Cleaning Lines

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by jbakajust1, Nov 7, 2013.

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  1. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,062) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon
    Subscriber

    I have a few kegs in my home bar (homebrew) and haven't cleaned the lines as of yet. I don't have an empty keg to fill with Oxyclean or BLC or PBW to force cleaner through the lines via CO2. I had a few questions for you. How much cleaner would I need to use to clean the lines (cobra taps w/ 4-5' of beer line)? I was thinking of getting a new 1 gallon pump sprayer and fitting it with a ball-lock liquid out post to hook up my QD with line and tap to, pump up the sprayer, open the cobra, and let it rip into bucket below. Close off the tap mid way through to let it soak inside for 10 mins or so, then reopen and let it go again. Rinse with clean water the same way. Then run StarSan through it before hooking back up to the keg for consumption. Thoughts? Would 1 gallon be enough? Anything yall see that would go wrong with this? My kegs last about 8 weeks or so at a time depending on the beer (3 kegs, plus wilds and Imperials in bottles).
     
  2. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (456) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    Nothing at all wrong with your idea . . . here's a pretty good DIY guide:

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-beer-line-cleaner-226497/

    My experience is beer scale dissolves fairly quickly when exposed to BLC. My guesstimate is 1 gallon would clean a home system you describe. Also, with this system you are catching the run off which could be re-cycled.
     
  3. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,062) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon
    Subscriber

    That was my plan as well. Collect the cleaner in a bucket below (which the tap would end up soaking in while it filled), then put it back into the sprayer for line 2, and line 3, etc. Then dump the cleaner and rinse with fresh water on each line. StarSan through all lines from the sprayer and collect for reuse.

    The link above is pretty much what I was thinking of doing, just with the bigger pump sprayer.
     
  4. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Aspirant (292) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    Put an aquarium pump in a bucket. Pump it through the lines and back to the bucket. That way, you could run it overnight, if you're so inclined.
     
  5. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (1,062) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon
    Subscriber

    Good idea, and seeing as I have one already, that could work. I soaked the lines in Oxiclean for about 40 minutes last night, the color of the lines before, and of the water after was about the color of my shirt in my avatar. Hot water rinsed, then an iodophor soak for 15. My Wit tasted and smelled so much brighter after the cleaning.
     
  6. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,190) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I have a pump bottle I fill with hot water and BLC. I put the keg end of the line in a bucket. I pump the water mix into the lines and let it sit for a little bit, then start to drain it out into the bucket. I wash through one pump bottle of BLC mix, then 2 bottles of just hot water. The pump bottle holds 2 quarts at a time.
     
  7. JoeSpartaNJ

    JoeSpartaNJ Initiate (180) Feb 5, 2008 New Jersey

    I made the DIY pump sprayer. Alot easier than the other line cleaner pumps that are sold.
     
    jbakajust1 likes this.
  8. jyounger30

    jyounger30 Initiate (21) Oct 25, 2008 Georgia

    The pump sprayer link above works like a dream. I used to use the style that you connected to the shank with the faucet removed. This is WAY better.
     
  9. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,190) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Just make sure you disconnect the faucet every now and then and clean out the innards. The threads on the faucet have a tendency to freeze up if you don't loosen them and remove the faucet ever.

    That's why I don't mind taking the faucet off each time and cleaning it that way. It forces me to disassemble and clean the faucet fully each time I clean the lines (when switching kegs).
     
  10. Craftbrewlvr

    Craftbrewlvr Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Cleaning the faucet is really important as I have found out. A few times I found the draw from the keg was streaming out too fast regardless of the keg pressure. After I disconnected the faucet and looked inside I saw a lot of build-up of gunk that compromised the beer flow. Do not underestimate cleaning the faucet assembly. I soaked it well in vinegar water, picked out all the built-up gunk, flushed it well and it was amazing how much better my beer tasted after that and the flow is now clear and regular. My next beer tasted like a new kegerator.
     
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