How to Clean a Keg Tap

Figuring out how to clean a keg tap can be a quick and easy process. With a little equipment, and a little work on a regular basis, your kegs, taps, and lines will be in tip-top shape.

Equipment You’ll Need for Cleaning Your Keg Tap and Lines

To clean your keg, keg tap, and keg lines, you’ll need a keg cleaning kit, which typically comes with a bucket. If you decide not to buy a cleaning kit, you can buy beer line cleaning solution, a cleaning pump, a spanner wrench, and a keg lifter.

It will also help to have a scrub brush to clean the individual parts.

Cleaning Solutions You’ll Need

In general, you can choose any cleaning solution intended to clean kegs, keg lines, and keg taps. Those solutions are typically alkaline-based cleaners to ensure the toxins and contaminants are completely cleansed.

A powdered brewery wash can be added to hot water and dissolved, and then it will remove the toxins and, ideally, not allow for the buildup of beerstone.

In terms of which cleaning solution to use, you can choose from pretty much any keg cleaning solution. Check online reviews and work within your budget, and you cannot really go wrong.

To get you started, you can try Kegconnection 31002 BLC Beverage Cleaner, which is designed to clean food grade equipment and is budget-friendly.

Draftec ACT222B-1 Draftec Advanced Keg is specifically aimed at cleaning hop resins, sugar buildup, and yeast residue, perfect for a keg and its parts that have been moving beer.

And of course, you can get suggestions from trusted colleagues in the business as to which product has worked best for them.

Why You Need to Clean Your Kegs

But wait, why are we so worried about cleaning our kegs?

After all, beer is rich with alcohol and hops, both of which clean more than 99% of toxins and contaminants. That’s why you never hear about anyone getting sick from bad beer.

What’s more, that’s why for thousands of years, people drank beer rather than water, because it was the cleanest way to stay hydrated.

All of that is true, but you still need to clean your kegs, your keg lines, and your keg tap.

Not to prevent illness, although you can always take extra measures to do that, but to prevent buildup of bacteria and other contaminants that will lead to off flavors and aromas in your beer.

The last thing you want is to ruin a whole batch of beer because it tastes like baby vomit or buttered popcorn, or worse! All of these occurrences are possible if you don’t keep your keg, tap, and lines clean.

Minute scratches can attract and hide bacteria, and beerstone buildup can hold onto bacteria. So it’s essential to keep your lines clean.

How Often to Clean a Keg Tap and Lines

Common wisdom tells us to clean kegs, taps, and lines after every use, but if these pieces of equipment are not being used, you should clean them every two weeks, or at the very least once a month.

The more frequently you clean your equipment, the better chance you have of not only ridding it of contaminants but also of preventing any new growth of unwanted bacteria and other toxins.

How to Clean a Keg Tap and Lines

To clean your keg tap and lines, remove the tap and take it apart completely, placing the parts in your empty bucket.

You’ll likely have to use the spanner wrench.

Then, apply some thread tape and attach your cleaning pump to get an airtight, and leak-proof, connection. Pump your cleaning solution through the lines and the keg and then back out into the bucket where your dirty parts sit. Once the bucket is full of cleaning solution, scrub your parts with your brush, making sure to get into all the cracks and crevices.

Next, empty the bucket, and fill your cleaning pump with clean warm water and rinse pump that clean water through your lines, your keg and into the bucket, rinsing everything thoroughly.

You can rinse one more time to be sure you don’t have any soap buildup.

Once everything is clean and rinsed, you can reconnect your coupler and tap.

In the end, cleaning your keg, your keg tap, and your keg lines, is a simple, easy process. After you’ve done it once, just get yourself onto a regular schedule to keep your equipment in clean, working order, and you’ll be able to trust you can deliver top-quality beer to your loyal clients.


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