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What makes a good pint of beer, and why it can go bad
It can take bars an age to build up a reputation for serving a good, clean, tasty pint of beer. That reputation however, can disappear in the blink of an eye, should your regulars be given a shoddy product. So what do you do to get a good pint?
The major factor in ensuring your pint is the perfect one, is regular cleaning of the lines/pipes.
It can be a time-consuming, but it is the vitally important. In my opinion, line cleaning should be carried out on a weekly basis.
Some customers wonder why there is a need for the cleaning. The simple answer is, they get dirty. It must be remembered that there are several ingredients in the various beers and lagers served in pubs. Over time, if left uncleaned, there can be a build up of sugar, bacteria, yeast etc in your pipes. Each one can affect the taste on its own, combined, your pint will be, pretty much disgusting.
The mechanics of cleaning the lines, as i previously said, can be time-consuming. It is however, pretty straightforward. I won’t go into the full process today – if there is an interest, I am more than happy to go through the complete process.
Basically, all lines to all the fonts, must be flushed out with water. After this is done, the cleaning fluid is mixed/diluted with water to be pulled through all fonts. This is the time-consuming part – this is repeated 3 times, at 10 to 15 minute intervals. The final stage is flushing all lines with water, in order to clear any cleaning fluid. It’s important that the lines are flushed thoroughly. A pint of beer with cleaning fluid still there, is not a pleasant experience. You can never use too much water.
As well as cleaning the lines, there are a few other practises to ensure you have the perfect pint. Each night after the premises have closed, all nozzles must be removed from the fonts/taps. These are soaked overnight in soda water, and rinsed out prior to opening. This does pretty much the same job as the cleaning fluid in the lines. An important tip also, concerning any stouts or ‘heavy’ that you sell. The nozzles for these beers have filters inside them. They must be taken out and cleaned thoroughly. It’s a pointless having a good pint ruined due to an unclean filter. It is easy to do , and should only take a few minutes to complete.
When is a bad pint, not a bad pint?
This may sound a silly thing to say, but it does actually make sense. Even after you’ve gone through the whole cleaning process, there can be issues that make the pint look not very nice, but it’s not actually bad. Always ensure that the ‘gas’ hasn’t run out, and that you pour the beer into a cool, dry glass. If this isn’t done, then the pint will look flat and listless – to coin a good phrase, the pint will be ‘deid”.
If your local follows all these procedures, there is no reason why your pint shouldn’t be fresh, clear, clean and tasty. Although a ‘bad’ keg from your suppliers still occurs. It won’t matter how clean your pipes are,nothing will make the contents of this keg a good pint.