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No, I think maybe I should edit the essay so that non=Brits understand.

Real ale is a bit of a fragile beastie, there's bit of yeast floating in it (and sometimes other things) and you want to give it time to settle.

This also allows the beer to condition so that all the harshness of  "young" beer comes out of the beer. This is a process that takes 3 - 5 days.

However GK have perfected a process where the beer "drops bright", ie looks cosmetically acceptable, in just a few hours. However, the beer thus served is pretty kack and that, sadly, is the GK real ale IPA you'll get served in most pubs in the UK.

What i'm saying is that, if you give it time to settle, it's actually a really good beer, but GK don't do this.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 24th, 2013 at 02:29:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the factors which determine the variability of quality of draught beer drunk in pubs relate to the pub rather than the Brewer. How regularly does the publican clean his lines? Is the cooler working correctly? Are the first few pints pulled each day wasted so that you don't get a pint that's been slightly oxidised sitting in the line overnight? Does the publican have sufficient throughput of a particular beer so that it is relatively fresh and hasn't been sitting in a half full keg for weeks? Are the kegs stored in a relatively cool cellar?

Formerly, pulling a pint of Guinness was a bit of an art form as well, although modern dispense technology has reduced variability in this. I'm not an expert on the technical side of brewing but I would imagine beer coming out of microbreweries would be much more variable. Perhaps that is part of its charm and attraction.

Most large scale brewery produced beer - as far as I am aware - is pre-filtered and doesn't have the yeast floating issues discussed by Helen in relation to real or craft beers. Finings are used to settle or accelerate settling of sediments (yeasts and proteins) prior to bottling/kegging. Not all finings are vegetarian and so, technically, not all beers are vegetarian as trace elements may remain in beer.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 24th, 2013 at 03:40:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see. I think we only have dead beers in Sweden.

Helen:

However GK have perfected a process where the beer "drops bright", ie looks cosmetically acceptable, in just a few hours. However, the beer thus served is pretty kack and that, sadly, is the GK real ale IPA you'll get served in most pubs in the UK.

What i'm saying is that, if you give it time to settle, it's actually a really good beer, but GK don't do this.

So it is GK in their role as pub chain that is the real problem. Ok, another non-brit question: Is the UK pub market to a large part owned by breweries?

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by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 02:58:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it's GK distribution and sales that is at fault.

No the UK pub market is now largely in the hands of independent owners who are doing their best to destroy the pubs as businesses. (It's more lucrative to sell off the building for other purposes)

An essay on this subject is being built

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 03:06:57 AM EST
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