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 How often should I clean my beer lines? What cleaner should I use to clean my lines?

How often should I clean my beer lines? What cleaner should I use to clean my lines?

If you are using your beer line regularly, it is advised to clean your beer lines every two weeks, but once every six weeks should suffice at a minimum. It may be most convenient to simply clean and sanitize your lines between each keg you hook up to your draft system.

Depending on the type of cleaning required, the cleaner you will use with either be caustic (high pH) or acidic (low pH). Caustic (a.k.a. alkaline) cleaners dissolve proteins, carbohydrates, and other residues that commonly build up in your lines. They will also kill mold, bacteria, and yeast.

Another material that builds in lines over time is what is referred to as "beer stone" or specifically, calcium oxalate, which comes from a combination of material from brewing water, malt and hops. Using an acid cleaning solution such as A*L*C will help dissolve beer stone.

It's simplest to fill a Cornelius keg with the cleaning solution and to run it through the lines as one would beer. Be sure to flush the lines with water first and drain any remaining water so as not to dilute the cleaning solution. Allowing 5-10 minutes contact time with the cleaner in the liquid line is a common technique.

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