Your beer cellar or keg store is a food storage area and should be kept clean and tidy at all times. Not only will it help to ensure your stocks are kept in optimum condition but you will also be able to work more efficiently. You cellar is for beer only – not a place to keep other foodstuffs or garden furniture, broken chairs, tools etc!
You cellar should be at the correct temperature of between 11º – 13º C.
Your cellar should be well lit and contain access to a sink with hot and cold running water.
Keep all cleaning containers clean, store cleaning chemicals properly and keep the cellar floor and walls clean. You should ensure the walls are treated or painted with an anti-fungal cleaner/paint.
Don’t forget to air your cellar on a daily basis for at least ten minutes a day.
Make sure all drains and sumps are cleaned weekly and clear of obstructions at all times – those pesky keg caps and cask ale pegs/bungs really need to be put in the bin!
Keep water hoses on their reel or securely tied up after use – they are a trip hazard.
Make sure all gas cylinders are correctly stored both when in use (full) and when empty, ensure all retaining chains are properly fitted and in use.
Keep all cooling fans clear of build ups of dust and remote cooler system grilles clear at all times.
Do not store empty bottles or empty kegs or casks inside your cellar this will only attract fruit flies etc. Reseal your casks when empty and when ordering stock ask your supplier for a bag of corks and pegs to help you do the job. At night turn off your casks breathers, just remember to open them again the next day.
For advice on how to keep fruit or filter flies at bay click here
Other Beer Cleaning Tips
Cleaning your beer-lines regularly will mean a lot waste, being a frugal publican I have always tried to recycle any product wasted via the pub kitchen … steak & ale pie, Guinness & steak pie, pork with cider … make sure you know what the kitchen is cooking and the kitchen knows when you clean beer-lines.
Line cleaner is also great for cleaning your cellar floor especially around your cask ales remember to rinse thoroughly and avoid contact in accordance with your COSHH policy.
If you sell real or cask conditioned ales always try to clean the lines as casks empty, whilst it may be tempting to just flush the line with water between cask changes, for the optimum in beer quality a full clean should be carried out every time. Very occasionally you will come across an ale that is particularly forgiving such as, Nottingham brewer, Castle Rock’s Harvest Pale, which I have been able to “run on”, but this has been an exception to the rule.
Download this free daily/weekly checklist from Cask Marque to keep your beers and cellar in tip top condition.
Top 10 Dispense Tips from Innserve
For further advice on how to reduce cellar cooling costs please click here.
To download a Free pdf of the Beer Line Cleaning process click here.
Once you’ve managed the basics, either by in-house training by your pubco/brewer (if you’re tied they will probably run an introductory course) or if you are running a freehouse and want further training, the British Institute of Innkeeping run cellar training BIIAB in most parts of the country.
Many true cask ale aficionados seek out pubs who are Cask Marque accredited, as the marque is a sign of quality assurance. To sign up to Cask Marque click here.