How to Clean Beer Lines [Step-by-Step]

How to Clean Beer Lines

Looking at the entire beer-making process from a layman’s perspective is quite delicate and complicated. This is why preserving the quality of beer during and after the brewing process is crucial. One of the most common reasons for beer spoilage and ruining the beer flavor before consumption is unsterilized beer lines because this is where organisms can grow and accumulate over time, like beer solids, bacteria, molds, and yeast.

When to Clean Beer Lines?

It’s advisable to clean the beer lines with beer line cleaning formulas at least every 2 weeks, if not every after use and change of kegerator and the draft. On the other hand, cleaning the drafts should at least be done every three months with a beer line cleaner that is acid-based to remove beer solids.

Different Beer Line Cleaning Methods

Hand Pump

For personal or home use, it’s advisable to use a hand pump beer line cleaning device that is powered by manual air pressure to mobilize the cleaning solution along the beer lines and remove the sediments and organisms that may have started to accumulate throughout its usage.

The following tools are needed to clean the beer lines: Sterile gloves (rubber/latex), safety glasses, a pump-powered cleaning jar, cleaning solutions for the beer line, a spanner wrench, washers, and a collection bucket.

1. Disconnect the parts of the draft

Turn off the carbon dioxide (CO2) container before disconnecting the coupler from the kegerator. Put the check ball lifter in the coupler before engaging it. Use the bucket to collect the cleaning solution and water. At this point, the draft faucet must be disconnected by using the spanner wrench. This is the best time to clean the draft faucet to minimize the time of exposure to external elements.

2. Cleaning and flushing the beer lines 

Mix the cleaning solution and warm water before filling it up in the cleaning jar before connecting the shank of the faucet to the kegerator. Make sure to use only the washer designed for beer line cleaning.

Let half of the cleaning solution run throughout the lines of the draft before setting the kegerator coupler. Let the cleaning solution soak for 10 minutes before setting the coupler and running the remaining parts of the cleaning solution along the beer lines. 

Empty the cleaning solution from the cleaning jar before running clear water into the interior to rinse the chemicals off. Also, do this to the beer lines to make sure that the solution is cleansed out thoroughly. Repeat this step at least 2 to 3 times in both components to avoid chemical residue.

3. Connect the kegerator back in 

Remove the cleaning jar from the kegerator before connecting the draft faucet by using the spanner wrench. Remove the coupler from the bucket and wash it with clean running water to remove the cleaning solution residue. Make sure that the coupler is removed and the check ball lifter is not attached before connecting the beer kegerator. 

After this, the carbon dioxide (CO2) container can be turned on.

Cleaning Kegerator

An easier option to clean the beer line is a pressurized cleaning kegerator, and this device uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to clean out the beer solids/residues and organisms that may accumulate and grow in the beer lines. 

The tools needed to clean the beer line using a cleaning kegerator are almost the same, except for the spanner wrench.

  1. Position the bucket underneath the draft faucet and fill up the cleaning kegerator with the mixture of warm water and beer line cleaning solution.
  1. Remove the coupler from the kegerator and connect it to the cleaning kegerator. Wait for the container to get pressurized and filled with cleaning solution. Release the tap and let the fluid flow until the cleaning solution starts to come out. 
  1. Shut the faucet off and let the cleaning solution soak inside the beer lines for at least 10 minutes.
  1. After soaking, open the tap to flush out at least 2 liters of cleaning solution before disconnecting the kegerator coupler from the cleaning container. 
  1. Pull the pressure valve to release the pressure and remove the screw from the container and drain the remaining cleaning solution and rinse the cleaning kegerator thoroughly with running water. 
  1. Refill the cleaning kegerator with cold water and allow the water to rinse out through the draft faucet. Let 2 liters of fresh cold water flow to make sure that the beer lines are cleansed from the cleaning solution residues. 
  1. Finally, remove the kegerator coupler from the cleaning kegerator and attach it again to the beer kegerator.

Electric Recirculating Cleaning Pump (Electrical Pump)

In an industrial beer-making setting, using an electric recirculating cleaning pump is the best option. This type of beer line cleaning device will need to have the draft lines connected so that it can make the cleaning solution circulation through the lines and the draft. 

The pressurized flow of the solution will help in sterilizing and flushing out small solid materials in the beer lines and draft that can also cause some organisms like molds and bacteria to grow in the interior. 

This type of cleaner is easier to use because it comes with a timer that will automatically stop the machine from running on a set time, which means that this requires less manual work and supervision.

Updating the Cleaning Log

Keeping a cleaning log will ensure that everyone is on track as to when was the last time the beer lines and the entire draft system were cleaned and to know when the next cleaning schedule will be. Again, timing is important when cleaning the draft because leaving it standing with the beer residue for too long will accumulate beer solids that can allow the unwanted organisms to grow and spread in the beer lines; this can ruin the machine and the beer itself.

Homebrewers can manually create their cleaning log, or they can simply download formatted logs online.


Cleaning the beer lines and draft system is important to ensure the proper maintenance of the machine and to maintain the quality of the brew. There are different options and methods when cleaning beer lines, and they can all depend on the scale of homebrewers’ beer-making.

The hand pump and cleaning kegerator are ideal for small to medium-scale beer-making, while it’s more practical to use the electric recirculating cleaning pump for large-scale beer manufacturing. 

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