Correctly caring for beer

The brewing master is the one who
brews beer, while the tapster is the one
who makes it right.

Budweiser Budvar, N.C. puts maximum effort into brewing beer, follows traditional brewing procedures and lays great emphasis on using only the finest natural ingredients. The best brewing experts take care of the beer here. Many generations of consumers worldwide have appreciated the quality of beer produced in this brewery for more than a hundred years. On that account, a lot of further conditions must be met before the excellent beer that leaves our brewery is served on your table or in your facility in the same great quality. We have tried to provide you in a simple way with the description of the whole process of treating the beer in your outlet. We would like our “Care for our beer” instructions to become your everyday assistant.

Calculating the proper gas pressure

Product
Barrel temperature (°C)
Height difference of the tap - sud (m)
Length of the beer line (m)
Recommended gas
Recommended gas pressure (bar)
Pressure
if you can not use the recommended compressed gas
air
clean CO2
BIOGON 50
BIOGON 20

Storing our Beer

Ideally the best beer storage space is a clean, dry area free of mould and other contaminants with a drinking water supply and a drainage system suitable for handling regular wash downs. The area should be cooled to a temperature of 5–10 °C in the case of kegs and tanks. Bottles can be stored in a temperature of up to 15°C but should be kept away from sunlight as this can degrade beer. Mind temperatures of 2 °C and lower, as they may result in the turbidity of the beer. If you don’t have such an area available, try to at least find a place that will not cause harm to the beer. Don’t store it in the sun by the window, next to the heater, or behind the fridge (where the fridge dissipates heat). If you need to have your keg placed next to the refrigeration appliance, have it at least on the other side than where the appliance blows the warm air. And if you need to have the keg on the side where the refrigeration appliance dissipates heat, so at least create a partition, even if it´s only a piece of cardboard, between fridge and keg to keep the former from blowing on the latter.

TAP SYSTEM CONNECTION SCHEME

  1. Compression medium( (CO2, BIOGON, air compressor))
  2. Reducing valve
  3. Keg tap pump
  4. Insulated and cooled beer pipe bundle
  5. Couplers
  6. Flow cooling
  7. Draft beer tower
  8. Draft beer tap with a compensator
  9. Draining area
  10. Glass washer
TAP SYSTEM CONNECTION SCHEME

It is important to let the keg warm up or cool down at the temperature the keg is going to have during drawing at least for one day, as the type and pressure of the compressive medium are set in accordance with the temperature of the drawn beer in the keg.

Cooling our beer

The best place to store beer is in a cooled box or cellar at a temperature of below 10 °C. Additional cooling should only take place in order to maintain the temperature when the beer is getting to the tap system or to slightly cool the beer for a consumption temperature of 6–9 °C. The pipes, which are insulated with the pipes for cooling water circulation in what is known as a “python” bundle should be cooled in the same way. If you don’t have an area with a temperature of below 10 °C, find a place with the lowest temperature possible for your keg, as in areas with higher temperature the beer can get spoilt faster. A keg tapped at a temperature of 20 °C can get spoilt as early as in four days. Another solution is to order smaller kegs which can be changed faster thus reducing the risk of degradation.

Drawing our beer

The great brew-master knows how to create the perfect beer whilst the top barperson knows how to present it perfectly making every glass a shared triumph. Since it takes 100 days for the brew master to produce our pale lagerBudvar, the bar person should also devote some time to the beer.

Better than talking about how to pour a perfect Budvar carry out this experiment. Draw two pints for yourself, one in our recommended way, that’s three pours and the second one in one pour. Then taste the difference and you will realise why the best outlets go the Budvar three pour route.
The compensator allows adjusting the right beer flow
The compensator allows adjusting the right beer flow
The compensator opens downwards
The compensator opens downwards
Drawing beer in three pours is the traditional Czech way; before the modern tap systems were launched no other faster way had even been possible. Beer drawn in this way leaves no pressure in the stomach. It is therefore easier to drink, has a better aroma and looks better, so the guests will be willing to order it more often and with pleasure. Furthermore, this way of drawing is ideal for allowing the mild bitterness of Budweiser Budvar beer to stand out. This beer is the only beer in the Czech Republic hopped exclusively and entirely by using the whole Saaz hop cones of poloraný červeňák - a Rolls-Royce among all hops.

Drawing beer in three pours is quite simple:

1.

During the first pour, pour the beer from a height targeting the middle of the glass, where most of the beer turns frothy, filling the glass up to the top. Let a part of the head fragment.

Turning of the beer into froth, which fills in the whole glass
Turning of the beer into froth, which fills in the whole glass
2.

After the head level falls about 1-2 cm below the edge of the glass, fill the glass from a height until the low beer head rises. Let the head fragment again.

Topping up the glass with beer turning frothy again
Topping up the glass with beer turning frothy again
3.

When the head drops back to the glass rim and the total head height is about 5-6 cm, press the side of the glass to the mouth of the tap and pour the beer until the level is just below the mark, making an about 2-centimetre tall head rise above the glass edge.

