The key to a properly functioning draft beer system is routine maintenance. Cleaning the keg coupler and faucet is an important part of keeping your beer free of yeast and mold, since just a small amount could lead to serious problems for the entire system.
The grain and water used in the brewing process contain calcium and may combine with oxalic acids or salts to create calcium oxalate deposits, commonly referred to as beer stone. These deposits can build up and eventually flake off and contaminate the beer. Beer stone is typically gray or brown in color and can negatively affect the taste of beer. Properly cleaning the draft beer system will help prevent this problem.
What Is A Keg Coupler And How Does It Work?
A keg coupler is a tool used to unlock draft beer from a keg. It is located where the airline and beer product line come together to tap a keg. Keg couplers are made in various styles, depending on the type of beer that is being distributed. The most common coupler used by US breweries is the D coupler.
How To Clean The Keg Coupler
Begin by using a wrench to remove the faucet from the tower. Next, remove the tap or faucet from the beer tower. Then, remove the keg coupler to separate the beer lines from the keg.
Prepare an effective cleaning solution using sanitizing tablets, ultrasonics, or hypochlorous acid, and fill a bucket or sink with warm water and detergent. Soak the faucet and coupler in the solution overnight.
The next morning, brush it with a kitchen brush to remove any particles or debris. Avoid using carbonated water to clean faucets or nozzles as this has been proven ineffective. Ultrasonics, hypochlorous acid, and other cleaning solutions made specifically to clean draft beer systems should be used to maintain the cleanliness of faucets.
Rinse the faucet and keg coupler with clean water to remove any traces of the cleaning solution or remaining debris.
Once you’ve finished cleaning, reconnect the faucet to the beer tower, screw the coupler back onto the keg, and attach the beer lines back to the system, so that the faucet is connected to the keg via the beer lines.