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Thread: Consistency in the brewhouse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    60

    Consistency in the brewhouse

    I have just started working at a brewpub (Specific Mechanical Systems 10 bbl system, 4 open and 1 closed fermenter, coldroom serving tanks) as a brewer's assistant. The owners are sighting a consistancy problem with the brews (customer and employee testimonials) which has been at the brewpub
    for several years now. Does anyone know of a general checklist for
    producing brews consistantly. We don't filter our beer (isinglass in the serving tanks). Jobs are on the line - your response appreciated.



    From: Scott R. Spurgeon (s_spurgeon@hotmail.com)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    60
    What is it the customers are complaining about ? Is it for example, the clarity, the bitterness, other flavours, the alcohol level, or what.

    Basically, any variable quantity or quality will have an effect. However, some have a greater effect than others. Sort out the immediate problem first.

    The checklist is so large throughout the whole brewing process, it would be useful to have few more pointers to the problem.


    From: Dick Murton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    60
    I've narrowed down my list to water analysis, cleaning the brewhouse, replacing most hoses and beer lines, and reviewing the recipies. The reason I asked... is that I thought someone might have a detailed checklist already at hand.

    thx -S-


    From: Scott R. Spurgeon ()

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    32

    inconsistency in flavor

    Scott,

    Developing a QA plan for your brewery, no matter what size, is always a good idea. Check out Charlie Bamforth's new book Standards of Brewing Practice to get you started.

    As for something more immediate, what is inconsistent? Color, flavor, clarity, carbonation? More info would help.

    Chip

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    ridgecrest, ca
    Posts
    11

    Consistant Product

    Having trained a great many staff. I would like to suggest being timely, especially in your boil, and hop additions. Reduce fermentation temperature to reduce esters, keep a flavor profile on your brews. Pubs have to make changes gradually!

    Cheers and Blessings
    Faustino

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    64
    Eat more fiber.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    3

    Consistency in the brewhouse

    Being particulary interested in brewing microbiology and it's role in consistency, how many brewers here keep track of their yeast and how accurately? Do you order it from a supplier and depend on their consistency or do you propigate it yourself? If you propigate it yourself, do you check it against earlier strains to see if it has changed and how?

    Secondly, Scott brought up an important point

    Originally posted by Guest
    I've narrowed down my list to. ...replacing most hoses and beer lines...
    From: Scott R. Spurgeon ()
    I don't know if that was his problem, but I've noticed huge differences between brews I've had at the brewery and the same brew at a random restuarant. Since I haven't found much funding to do brewing research, I'm not sure if the fault lies in the hosing of the restaurants or if it's another problem. I do know that there have been some problems linked to hose/beer lines, is there anyone out there working on a better keg/hose/tap system that relies less on the cleanliness of the people serving your beer or is this a consistency issue that needs the microbrewery share of the market to grow much, much more before it is addressed?

    -Sam

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Tadcaster, Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    1,057
    Re consistency problems arising from pub dispense systems. No, it is not a problem just related to micro brewers. The big boys in the UK when they owned breweries and 6000 pubs still got it horribly wrong.

    It all comes down to training and the integrity of the guy running the bar. Convince the guy what that beer should taste like, and that it is more cost effective to pour a little down the drain to clean the lines properly, and regularly, and to install the corerct chillers etc, and that is more than half the battle. Getting the guy to order only just enough to last until the next delivery from the brewery, and to use the stock oldest first is another key area.

    If the guys will not clean the lines regularly and properly then you are on a hiding to nothing.

    Beer lines should last years if correctly installed, and more to the point, maintatined, even when dispensing unfiltered beer through them.

    Cheers
    dick

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    32

    draft dispense systems

    Dick,

    Could you suggest some good general resources on creating and maintaining a small to medium draft system with about 6 taps?

    Thanks,

    Chip

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    76
    First thing that I would do is to get the Five Star Chemical Line Cleaning Kits. At my previous job at a small micro, we used this system to clean lines before we went on tap and whenever there were any problems. In one instance, one of our best customers was having a foaming problem with our product. This account had there lines 'professionally cleaned' every two weeks. After using this three part system, we had large chunks of material coming out in the final rinse. I showed the owner of the bar the results and he immediately invested in his own line cleaning equipment and we hooked him up with Five Star for the cleaner.

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