I won't repeat the well documented importance of regularly and effectively cleaning beer and cider lines for draught products. But it is worth noting some of the additional things we strongly recommend all trade and busting a few myths.
Mainstream beer and cider vs Craft cider
- Mainstream cider, like mainstream lager is a very stable product due to high levels of malic acid being added along with high levels of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, filtration and processing
- Craft cider should also be stable but it can vary significantly in acidity levels, sugar levels and most will have much lower levels of artificial preservatives so additional care should be taken.
Avoid contamination when changing kegs / Bag In Boxes
Use an alcohol sanitising spray (food safe and non tainting) to sterilise all keg coupling every time you connect a keg to avoid contaminating the cider inside the keg with yeast, bacteria or mould.
There are many available we can recommend: XL San by Excalibur Hygiene
- Cider lines should be cleaned AT LEAST ONCE EVERY 7 DAYS
- If your lines are not kept below 7°C there may be a need to clean more regularly
- If you have a low turnover for cider you may need to clean more regularly
- You need to clean both keg and Bag In Box lines just as regularly
- We strongly recommend the person responsible for line cleaning has professional training or you use a contract line cleaning service
- Test the cider regularly, not all bar staff will be cider drinkers, make sure you know the product and what is should taste like
- In our own bar we taste every product at least once per day (it's not a bad job)