With the unprecedented effects of the Covid-19 Coronavirus forcing Australian venue doors closed, most hospitality venues will have to shut down bulk beer dispensing systems. Mercury Refrigeration and Air Conditioning reminds publicans and venue managers of the importance of shutting down beer lines properly to avoid infections in your beer system.

It is critical not to leave stagnant beer in your beer lines. Infections can live in seals and plastic components of your system, requiring you to replace all seals and sterilize all parts to remove unwanted taste in the beer.

Important Steps To Follow When Shutting Down Beer Lines

Step 1. Turn off your glycol tank to avoid freezing the lines.
Step 2. Disconnect your keg connections.
Note: Some breweries may accept untapped kegs for return and credit. Please contact your current rep or supplier for advice on this matter.
Step 3. Perform a standard beer line clean, also soaking your taps and couplers in cleaning chemical. Remember to use appropriate PPE and signage as you normally would within your venue.
Step 4. Check beer lines and fob traps (if fitted) to ensure you are removing all visible evidence of build-up in your beer lines.
Step 5. If evidence of build up in beer system is still apparent, repeat a standard beer line clean as per step 2.
Note: Beer line cleaning should remove both yeast and organic build up that can accumulate in your system over time. Leaving build up in your system will put you at risk of infection.
Step 6. Flush the beer lines clear of cleaning agent with water.
Step 7. Turn off the cellar water supply and connect a gas line to a spare water connection.
Step 8. Open the beer taps and blow the beer lines dry with CO2 or Cellarmix gas. Ensure that you remove as much water as possible to avoid the bacteria in water causing a mouldy growth and taste in the beer lines.
Step 9. Leave the beer lines charged with the CO2 or Cellarmix gas to slow bacterial growth by removing oxygen from the lines.
Step 10. Turn off power to your air compressor (if fitted with beer pumps).
Note: Where possible on a monthly basis during the shutdown period, flush the beer lines with fresh water and blow the lines dry again to maintain system hygene.
Note: Store cleaned and rinsed beer taps and couplers in the keg room.

Following these steps will greatly reduce the possibility of beer system contamination and reduce service costs to beer systems once normal trading resumes.

As always, Mercury are here for you and your business. We are happy to help with any shut down advice you may need in regard to beer systems, refrigeration or air conditioning. Call us on 02 4947 7193 for help.