Building a Simple Draft Line Flushing Setup

I use a recirculating draft line pump for cleaning my draft lines.  More information on that build – Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump.  That setup has worked great for me for periodic deep cleaning.

The issue I ran into was the desire to periodically do a quick flush to clean or sanitize lines.  Two occasions in particular, first when a keg kicks.  Unless you sit there and run CO2, while beer and yeast splat out of your faucet, you’re left with some residual beer and possibly yeast and trub sitting in the line.  The second occasion is the desire to sanitize when putting a new keg on.  Although the recirculating pump works great, it is a bit of work to set it up and clean it after use.  I wanted something that I could use to quickly flush and/or sanitize lines.

I decided to come up with an easy quick line flushing setup to use in these occasions.

A 1 liter bottle acts as a liquid containment vessel.  For the cap interface, Initially I thought about using a Carbonator Cap or More Beer’s Kent Soda Bottle Cap, but eventually, I decided to go with a tire valve.

I just went to a local auto parts store to find a clamp-in style tire valve.  Similar to this.

Note: I’m not suggesting this exact part.  It may work, but I’m not sure if it will fit in a 1 or 2 L bottle cap.  I’d suggest gathering the other parts first.  Then take your cap and a small length of tubing to your local auto parts store to find something suitable.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is drill a hole in the cap so that the tire stem fits through it snugly   The tire stem should contain a rubbing oring to produce and airtight seal.  I happened to have a food safe Buna N oring around that worked well.  The clamp in tire valve will have a nut that goes on the other end of the cap to lock everything together.

You should have something like this:

The inside of the cap should look something like this:

Next you’re going to want to use a valve core removal/installation tool to remove the tire valve core.  That core functions as a one way check valve.  We’re not making a tire, so we don’t need or want that.

At this point we have a completed cap.  Next we need tubing and a mechanism to connect to draft lines.  For tubing, I found that 1/4″ ID tubing fit on my tire valve nicely. The remainder of the parts can be seen in this photo:

via Midwest Supplies:

Liquid Post – Cornelius-Spartan, Super Champion & R Kegs

Cornelius Plug Adapter-1/4″ FFL x 19/32″ 5203 – unavailable as of this update

1/4″ MFL to 1/4″ Barb S6017 – unavailable as of this update

Note: As you can see from the pictures, these parts are for a ball lock setup.  You can use the same concept for your pin lock setup.  If you do, let us know what parts you used and we’ll update this post.

Assemble those together and you’ll get this:

Connect the ball lock assembly with the cap assembly using 1/4″ ID tubing and some clamps to come up with the finished device.

I pressurized this unit and placed it on top of my kegerator, leaning up against my Bulldog Pegboard, because it’s amazing. 🙂

Some variations that I think would work:

  1. You could use a 2L bottle and skip the pressurization step, just squeeze to flush lines or sanitize.
  2. You could cut the bottom off of your bottle.  Hold this up in the air and pour rinsing, cleaning or sanitizing solution in.  The bottle is acting as a funnel and gravity feeds solution through your lines.
  3. You could also go with a 3L Bottle (available at a lot of dollar-type stores).  I went with a 1L size, for easy storage and also because I had it on hand.

9 thoughts on “Building a Simple Draft Line Flushing Setup

  1. Anonymous

    Chris – do you know that you don’t sit there and pump it? The sprayer pressurizes. You pump it for 10 seconds which builds up a bunch of pressure in the bottle, and then just pull the trigger (which has a lock-on position) and it flows continuously. You’d never be pumping and flowing at the same time.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    I agree with the hand pump sprayer, it ends up being about the same cost (or cheaper) and you get the pressurization system built right in. My kegerator actually does not have the tap sitting directly on the top of the box, so it has to push up about an extra foot, and the garden pump has no problems getting the liquid up to that height.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    It’s not the CO2 use, it’s just that there’s a better solution out there that is actually cheaper. Check out this link:

    It’s not only cheaper and more durable, but it’s even easier to use since you can just pump it up, even if there’s no CO2 nearby.

    Reply
    1. Chris Brewer

      That build is awesome. It is mainly for deep cleaning your draft lines. I built a recirculating pump for this purpose. I don’t want to have to sit there and operate a hand pump for 30 minutes for each of my faucets. Because of that I built a recirculating setup. The tool that this post covers is a quick line flushing assembly. I wanted that because my main line cleaning tool takes a bit of work to get out and put away. There are no doubt cheaper solutions out there for everything, but that isn’t what this particular post is about. I like the simplicity of this and it’s size. It’s a 1 liter bottle and some tubing. The hand pump is sweet and is certainly a great choice if you don’t mind running the pump by hand.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Your recirc pump is much better for “deep cleaning”. The link is for a quick rinse mostly – I keep one with Starsan in it all the time so I can quickly sanitize if I’m swapping kegs. Just connect the liquid line and pull the trigger, easy as could be.

      Reply
  4. Chris Brewer

    Some points of clarification: 1. I’m not suggesting this as a device to use to complete a thorough cleaning of your draft lines. It’s for quick purging and sanitizing. 2. I’m using a 1 Liter bottle. CO2 use isn’t a major factor here. 3. If you are that concerned about CO2 use, I’ve made a suggested modification that would use no CO2 at all.

    Reply
  5. William Watson

    I use a tetra whisper 40 air pump with a tube and a gas-in connector. That way I can pop it on to a keg full of PBW/water and pump it out into the second keg in line. Then I do the same with water. Gives it plenty of time in contact with the lines then flushes them without using CO2.

    Reply
  6. Paul Williams

    Do you know if the corny plug adapter would work with a Pin lock liquid post? I’d love to build something for cleaning my lines, but I use all pin lock kegs….

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    I built the same one from the hand-pump garden sprayer and it works awesome, and I don’t have to mess with my CO2. I’ll fill it with PBW and warm water to clean the lines every time I change a keg. A quick batch of sanitizer through and it’s ready to go.

    Reply

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