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Cleaning Beer Lines

How often to you clean your lines?

After every keg? Every few?

When I think about it. Which probably isn’t often enough. I seem to think more about changing my beer lines than cleaning them.

I know guys who clean after every keg, and take apart their kegs / clean poppets etc every time.

Seems like a little overkill.

If I’m tapping one keg after another I tend to just go for a bunch unless they seem to need it. If I have lines sitting unused after a keg I’ll tend to do them.

When I kick a keg, I like to soak it in hot PBW for about 24 hrs. I only mix about a gallon or two in it and shake it up every time I walk by it. Then I hit it with some CO2 and run it through the lines.

Then, rinse, and add a little StarSan and then push that through the lines too.

Probably over-kill after each keg; but since I am cleaning the keg, might as well clean the lines too.

Side note -
I have a buddy who is moving and needed to park his kegerator at my house for a while until he gets settled. I decided I would clean his lines for him while it was here. So, I did the above procedure letting the PBW stay in the lines overnight. I could not believe how much “nastiness” poured out of the taps the next day. I’ve decided that I am also going to take his taps apart and clean while I have it too. Not sure what his procedure is; but not quite often enough.

I send a sanitizer through the line when I change kegs. I may, after reading this thread actually send some cleaner through, take the taps apart and then send a sanitizer through.

What do taverns do?

I have 5 taps with 9-10 foot lines. Rather than clean them, I replace them every January. Works well for me but we push a lot of beer here.

After the keg is dry, I run a hot water mix with a little oxyclean through the lines. I follow that, with a hot water flush. When I’m going to keg, I do a hot water flush and then Star San.

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