The Importance of Draft Maintenance #3
Off-flavors caused by the wrong draft line handling…
One of the main goals for draught maintenance is to keep your beer fresh, clean, and free of bacteria! Now there is this thing among beer connoisseurs called “Off-flavors”.
Off-flavors in beer can create unpleasant experiences for beer drinkers and stray from a brewer’s desired flavor profile. In simple terms, a beer off-flavor is any unintended flavor in the finished product. These off-flavors typically originate from raw ingredients, yeast or bacteria, or other contaminants in the brewing process or when hygiene is comprised in draught beer system. While some off-flavors are readily apparent, others take time to develop in beer.
Take Acetic Acid as an example: it’s an organic acid, a compound containing carbon with acidic properties, that is the product of various microorganism metabolism. It is the primary organic acid in vinegar, giving it its distinctive aroma and sour taste. For most beer styles, acetic acid is considered an off-flavor and should not be present. The best way to prevent acetic acid off-flavors is through cleaning all internal surfaces of a draft system.
Diacetyl is another organic contamination that makes the beer have a buttery aroma or taste and can be removed with proper cleaning. In some beers this is a flavor profile – but not in many.
There is Acetaldehyde, which makes your beer have a sour apple aroma, or Isovaleric Acid, which tastes like stinky cheese! We know what you are thinking – no thank you! The list of off-flavors is long!
“The good news is that they can often be prevented through proactive measures; good quality assurance practices and cleaning procedures can eliminate this as a problem.”, so draught maintenance expert Karl Braun. Thonhauser Gmbh offers multiple solutions of line as well as brewing tank cleaning products and Karl Braun can be contacted to help regulate and monitor the draft system and answer your questions.