Line Cleaning Systems

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Have had a semi-automatic line cleaning system fitted for a while now and have experienced many problems primarily caused by it`s cleaning cycle only lasting approx. 3 minutes. Can you tell me are there any circumstances under which this would seem like optimum cleaning procedure when it clearly states on the line cleaning fluid container ,an immersion time of 15-25 minutes. Tech services for all leading breweries have attended when i have been experiencing problems with fobbing,smell etc. and have declared (un-officialy) that the system is “not fit for purpose” or “sh**e!!! Has anyone else had the same probs? The company(Beer Piper) who rent me the system behave like “Nazis” when it is suggested their equipment might be at fault.

6 COMMENTS

  1. jonnyg65 wrote: Have had a semi-automatic line cleaning system fitted for a while now and have experienced many problems primarily caused by it`s cleaning cycle only lasting approx. 3 minutes. Can you tell me are there any circumstances under which this would seem like optimum cleaning procedure when it clearly states on the line cleaning fluid container ,an immersion time of 15-25 minutes. Tech services for all leading breweries have attended when i have been experiencing problems with fobbing,smell etc. and have declared (un-officialy) that the system is "not fit for purpose" or "sh**e!!! Has anyone else had the same probs? The company(Beer Piper) who rent me the system behave like "Nazis" when it is suggested their equipment might be at fault.

    I’ve yet to see a line cleaner that will soften the yeast and clean the line in three minutes. Going back a few years I used to have an account with a long run, "6 pints" it used to take the cellar man all day to clean the lines. So the benefit of water chasing the beer out of the line before a clean was a distinct advantage with big savings. However as you say I was called back week after week with all sorts of yeast infection problems (mainly clogging up with yeast). Sometimes the restrictor line (the small pipe 3/16" from the python to tap) would form black crystals stopping the flow altogether and I would end up changing the pipe. There is a heavy soiled setting or there used to be, which leaves the fluid in the lines for longer. But in end as well as using the machine they ended up doing a through manual clean every month. I can’t really see any benefit using the system for short runs with the rental costs involved. You can’t beat a manual clean. But at the end of the day, it is a matter of choice.

  2. I never understood the logic of having an automated beer line cleaning system. By the time you mess around connecting up, fitting the bar drain tubes etc you may as well do a manual clean. Some of these systems are suposed to allow you to sell the beer you pull off, I have never met any landlord who has managed to do this. If you are paying lots of money on rental I think a better option would be to pay a profesional line cleaning company to do it for you as I do. I use a chap who charges me £60 a fortnight for cleaning 20 taps. I have never had a problem and guess what I don’t have to do the job myself.

  3. If you’re flushing the pints with water (as you should) before connecting the cleaning solution then form a “line cleaning club” made up of regulars and locals. We charge them £2 pints and £1 halves (london!) until it pours watery, and it also makes a lovely weekly social club.
    Having looked at automated cleaning and the cost:benefit ratio I’d say it’s only worth it if you run many long lines and/or several establishments. For most landlords I’d recommend making line cleaning and good cellar management part of the way of life 🙂
    Happy Beer = Happy People

  4. Hello Jonny,

    Automated systems with a cleaning time of less than at least 20 minutes will never give you a proper line clean, this is because the chemicals used in line cleaning need contact time to work.

    The detergent and scale removing components generally need 10 minutes to get to work and the sanitiser will need at least a 5 minute contact time. But as these chemicals remove the deposits and contaminants in layers this is why most manufactures recommend 3 soaks, refreshing with new solution from the cleaning vessel after every 10 minutes. This allows the top layer of contaminants to be removed and then the fresh solution gets to work on the second layer and the final soak is then just to remove any small amounts remaining.

    There are some automatic line cleaners on the market that operate under the 10 minute soak and flush rule as they have worked with us to develop their systems, to make them the most effective.

  5. OKAY lets try and tackle the different points you have made, as all of the above have said 3 mins is NOT long enough for any chemical to work, especially if there is a build up and it sounds like there is. You are renting a system and Beerpiper have a duty as part of the rental agreement to advise you as to what should happen to over come this PROBLEM. All they are currently doing is helping to maintain dirty lines for you and taking your money. There are other line cleaning providers that can help you. Tech services are hard wired to say that all automation is bad. However if you have yeasty fobs, couplers and cleaning sockets then its hard to defend it. There are loads of tips and tricks to sell off beer and improve your customer relationships by giving them cheap stuff, but lets get the route cause sorted first, so when you give your customers your cheap beer at least it came form a clean line.

  6. How much is one of these systems? We’ve considered it but after reading this I’m not sure if it’s a wise investment. I was told it was more than £4K but I can’t find any pricing. If it’s not going to clean the lines as well as I do then it’s not going to be worth it.

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