Friday 7 May 2021

How to easily clean keg beer lines

When using a kegging system at home, it's important that beer lines are kept clean to ensure no infections or off flavours develop within the lines themselves. One of the problems many home brewers face when cleaning lines is they need to waste alot of gas - filling a 19L keg with cleaning solution then pressuring it to force the cleaning solution through the beer lines is inefficient - requiring alot of water and gas to do so.

In this post I'll outline the process I use - which requires a couple of (cheap) extra parts, but makes it much quicker and more efficient to get your beer lines cleaned.

What you'll need;

  • Your beer line(s) - obviously - with liquid disconnect on at least one end
  • An empty soft drink bottle (with standard 'coke style' PCO 1881 style thread)
  • A PCO 1881 carbonation cap tee piece (available from Kegland - here)
  • A short piece of silicone tubing to use as a dip tube in the empty soft drink bottle
  • 2 x carbonation caps (available from Kegland - here)
  • A CO2 gas cylinder with regulator and gas disconnect
The PCO 1881 carbonation cap tee piece is an excellent piece of hardware that can be used to convert any soft drink bottle with a compatible screw thread, into what is essentially a mini keg.

To clean our beer lines, we'll put some cleaning solution into the soft drink bottle and attach the carbonation cap tee piece. One of the carbonation caps on the tee piece will have the silicone hose attached - as a dip tube, and the other carbonation cap will be used to attach gas to pressurise the bottle.

Refer to the picture below showing how it all pieces together

Once you've got this all setup, connect the beer line you wish to clean, onto the top carbonation cap (that has the dip tube attached)

Then, connect your CO2 gas onto the other carbonation cap and add pressure - you won't need alot, 5psi should be sufficient.

If the other end of your liquid line has a disconnect on it, you'll need to open it with your finger to allow the liquid to flow through. If you haven't got a disconnect then as soon as you attach the gas, it will start forcing the liquid out through the line - cleaning it in the process.

Given the cheap cost of the equipment used here - you can easily setup separate bottles for cleaning (using PBW), sanitisation (using StarSan or StellaSan) and another with plain water for rinsing - and then just change the gas and liquid disconnects over to each bottle.

The beauty of this solution is that it's much quicker, easier and uses less gas to pressurise a small soft drink bottle as opposed to a keg.

Easy beer line cleaning solution - fully assembled

How do you clean your beer lines? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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