Draught Quality Recommendations During Extended Bar/Restaurant Shut-down
In the event you are unable to serve draught beer for an extended period, it is important to take some steps to make sure your system stays healthy and you are not faced with an unexpected expense or quality concerns when starting it back up. If beer is left stagnant in draught lines for too long, the system will be at risk of an irreversible bacterial infection. Taking the right steps can prevent you from having to deal with dangerous gas leak hazards, costly draught line contamination, or even more expensive draught line replacement.
- Prior to shut-down, contact your system cleaner as soon as possible to complete a standard cleaning. If your service provider is too busy to come out immediately, your system can go up to two weeks between cleanings. In the meantime, it is ok to leave your system as-is.
- Line cleaners should chemically clean the system as recommended by the Brewers Association Draught Beer Quality Manual (Chapter 7 of DBQM v4). During this time, it is important to ensure all faucets and couplers are disassembled and chemically cleaned.
- Following the chemical cleaning, leave clean rinse water packed in the lines.
- Glycol power pack temperature should be raised to 40 degrees F°. The standard recommended operating temperatures (28°-30°), will cause freezing and will potentially cause damage to the draught system.
- Keep the cooler on. Kegs should be stored at a temperature between 36-38° F. Increased temperatures will rapidly accelerate aging which will cause irreversible flavor damage to beer and cause the beer to go flat. Warm coolers also encourage extensive mold growth.
- Turn off the gas supply to the draught system. This will prevent any dangerous gas leaks from occurring. Be sure you are only turning off the gas to the draught beer and not to other critical services in your restaurant/taproom, like soda, etc.
- Clean and dry the interior of the cooler, especially floors, walls, and kegs to prevent mold growth.
- All faucets should be reassembled and put back on the tower without any barrier covering its spout. Capping the faucets or wrapping them in plastic wrap could trap moisture and lead to mold growth.
- All couplers should remain disengaged from kegs (and off the floor)
The above steps should be repeated every 4 weeks.
Pitfalls to Avoid:
- Do not leave chemicals in draught beer lines, as this creates a safety hazard and could damage the tubing.
- Do not leave couplers or any other hardware on the floor or any soiled area.
- Do not leave couplers attached to kegs.
- Do not shut off glycol power pack. Turning off glycol could result in overflow or system failure.
- Do not cap or cover faucet openings or keg valves.
- Do not increase temperature of or turn off keg cooler.
per Brewers Association - https://www.brewersassociation.org/