Are you cellar ready?
As re-opening draws nearer, you will soon reach ‘re-stocking the cellar’. We know there is a lot to remember, so thought we’d offer a few tips and some timely reminders to help things go smoothly, so you can concentrate on welcoming your customers back.
Take stock, before taking stock
It is worth taking the time to confirm what you have on site before you place any orders. We might be stating the obvious, but you don’t want to assume that the case of wine in the corner is full or that all stock at the back of the shelf is still in date.
- Set time aside to take a detailed inventory.
- Check expiry dates on items with a longer shelf life and rotate your stock according to date.
- Look for any damage that might have occurred during the downtime.
- Check stocks of cleaning products such as line cleaner, glasswasher detergent and dispense gas. Some of these items are going to be used before you even open up!
Access all areas
Before your first delivery arrives, ensure you haven’t put anything in the way while you’ve been closed. De-clutter, have a good tidy up and you’ll be ready to welcome the dray crew.
- Check access to the cellar is clear and unobstructed, both inside and out.
- Make sure drop mats and delivery equipment is in good condition and repair.
- Check walkways are free from obstruction and the floor area is dry and any drains are covered.
- Ensure your lighting is working.
This is the ideal opportunity to conduct a thorough clean of all areas in the cellar and at the bar that contribute to beer quality.
- Make sure you give all nozzles, taps, drip trays and surfaces a good clean.
- Check around and under stillages. Sticky beer deposits are a breeding ground for things that can spoil beer.
- Ensure that air flow around the cooler isn’t obstructed. Check they are clean and that the grills are free of debris, dust and fluff.
- Clean your bottle fridges before refilling, examining the door seals for any mould caused by condensation after you switched them off.
- Don’t forget to check your detergent, rinse aid and salt levels in good time, in case you need a top up. If necessary, clean your washer including door seals, nozzles and wash arms.
Back in the swing
Mallets at the ready… Don’t forget to set aside some time aside to care for your casks and please don’t leave it until the last minute. For the perfect pint, you should be getting ready three or four days out.
- Inspect your cellar cooling. Adnams recommends maintaining the cellar temperature between 11-13˚C.
- Check your stillage is clean and in working order before your cellar fills up.
- If you are using a self-tilting stillage, check your chains are in the correct position before loading up, to ensure you get the maximum yield, while reducing sediment in your lines. They may have become dislodged during cleaning or loading.
- Get your selected casks acclimatised and up on their stillage a few days before opening, to allow them plenty of time to settle, vent and condition before serving. After this process is complete, you can seal in all that freshness with a hard peg, and they’ll be ready and waiting in your cellar for you to connect on opening.
- Sample beer directly from the cask tap for clarity, aroma and taste before connecting the beer lines. It saves pulling through beer that isn’t quite ready and having to start over.
- Providing the cask lines were fully cleaned and closed down, you will just need to pull water or cleaning solution through the hand-pull and check the volume of liquid that comes through. It should normally be ¼ or ½ pint per pull depending on which model you have installed.
- Check your beer again at the bar, just to ensure there are no issues along the line that are affecting the quality.
The big switch-on
Your keg beer relies on several systems that haven’t been used for some time. Try and carry out checks no fewer than 3 days prior to reopening. That way, if you do have any problems when you turn things back on, there is sufficient time for maintenance to be carried out.
- Providing the lines were fully cleaned and sanitised before being blown to air and closed down, the beer dispense system will just need a regular line clean before you connect up to beer and turn the coolers back on.
- Check your keg couplers are clean before connecting.
Don’t fall at the final hurdle…
Our customers are anticipating a perfectly poured pint and we are looking forward to handing over that first glass. It’s been a while since it was used and if it is dirty, it could make your beer appear flat and unappealing.
- Inspect your glasses prior to service. If they aren’t sparkling clean or they smell a little dusty, give them a run through the washer and you are ready to go.