Nozzles, Sparklers & Creamers
We have discussed the often neglected matter of cleaning nozzles/sparklers/creamers/fixed nozzles before, but we thought it worth mentioning again in light of a recent enquiry about the merits, or otherwise, of leaving nozzles on pumps whilst line cleaning and whether this is an effective cleaning method.
In a word, no
There are two reasons why we would not recommend this method of cleaning nozzles.
- Line cleaner is very strong stuff and extremely toxic if ingested. Line cleaners are precisely formulated and dosed to allow for an effective clean and absolutely no residue left after the rinse through. There is no way of knowing if your nozzles have been cleaned sufficiently with nothing left on the connectors.
- The threads and connectors are the place where yeasts and proteins can build up which will cause taint and lacing issues. The best course of action is to take all nozzles etc. off and clean them separately and with a small brush to get rid of all build-up.
So that’s a big no for line cleaner, even if it’s diluted.
Here’s some others on the no list –
Soda water – It doesn’t do any harm, but it doesn’t do much good either. The problem with soda water is that it is slightly acidic but not very strong and its downfall is that this makes residual sugars stick to the plastic. Soda water does have some anti-bacterial qualities, but not strong enough to tackle beer residues.
Sterilising fluid – there are many of these products on the market such as the market leading and household name, Milton. While these are superb at sterilising, they tend to bleach the plastic on nozzles causing damage.
Water – the stuff of life – but not nozzle cleaning – you need something more.
All the things you can do:
Warm soapy water soak – this is an effective way to clean your nozzles etc. on a daily basis. Give them a good old soak and leave them to air dry. Job done.
However, we would always recommend a deeper clean once a week as part of your line cleaning routing, and by far the best and safest method is –
Low concentration chlorine tablets – widely available on the market, these little beauties will ensure you will never have a taint problem or be secretly harvesting bacterial colonies.
Once a week, detach all your nozzles/sparklers/creamers and soak them in a dedicated tub (never in a glass!) with a chlorine tablet dissolved in water. Refer to the manufacturers guide on dilution. Use a small brush to get rid of any built-up proteins, yeasts and sugars. The solution can also be used very effectively on any fixed spouts where you cannot remove the end and soak. Don’t forget some nozzles have little creamer discs in them that need to be removed and cleaned as well. And they need to go back the right way in the right sparkler.
They will be quite happy being left in the air to dry, and there you go, job done and you can start your service knowing your bar is safe, clean and delivers the perfect serve.