Tap Lines

How often do most brewers clean their tap lines. Is there a standard amount of time to go by? Just wondering, it’s been awhile and I hope i’m not digesting any bacteria. Also do guy’s use just cleanser like PBW or that BLC stuff the host sells? I haven’t been able to spring for nice taps yet so i’m still using a picnic tap. Thanks

I think its different from bar to bar, brewer to brewer, homebrewer to homebrewer. I at least flush mine with oxy/pbw then starsan every time I turn over a keg. Its a good way to clean your dip tube as well.

If you’ve ever been to a bar and the beer has a real buttery taste (diacetyl) and you know that particular brand does not typically have diacetyl, it is likely from pediococcus and/or lactobacillus bacteria in the lines. The good news is, your gut can digest them with no ill effects, other than offending your palette!

Good beer bars are meticulous about their lines. If I were a rep for a brewery and went into a bar that had bad serving procedures, I would not be happy.

PBW/Oxi do an OK job. BLC/LLC do a better job. Let it sit in the lines for 5-10 minutes. Push new cleaner in and let it sit again. Then flush with a couple pints of water.

From what I’ve seen locally, the BMC distributors have someone clean the lines. But it may only be 1 time a month. The head brewer at the brew pub, before he left, and it closed, would clean it between the times the distributor came by. Yes, they served BMC also.

I clean them every 3-4 months.

I help a friend clean his about the same. Or before some social gathering.

If you think you have an off flavor, clean them.

Thanks Fellas, Questions answered.

I think it also depends on where the taps are located. I moved from keeping them in a basement in VA to out in my garage in TX.

I definitely have to clean them once a month compared to once every 4-6 months. When I take them apart now, I’ll find black crude has caked up on the piston and lever inside. So whenever I begin to see little black flakes in a beer, I know it’s time.


I replace mine in January of each year. I never clean them because the beer flows through so often, there is no problem. I never let them sit with the dregs from a blown keg though. Immediately, I swap a new keg and purge out a glass.

I clean mine every keg or two, which amounts to once a month. I replace them every two or three years.