The effect of Ciders on Tap Beer Lines

Discussion in 'Other Beverages' started by ZAP, Sep 11, 2015.

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  1. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,791) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Has anyone else noticed this becoming an issue by you as ciders become more popular.

    I often run into draft beer lines at bars and restaurants that are infected by the remnants of the whatever cider they chose to run through that particular draft line previously.

    The places that I've noticed this at swear they have a guy who comes in often just to clean their lines. I'm not sure if this guy in my area is just doing a poor job or if this is a problem elsewhere and that it is just extremely hard to get those flavors out of the lines.

    I'd assume the way around this for bars/restaurants would be to just have cider designated lines that beer never touches but I'm not sure how practical this is as I am not in the business.

    Either way it's an issue in my neck of the woods and for the basic beer drinker who does not know better it gives a poor impression of a whatever beer is being infected. Just had a amber lager from a local brewery totally infected by apple. Bartender said..."Yeah no-one seems to like that one"...I ordered a pint and saw why. It tasted nothing like it should have.
  2. BrewlsRules

    BrewlsRules Initiate (25) Mar 24, 2015 Wisconsin

    If a place is going to put a cider on tap, it's perfectly practical to have a designated cider line, just like having a designated sour line.
  3. Vason

    Vason Initiate (124) Feb 19, 2008 Ohio

    Sugary and fruity libations will absolutely mess with lines in ways that standard cleaning methods can't easily get rid of. It's often recommended to simply replace the line if it's a short draw, or make said line dedicated to the style if it's long. I've heard of lines that ran even just a half keg of Not Your Fathers Root Beer getting absolutely caked with with stuff.
    Buckeye55, beergrrl and chcfan like this.
  4. alex_delany

    alex_delany Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2015 New York

    My regular craft bar has a dedicated cider line. Cider never touches the other 29 lines, as it will absolutely alter the flavor of beers poured through them.

    The same thing can be said for sours, but I'd think the number of sours on tap fluctuates too frequently for most bars to keep it at a standard. That's definitely on the person who cleans the lines.
    beergrrl and teckademic like this.
  5. lambpasty

    lambpasty Devotee (417) May 3, 2013 New Hampshire

    The only places I've had draft cider have them on separate lines just for draft cider. I've blended cider and beer before and sometimes it's pretty good (Woodchuck 802 and Sam Smith Chocolate Stout), but I want to be the one making that decision.

    I imagine they probably have to clean the lines more often too since there's more residual sugar vs beer.
  6. pinyin

    pinyin Disciple (361) Sep 19, 2013 New York

    one place in particular that I frequented for years has had a recent spate of tap line infections.

    not sure if it's from ciders or just general lack of food service sanitization standards training.
  7. OctoberPest

    OctoberPest Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2015 Connecticut

    Most places I go to have one dedicated cider line and wouldn't put a cider on any other line. Not that I would ever order cider, apple juice is for kids.
  8. marquis

    marquis Crusader (769) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    An interesting story from Bateman's Brewery , some years ago they brewed a beer called "Strawberry Fields" using added strawberies. But the strawberry taste lingered in the pipes and the brewery tried everything under the sun to remove the taint.The solution turned out to be cleaning the lines with cider.

    Many pubs have a dedicated cider handpump, others share the pump with regular beers with no great problems.

    Apple juice is what it was.After fermentation it becomes cider.
    You might as well say "I don't drink beer , barley is for cattle".
    Ozzylizard, Geuzedad, zid and 5 others like this.
  9. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (508) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    CLEAN YOUR LINES>DESIGNATE LINES FOR CIDERS & SOURS>>>>>keep doing a shitty job your competition will thank you. Nothing like sloppy practices to send your business into the sewer, and if your lines are funky, the evidence is clear you're headed for the sewers.
  10. Here4Beer

    Here4Beer Initiate (125) Nov 2, 2006 Nevada

    Cider/Fruit Lambic/Wild need their own lines, preferable a short draw where snipping the lines may be possible.
    Circulation pumps should also be used during line cleaning (don't just throw solution in the line to sit...) & juuuuuuuust wait until NYFRB & Coney are available on draft (within the next month).
  11. ChangSing

    ChangSing Initiate (147) May 5, 2013 Illinois

    Not Your Fathers absolutely destroys tap lines. It's really popular here in Chicago, and once it's on, you can never put anything else on that tap line..
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