On the days when I am working in the Starr Hill tasting room, I probably fill anywhere between 20 and 50 growlers, and while most of them are fine, we probably get about 5 or 6 every shift which are a pain in the arse to fill. Sometimes the problem comes from the shape of the growler itself, thin necks are more difficult to fill with our setup than the wider type that we use, but more often than not it is because the growler is not properly clean. Quite often it is enough to give the growler in question a quick rinse, but again, more often than I would like, it is because of a layer of caked on crap which would need a pneumatic drill to get through.
So, as a public service announcement, and in order to stop muttering to myself in Czech when behind the bar, here is the best way to keep a growler clean.
- Drink the beer
- Immediately rinse growler with HOT water
- Fill growler with hot water
- Put half a scoop of plain Oxi-Clean into the growler
- Shake growler vigorously (think St Vitus Dance)
- Leave overnight, with the swing top open to avoid exploding growlers
- Rinse with more hot water several times
- Drain upside down
- If you don't use the growler for a while, leave the top open so the air doesn't go stale
Here endeth the lesson...