Keg cleaning is an important part of managing the sanitary conditions at a brewery, and yet, it’s often the most neglected aspect. Don’t make the mistake of reusing your unwashed kegs for multiple cycles! Have them cleaned regularly to maintain hygiene standards.
Here’re a few keg cleaning tips for you.
Learn About Your Cleaning System
Whether you’re using a manual keg cleaning machine or an automated one, it’s important to understand how either system works. Both types have a different way of functioning, and simply assuming that your machine is working fine is a naïve mistake to make.
Know how the cleaning system you’re using operates and what potential problems may arise within that system. Temperature, pressure, and concentration are the most important factors to investigate when troubleshooting the system.
For instance, certain caustic cleaners work best at room temperature while others perform optimally at high temperatures. If the right temperature isn’t maintained, your keg won’t be effectively cleansed. Similarly, the cleaning system may require a fixed pressure range for the water supply. If this is altered, then the system wouldn’t be able to rinse the kegs’ interior properly.
Physically Evaluate Keg Cleanliness
The best way to assess the cleanliness of your kegs is by physically examining them. You’ll be surprised to discover how effective this simple step is. Pull out the spear and take a nice, long peek inside the keg to check for deposits or streaks left on the inner surface. You’ll be able to spot the yeast sediments and beerstones left behind, as well as the beer lines marking the interior walls.
Physical examination should be done both before the actual cleaning process as well as after it. This ensures that you know what areas specifically need a thorough rinsing, and helps you verify the cleaning process. Don’t forget to examine the keg’s exterior as well!
Don’t Delay It
Once your kegs have been emptied, they first need to be washed with a suitable cleaning solution and rinsed with water before they make their way to your inventory. The sooner you clean your kegs, the better!
If you keep postponing the process, the beer remnants left behind become even more deeply embedded into the interior surface than before. It’s difficult to rinse out beer lines and beerstones once these turn crusty.
By the time you finally get around to cleaning your kegs, you’ll find the task to be quite time consuming and even repetitive. On the other hand, if you clean your kegs immediately after their contents have been transferred, you’ll be able to get out old beer marks and residue easily.
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