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The More You Know...(Contains Important Beer Info)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, May 15, 2010.

  1. Dcc001

    Dcc001
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    I posted this already here, but upon request from some rep I'm expanding on it.

    What You Didn't Know About Draft Beer
    Draft beer doesn't make you sick (headache-y, hung over, etc). The restaurant's draft system does. Most restaurants and places that are licensed to sell draft beer (think hockey arenas) don't give a shit about their draft system, and as a result they essentially poison people and everyone thinks it's the beer. Not so.

    Beer is like milk - it can spoil. Therefore, to prevent this, several things must be done:
    - Have the lines cleaned REGULARLY. Our pub did it every two weeks. That's a $300 charge that restaurants hate paying, so often they don't. Imagine milk being piped through a plastic line and that line never being cleaned...yeah. Ew.
    - Refrigerate the line all the way to the tap. Most places keep the keg room cold, but there's about five pints in the lines going from the keg to the tap that's often unrefrigerated. If it's allowed to sit at room temperature those first five or six pours will contain disgusting amounts of bacteria. This is what makes you sick and headache-y.
    - The bartender allowing the pour to touch the tap. A small thing but if the guy pulling pints is letting the glass rest high enough so that the tip of the tap is in the poured beer, it's allowing bacteria to build up just inside the tap. Bacteria = sick.

    When the above things happen and you drink the beer, often what you get is a form of food poisoning. You wake up sick to your stomach and aching all over, and you either blame the chicken wings (or whatever), or you think to yourself "draft beer always makes me ill!" This is not the case. You want good draft beer? Ask the place you're ordering at how often they clean the lines. When they stare at you like a deer in the headlights, go elsewhere.

    Under Pressure
    Another thing restaurants should do, but often don't, is use the proper gas. Draft systems are pressurized. There are three ways typically used:
    - the bar owner goes down to Canadian Tire (or wherever) and buys the $199 air compressor on sale. There are two problems with this. First, air is not inert (more on that later) and the carbon dioxide reacts with the beer to a small extent. More importantly is the location of the air compressor. Is it put outside in the fresh air? Nope. It's stuffed in the musty mechanical room. That is the air that's being pushed through the beer, and if you ever see a pint of Guinness with a grayish head, you know what's going on.
    - the gas from the pop/soda/cool drink system. Coke and Pepsi supply CO2 for free! Woot! We'll run all the draft systems off that! It's the cheapest way to go, and most places do this. Problem is that CO2 reacts with beer. To use Guinness again, if you ever see a pint of Guinness that looks like it's sort of collapsing in on itself, that's because of the CO2.
    - pressure the system with inert gas, like nitrogen. It's expensive. It requires a special supplier. HOWEVER, it's sterile and does not react with the beer, nor does it interfere with the flavour. This is what SHOULD be done.

    Focus: Any other day-to-day minutiae that we should know?
     
  2. PeaMan

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    Wow - I have never heard of people getting actually ill from draft beer, I guess the pubs here in the U.K (at least the ones I go to) do a better job of cleaning the lines. 2 of my uncles were landlords at one time, and they taught me about how to keep beer, and the system for having draft beers.

    One thing I have noticed is that most pubs these days have bad pumps/pressure. You should be able to pull a pint of ale in 2-3 pulls of the pump. In most places now it takes more like 6-7 because of pump and pressure issues. This leads to all sorts of shit in the beers as sediment gets stirred up from in the bottom of the barrel, and this leads to more spoilage. My Universities union bar is really bad when it comes to this. Luckily I have a pub not 10 minutes walk away that has one numerous CAMRA awards (Campaign for real ale).
     
  3. silway

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    I think I may have posted this on the old board, I don't recall.

    The following applies to Massachusetts (and learned in the city of Revere so local policies may affect it), but I wouldn't be surprised if it was true in other states too.

    If you hit a pothole in MA you should know the following things. One, you have 30 days to file a presentment claim with the town the pothole was in. There's a form their town hall likely has. Two, if the road was actually a state road and not a city road, you have to file with the state. Three, unless you live in the town where it happened, you're screwed.

    Why?

