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How to clean a beer tap properly?

14 May, 2023

Impeccable hygiene is essential when operating a dispensing system. This applies not only to restaurateurs, but also to individuals who enjoy freshly tapped beer from the barrel in their own homes. Hygiene means, among other things, that you must clean your dispensing system regularly. In the following, we will explain how to do this properly.

Cleaning the dispensing system - the most important things at a glance

  • Dispensing systems must be cleaned to avoid impairing the taste of the beer and the formation of germs.
  • After use, a simple cleaning of the dispensing system with tap water is usually sufficient.
  • To remove dirt and germs, dispensing systems should be regularly cleaned mechanically or chemically.
  • For particularly stubborn dirt, chemical and mechanical cleaning can be combined.
  • In our shop, you will find all the necessary cleaning products to clean your dispensing system.

Why regular cleaning of the beer dispensing system is important

When dispensing beer, it is inevitable that deposits will accumulate in the beer lines and taps over time. These can affect the taste of the beer, and in addition, the deposits provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and pathogens, which can be dangerous to health.beer dispenser

Therefore, poorly maintained beer dispensing systems not only result in beer that does not taste good, but can also pose a serious threat to health. To prevent this and ensure safe operation, it is essential to regularly clean your beer dispensing system.

What to consider when cleaning your beer dispensing system

Before you clean your beer dispensing system, be sure to make sure that the cleaning method is suitable for the respective model. If in doubt, take a look at the operating manual or ask the manufacturer to avoid unnecessary damage to your beer dispensing system.

When you should clean your draft beer system

It used to be thought that draft beer systems needed to be cleaned every 14 days. However, since the Beverage Dispensing Equipment Regulations were abolished in 2005, this has changed. Today, the rule is that the operator of the draft beer system is responsible for safe and hygienic operation.

While this is particularly important for restaurateurs, it does not mean that individuals should not think about hygiene and simply forego cleaning their draft beer system.

The specific cleaning intervals may vary depending on usage. However, a draft beer system should definitely be cleaned in the following situations:

  • Before initial use
  • After use
  • After a prolonged period of inactivity
  • When the beer keg is changed

What cleaning methods are available?

There are essentially four different methods to clean a draft beer system:

  • Cleaning with tap water
  • Mechanical cleaning
  • Chemical cleaning
  • Chemical-mechanical cleaning

The appropriate cleaning method depends in particular on the respective tapping system. Of course, the degree of contamination also plays a role. Regardless of this, the beer keg must always be removed before cleaning.

How to clean your dispensing system with tap water

When you have finished tapping, it is recommended to clean the dispensing system with hot tap water. For this purpose, remove the drip tray, drip tray cover, tap and beer lines.

Thoroughly rinse each component and pay particular attention to removing the beer foam from the beer lines. If they are dishwasher-safe, you can also clean the individual parts like the drip tray in the dishwasher afterwards.

How to mechanically clean your dispensing system

In the long run, it is not sufficient to clean the beer lines by simply rinsing them with tap water. To counteract deposits and ensure perfect hygiene, you should clean your dispensing system mechanically.

Special cleaning sponges are available for mechanical cleaning, which are filled into the cleaning container together with clear water. When the sponges are pumped through the dispensing system's lines with the water, the friction ensures that existing deposits are removed.

For some dispensing systems, it may be necessary to fill the sponges directly into the beer lines and connect the dispensing system to the fresh water supply for cleaning. However, the basic functionality of mechanical cleaning remains the same.

How to chemically clean your dispensing system

To remove stubborn deposits and pathogenic germs, it is advisable to clean dispensing systems chemically. This is useful, for example, if the system is to be put back into operation after a longer standstill.

Special cleaning agents for dispensing systems are used for chemical cleaning. These are available in liquid form as well as in powder or tablet form and must be mixed with cold water in a certain ratio.

To chemically clean your beer dispensing system, proceed as follows:

  • Fill the prepared cleaning solution into the cleaning container and connect it to the beer dispensing system.
  • Then, open the tap and close it immediately again as soon as the first cleaning solution comes out of it.
  • Let the cleaning solution work for about 20 minutes so that it can dissolve stubborn deposits.
  • Now, open the tap again and wait until the cleaning solution has completely run through.
  • Finally, rinse the beer lines thoroughly twice with tap water to remove any residue of the cleaning agent.

Clean beer dispensing system chemically and mechanically

If a particularly thorough cleaning of the beer dispensing system is required, the chemical and mechanical cleaning can also be combined if necessary. In this case, use cleaning sponges and cleaning agents together to remove impurities from the beer lines.

It may be necessary to repeat the chemical-mechanical cleaning to achieve the desired result. Also, remember to thoroughly rinse the beer dispensing system with clean water after cleaning to ensure no residues of the cleaning agent remain.

Cleaning products for your beer dispensing system

Now that you know how to clean your beer dispensing system, all you need are the right cleaning products. You can find these in our shop.

We offer a selection of high-quality cleaning products for your beer dispensing system. Choose from cleaning sponges, cleaning brushes, and cleaning agents, or order a practical cleaning set for your beer dispensing system.