Is it necessary to clean strong cider lines as often as other beer lines


cellarbuoy51A question has been posed that strong cider i.e. above 5% for instance is so acidic that it was not necessary to clean lines as often as other beer lines and that there are draught ciders that have a shelf life of 2 years. Can you please give me your opinion on these points.

I have known pubs in the past who have cleaned their cider lines every six months and it tastes yuk!  Cider companies recommend  you clean cider lines the same as beer lines weekly. Personally I agree with them, why is it when you go and have a few pints on a Saturday night you can drink the same beer in every pub yet it tastes different in some.

Most pubs clean their lines weekly yet I firmly believe some, do not clean them thoroughly and this will affect the taste. This will also affect my drinking habits I will stay in the pubs with the better tasting beer and so will others. I am not a regular cider drinker but I have a lot friends who are and they tell me the same, we tend to find the beer and the cider are good in the same pubs, so this must be down to the pubs line cleaning regime. For the sake of a few pints a week why bother?


  1. Given that cider makers use caramel for colouring this creates sugar and requires at least 7 day clean else yeast will multiply significantly post 7 days

  2. Cider-fob-yeastyYes there is a belief out there that cider lines do not have to be cleaned that often, if atall, I’ve called at a hotel once who told me that cider lines do not have to be cleaned and when queried they couldn’t tell me the last time it had been cleaned, it smelt and tasted foul, bar staff should be made to taste these products periodically.

    But the best has to be and as the photo shows, at a pub I called at with fobbing cider, this lady cleaned the lines weekly when I questioned the build up in the cellarbuoy. She said that she cleaned the lines weekly and she could prove it by brulines stats. So then you check cleaning product she was using it was prosan plus, so no problem there.

    There was no other choice rather than risk call backs again and again I blitzed the line to prove a point. What I wasn’t expecting after the first ten minutes pulling out the first couple of pints of blitz cleaner you would swear it was Guinness, it took a further hour and a half till the cellarbuoy was fully clear. But looking at the Worthington cellarbouy which was ten times worse the story is not yet over but now at least she knows how to clean the lines properly, goodness know what she was doing before.

  3. As Hoppy and Simon say, yes Cider lines should be cleaned as frequently as beer lines, cider is heavier in sugars which deposit in the lines and increase the chance of bacterial contamination to the lines. Depending on the bacteria this will cause either a moldy or sour taste.

    Strongly flavoured fruit cider lines also have a knack of causing flavour taints if they are replaced with standard ciders if they have not been cleaned often enough.

  4. Isn’t it because of the very long dates on cider barrels. Although cleaned every week, I certainly thought it didn’t have to be because I assumed it didn’t have yeast in it because of the dates

Do you have a better answer? Leave a reply or an opinion