Adding beer to raise the level
Adding beer to raise the level

Although the beer level is below the mark, the beer will reach the mark, as it is “hidden” in the head and by further fragmentation of the head it will return to the glass. When practising drawing beer, let the head fragment completely so that you learn how close you must pour the beer towards the mark.

If you happen to be very busy, you can start drawing the beer, then do something and gradually finish the pours. There is usually spare time of about 1-2 minutes between the pours. If a guest is in a hurry and wants to have the beer faster, you can leave out the second pour, filling the beer below the mark straight away after it turns frothy. However, you must warn such guests that they will consume substandard quality beer at their own request.

Bottled beer:

We recommend pouring beer from a bottle in the same way as tapped beer - in three steps. Beer poured in such a way is hardly distinguishable from drawn beer. The guest is served a nice glass of beer with a firm head and can consume it straight away, without having to struggle with pouring this frothy beverage.

Pouring beer in three steps is quite simple:

1.

At first pour the beer from a height targeting the middle of the glass, where most of the beer turns frothy, filling the glass up to the top. Let a part of the head fragment.

2.

After the head level falls below the edge of the glass, fill the glass from a height until the low beer head rises. Let the head fragment again.

3.

When the head drops back to the glass edge level, pour the beer until the level is just below the mark, making an about 2-centimetre tall head rise above the glass edge.

Although the beer level is below the mark, the beer will reach the mark, as it is “hidden” in the head and by further fragmentation of the head it will return to the glass.

Care for beer glassware

Beer can only be drawn into a washed and chilled glass. If the glass isn’t washed, the beer head will fall fast. Even after the beer has been consumed the glass must be washed, as beer contains trace amounts of fatty substances which stick to the glass and would destroy the head of the next beer poured.
If the glass isn’t chilled by rinsing with cold water, unsightly streaks of bubbles will occur on the glass sides and the head will be less firm as well as thinner.
Wash the glasses using a clean non-greasy sponge or brush and a detergent, which must be thoroughly rinsed from the glass. A suitable detergent will be recommended to you by the service technician. In case you run out of the recommended detergent, mind that not all detergents are suitable for beer glassware, since some of them can destroy the beer head. You can find it out by carrying out a single experiment. Pour a bit of beer froth into a glass and instil a drop of the tested detergent. If the froth rapidly fragments around the drop, the detergent is not suitable.

 

Daily care for the tap system

The tap system requires everyday care, like the dishes in the kitchen. Leaving beer in the pipes overnight is the most harmful. Your guests love the beer, so do, regrettably, bacteria and unknown yeast, such as Brebercus birraspoilus (colloquially referred to as ‘cooties’). When the beer pipes are not used during the night, these ‘cooties’are not washed out of the pipes and can have a party, drink beer and reproduce, making a scum on the inside of the pipes and releasing acids into the beer. Subsequently they break off from the pipes, making the beer turbid. Additionally, they can swim upstream, contaminating the whole barrel. So thwart their party and pour some water into the pipes overnight!

Even though pouring water into the pipes may seem unfavourable, it actually brings only benefits and needn’t result in beer loss. The advantage of filling the pipes with water lies in the fact that the first beer tapped the next day will be fresh and not cloudy or stale. Furthermore, the smell and look of the water which comes out of the system in the morning will give you a hint as when to sanitise the tap system so that you don’t need to pay for unnecessary and untimely sanitisation.

Before the closing hour you can estimate how much beer will be consumed and you also know how much beer is left in the pipes. Therefore simply connect the keg tap pump to the rinsing water supply in time; the water then pushes the beer and you can pour it into the last glasses. The beer will not get mixed with the water, as you will recognise the transition from beer to water according to the colour change.

At the same time rinse the tap from the outside using a glass of water. After disconnecting the keg tap pump, remove the beer remains from the keg garniture by rinsing with enough water and drying. If you left some beer in the garniture, it could go off by the next day, and you could contaminate the whole keg when connecting the keg tap pump, which could then be spoilt by the evening.

Draft beer tap with a compensator called the stopcock
Draft beer tap with a compensator called the stopcock
The night party of the ‘cooties’ in the beer pipes.
The night party of the cooties in the beer pipes.
When rinsing the pipes, use a sufficient amount of water - you can even use a whole bucket. Using the compensator and reverse run, rinse all the corners of the tap system.
It’s good to rinse the beer pipes with several litres of water.
It’s good to rinse the beer pipes with several litres of water.

Next morning tap again the keg tap pump onto the keg and push the water out of the pipes. The tap system is clean and needs no sanitation if the running water is clean and free of bad smell and turbidity in the morning. Anyway, we recommend having a sip of the beer before drawing, making sure that everything is all right.

If you find out in the morning that the quality of the water has been decreasing, the tap system must be sanitised using an alkaline cleaning agent within two days.

Important notice:

If you by chance don’t manage to put water into the beer pipes for the night, do not in any case disconnect the keg tap pump from the keg garniture as you would contaminate the keg with the dirty keg tap pump and keg garniture the next day. Only close off the compression medium and rinse the tap by immersing it into a glass of water. Nonetheless, you need to check whether the beer coming from the pipes isn’t cloudy the following day. If the beer is turbid, call the service immediately and have your tapping system sanitised, so that you don’t sell bad beer. Drawing the beer out of the pipes is not sufficient. If you don’t sanitise the pipes immediately, you are in serious danger of the contamination growing to the keg, spoiling it completely.

