DIY Beer Line Cleaner By: Tom Ayers
This week I’m going to walk you through how to make your own simple beer line cleaner on the cheap. This concept was first developed by geniz on Homebrewtalk.com. I built this project for less than $20 using parts I had on hand or purchased at the local big box hardware stores. I mentioned this project in my article on “Maintaining a Keg System”.
The purpose of this project is to create a tool that can pump beer line cleaner, water, and/or sanitizer through keg lines and my Blichmann Beer Gun line. In addition to serving that purpose, it is simple and easy to build for anyone with a willingness to try. In the end you will have a tool that can pump fluids through the lines without adding co2. I use this tool about once a month to pump cleaner through my lines, followed by water and lastly sanitizer to ensure that all of the gunk, beer stone, and other dirt are out of the lines. This leaves the lines clean and sanitized. Your beer will be much better tasting and far less likely to spoil.
To start, you will need the following items:
1. Tank sprayer of some sort. I used a 56 ounce tank sprayer from Home Depot
2. ⅜” Flare x ⅜” FIP Coupling. (Watts A-176)
3. Firestone ball lock liquid post
4. Silicone tape
5. Adjustable wrenches (2)
Start by removing the green spray head that came with the tank sprayer. You should be able to do this easily by hand, if not, use your wrench. Next wrap the threads on the pump head with silicon tape, do the same thing on the flare fitting threads like in the picture below. Be sure to wrap the tape in the direction that goes with the item to be screwed on the threads, otherwise you will undo the wrapping when adding the items.
Next, screw the flare fitting onto the pump head. Be careful here as the pump head is plastic and the flare fitting is brass. If you are not careful, you will cross thread the plastic threads and potentially ruin the pump head. Tighten this down with your wrench gently.
Next, screw on the firestone fitting. To do this, hold the flare fitting still with one wrench, and tighten the firestone fitting down with the other wrench. Make sure all of the fittings are tight and sealed so you do not lose any pressure through leaks. You can test this just like you would for leaks on your keg system, by spraying sanitizer or soapy water on it when pressurized.
Once you do this step you are done! That was easy right? You can do this in about 15 minutes at most. The next step is to mix up some beer line cleaner, pump up the tank and attach your keg line. Once you attach it, the cleaner will flow. You should pump cleaner through your lines and catch it at the other end. You can reuse the cleaner through all of your lines as long as they are not too dirty.
For more information on this project or to share your modifications, pictures, or other content, check out the original post on HBT or of course feel free to reach out to me for any questions: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-beer-line-cleaner-226497/
As always, if you’d like more homebrew information, follow me on twitter @Tom_Ayers. If you have any questions, comments, or topic requests send me an email at AyersBrewing@gmail.com and I’ll be sure to respond. Cheers and happy brewing!