    Well, the way the law and court cases are written, potholes are either small enough that the town will be ruled not to have notice that it existed in order to go fix it (they need to know about it to be liable for it) or it will be so big that you will be at fault for not having noticed it yourself while driving. There's basically no, or miniscule, in between space where the town will actually be ordered by a court to pay. Therefore, the only way the damage to your car is going to get reimbursed is if the City Solicitor of the town cares about you being upset and that only happens if you live in the town and can thus actually vote in local elections/ballots. Also, there's likely a claims budget that he has to work with that only allows him to pay X amount per year in these sorts of claims so he's paying attention to that. There are times where, even if a claim is reasonable, a city might deny it in order to force you to sue them more formally. When that happens, if you win, the money comes from a different budget so the Solicitor might do that for accounting reasons.

    So yeah, if you hit a pothole, live in the town or know the mayor.
     
  4. Slambrarian

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    I have a friend who is a plumber while renovating a bar once they discovered very long tapeworms in the beer taps. They NEVER cleaned the lines - who knew how long they had been in there. Luckily, I hate this bar and had only been there once or twice and had warm canned beer each time - one of the reasons why I hated the place.
     
  5. Solaris

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    In my home town of Burnley, there was a delightful little ex-irish bar that sells cans of beer as well of pints. Never seen it anywhere else, best thing is, they upsell the cans too!

    "A pint of Carling please"
    "Sure you don't want a can, it's 30p cheaper!?"
    "Dead on"
     
  6. Decatur Dave

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    "No matter how much I drink, my thirst for your domestic swill is never quenched!"

    Actually, that's a great excuse for one's alcoholism... An alcoholic tape worm.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Kubla Kahn

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    Im never drinking a draft beer again. Thanks fuckfaces.
     
  8. awwwSNAP

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    For real. What the fuck. That may be the single most disturbing thing I've seen on this board. I have to buy bottles now at bars? How am I gonna explain "I don't want to get a pitcher with yall because I read on the internet once that FUCKING TAPEWORMS may be hiding inside the beer lines waiting to sneak their way into my digestive tract"? Heinous.
     
  9. shegirl

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    I knew there were more good reasons out there as to why I don't drink the stuff.
    HAHAHAHA! Fuckers! Always giving me shit about it, calling me snooty or "too good for beer". Suck it. I WIN! Oh wait, what's that there....that little tip of something hanging out in the corner of your mouth..after your swig? IT'S A TAPEWORM!!!! How's that goin' for ya?

    I may be a little bitter about this having gotten shit for years about not drinking/liking beer. I'll drink an Ultra every once in a while but that's really only if I need to burp.
     
  10. effinshenanigans

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    I, for one, welcome our new tapeworm overlords.

    But seriously, if it's as bad as you guys are saying that it is, I figure at this point I've probably drank something floating through one of those lines that's way worse than a tapeworm that killed them off long ago. Now my insides are probably protected by a motorcycle gang of renegade bacteria that demands beer as it's payment to continue protecting me from the other stuff that I've injested.
     
  11. Beefy Phil

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    Seriously. I found out a long time ago how much shit and semen resides on pretty much any surface one might touch in a given day. At some point, you kind of have to say "Fuck it" and live your life.
     
  12. Racer-X

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    I'm pretty sure draft beer will give you a hangover just like a canned or bottled beer. Alcohol causes a hangover and beer has alcohol in it.

    As far as tapeworms go, they would not be able to live in beer lines. Tapeworms don't have a digestive system so they are not able to break down food (or beer) into usable components. They rely on their host to do this for them. Other types of worms could probably live in beer lines but it's unlikely that they would also be able to survive in the human body.

    Also, what Beefy Phil said, everything in the world is covered in shit so don't worry about it unless you want to turn into Howard Hughes.

    Interesting, if unrelated, intestinal parasite fact: 1 in 4 humans are infected with roundworms; they don't normally cause any symptoms so most people that have them don't know it.
     
  13. cdite

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  14. Dcc001

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    Yup, you are correct. The UK has laws regulating how often it must be done. Here in Canada (and I assume the States), it's at the bar owner's discretion and quite often keeping things cheap cheap cheap wins out.

    Oh, and obviously you can get hung over from any kind of alcohol. When I said draft beer doesn't make you 'hungover and achy,' I was referring to the phenomenon most people have experienced that goes like this: "I don't get it! I only had two glasses of beer last night and I feel like SHIT! How can I be so hung over when I didn't even get drunk?" Food poisoning, that's how.
     
  15. scotchcrotch

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    The only thing I remember from the Sweetwater brewery tour is that all of the big brewers-Coors, Budweiser, Miller pasteurize their beer and Sweetwater doesn't.
     
