‘A good beer should be treated with respect!’
It can take months to brew a good cask of
beer. And real ale, that is traditionally
brewed and allowed to mature naturally in the barrel needs to be looked after
in the same way you would expect to care for a fine wine. The live yeast will continue to condition the
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beer, enriching the flavours and character right up until the moment when it's
poured into your glass.
So why does a pint sometimes smell of
However great the beer is, it can be spoilt
during its journey from cask to glass as a result of poorly cleaned beer lines.
Those beer lines can harbour bacteria that
make your beer cloudy and taste of vinegar, smell faintly of rotten eggs or buttery butterscotch. Whilst these probably won't
cause you any harm they will taint the taste of a good pint.
The inner surface of the beer lines is
prone to bacterial attachment and accumulation. Once those pesky microbes get
going they secrete extra cellular polymers such as polysaccharides and glycoproteins
creating bio-films where they can thrive more happily.
And 'beer stones' can accumulate too. Calcium contained in the grains and water used
in the brew can combine with the oxalic acids or salts present in the hops to
produce deposits of calcium oxalate. These
'beer stones' can build up and flake off, adding little brown or grey flakes to
your pint. Not harmful – but not
Whilst most bars make sure the areas on
show to their customers are clean and welcoming it's careful and regular cleaning
of the beer lines that ensures your pint is perfect.
Conrad Boucher, General Manager of Beer
Piper, the UK's longest established provider of automated beer line cleaning
systems, commented: ' Bacteria can flourish if beer lines are not cleaned
efficiently which has an immediate effect on the taste and quality of the
beer. Using an automated system takes
away the chore of a weekly manual clean and keeps the lines 'bug free'.'
He added, 'Beer lines can and should be
cleaned regularly and use of an automated system allows this to be carried out quickly
and conveniently during opening hours with no wastage. We try and encourage the philosophy that good
beer should be treated with respect.'
For more information on The Beer Piper Company
visit www.beerpiper.co.uk or call 01444 470220.