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Pouring Profits, Proper Glass Care and Perfect Pints

Updated: Jul 11, 2023


Visiting a pub and discussing the quality of their pint can be an emotive subject on its own but add the suggestion that the glass cleaning process could be improved and you might not be sure of a welcome back. There are a considerable number of outlets who have had bad experiences with various glass washing processes and you’d be surprised how many still favour a wash cycle without detergent or where you see water that has simply been reused too many times in a machine. These methods aren’t borne out of not caring about glassware, quite the opposite, different approaches have been tried and failed and bar owners/managers are doing what they believe is best. Good news for publicans and their customers alike is that a well proven methodology endorsed by brewing giants including Heineken and Diageo which will ensure Beer Clean glasses every time and doesn’t rely on just the thermal cycle in the glasswasher for sanitisation is gaining favour.


In travelling the country, it’s the same common issues that can be found with beer glasses :

  • Lip stick marks

  • Pint head collapsing

  • Lack of gas break out, due to build-up of protein and yeast and non-rinsing film

  • Food grease traces

  • Make up and or tan residue

  • Gas clusters/bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass (from detergent residues/non-rinsing film)

The relationship between clean glassware and turnover

The quality of glass care impacts directly on your customer’s experience. A poorly washed glass that is not Beer Clean can adversely affect the taste and presentation of a drink. Good practice in glass care has been shown to hold the customer footprint for longer and increase revenue.



Glasscare also impacts:

Presentation:

We drink first with our eyes and good presentation is essential. The appearance of the glass should be crystal clear without any visible smudges or stains. A dirty glass can detract from the overall appearance of the drink, effecting the customers experience making it look unappetising and off-putting.


Taste:

Our sense of smell is responsible for 80% of what we taste, an un-clean glass

will have a detrimental effect in delivering the aromas intended by the brewers.


Waste:

Clean glassware is an efficient use of resources. Cleaned properly, glasses last longer and reports confirm fewer returned drinks.


How To Test For Beer Clean Glassware

Drinks Ireland describes a Beer Clean glass as, “free of visible soil and marks but also

free of foam-degrading residues, like soap, grease or fat.” After visually checking for

any residue or oils, test the glass with these three quick and simple standard

techniques; the sheeting, the salt, and the lacing test.



The Sheeting Test:

Start with an empty glass and dip the whole glass in water. If the glass is Beer Clean, water will evenly coat the glass (like a sheet) when removed from the water. If there is an invisible film, the water will break up into droplets on the inside surface.


The Salt Test:

Start with an empty glass and wet the inside of the glass. Then, sprinkle salt all over the inside. If the glass is beer clean, salt will adhere evenly to the surface of the glass. If there is any grease, oil, or residue, then the distribution of salt will be uneven.


The Lacing Test:

Start by filling a glass with beer. Immediately take note of the head size after pouring, and then as the beer is consumed, notice the ring patterns that form. If the glass is beer clean, the foam should adhere to the inside of the glass in a uniform pattern – parallel rings that form a lace pattern. There should be a lacing effect after every sip, the head should remain intact, and there should be no bubbles clinging to the side of the glass. If not properly cleaned, the foam will adhere in a random pattern or may not adhere at all.


The Perfect Pint poured from a Beer Clean Glass

A good glass care programme using the correct detergents and a well-maintained quality glass washing machine along with a couple of other simple steps produces a consistently good result. This will ensure you serve mouth-watering drinks time and time again. The methodology will reliably produce a ‘Beer Clean’ glass every time ensuring:

  • Great presentation, good head formation, colour and retention

  • Proper lacing and rings

  • Consistent gas breakout

  • Good sparkle and life in Lagers

  • No gas clusters/bubbles on glass walls

  • No “off” flavours.

Key System Components
  • Correct glass (within life expectancy, not damaged)

  • Cyclical glass renovation (remove residue/non-rinsing film build up)

  • Water Treatment (correct calcium levels)

  • Quash (rim clean -lipstick/food/fatty oil residue removal)

  • Basket use (good water access and dispersion)

  • Chemicals (correct dosage of high-grade glass detergent and rinse aid)

  • Glass Wash (water pressure and temperature, no food/milk presence)

  • Dry (Air Dried)

  • Store (not stacked, allow air circulation)


Five steps to continuous perfection

1. Treat:

Limescale and quality of water are key factors which if not right can inhibit the delivery of perfect results. Water treatments are not just beneficial, they are also necessary for delivering a Beer Clean glass, calcium treatment and water softeners are readily available to ensure that water quality is maintained. Over time non rinseable film, proteins and yeasts can build up on your glass ware. Cyclical deep cleaning with a renovation product will restore glassware and rejuvenate etched bases without leaving any residue or taint.


2. Prepare:

It is best to collect glassware as soon as possible after use. Always ensure residual liquids are emptied separately to avoid contaminating the water and that all glasses are empty of debris. With many different styles of glassware currently in use, it is important to ensure you are using the right basket to wash your glasses in. Coffee/Teacups, Food and Dairy residue should be kept away from your glasswasher. If glasses have traces of fat deposits or lipsticks, these must be removed with the use of Quash.


3. Wash:

It is important to look after your glass washing machine by following cleaning and maintenance procedures daily/ weekly. Ideally glass wash machines use a fresh water fill every cycle. Only use dedicated glassware detergents/rinse aids and those that are suitable for machine washing. The chemical dosage rate should be adjusted to ensure the glass wash machine is delivering the correct concentrations.


4. Dry:

Glasses should always be allowed to air dry without using a cloth or paper towels. Usually, glasses take up to 40 minutes to air dry, but can be shortened to under 10 minutes using an Airack powered air dryer. It is important not to stack glasses as this trap’s moisture, preventing the drying process. Glasses should be stored inverted and placed on plastic matting or glass racks to support the drying process.


5. Store:

The correct storage of your glassware contributes to the achievement of best results. Glasses should not be stacked and should be placed inverted on plastic matting or glass racks. This prevents cross contamination and dampness which results in negative effects on both presentation and taste.



Additional Resources
  • Download your free Glasscare SOPs and a handy 5 step printable guide here.

  • For more general information watch our know how videos and view the products available to help you deliver the Perfect Pint in Beer Clean glasses every time.





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