LoveBeer, LoveFood: Top 9 tips to get 'beer clean' glassware at home

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CINCINNATI -- If you saw my recent piece about beer glassware, then
you’ll remember that “beer clean” is a technical term for glassware
that undergoes a proper washing with the right detergent at the right
temperatures. It makes for a beer that not only looks great, but
tastes great too.

So, perfect! Now you know exactly how a bar should clean your beer
glass (and know if they didn’t). But some of you asked -- "Since I
don’t have the requisite three tub sink or a high heat dishwasher
specifically used for beer glasses, how do I get the best beer clean
glassware at my own home?"

Great question! I’m ashamed to say that I’ve honestly never thought
much about what I was doing to clean my beer glasses beyond
air-drying. So, I took to Google. Unfortunately I found that there is
not much advice out there for those of us who want perfect beer clean
glassware at our home.

Abita has some tips on their website, and certainly many of the same
rules apply at home that do for a bar/restaurant. For example, air
drying really is key, and should be done on a dishrack or somewhere
that air will circulate. For quite some time now, we’ve washed all of
our glasses by hand with regular old dish soap and a sponge, and let
them air dry upside down. We mainly do this because we don’t want the
logos to come off, but after doing some research I also learned that
dishwasher detergent will ruin head/lacing on beer.

Don’t believe me? Below is a water glass we’ve had for at least five
years that has gone through countless dishwashing rounds. This picture
was taken immediately after being cleaned and dried in the dishwasher
with regular old dishwasher detergent.

All that white residue will kill your beer.

Since our beer glasses never seemed really “beer clean” I started
reading and experimenting with different techniques. I came up with my
own ways to get near-perfect beer clean glassware at home without
going to ridiculous extremes.

Here are my personal tips and tricks:

Always hand wash your beer glasses.
If possible, use a sudless detergent to clean them. A tiny bit of
oxi-clean will work wonders, and even recommends using
some baking soda if your glasses are in rough shape to start.
It’s best to clean glasses immediately after use since they will be
easier to clean. If you forget and end up with a glass full of dried
beer residue, soak first in hot water to loosen it up.
Use a dedicated scrub brush or sponge for all of your beer glasses. Do
NOT use the same sponge you use for the rest of your food or you risk
leaving trace amounts of oil and food that will hurt head retention,
lacing and may leave a gross smell in your beer.
Use filtered water if at all possible. It will help prevent hard water
spots that will ruin head formation, retention, and lacing.
Once scrubbed thoroughly, inside and out, rinse detergent off
completely with very hot water.
Dry glasses upside down on a rack where the glass can get plenty of
air circulated around it.
You can dry the outside of the glass with a CLEAN towel, but I don’t
really think this is necessary. Never dry the inside, or tiny pieces
of lint will likely stick. Unless you have a microfiber cloth, I would
just air dry.
If you want to use the glass you just cleaned to pour a beer into,
rinse it with cold water and shake out the excess water. You’ll notice
many better beer bars rinse out their glassware before use, and there
are a few reasons they do this: the glass is warm and needs to be
cooled down, they want to make sure any sanitizer is completely rinsed
from the glass, and head retention and lacing can actually be improved
by rinsing first.
clean glass
Now sit back and enjoy your beautiful, “beer clean” pint in the
comfort of your own home.


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