OPERATORS have been advised to take steps to ensure beer lines remain functional during the coronavirus closure period.
Line cleaning firm Beer Piper has outlined a checklist of eight measures to prepare cellars for the weeks ahead, as it warns of the high cost and dangers if beer is left to stagnate in lines for prolonged periods of time.
Steps such running lines clean of all draught beer, and steeping nozzles and sparklers with sanitising tablets for no longer than three months are key to ensure cellar equipment is properly maintained when out of use, the company said.
Jeff Singer, commercial manager at Beer Piper, said: “If beer is left to stagnate inside your lines for an extended period of time, there is a significant risk the lines will develop irreversible bacterial contamination, which can lead to gas leak hazards or a costly draught line replacement.
“Beer Piper units and beer line cleaning systems can be used as an important tool to help close down lines with final cleans and flushing during closure. They can also help to maintain the lines and get them ready to be used again at the end of the enforced closure period.
“We are keeping our telephone lines open during the crisis for any customers who wish to speak to us about closing down lines and how best to do it.”
COVID-19 cellar management advice for the hospitality industry
1. Turn off all remote coolers and beer gas lines throughout the period of closure (see point five below before turning off your cellar cooling system).
2. Run a beer line clean on every draught product in turn, leaving your beer lines in water once the clean has completed.
3. Do not reattach the keg coupler back onto the keg. If you have enough sockets on your ring main(s) leave them attached to a socket.
4. Do not wrap your dispense taps in plastic wrap/cling film as this could trap moisture and lead to mould growth.
5. If you have a substantial amount of beer in your cellar, you may wish to keep your cellar cooling system switched on as casks should be stored at a temperature between 52-54 deg F. Temperatures above 54 deg F will rapidly accelerate ageing which will in turn cause irreversible flavour damage to beer and cause it to go flat. It will also encourage extensive mould growth in damp cellars.
6. If you use a Beer Piper or other beer line cleaning system, use it to flush the water through your lines on a weekly basis (if possible).
7. In the event that the closures continue for a long time, line sanitisers can be added manually to help keep lines in good shape during the period of inactivity. Some products can be left in the lines for up to six months (these products cannot be added using Beer Piper systems as using a line sanitiser will cause damage and break the system).
8. Remove all nozzles and sparklers and put them in a pot with sanitising tablets. The nozzles can be left for up to three months, although it’s good practice to use fresh tablets regularly if you can.