Your business has its own set of unique experiences and some occurrences may even cause you to shut down your draught beer system for an extended period of time. Whether your closure is caused by a remodel, the end of your seasonal operations or something else entirely, the last thing you want to do is make the wrong move and end up having to invest more time and money into your system when you are back up and running.
To help you prevent degradation, we have put together the following recommendations on how to properly shut your system down.
Clean Your Lines
When you stop pouring from your taps on a regular basis, the beer in your system is allowed to sit stagnant. When stagnant lines rest for more than two weeks, yeast and bacteria starts to build up and degrade your lines. Left untreated, this can lead to irreversible damages and the possible need for complete line replacement. Avoid this costly mistake when shutting down! Here’s how:
- Call your system cleaner to arrange a standard cleaning to be done within two weeks of ceasing draught pours. Lines should be chemically cleaned as recommended by the Brewer’s Association in their Draught Beer Quality Manual (Chapter 7 of DBQM v4). Ensure all couplers and faucets are disassembled and chemically cleaned at this time as well.
- After flushing the lines, reassemble and attach all faucets. DO NOT to cap or cover the spout. Doing so could lead to mold growth if there is any trapped moisture
- Make sure your freshly cleaned couplers are left disengaged from your kegs and are stored in a clean and dry area for later use.
Prep Your System For Inactivity
- After your chemical cleaning has been completed, be sure to leave clean rinse water packed in the lines. Do NOT leave lines empty OR with chemicals in them as these could both damage the tubing.
- Raise your glycol power pack temperature to 40 degrees F° to eliminate the potential for freeze damage to your resting system. Do NOT turn off your glycol pack as this could lead to overflow or system failure.
- Turn off the gas supply to the draught system to prevent any dangerous gas leaks from occurring.
- Tip: Only turn off the gas to the draught beer and not to other critical services in your establishment.
Store Your Kegs
If you are not going to be closed long enough for your kegs to go stale or out of code, be sure to properly store them for later use.
- Clean and dry the exterior of your keg along with the interior of the cooler (especially floors and walls) to prevent mold growth.
- Set your cooler a temperature between 36-38° This range will prohibit mold growth and stave off premature aging of your beer.
The above steps should be repeated every 4 weeks to maintain your lines and keep them ready for use when you reopen!