James White on February 17, 2016 1 Comment Make sure you’re serving the best tasting beer possible by keeping your draft beer system clean! Beer line cleaning kits are designed to remove the toughest buildups from your beer lines and can take as little as 15 minutes to complete. There are many types of kits available that effectively clean your system and guarantee for a fresh pour. It’s important to understand how and why these work so you can find a cleaning kit perfect for your needs. Why do I need to use a beer line cleaning kit? Click Here to View All Beer Cleaning Kits & Supplies Cleaning your draft beer system is crucial for the health of your kegerator and can negatively affect your beer’s quality if left unattended. Regularly cleaning your system will enhance the longevity of its components and flush out any unwanted contaminates that would otherwise harm your system, and most importantly, you! While the presence of foam is normally caused by incorrect serving temperatures or an over-pressurized keg, dirty beer lines are also another main factor in causing excess foam. Routine cleaning can reduce the amount of foam and keeps your beer flowing at an efficient rate to guarantee a smooth pour. How often should I clean my beer lines and equipment? The hygiene of your draft beer system is extremely important and ultimately affects how the beer will taste. To ensure your kegerator is operating properly, the beer lines, faucets and keg couplers should be cleaned after each keg, or every two weeks at the minimum. Failing to clean your system will lead to a build-up of bacteria, yeast, mold and beer stone—all of which will negatively influence the taste and smell of draft beer. Scientifically known as calcium oxalate, beer stone is a toxic precipitate that promotes the growth of unwanted microbes and is known to cause sores if ingested. Powder vs. Liquid Cleaners The main difference between powder and liquid cleaners is the consistency. A powder-based cleaner is lightweight and usually more economical than liquid cleaners, but requires additional mixing while dissolving into water—the whole process can be messy. Powder solutions also leave behind more residue, requiring a more thorough clean before the next use. On the other hand, liquid cleaners are pre-dissolved and mix easily into water. Low-end and high-end kits may use either formula, but both options work well for cleaning beer lines and preference is up to the user. What kind of cleaning kit should I get? When you’re on the hunt for a beer cleaning kit, it’s imperative to find cleaning agents and solutions specifically formulated to treat your beer system. Beer line cleaners are precisely formulated to dissolve unwanted buildups of bacteria, yeast, mold and beer stone that occur when dispensing draft beer. There’s a wide variety of cleaning kits to choose from—most of them are very similar—but what are the differences? Gravity Cleaning Kit Gravity cleaning kits are one of the most economic solutions for keeping your lines clean. These kits use gravity to flow the cleaning solution through your system, exiting through the keg coupler. When cleaning, it’s recommended to replace the keg with a bucket to catch the solution—this is a great way to also clean smaller components. These kits come with a bottle to prepare the cleaning agent, and are designed to connect to your tower with the provided tubing. Insert your system’s check ball lifter into coupler probe and hold the bottle in an upright position to enable the solution to flow through your lines. Afterwards, be sure to flush the system with fresh cold water to remove any remaining residue. Hand Pump Kit The main difference between hand pump kits and gravity kits is the application process. While gravity kits utilize Earth’s natural force to flow the solution through your system, hand pump cleaning kits use a pump to force the cleaner through your draft setup. This creates pressure in the system to help wipe out all yeast, mineral and bacteria deposits that harm the taste of your beer and cause excess foaming. Prepare the cleaning solution in the plastic bottle before pumping it through the system; this process is similar to gravity kits. When cleaning, be sure to replace the keg with a bucket to collect the solution and prevent spills. Afterwards, you should thoroughly flush the beer lines with cold water to remove the excess cleaning solution. These type of kits are great for cleaning direct draw and residential units. Pressurized Kit Pressurized beer line cleaning kits are tapped similar to a keg to conveniently run the solution through your draft beer system. This allows for fast user maintenance and can take less than 15 minutes to clean. The same gas pressure for your keg is used to force the cleaning solution through the system’s beer lines, faucet and keg coupler, removing buildups of bacteria, yeast, mold and beer stone. A great advantage with pressurized kits is that you don’t have to remove the faucet before cleaning, which less expensive kits require. This saves a lot of time that would otherwise be spent trying to disassemble your system. After cleaning, be sure to flush the solution with cold water to remove all leftover chemicals. Although pressurized cleaning kits may be the most expensive option, they’re the most thorough and easiest to use without having to remove the faucet. Accessories for Beer Line Cleaning We offer a wide variety of premium parts and draft beer equipment to enhance and simplify the cleaning process—everything you need to maintain your kegerator, at an affordable price. Cleaning Brushes Many cleaning brushes are made with bristles of either nylon or stainless steel, perfect for scrubbing away unwanted buildup. Nylon brushes are essential for day-to-day maintenance and equipment cleaning. Long brushes, similar to pipe cleaners, are able to get into and clean hard-to-reach places like beer lines. Probe Lubricant Probe lubricant is essential for proper performance and keeps your system flowing smoothly. It’s used with tapping devices for single-valve kegs to re-lubricate the keg coupler’s moving parts after cleaning. Probe Lubricant is odorless, tasteless and safe for consumption. For your safety, we recommend using this food-grade lubricant. Cleaning Solution Eventually you’ll run out of cleaning solution and will need to replace it with a new bottle. We recommend this alkaline based, bio-gradable beer line cleaning solution to keep your draft system clean. Designed by Kegerator.com, the 31002K works with all electrical, mechanical and hand driven line cleaning equipment. Faucet Spanner Wrench Removing your beer faucet can be a bit tricky, and is near-impossible without a faucet spanner wrench. These wrenches make the installation and removal process quick and easy. Properly cleaning your draft beer system using beer line cleaning kits and equipment, offered by Kegerator.com, will extend the life of your beer setup and ensure for the best possible tasting beer in as little as 15 minutes. This buyer’s guide will help you find a cleaning kit most suitable for your needs, making sure your kegerator is dispensing fresh, tasty beer whenever you want.