4 Important Kegerator Maintenance Tips to Know for a Nitro Infused Coffee System

4 Important Kegerator Maintenance Tips to Know for a Nitro Infused Coffee System

Nitro-infused coffee systems are all the rage these days. Many coffee shops and restaurants have invested in these machines to offer nitro-infused drinks like cold brew, tea lattes, and even wine or kombucha! 

Nitro-infusion systems use a kegerator which creates an airtight seal that the liquid of choice is stored in. A nitrogen canister is attached to infuse the container and the drink is released through kegerator lines out of a spicket or faucet.

These systems are designed to be super simple to use and set up. But if these systems are not cleaned or maintained well, you can run into a host of issues.

Here are 4 key maintenance tips for how to clean kegerator lines correctly and maintain a nitro-infused system. 

1. Learn How to Clean a Kegerator Correctly

It is super important to clean out the entire nitro-infusion system regularly to keep it running in peak performance. Particles from the liquid (such as coffee bean residue or even minerals in the water) can build up in the system. This could clog the keg lines and make it harder to take pieces on and off for cleaning. 

What’s even more dangerous is if any mold starts to form in the kegerator lines. Ingesting food or beverages with mold can cause health issues and allergic reactions. Your café could also face some hefty fines if mold is found in your kegerator during a health inspection.

So, here’s how to clean kegerator lines and the rest of the system thoroughly:

  1. First, turn off the system and wash all of the exterior surfaces with a mixture of mild soap and water. Wash away any spills, dust, or other debris.
  2. Remove the faucet line by turning the seal to the right until it loosens and detaches.
  3. Take off the faucet and soak it in a cleaning solution of kegerator cleaner and warm water. Scrub away any build-up with a cleaning brush.
  4. Clean the kegerator lines by using a line cleaner – do not use bleach or harsh chemicals! Follow the directions for the kegerator line cleaner and flush the lines by pouring or pumping the solution through and draining them into a sink or bucket.
  5. Inspect all of the gaskets and O-rings used to connect the kegerator system. If any have rusted or look worn, replace them. 

The most important thing is to use cleaning chemicals specifically designed for these systems. These will kill any bacteria or mold in the pipes without harming the pieces. 

So, how often do you need to clean kegerator lines and systems? The best answer is to do it every few weeks, especially if you use your kegerator frequently. 

2. Learn About the Parts of Your System

Knowing what parts and pieces are in the system can help you determine what is causing issues and how to care for them correctly. You don’t need to be an expert – but having a general idea of what each part is called, what it does, and how to find it in the system will help you pinpoint any issues. 

Here are some of the most important parts to recognize on a nitro-infused kegerator system:

  1. Tap tower and the faucet handles – This is where the liquid dispenses out of the kegerator.
  2. Beverage hose – This is the line that connects the keg storing the beverage to the faucet. These may also be called kegerator lines. 
  3. Gas hose – This is the hose connecting the nitro-infuser to the kegerator.
  4. Nitro Infuser – This is the device that helps to safely diffuse the nitrogen from the canister to the beverage inside. 
  5. AfterBurner – An AfterBurner is used in conjunction with a nitro infuser to add a second round of nitrogen to the beverage right before it is dispensed. Not all kegerator systems have an AfterBurner, but it is popular for nitro-infused coffee and beverage dispensers. 
  6. Gas Source – This is the cylinder or gas generator containing nitrogen that is attached to the system. 

This is beneficial for several reasons. First, no extra enhancements, like cream or sugar, need to be added to create this smoother, sweeter flavor beyond nitrogen. This means that the drinks are lower in calories and lower in ingredients, making them more appealing to customers in most cases. 

Second, it provides a far more pleasant drinking experience. Beverages taste smooth and creamy and the flavors are far more pronounced than they would be with the typical brewing process.

3. Troubleshoot the Common Issues

As with any piece of machinery, you will eventually run into issues over time as the pieces start to wear. Many times, these issues can be easily fixed with a bit of maintenance or a part replacement. 

For instance, one common problem that arises with kegerators is with the stout faucet. It may start to leak or have inconsistent flow if it is not well maintained. If you start to see issues with the stout faucet, you can pinpoint the source of the problem by looking for common issues like:

  • A loose seal around the gasket. You may need to replace the O-ring if the seal is broken.
  • Check the spring inside of the faucet handle lever. If the spring is broken or stretched, it won’t work as well.
  • A dirty or broken restrictor-plate could be the reason for a slower pour rate. The restrictor is inside of the stout faucet and is a small, flat metal piece with five small holes. If any of these are clogged, it will cause issues with the pour.

Oftentimes, the issues people run into with kegerator systems can be fixed with a little part replacement. These may even be covered under the system’s warranty under certain conditions. 

4. Schedule Professional Maintenance and Upkeep

The best way to keep your nitro-infused kegerator system running well is to let the professionals handle it. If you have any major issues, you don’t want to try to fix them yourself and risk breaking the entire system. Instead, call in the experts for major repairs, as well as routine maintenance.

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