DRAFT BEER FAQS: CLEANING
DO I NEED TO CLEAN THE EQUIPMENT
AND HOW OFTEN?
Regular cleaning of the faucet, beer hose, and keg coupler are critical since beer is an excellent food for bacteria. Bacteria eat beer, digests it, and eventually secretes a biofilm that adheres and layers on the systems inside surfaces (anaerobic environment). If not cleaned regularly (every 14-days), the bacteria will directly impact the beer's flavor and appearance. Additionally, bacteria, yeast, mold, and beer stone will accumulate quickly on all surfaces, degrading draft beer quality and eventually causing dispensing problems.
A few minutes spent cleaning regularly will greatly add to your draft beer enjoyment! For home dispensing, use either a hand-pumped or pressurized cleaning bottle. This process involves first pumping water to purge the beer out of the system. This neutralizes beer's acidic nature, and if leaks occur, water versus cleaning solution will escape. After purging beer, mix cleaning solution of water and chemical prescribed by the manufacturer to fill beer hose. Allow soaking for at least 20 minutes per Brewers Association guidelines. Then thoroughly flush cleaning solution from beer hose with water until PH neutral (using PH paper, normally around seven).
For commercial applications, the best cleaning method utilizes a recirculating cleaning pump. The turbulent circulating action (minimum of 15 minutes) created by the pump is 80 times more effective than soaking a beer line.
An often-overlooked step is to disassemble then soak the keg coupler and faucet in a cleaning solution. Brush parts clean and rinse completely with water. Inspect all seals and o-rings for defects and replace them as needed before reassembling. Before reassembling the coupler, apply a food-grade lubricant to the o-rings that allow the coupler’s probe to slide. Thus, the probe will work freely during keg changes preventing coupler damage.
For a better understanding of these parts and to purchase replacements, reference either the Micro Matic Beverage Dispense catalog or our website for an exploded view and part order numbers. Locate on our website the assembled product you have, then click on the “Replacement Parts” tab for a complete listing.
Pressurized Cleaning Bottle
Hand Pumped Cleaning Bottle
Only Clean With Chemicals That Are Specifically Manufactured for Beer Line Cleaning
Beerstone is a Calcium Buildup That Forms as Small Spots Within the Beer Hose
For residential applications, cleaning should be performed after every keg change 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 the Brewers Association and/or state guidelines.
NOTE: Draft beer systems should only be cleaned with cleaning chemicals specifically designed for this process. They are specifically formulated to dissolve the buildups of beer spoilers that occur with draft beer. And for safety, always wear safety glasses and gloves. And very important that all directions on these cleaning chemicals be followed completely.
THE GLOBAL LEADER IN DRAFT EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONS
For over 60 years, Micro Matic has been recognized as one of the world’s leading suppliers of draft beer equipment. Specializing in keg-to-glass technology, we offer a total solution for meeting your draft beer equipment needs. Our dedication to customer service is supported by four regional sales and distribution centers, the Micro Matic Dispense Institute for training and education, and a Certified Installer Network for draft beer installations. Want to speak with a “perfect pour” expert? Contact Micro Matic today.