How to Clean and Maintain Your Draft Beer System

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In the hustle and bustle of managing a bar, it’s easy to fall behind on cleaning and maintaining a draft beer system. But to keep beer quality consistent — and customers happy — it’s important to take the following steps.

1. Clean the beer lines.

Over time, beer lines collect deposits of yeast and sugar that can impact the taste of beer and cause excess foaming. To reduce the risk of this happening, clean beer lines after every ½ keg. You can use a beer line cleaning kit to push a mixture of water and cleaning solution through the lines.

2. Check and maintain proper pressure.

The CO2 pressure in your draft beer system is responsible for pushing the beer out of the keg and filling the empty space. Having the right amount of CO2 is key to keeping the beer bubbly and well-carbonated.

You’ll need to store the CO2 tank upright and keep the dispense pressure constant. Most ales and lagers should be dispensed at 10-12 PSI, while stouts and other nitrogen-dispensed keg beers should be dispensed at 25-30 PSI.

3. Check the temperature of the glycol bath.

Check the temperature of the glycol bath on a weekly basis to ensure it’s within the optimal range recommended by the manufacturer.

4. Check the temperature of the beer at the faucet.

Even if the chiller unit is at the right temperature, the beer lines could deliver potentially warmer beer if not properly maintained. If you’re having trouble keeping the temperature constant, reach out to your draft beer system technician for inspection.

5. Listen for signs of distress from the motor.

If you hear unusual sounds or feel unexpected heat, call Glacier Design Systems for a professional inspection and service.

6. Check and clean the condenser.

The condenser should be checked every three to five weeks. Also be sure to remove the grills to clean the condenser fins with a stiff brush or vacuum and remove debris.

7. Check for damage to the trunk lines.

It’s not unlikely for the trunk lines to become damaged over time. Ice buildup due to insulation damage or glycol leakage could cause serious problems if left unaddressed. Visually inspect the trunk line multiple times a year.

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