Tap system neglect is more common than most bar patrons realize. Many bar and restaurant owners are not aware of the importance of regular line cleaning and assume they can go longer than is recommended between routine cleanings. As a result, draught beer systems often fall into disrepair, and the owners wonder why so few people are ordering draught beer at their establishment.
Tap system neglect will quickly result in sanitation problems that distinctly affect draught beer quality and cause severe functional issues. Within only a couple weeks after cleaning a tap system, beer lines, faucets, couplers, and foam detectors accumulate noticeable amounts of solid beer residue, or “beer scale.” These residues harbor bacteria, mold, and yeast, and cause moving parts to stick together and quickly malfunction. Routine cleaning (once every two weeks) will prevent these microorganisms from permanently infecting the system, while ensuring precise, dependable function of the entire tap system.
A poorly maintained tap system can fail any number of ways. Faucet, coupler, and foam detector valves collect sticky residues that prevent them from fully opening and closing, thus resulting in leakage. If the system is leaking beer, this leakage point also provides an entry point for microbial infection that will cause beer spoilage and undesirable souring.
Faucets will also “freeze up” as a result of dried sugar residue that essentially “glues” the internal parts of the faucet together.
Slow drip tray drainage is another common problem. If drains are not flushed daily with sanitizer they will fail, resulting in backup and overflow during high volume service. The backup is caused by an accumulation of sugar residue inside the drain tube, which also grows films of mold, yeast, and bacteria, as well as attract fruit flies.
These are just a few examples of why it is important to maintain the sanitary quality of a draught beer system. Routine cleanings performed by an experienced draught beer technician will prevent sanitation problems and alleviate most functional issues.
Need help with your tap system? Contact us today: 216.533.7936.