How To Clean A Keg: Tips and Tricks

G4 Kegs | June 18, 2024

One of the beauties of kegs is their reusability. Unlike cans and bottles (not including glass growlers crowlers, etc.) , kegs can be refilled repeatedly-for years. They are a sustainable option for commercial operations that can help keep beer and kegged cocktails fresh.

However, kegs need to undergo routine cleaning to ensure draft beverages come out fresh with every pour. While keg sanitation might seem daunting, the process can be quick and easy when you follow a few tips and tricks. And, if you want to ensure safe and fresh products, sanitation is non-negotiable.

Why Should You Sanitize a Keg?

Kegs are moist, sealed environments, so if they are not regularly cleaned, they can promote the growth of bacteria, yeast, and mold. 

In addition to bacterial growth, dirty draft lines can see a build-up of beerstone over time, a form of natural calcium buildup that occurs with dispensing of draft beer. This scale can build up and flake off into draft pours if not taken care of when it occurs. If you experience unwanted, off-colored specks floating in your draft pours, your keg suffers from beerstone accumulation or worse.

These elements will taint any new beer added to the keg and potentially tarnish your reputation.

How to Clean a Commercial Keg?

Alcoholic beverages can cause buildup inside stainless steel kegs, so heavy-duty cleaners are needed to remove elements like calcium. Acidic cleaners, such as those containing chlorine dioxide or peracetic acid, are your best bet to descale and clean.

What is the Best Solution to Clean Kegs With? 

The two most standard cleaning solutions are chlorine dioxide and peracetic acid. Each has its own properties and breaks down build-up differently.

  • Chlorine Dioxide: This fast-acting, non-corrosive compound can tackle nearly any bacteria, fungus, or mold spore. It is also great at preventing built-up scale and biofilm. This solution has to be manually activated to use. Its potential downsides include its strong odor and sensitivity to high temperatures.

  • Peracetic Acid: Peracetic acid solutions are more environmentally friendly than other options on the market and won’t harm water supplies or soil. This solution does an excellent job of eliminating biofilm and scale and is also effective against most bacteria and contaminants.
    Peracetic acid also produces a strong odor and can’t remove all types of yeast.

Finding the best cleaning solutions for your needs might take some experimentation. Try both options and determine what works for your business.

Two standard cleaning solutions for kegs: chlorine dioxide and peracetic acid.

What Keg Components Require Cleaning?

Kegs themselves must be cleaned and sanitized after every use. However, a draft system has many different elements that also need to be sterilized.

  • Couplers and Fittings: All small fittings and couplets that attach CO2 tanks and draft lines should be cleaned regularly to ensure they are free of contaminants that could make their way back into kegs or lines. Check the metal used for each fitting to ensure your cleaning solution doesn’t corrode softer metals.

  • Draft Lines: Lines are the conduit from your keg to the tap, so if they are full of buildup or bacteria, even the freshest beer can become tainted. Lines should be flushed and sanitized every two weeks. Commercial operations should follow the “mechanical action” method and use non-caustic cleaners. 

If you have questions about your kegs and how to boost their longevity, talk with your G4 Keg Consultant. Not only can they recommend the ideal kegs for your operation, but they can also provide helpful information about your equipment so you know the ideal methods and products for a thorough cleaning.

Premium Stainless Steel Kegs for Your Business 

Are you looking for incredible kegs at affordable prices that offer leasing options and are built to last? Search no further than G4 Kegs. Our kegs are made with SAE 304 stainless steel, a durable, food-safe material ideal for many beverage applications.

Contact us today for your custom quote!