Building a Simple Ball Lock Draft Line Flushing Setup – all new v2!

I use a recirculating draft line pump for cleaning my draft lines. That’s worked well for me (and many others) for years. See: Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump

The issue I ran into was the desire to periodically do a quick flush to rinse, clean or sanitize lines.

When a keg kicks, there’s residual beer in the line. The beer at the end of a keg is also more likely to contain gunk – hop and yeast trub. Rather than leave that sitting in the line, shank and faucet, I like to flush is out.  Also, when putting on a new beer I wanted to be able to easily sanitize.

Of course, I could get out my complete keg line cleaning pump, but setting that up and cleaning afterwards is a bit of work. What I wanted was an easy solution for a quick rinse or flush.

v1 of this build dates back to 2013. A little about that, for comedic and nostalgia reasons, at the end of this post. This write-up walks through a much improved v2.

This build is super easy, works great and can be made from a few items you probably already have around or can easily obtain.

The components – a 2 Liter PET bottle, a carbonation cap and a short length of tubing. My build uses a Kegland DuoTight Compatible Cap and EVABarrier tubing.  DuoTights and EVABarrier are outstanding [Hands on Review], but I want to stress that these exact components are not required. Any suitable carbonator cap and a length of compatible tubing should do the trick.

Carbonation Caps:

Step 1 – take off the label. Or… leave it on. 🙂 Whatever you want.Step 2 – attach tubing to carbonator cap. I like the idea of using EVABarrier because it’s stiff and I thought it would work well.Step 3 – Trim the tubing to fit. That’s it… you’re ready to change the world by quickly and easily flushing ball lock lines!

Flushing Lines

This photo shows pretty much all the players. The left side is the gas line that I use for charging the cleaner assembly. The right line is liquid line with ball lock QD. You can also see the other side of the liquid line terminating in the right-most shank. My setup is all DuoTight/EVABarrier and you’ll see DuoTight Compatible Locking Clips used throughout. If you are a DuoTight user, the locking clips are something I recommend as they provide a more secure connection.

This is powered by CO2 pressure. It’s important to underfill the bottle to leave some head space for CO2 pressure. I found that about half full, or 1 liter works well.  I used about 30 PSI of pressure. Make sure to choose a pressure that’s compatible with all components in your setup.

In Action!

This works really well. 1 liter (half full) along with a 30 PSI initial charge would be enough to briefly flush all four of my tap lines. Alternatively, less than 1 liter could be used to minimize chemical use.  A “quick clean” could also be accomplished by filling lines with PBW and letting them sit, followed by a round of water and finally Star San.

The pitcher I’m using for collection is a 2 Quart Rubbermaid Commercial Pitcher. This is a smaller version of the one gallon pitcher I’ve used and recommended for years. Although I got this half gallon size for the kitchen, it’s worked it’s way to my brewing area and is the perfect size for this task.

But Will it Flush Two Lines??

Here’s the key piece of hardware to clean two ball lock lines at the same time. It’s a ball lock  jumper from Valuebrew. There are only a couple similar offerings out there, to my knowledge. This one is unique because it uses their custom color, food grade post o-rings AND… it works with both liquid and ball lock jumpers.Here it is installed. This is connecting two 10′ EVABarrier tubing runs.If you look on the right you’ll see my Intertap faucet is equipped with a ball lock nozzle. This would work the exact same way with a NukaTap faucet. If you have another brand, you’d just make a jumper that fits over the spout of your faucet.Complete Setup for Two Line Test

The plumbing for my test is as follows

  • Flushing Assembly – 2 L bottle/carbonation cap/dip tube (on left) >
  • Ball Lock Line Jumper – 2 ball lock QDs with a short length of EVABarrier tubing >
  • Intertap ball lock spout on right faucet >
  • 10′ EVABarrier tubing with ball lock QD >
  • Ball Lock Jumper Fitting >
  • 10′ EVABarrier tubing with ball lock QD >
  • Intertap faucet (second from right) >
  • 2 Quart collection pitcher

In Action – 2 Lines!

I was actually quite surprised at how well this worked. It’s over 20′ of tubing, four QDs and a jumper.  All being driven by the head pressure in half of a 2L bottle.

Super Size It

Kegland makes a 2.5 Liter PET Growler Bottle Growler that gives you some additional capacity.

Alternative for Pin Lock Systems

The setup outlined here is for ball lock systems.  I know of no similar Pin Lock carbonator caps or fittings.  You could build as outlined and make a small jumper to go from Lock to Pin Lock

Related: What’s the Difference Between Ball Lock Kegs and Pin Lock Kegs?

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For Fun, Here’s More about V1…

This setup also uses a PET bottle to store solution, but gets more complicated and… harder to use from there.The cap was modified by installing a Shrader valveInside of the converted capFrom there, I put together a bunch of relatively expensive parts to form the ball lock connector

To make it harder to use… there’s no dip tube. The bottle had to be oriented so the top faces down.

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Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. toppost:lineflush tag:tpru

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