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Cellar and Bar Checklist

Cask Marque has produced a checklist covering 10 areas you need to consider when it comes to looking after cask ale...

1. Hygiene

  •  Clean up any beer spillages immediately
  • Ensure the cellar is cleaned thoroughly once a week with an odour free cleaner
  • Wash all cask equipment after use and allow to air dry
  • Scrub shives and keystones with hot water before venting and tapping
  • Don’t store food in the cellar

2. Temperature

  •  Ensure the cellar is kept at a constant 11 to 13° centigrade
  • Keep the cellar door and drop closed at all times, other than to ventilate for 10 minutes each day

3. Deliveries

  •  Check the BB dates on casks and kegs: 14 days ahead of the BB date on cask, 20 days ahead of the BB date on Keg
  • Ensure the right size container is being delivered
  • Check there are no damaged or leaking containers
  • Operate a First In First Out system of stock rotation

4. Equipment Checks

  •  Top up remote ice bank coolers once a week
  • Brush any debris from the grills of coolers and fans
  • Clean auto tilts with hot water once a week
  • Top up Ale Python Control Units with water once a week
  • Clean keg couplers at the same time as line cleaning
  • Secure gas cylinders upright with chains or straps

5. Line Cleaning

  •  Clean all cask and keg lines every 7 days
  • Always flush beer from the lines with clean cold water before introducing line cleaning solution
  • Make up solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Agitate the solution through the lines at 10 minute intervals
  • Don’t leave the line cleaning solution in the lines for longer than an hour
  • Switch off glycol coolers 1 hour before the line clean
  • Flush line cleaning solution from the lines with plenty of water
  • Test no traces of solution are left in the lines by using litmus paper

6. Cask Conditioning

  •  Allow casks to settle for 24-48 hours after delivery before venting/tapping
  • If casks are on auto tilts, vent with a hard peg, replace with a soft peg, and tap at the same time
  • If using Cask Widge, drive the Widge through the keystone with a mallet and turn the lever to the ‘on’ position
  • Check Clarity, Aroma and Taste (CAT) 24 hours after venting. If not fully conditioned, leave the soft peg in, or the Widge valve open
  • When CAT sample passes the CAT test, hard peg or close the Widge valve to ‘off’ until ready to serve the beer
  • When on sale, use a soft peg, or ‘on’ valve during service, and hard peg or switch the valve to ‘off’ after service
  • Aim to each cask container within 3 days

7. Glassware

  •  Use a clean, cold, dry glass every time (branded if possible)
  • Only use the glasswasher for glasses
  • Clean the glasswasher thoroughly at the end of the night, drain the water, and leave the door open
  • Renovate glassware regularly
  • Ensure detergent and rinse aid are topped up in the glasswash machine
  • Use Quash to remove lipstick and grease from the rims of glasses

8. Perfect Serve

  •  Always hold the glass by the bottom half
  • For keg products, tilt the glass at a 45 degree angle, open tap fully and straighten as the liquid rises up the glass. Keep nozzle out of liquid
  • For cask using a bottom fill spout with sparkler attached: hold glass straight, sparkler at base of glass, and create head with first pull. Keep the sparkler beneath the surface of the head
  • For cask using a top fill spout with no sparkler, hold glass at 45 degree angle, spout above surface of beer and straighten the glass as it fills
  • Bottles and cans: hold glass at 45 degree angle and keep the neck of the bottle/can away from the rim of the glass

9. Serve Temperatures

  •  Regularly check the temperature of a sample of the draught beer with a probe
  • Cask: 11 to 13° centigrade
  • Lager: 2 to 5° centigrade
  • Keg Ale: 2 to 8° centigrade
  • Bottles and Cans: 4 to 6° centigrade

10. Personal Hygiene

  • Always wash hands before coming on shift, after smoking or eating and after visiting the toilet
  • Don’t wear heavy perfume, aftershave or handcream
  • Tie long hair back
  • Cover any cuts or abrasions with a coloured waterproof plaster


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