How often should you clean beer tap lines?

Answered by Daniel Conrad

As an experienced sommelier and brewer, I cannot stress enough the importance of regularly cleaning your tap lines. Clean lines ensure the best tasting beer and maintain the overall quality of your draft system. So, how often should you clean your beer tap lines? Well, it depends on how frequently you use them.

If you are using your tap beer lines regularly, I strongly advise cleaning them every two weeks. This regular cleaning schedule will help prevent any build-up of bacteria, , or other contaminants that can affect the flavor of your beer. It also ensures that your lines are free from any residue or sediment that may accumulate over time.

However, if you are not using your tap lines as frequently, you can extend the cleaning interval to once every six weeks. This is the minimum recommended time frame for cleaning your lines. While it may be tempting to let them go longer between cleanings, it's important to remember that even if the lines appear clean, there could still be unseen residue or bacteria lurking within.

Now, you might be wondering why it is necessary to clean your tap lines so frequently. Well, when beer is dispensed through the tap lines, it leaves behind traces of yeast, proteins, and sugars. Over time, these residues can build up and create a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms. This can lead to off-flavors, cloudiness, and even potential health risks.

To make your life easier and ensure the best quality beer, I recommend cleaning and sanitizing your tap lines between each keg you serve on your draft system. This may sound like a lot of work, but trust me, it's worth it. By cleaning after each keg, you prevent any potential cross-contamination between different beer styles. It also helps maintain the overall cleanliness of your system, reducing the risk of any clogs or blockages in the lines.

Cleaning your tap lines may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. There are various cleaning kits and solutions available in the market specifically designed for this purpose. These kits usually include cleaning brushes, line cleaning solutions, and detailed instructions on how to clean your lines effectively.

When cleaning your tap lines, it's important to follow the instructions provided with the cleaning kit. Typically, the process involves flushing the lines with a cleaning solution, allowing it to sit for a specified amount of time, and then rinsing thoroughly with clean . After cleaning, it's essential to sanitize the lines using a food-grade sanitizer to ensure the removal of any remaining bacteria or contaminants.

The frequency of cleaning your beer tap lines depends on how often you use them. For regular use, cleaning every two weeks is recommended, while a minimum of once every six weeks is advised for less frequent use. However, to ensure the best quality beer and maintain the cleanliness of your draft system, cleaning between each keg is highly recommended. So, roll up your sleeves, grab that cleaning kit, and give your tap lines the attention they deserve! Cheers!