  16. slippingaway

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    The original post about CO2 not being good for beer at all isn't entirely true. Most beers are brewed so that they produce their own CO2, in lagers (which Bud, Miller, and Coors all are) the brewers actually use a process called "krausening" or "krauesening" to boost levels of CO2 in the beer just prior to bottling. For those beers, using CO2 in the tap lines is the proper way.

    Guinness (and other stouts), however, should always be pressurized with nitrogen. That little ball rattling around in the empty can of Guinness? That's a little plastic ball that contained pressurized nitrogen. When you opened the can, the nitrogen from the ball escaped, causing the tiny, tiny nitrogen bubbles that give Guinness its signature frothy head.

    The company I work for makes the food-grade tubing that is used in the tap systems, and nobody cleans or replaces the tubes nearly as often as they should. Sometimes you're lucky if they even bother to buy FDA approved tubing at all.
     
  17. WWSwagger

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    I'm surprised at how everyone is talking about the frequency of cleaning keg lines being up to the bar owner. I can only speak to the state I sell in, but our sales reps are responsible for ensuring the lines for our products are cleaned wherever we have a tap handle. This is true for the other companies that operate here as well. I have a set time at some places (larger beer bars with 50 plus taps) that the bud guy/miller-coors guy/etc.. know not to show up to clean their lines because someone from our company will be working them.
    I find it odd that some places leave it up to the bar/restaurant owner. The people with their product on tap should be the ones making sure that it's being taken care of properly.
     
  18. fleafly

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    I must say I'm really having second thoughts about drinking tap beer ever again. I guess the only thing that makes me not worried about it is that I usually drink the seasonal beer so I would imagine that the lines would be cleaned when the seasonal beer changes.
     
  19. Guy Fawkes

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    Do you use plastic cutlery in your day to day life? Plastic forks, knives, spoons, plates, etc?

    If you knew where half of it was made you wouldn't.

    The majority of these items are what are called "squirt n pack" plastic products. Meaning that they're taken fresh from the plastic molding machine, handled, and then packed into cardboard cartons for shipment to the shelves of either a retailer or end user.

    Since these items have extremely low profit margins they are mostly molded in older hydraulic powered machines and old molds. These machines leak oil, fluid, and the molds themselves rupture cooling lines which basically run air cooled (and contaminated) nasty ass water through the entire plant.

    The plastic used is very often a mix of virgin material and regrind. Regrind is exactly what it sounds like. Reground plastic that has already been used but has spent plenty of time in a dirty, grease, rodent, etc contaminant filled area waiting to be used for the next batch of sporks.

    The folks handling these things aren't exactly super concerned about cleanliness either. Sure they're wearing a hairnet but the hands that are touching the products are often ungloved and working in an industrial environment with all the the same contaminants as I listed for the plastic.

    I've been in dozens of facilities and I'd use the products of maybe 10% of those that I've visited.
     
  20. Crown Royal

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    The Great Can-Am Debate

    Q: Is Canadian Beer stronger than American beer?

    A: Yes, but not by nearly much as you think. American beer is brewed differently than Canadian beer, and because of the foriegn difference measurements get mixed up. Therefore, a 4% American beer is equal in octane to a 5% Canadian beer. Canadian beer is not even close to strong. Austrailian, German and Irish beers can be rolled up and smoked. The Czechs drink 10 times per capita than we do.

    Q: So why all the hub-bub from Canucks about Canadian Beer?

    A: Because it tastes better than any fucking beer on the planet, asshole. Canada takes twice as much pride in brewing than any country because of the domestic pride for it. Canadians originally started brewing ales because of the Scottish, Irish and English inluences. Americans were apt through their German and Slavic immigrants to make the much more palatable Lager, which Canadians leaned toward and became better at than the Americans. The Canadians leaned away from bottom-fermented ales but used it's dark qualities to make outstanding lagers, while Americans made their lagers more anemic and gave it names "Lite" or "Perrier".

    Q: "Lite" American beer? Is there any other kind?

    A: Last time I checked, no.

    The above is based by opinion only, so let's not throw down the gauntlet too much here. There are plenty of American beers I love, just to name a few:

    Rolling Rock
    Miller Genuine Draft
    ...and nothing else. Literally. It boggles the mind that beers as lousy as Sam Adams or Michelob even exist.

    A question for Americans:

    Is Colorado's Fat Tire really that good, or is it just the next flavour-of-the-moment douchebag "Hey! Look At Me!" drink like Michelob Ultra or Grey Goose?