PLCB Updated Coil Cleaning Requirements

The Board amends its regulations regarding the cleaning of malt or brewed beverage dispensing systems, which delivers what is commonly known as ”draft beer.” In this amendment, the frequency of dispensary system cleaning is decreased from every 7 days to every 14 days. The amendment also clarifies that every licensee using such a dispensary system for selling malt or brewed beverages (beer)—including but not limited to limited wineries, limited distilleries and distilleries—is subject to this regulation.

A dispensing system begins with beer that is stored in a keg. Pressurized gas enters the keg and forces the beer up and into a plastic hose, whose length it travels until it reaches a faucet. The beer waits in the plastic hose until the faucet is opened, whereupon the beer is poured into a container. For purposes of this amendment, the dispensing system runs from the keg to the faucet.

A dispensing system is, because of its function, usually wet and located in a dark area. As a result, dispensing systems can readily harbor bacteria, yeast, mold and ”beer stones,” which occur when organic compounds in the beer bind with compounds in the brewing water and form calcium oxalate, the chemical name for beer stones. Cleaning the dispensing system is necessary to prevent these items from spoiling the beer.

However, the licensee incurs costs for cleaning the dispensing system, as well as the loss of the beer that is present in the hose. Therefore it is important to find the right frequency for cleaning, so as to avoid requiring the licensee to incur unnecessary expense and avoid needless waste of beer.

Full text of this change can be viewed on the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

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