American Services restaurant equipment maintenance in MO knows that in addition to alcohol and carbon dioxide, ﬁnished beer contains proteins, carbohydrates and hundreds of other organic compounds. Yeast and bacteria often enter draught systems where they feed on beer and attach to draught lines. Minerals also leave deposits in lines and ﬁxtures. Within days of installing a brand new draught system, deposits begin to build up. Without proper cleaning, these deposits soon affect beer ﬂavor and undermine the system’s ability to pour quality beer.
When draught systems are properly serviced using the right solutions and procedures, line cleaning prevents the buildup of organic material and mineral deposits and eliminates ﬂavor changing microbes. A well-designed maintenance plan ensures smooth system operation and fresh, ﬂavor-rich beer. As a retailer, you may or may not clean your own draught lines, but making sure the cleaning is done right is the key. Simple checks like using a straw to scrape the inside of a faucet and checking keg couplers for visible build-up.
The industry currently uses two primary beer line cleaning procedures: re-circulation by electric pump and static or pressure pot cleaning. Electric re-circulating pump cleaning is recommended as the approach for nearly all systems. Re-circulation pump cleaning uses the combination of chemical cleaning and mechanical action, to effectively clean a draught system, by increasing the normal ﬂow rate through the beer lines during the cleaning process.
Beer-spoiling bacteria will ruin a beer’s ﬂavor and aroma, and will inevitably lead to lost repeat business and potential sales. While these micro-organisms are not health risks, they will cause buttery off-ﬂavors called diacetyl, or sour and vinegary off-ﬂavors called acetic acid. When draught beer systems are not properly cleaned, anaerobic and aerobic micro-organisms like lactobacillus, pediococcus, pectinatus, and acetobacter will begin growing in beer lines and associated equipment.