Sanitisation of the tap system

The need to sanitise the tap system is very individual. A pub which regularly fills up its beer pipes with water for the night and has its kegs chilled can do with sanitisation once a month. On the other hand, a pub where the pipes are not rinsed and its beer is stored in a warm environment must sanitise its tap system every week. Sanitisation is needed if you see that the rinsing water comes out turbid from the system in the morning. When you don’t fill up your beer pipes with water, sanitisation is needed if spoilt beer comes out of the pipes in the morning. Sanitisation is also essential if the beer has gone off in the keg, since the bad beer strongly contaminates all the corners of the tap system. What is important – do not connect back the bad keg after the sanitisation as you would contaminate the whole tap system again.

The sanitisation itself should be carried out by professionals, who know how to take apart the tap and have all the required tools. If you would like to handle the sanitisation barrel yourself from time to time, follow these steps:

1

Rinse the tap system with water (at least a bucket).

2

Prepare a sanitisation solution in the keg in the amount five times higher than the total volume of the pipes.

3

Fill the tap system with the sanitisation solution so that only a minute amount of it comes out of the tap.

4

Allow the solution to work for 5 minutes and then let out an amount equal to the volume of the pipes.

5

Repeat the previous step 4 x, efficiently using the whole volume of the sanitisation solution, resulting in the fresh sanitisation solution having effect on the pipes for a longer time.

6

Cleanse the entire tap system with plenty of water (at least two buckets).

However, at least every second sanitisation should be carried out by service technicians who will take apart the tap, meticulously cleaning it and lubricating.

Compressed gas

If you draw a keg within three hours of it being tapped you don’t need to worry about the choice of compression medium, as you can simply use air from the compressor. It only must be an oil-free compressor for the food industry. If you draw from a keg more than 3 hours after tapping you will need to select a suitable compression medium, which will not harm the beer.
The compression medium has two main tasks: to keep the carbon dioxide in the beer and carry the beer from the keg to the tap. The first task will be carried out only by the exact pressure of the carbon dioxide (CO2), while the pressure of nitrogen (N2)will be instrumental in the second task.

If the beer temperature in the keg is higher than 20 °C, or if for instance there isn’t any height difference between the keg and the beer tap, the necessary pressure of the nitrogen is insignificant compared to the needed pressure of the CO2 and the pure CO2is thus the ideal compression gas. Provided that you would use a compound of nitrogen and CO2 in the mentioned circumstances, the beer could lose CO2 and get saturated by nitrogen as well as making a low milky head during the drawing of the last pints of beer from the keg being drawn.

The compound of nitrogen and carbon dioxide is useful, when the temperature of the beer in the keg is lower than 15 °C and when the kegs are stored in the cellar far from the tap system. To determine the most suitable compression gas and the right pressure, you must know the temperature of the beer in the keg, the height difference between the keg and the beer tap and the length of the beer pipes.

A reducing valve used to adjust the pressure of the compression medium in compliance with the beer temperature.
A reducing valve used to adjust the pressure of the compression medium in compliance with the beer temperature.

Give these parameters to your sales representative or enter them in the calculation programme.

FAQ - The most common problems in the care for beer

Problem Possible cause Solution
When being drawn the beer is not frothy enough The beer is too cool Increase the temperature of the refrigeration appliance
The keg has been in use for too long with low CO2pressure Increase the CO2 pressure in the compression medium or order smaller kegs
The compression medium is unsuitable

Select a compression medium with a higher proportion of CO2 see the self-calculating programme

When being drawn the beer is too frothy The beer is being drawn too fast and breaks too much on the glass Decrease the beer flow by adjusting the compensator
Too many bubbles being released in the tap system

Increase the pressure of the compression medium or opt for different compression medium, see the self-calculating programme.

The head is not firm and falls quickly A dirty glass Wash the glass in a recommended way even after the previous beer, as traces of the substances that make the froth coagulate can remain on the glass sides
The temperature of the beer or the glass is too high Keep the temperature of the beer below 10 °C. Rinse the glass with cold water
Drawing method is incorrect We recommend drawing the beer in three pours
The beer can´t be dispensed at all/span> If only froth and compressed gas splutter out of the tap, the keg is empty. Tap a new keg
If only a thin flow comes out of the tap, the compensator is too tight or the compressed gas supply is shut down. Loosen the compensator, or open the supply of the compression medium
If nothing comes out, the reversing valve in the keg tap pump is wrongly turned. Ensure the reversing valve is in the correct position
The first beer pulled from the pipes is turbid Contaminated beer pipes Have the beer pipes sanitised and instruct the staff on the correct daily care of your dispense system
The next beer from the keg is turbid A contaminated keg Have the beer pipes sanitised before tapping a new keg. If you do it the other way round you may well contaminate the new keg as well!