The Brewer’s Association recommends cleaning your draft lines every two weeks if they are used “regularly”. Since it’s coming from the Brewer’s Association, I’m pretty sure regular use of a draft line would constitute a tap room or bar pulling hundreds of pints a day. As homebrewers, I think we would probably abandon the kegerator and go back to cleaning bottles if we needed to clean our lines every two weeks. My current routine is to clean my draft lines every time I kick a keg and plug in a new one. For me this is every four to six weeks. If you’d like to clean your lines every two weeks, then I respect your tenacity.
Cleaning: There’s Got to Be a Better Way
When I first researched how to clean draft lines, I mostly saw people pushing cleaners and sanitizers through their kegs and lines with CO2. I also saw brew shops and kegerator suppliers advertising draft line cleaning “kits”. Honestly all of this cleaning business started to turn me off when it came jumping on the kegging band wagon. Kegging is supposed to be easy! Right? I knew there had to be a way to save that precious CO2 that we constantly worry about running low on. Then it hit me. We can just circulate Oxi Clean Free through the lines with a pump!
And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I found an aquarium pump on Amazon for about $15 and also threw a carb cap in my shopping cart. With a little piece of silicon tubing and a hose clamp, I’m able to connect my beer line to my pump. I don’t even have to remove the ball lock fitting. Below is a picture of my creation, Frankenpump.
To use the pump, simply fill any vessel with warm water and a scoop of Oxi Clean Free. Be sure and use the one with the green lid – there are no perfumes that will stick around and make your beer taste like laundry.
- Submerge the pump in Oxi Clean and hook up the draft line you would like to clean to the carb cap
- Attach a piece of silicon tubing to the faucet being cleaned and open the tap handle
- This line should run right back into the vessel with the pump and cleaning solution
- Plug in the pump, and VOILA!
You are now circulating cleaner through your draft system without wasting precious CO2. I usually let the pump run for about 15 minutes and then you’re ready to unplug from the carb cap and plug in your new keg! I’ve included a video from my YouTube channel in case my terrible writing doesn’t make sense!
If you have any questions about the system, please email! Or comment in the comments section below.