After twenty plus years in the beer business, I still see bartenders repeating the same mistakes of twenty years ago, when pouring draught beer. Ignorance of best draught practices —and, by that, I mean not knowing— is inexcusable when draught is your product. A chef knows to (and how to) change fryer oil; a bar manager must know to (and how to) clean his draught lines and how to pressure-balance his draught system.
My offers of demonstration are sometimes met with indifference or annoyance. "I know how to pour a beer," I'm told, as I see profligate quantities of foaming profit poured down a bar drain, or as I taste a beer obviously tainted by a dirty line. Or as I am presented with a beer with no head whatsoever.
"That's how it's supposed to be," I'm told. Well, no!
I don't often post guest blogs from commercial sources, but this might be an occasion to make an exception. Here, from from Micro Matic —"the industry leader in draft beer equipment and draft beer systems"— is a look at five simple practices that can dramatically improve your draught service.
Top 5 Draft Beer Mistakes
- Dirty beer lines
- Poorly regulated temperature
- Poorly regulated pressure
The PSIG* at the keg using mixed gas normally ranges from 20 to 25 PSIG for ales and lagers, and up to 30-40 PSIG for stouts. To acquire equilibrium with stouts, a 25% CO2 / 75% nitrogen mix is ideal, and for ales and lagers a 60% CO2 / 40% nitrogen ratio is required. Domestic lagers from large American breweries will require up to a 75% CO2/25% N2 ratio. For specific details on individual beers, contact the brewery or the distributor from which you got the keg.
- Dirty glasses
- Improper pouring