Build a Homebrew Keg Line Cleaner
Here at Kegtron we’re always preaching the gospel of cleaning your keg lines. As we’ve said before, your beer can only get worse on its way from the keg to the tap. Keeping your lines, couplers and faucets clean is something you really need to do but not everyone does. Kind of like flossing?
We don’t want you do succumb to ways of yuck mouth. Most people delay cleaning because it can be a pain. Like most things, if it’s easy, you’re more likely to do it. That’s where this little project comes in: a homebrew keg line cleaner. With a few inexpensive parts and 5 minutes of effort you’ll be ready to get cleaning with just a few pumps and a click.
What You Need
- Pressurized Garden Sprayer – These can be found at any home improvement store or online for as little as $15. We went with a 1 gallon model but most any size will work – just make sure it has a hose & wand attachment and not a built-in spray nozzle.
- Carbonation Cap – Available from homebrew supply stores or online for as little as $11. Make sure your cap will work with liquid ball lock couplers.
- Cleaning Solution – Aways use a cleaner that is designed specifically for beer lines. We recommend SAFECID for its commercial-grade strength that’s both safe to use and biodegradable. Just don’t be that guy with powdered brewery cleaner and/or sanitizer solution. Those are the wrong tools for the job.
Putting this together is quick! Behold:
1) Cut the tubing line from your sprayer
2) Soak the tube end in a cup of very hot water. This will soften up the tubing enough to work with.
3) Push the tubing onto the barbs of your carbonation cap. A hose clamp may not be needed, but it’s not a bad idea.
That wasn’t so hard, was it? You’re now ready to get cleaning.
Clean Up You Act
Now that you’ve impressed your friends and family with your DIY skills, it’s time to put things to work:
- Add water and cleaning solution to your tank following the manufacturers recommendations
- Close the lid and pressurize your tank
- Disconnect your liquid coupler from keg and connect to your new contraption
- Place a bucket under your faucet to collect the cleaning solution
- Make sure to rinse with clean, clear water when finished as directed
Now that you’re a certified draft cleaning professional, here are some additional tips to up your game:
- Before adding cleaning solution to your tank, use straight water to rinse your line and flush out any beer. Discard those dregs then add your cleaner to the tank.
- All beer line cleaning chemicals work better at higher temperatures so use warm or hot water if you can
- Flowing liquids clean better than liquid that’s just sitting still. Recirculate a few times while following the manufacturer’s recommendations on contact time.
- Reuse the cleaning solution to clean your other lines as needed
- Save your used cleaning solution to soak and hand-clean your couplers and faucets. This is key funk removal step!
- If you have a Kegtron Smart Keg Monitor (as you most certainly should) clean your keg monitor at the same time as cleaning you lines. Push liquid in the same direction as beer would normally flow out of your keg.
Now go forth, prosper and spread the good word of clean beer lines!