Cleaning beer lines

The place to discuss all things about brewing hygiene!
m_rawdin
Piss Artist
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:52 am
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Cleaning beer lines

Post by m_rawdin » Sun May 14, 2017 10:32 pm

I've seen a few posts on the Internet about what people use to clean their beer lines from official line cleaner to bleach. What is the best thing to use that is reasonably cheap, is there anything you can use that you might already have lying around the house?
https://www.facebook.com/groups/341609746264187/

Fermenting: Nothing
Conditioning: Smoked porter
Drinking: Cider, witbier, brown ale, Milk stout
Planning: Gamma Ray clone v3

User avatar
Eric
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2185
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:18 am
Location: Sunderland.

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by Eric » Sun May 14, 2017 10:46 pm

This is what I use.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7691
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by Kev888 » Mon May 15, 2017 9:59 am

Yes, the beer line cleaner is designed for the job. A 5L thing goes a very long way, so IMO is good value. Some is purple coloured, partly so that it is obviously not beer and partly to indicate (by colour change) if it has been exhausted and needs a second go, although it does add to staining potential around the home.

You can instead use warm (not hot) percarbonate-based cleaner for a short while, though it takes a bit more time and effort. Some people use an alkaline or caustic cleaner (such as used for drain cleaning) at mixed 1% or 2% which is effective but it is harsh stuff to deal with. In addition to protecting skin and eyes, you definitely don't want to drink any by mistake, and it can look like pale beer if it gets mixed with residue in the line.

Bleach is sometimes used too. I personally wouldn't use it though (or a chlorinated version of the beer line cleaner) without first establishing if my lines and taps etc were safe to use with this. Apparently some lines (especially types with an inner barrier layer) can be affected by chlorine.
Kev

User avatar
Eric
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2185
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:18 am
Location: Sunderland.

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by Eric » Mon May 15, 2017 10:58 am

Yes, I have the purple stuff too from the same supplier, but as Kev says, it can stain when soaking for longer periods and is only used for quick cleans. I've never noticed mine change colour, so wonder how dirty lines and pumps might get to do this.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7691
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by Kev888 » Mon May 15, 2017 11:51 am

Mine never really changed colour either, Eric. The only exceptions were occasionally when using it without first rinsing out the beer. The manufacturers instructions on my first container didn't include an initial rinsing step, I suppose in commercial situations time is money so swapping lines about may not be worth it - but in my case I preferred to save cleaning solution so adopted a pre-rinse.

EDIT: I mentioned above how clear fluid can be problematic, since residue can make it look like pale beer. I doubt we homebrewers are likely to lose the plot with just a few beer lines to manage so its probably more of a concern in commercial circles. But by way of illustration and encouragement to be careful, there was a news story here about a customer being served caustic instead of beer.
Kev

jaroporter
Drunk as a Skunk
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:12 pm
Location: Garden of England

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by jaroporter » Mon May 15, 2017 11:56 am

Never noticed mine change colour either, apart from sometimes if the faucet spout is a bit gacky. Had kinda concerned me that cleaning the lines couldn't be that instant but i've never had problems so figure it's good stuff.
dazzled, doused in gin..

User avatar
Eric
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2185
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:18 am
Location: Sunderland.

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by Eric » Mon May 15, 2017 2:19 pm

That's an horrific story Kev. I wouldn't have thought that would happen and wonder if the cleaner was diluted as advised.
I've always tasted the water after flushing and before putting on the beer. :shock:
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

m_rawdin
Piss Artist
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:52 am
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by m_rawdin » Mon May 15, 2017 8:33 pm

I have a tub of that oxyclean stain remover stuff from wilko, would that do the trick?
https://www.facebook.com/groups/341609746264187/

Fermenting: Nothing
Conditioning: Smoked porter
Drinking: Cider, witbier, brown ale, Milk stout
Planning: Gamma Ray clone v3

User avatar
Normski
Under the Table
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:55 pm
Location: Annfield Plain

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by Normski » Mon May 15, 2017 10:34 pm

m_rawdin wrote:I have a tub of that oxyclean stain remover stuff from wilko, would that do the trick?
Hi Matt
I have some of the Purple stuff, I'll make up some for you, if you like.
Norm
The Doghouse Brewery (UK)

User avatar
alexlark
Under the Table
Posts: 1371
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 12:29 pm
Location: Rhondda, South Wales

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by alexlark » Tue May 16, 2017 9:11 pm

Purple beer line cleaner from Makro. The dilution rate means it will last forever!

m_rawdin
Piss Artist
Posts: 213
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:52 am
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by m_rawdin » Wed May 17, 2017 7:51 am

Normski wrote:
m_rawdin wrote:I have a tub of that oxyclean stain remover stuff from wilko, would that do the trick?
Hi Matt
I have some of the Purple stuff, I'll make up some for you, if you like.
Norm
Sounds good Norm, don't need any immediately but I'm sure we can arrange a time to sort it out
https://www.facebook.com/groups/341609746264187/

Fermenting: Nothing
Conditioning: Smoked porter
Drinking: Cider, witbier, brown ale, Milk stout
Planning: Gamma Ray clone v3

User avatar
Jim
Site Admin
Posts: 10011
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:00 pm
Location: Washington, UK

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by Jim » Wed May 17, 2017 8:26 am

I also use the purple stuff. If your lines are really mucky it comes out green.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" - Philip K. Dick

JBK on Facebook
JBK on Twitter

j444fog
Steady Drinker
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by j444fog » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:22 pm

I'm going to install a beer engine and longer length beer line to my serving fridge, probably about 2 metres of beer line and this looks like a great product to keep things clean.
I'm wondering how you pump the cleanser through the lines, do you have a separate cornie gassed up with solution or is there another method for cleaning the pipes that you use.
I'd like to avoid dismantling everything and soaking in a bucket especially with the longer line and introduction of a beer engine device or tap system.
I appreciate your advice before I plan my purchases.

User avatar
Eric
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2185
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:18 am
Location: Sunderland.

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by Eric » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:36 pm

Just uncouple the line from your beer source and drop it into a large jug or bowl full of water. Use the pump to pull it through and catch it in a pint glass then get rid. Do this until the water is clear then give it a few quick pulls in case the dislodges something stubbon.
Next fill the bowl with suitably diluted cleaner and pull it through and leave for 20 minutes, then repeat and dump the cleaner. Repeat until the line and pump are clear and refill the bowl with water and pull lots through until you are content. Recouple to beer source and pull the water followed by the beer. It's quite therapeutic.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

j444fog
Steady Drinker
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Cleaning beer lines

Post by j444fog » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:46 pm

Thanks Eric! I've only just realised that a beer engine works as a syphon mechanism and your method is perfect for that.
If I had a beer line and tap mounted for serving what would you recommend for running the beer line cleaning solution through that set up?
Thanks.

Post Reply