BEER LINE CLEANING

 

TROUBLESHOOTING

Short distance runs (usually under five feet), with kegs located directly under or behind the bar, and most frequently air cooled.

Longer runs (usually no more than about 20 feet) that use cold air to maintain beer temperatures between the keg and the tap.

Longer runs that use chilled glycol to maintain cold beer temperatures from the cooler to the tap.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR TOUBLESHOOTING HELP

QUICK TROUBLESHOOTING CHECKLIST

  • Is the keg stored between 36-38° F, and is the same temperature maintained all the way to the point of dispense?

  • Is the CO2 pressure between 12-14 Lbs?

  • Have the Faucet, beer line, and keg coupler have been cleaned (with chemicals specifically manufactured for beer hose cleaning) on a regular basis?

 

WILD BEER: Beer, when drawn, is all foam, or too much foam and not enough liquid beer.Beer temperature is too warm. CO2 pressure is set too high. Faucet in bad, dirty, or worn condition. Kinks, twists or other obstructions in the beer hose. Beer drawn improperly. 

 

FLAT BEER: Foamy head disappears quickly; beer lacks brewery fresh flavor.Beer temperature is too cold. CO2 pressure is set too low. Dirty glassware. 

 

CLOUDY BEER: Beer in glass appears hazy, not clear.Frozen or nearly frozen beer. Beer that has been un-refrigerated for long periods of time. Old beer. Dirty faucet, beer hose, and/or keg coupler. Dirty glassware. FALSE HEAD: Large soap-like bubbles, head dissolves very quickly.Dry glasses. Improper pour.

Temperature is by far the most important issue when it comes to dispensing keg draft beer. Almost all draft beer problems are temperature related. Most draft beer brewed in the U.S is not pasteurized, so it must be kept cold. The temperature of non-pasteurized Ale & Lager type beers must be maintained between 36-38°F all the way to the point of dispense. Temperatures even half a degree above 38°F will cause CO2 to break out of the beer and result in foam and promote sour/cloudy beer. When temperature rises above 50-55°F, bacteria growth rapidly begins to spoil flavor and cloud the beer. Simply put, keg beer storage can be compared to milk storage: "if it is not kept cold, it will spoil."

TEMPERATURE

 

The air temperature in the refrigerator can fluctuate greatly when the door is opened. Therefore it is important to check the "liquid" temperature of the beer rather then the air temperature in the refrigerator.

 

The ideal method for monitoring the liquid temperature (inside the keg) is done by use of a liquid thermometer. Such thermometers are enclosed in a casing filled with liquid; this provides a constant accurate reading of the liquid (beer) temperature within the refrigerator.

Temperature is by far the most important issue when it comes to dispensing keg draft beer. Almost all draft beer problems are temperature related. Most draft beer brewed in the U.S is not pasteurized, so it must be kept cold. The temperature of non-pasteurized Ale & Lager type beers must be maintained between 36-38°F all the way to the point of dispense. Temperatures even half a degree above 38°F will cause CO2 to break out of the beer and result in foam and promote sour/cloudy beer. When temperature rises above 50-55°F, bacteria growth rapidly begins to spoil flavor and cloud the beer. Simply put, keg beer storage can be compared to milk storage: "if it is not kept cold, it will spoil."

PRESSURE

 

What pressure do I need to set the CO2 beer regulator at? When dispensing keg draught beer, the goal is to keep the CO2 level prescribed by the brewer. Any change in the CO2 level will alter the taste, pouring characteristics and appearance of the beer.

 

Most breweries in the U.S. recommend a CO2 pressure between 12-14 lbs for Ale and Lager types of draft beers. This CO2 pressure will maintain the level of carbonation specified by the brewery.

 

If you are unsure what the recommended CO2 pressure is for the beer you are dispensing is, simply inquire with the company you are purchasing your kegs from. If they do not know, they can make a quick call to the beer distributor or brewery to find out this information for you.

 

As there are literally tens of thousands of breweries and brands of draught beer available, it's simply not possible for Micro Matic to maintain a listing of the proper CO2 pressure for every brand of draft beer.

If the draught beer is dispensed with too low of a pressure, the CO2 that is dissolved in the beer will “break out” of the beer. Initially this will cause the small bubbles of broken out CO2 to float up the beer hose which will result in foamy beer. And over time the low pressure will result in flat beer.

 

If the draught beer is dispensed with too high of a pressure, over time more CO2 will be absorbed into the beer. Initially, this will not cause any problems, but over time this will result in over-pressurized foamy beer.

Regular cleaning of the faucet, beer hose, and keg coupler is extremely important. If this is not performed, the beer will foam. Additionally, bacteria, yeast, mold, and beer stone will build up and quickly degrade the quality of draught beer. A few minutes spent cleaning on a regular basis will greatly add to your draught beer enjoyment!

 

The simple process of cleaning your draught beer system takes only a few minutes and is easily accomplished by use of either a hand pumped cleaning bottle or pressurized cleaning bottle. This process involves pumping water mixed with cleaning chemical into the beer hose and letting it soak for the time prescribed by the chemical manufacturer. Then thoroughly flushing the beer hose with water to remove all traces of the cleaning chemical.

 

The last and most often overlooked step is to soak the keg coupler and faucet in water with cleaning chemical then brush them clean with a cleaning brush and rinse them clean with water.

 

As a maintenance issue, after cleaning it is always a good time to make sure the probe o-rings and bottom seal on the keg coupler are in good condition. As well as the friction washer, coupling washer, and shaft seat on the faucet are in good condition. You should also make sure the probe o-rings on the keg coupler are properly lubricated (with a food grade lubricant) to allow the keg coupler to work freely and prevent wear and tear that can occur when the keg coupler is tapped and untapped to the keg.

 

For residential applications, cleaning should be performed after every keg or at a minimum of every two weeks. Routine cleaning is essential to maintain the quality and fresh taste draft beer has to offer. For commercial applications, cleaning should be performed at least every two weeks or following brewery recommendations and/or state guidelines.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Draught beer systems should only be cleaned with cleaning chemicals that are specifically manufactured for beer line cleaning. Only cleaning chemicals specifically manufactured for beer line cleaning will dissolve the buildups of bacteria, yeast, mold, and beer stone that occur with draught beer. And for safety it is very important that all directions on these cleaning chemicals be followed completely.

SYSTEM CLEANLINESS

 
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MAIN STREET BEVERAGE, LLC

PHILADELPHIA'S PREMIERE SUPPLIER OF QUALITY BEVERAGE DISPENSING SOLUTIONS

2801 East Township Line Rd. Hatfield, PA 19940  /  Phone 1-866-808-0067  /  Fax 1-866-808-0075 

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