There are many, many ways you can contaminate your cellar and cause a contaminated serve and we all know that nothing is going to taint your profits like a tainted serve. Don’t risk kissing goodbye to all that return custom – keeping a top notch cellar is straightforward to initiate and maintain.
1. It’s not just an inside job – Not cleaning the outside of pipes, chillers, FOB chambers and pumps will cause big problems in the future. These get build-ups of mould which over time can cause flavour taints as the chemicals some bacteria produce as they metabolise can pass through the plastic and into the serve.
2. Respect your bricks and mortar – Dirty walls, floors drains and sumps are a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause a musty/earthy taint to beer. Debris on floors from discarded keg seals, spilt beer/drinks/cardboard boxes etc. are nice places for bacteria to grow and vermin to hide. And anyway – who wants to wade across a sticky floor!
3. Clean your cleaning vessels – If you leave your cleaning vessels in between cleans with old water/line cleaner in them you are going to end up wasting a lot of time. The water will go stagnant and grow bacteria which means when you clean your lines again some of the line cleaner will be used up killing anything in the vessel, which will then give you less power when you introduce it to the lines.
4. Keep it chilled – Don’t switch your cooler off overnight. Beer needs to be stored between 10-13 degrees – anything more or less is going to cause a wastage of tainted beer and dented profits. It also costs a lot more in electricity as the cooler will have to work hard to cool the cellar again rather than just maintaining the temperature.
5. Seriously – keep it chilled – There’s no point investing in thermometers and then putting it in the wrong place. The quality of your serve relies on a constant, regulated temperature – make sure your thermometers are placed at cask height and away from airflow. Check the cellar temperature every day.
6. Your cellar is not a pantry/utility/store – Don’t store strong smelling cleaning chemicals in your cellar or use your cellar to store food – it’s asking for a carnival of cross-contamination and chemical permeation which will inevitable end up in a bad serve.
7. Don’t be an old soak – Never leave anything soaking for too long such as cask taps. These should be cleaned, dried and hung up on a dedicated storage board off the floor to keep them in a clean condition. For best practice don’t use 2 cleaning vessels at once (one for water, one for line cleaner) unless the one for water is cleaned thoroughly after each use.
It’s a cellar not a dungeon!
Best practice in cellar management is certainly worth pursuing. Once you have implemented the daily and weekly tasks they are not going to add appreciatively to your jobs list. The best news is that good practice is cost effective – the correct temperatures and cleaning regime protects the quality of your serve, avoids wastage and you will spend less money on your cleaning products as they will never have to work so hard.
If you have any stubborn problems in your cellar or your beer lines just ask our friends at CellarCraft.