beer lines the yeast and bacteria will build up in your lines and the product will fob, which means it goes cloudy and smells like rotten eggs!! You wouldn’t want to drink a pint of lager when it smells like eggs; your customers are most likely to go elsewhere if this is the case.

Whatever system you use to clean your lines it is best for hygiene and draught quality to clean your lines once a week.

Always follow the cleaning fluid manufacturer’s instructions for how much you should you as they vary a bit.

We will detail line cleaning in steps.

Step 1. Fill your water tank with cold water.

Step 2. Turn off the gas to the keg.

Step 3. Disconnect the coupler from the keg and attach it to the join on your water supply. This is the same shape as the join on the barrel you just removed it from. (Either wall mounted or on a separate cylinder).

Step 4. Inspect the pressure cylinder on you wall for the keg; you’ll either have a push button or a lever, which releases the plastic ball to allow the flow of liquid. Make sure this is open and the water can flow into the line. Draw the water through until the cylinder is full and there is no trace of the draught product.

Step 5. Go up to the bar and pull the draught product through (into a bucket!) until water starts dispensing out of the tap.

Step 6. Pull between 3 and 6 pints of water through the line to rinse away the draught product. (Re-filling your tank if required).

Step 7. Go back to the cellar and measure out your line cleaning fluid. Fill your water tank and add the fluid to it.

Step 8. This is the same as step 3, except you are drawing the cleaning fluid through. Some fluids are coloured so it is easy to tell, others aren’t so you have to go on touch. The ‘feel’ of line cleaning fluid is slimy when you rub it with your fingers.

Step 9. Go back to the bar and pull the water through until you can see or feel the line cleaning fluid being dispensed.

Step 10. Leave the cleaning fluid in the line for around 10 to 20 minutes to remove the build up of yeast and bacteria. Don’t leave the fluid in any longer, as it is acidic and will damage your lines.

Step 11. Flush your water tank of any remaining cleaning fluid, and re-fill it with cold water.

Step 12. Again follow step 3, draw the water through.

Step 13. Go back to the bar and pull the line cleaning fluid away until water is dispensed. Remember if you can’t see the fluid you can feel it. Pull as much water through as you need to in order to rinse the cleaning fluid away. It is recommended you pull a further 3 to 6 pints of water through after rinsing the fluid.

Step 14. Go back to the cellar and remove the coupler from the water supply join and re-connect it to the keg.

Step 15. Turn the gas back on.

Step 16. Repeat step 3, until you see the draught product flowing into the cylinder.

Step 17. Go to the bar and pull the water through until the draught product is dispensed. Don’t pull much through, as this will increase your wastage.

Step 18. Taste it! Make sure the product tastes crisp and fresh.

Step 19. Have a brew! Sit down for 10 minutes and relax!

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