Stable beer in kegs
I have a small brewery here in Rome Italy and have recently begun. I have a client who buys my beer and the beer never is as good as it should be after more than 1 week or so. I blame the fact that the celler where the beer kegs are kept is too hot. 27-29C (here they don't have many large coolers) What else could be wrong. The beer clears out well before kegging and I havent started filtering. After a week my pale ale looks like a hefewiezen. Should I consider filtering if so at what level? Thanks in advance
From: MIke Murphy (Romabrew@libero.it)
HI,SOUNDS LIKE YOU KNOW ALREADY THE PROBLEM,ITS TO WARM TO STORE THE BEER.IT STARTS FERMENTING AGAIN.HOWS THE TASTE-FRESH OR SAUR COULD IT BE A INFECTION DONT LET YOU GET SIDETRACKED FROM THE HOPFLAVOUR.IF YOU SAY THE BEER IS ALMOST CLEAR BY KEGGING THEN IT ISENT A SECOND SUGERREST[MASHPROCESS]OR TO MUCH PROTEIN.YOU REALLY SHOULD THINK ABOUT A SMALL FILTER AND FILTER IT SO FINE AS POSSIBLE FOR THE HEAT IN ITALY[I WOULD DO IT PROBABLY JUST FOR THE OUTSIDE CUSTOMER[KEG]LET IT UNFILTERT FOR THE PUB CUSTOMER,ITS A BETTER TASTE.GOOD LUCK,BELLA ITALIA,CHEERS
From: Harald Mois
your main problem has already been pointed out.
Without filtration your beer will stay fine by
probably 5°C, better down.
So, that might be a good known problem,caused
by the handling of your product by the customer.
Temperatur!,short delivery terms,...?)
Your problem is getting bigger, if the effect is
caused by your hanling.You mentioned, that your
beer is fine bevore kegging it. So the problem
must! lay in your kegging process!!!
Therefore it would be helpfull to know more
about it.How works your cleaning and filling process???
If you can`t solve your problem on technical way by
finding the cause, you have do do more for
your product!(Filtration!, Mashprocess,...).
Therefore the the text of Matthew Letki is excellent.
You have two major problems, probably more.
Firstly, if you have not sterile filtered, or filtered and pasteurised the beer (heaven forbid) then you have residual yeast in your beer, even if it
looks visually bright. You have what is known as a naturally conditioned
ale, or "real ale / beer" to use the UK CAMRA terms. The residual yeast is then fermenting in the keg, at any temperature, let alone the sort of temperatures you mention. Unless you have fermented out fully, which is highly unlikely, and does sound as if it is happening, the yeast will then grow madly, giving hazes and off flavours.
Secondly you probably have bacterial growth which will cause hazes and horrible off flavours including acetic and possibly butyric flavours.
Thirdly, it is possible that the the owner of the bar is not keeping the beer lines scrupulously clean is he seriously expects beer of any sort to be fit for sale after storage in those conditions. This will lead to a rapid build up of yeast and bacterial growth in the serving lines which will rapidly spoil the beer.
I would suggest that teh cellar is grossly overstocked if it is staying there for that length of time.
Suggested solutions -
Don't sell your beer there whislt present conditions prevail. This is a serious comment as if anyone tastes dreadful beer there, they will never even consider trying it anywhere else - so you will destroy your reputation
- or create one for extremely poor beers.
Get cooling installed in the cellar - 15 deg C absolute tops - preferably 10 deg C. This will improve the quality of all his beers, and probably make dispense easier.
Filter the beer when the beer temperature is less than zero degrees C, and has been for 24 hours minimum.
Reduce the stockholding so the maximum time between delivery and the keg being completely emptied is reduced, ideally to less than 7 days.
Ensure the beer lines are pulled through with water every night at the end of a session so that the residual yeast in the beer does not have a chance to grow.
If you cannot filter the beer, use isinglass finings on transfer to cold store tank to get a very compact dense sediment. Draw that off until it is bright, before putting into kegs, and then gas up if necessary.
Store kegged beer in your own brewery at no more that 10 deg C, ideally somewhat less for no more than a couple of days before despatch to customer.
I don't believe your problem lies in protein hazes. Whilst you may have this, most of your problem will be yeast and bacterial growth.
I cant find the finings suppliers email at present. Give me a shout if you want it - the firm is AB Vickers, Dallow Works, Burton, England.
From: Dick Murton