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Sam Adams Lager Bad Batches Ever?

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  • Sam Adams Lager Bad Batches Ever?

    I have a account that has Sam Adams lager on tap... its a country club and they have 5 separate bars with Sams running to 4 of them, on 2 floors, cooler is on ground level, one small bar on first floor, other bars and taps on 2nd floor.

    Two Sams kegs in cooler... both t-off to 2 taps each

    They have been getting a lot of complaints about Sams tasting sour... I clean their lines every 2 weeks! Went in last friday and flushed out just the Sams lines....and let the BLC soak for about 25 minutes. On a side note, I dont use a pump here when cleaning because they have the flowjet pumps in their cooler.
    The beer didnt smell or taste skunky/sour after the initial service call , I poured a beer before cleaning, then one after so the manager could smell and taste the difference.

    Today when I went in to clean the lines on my regular 2 week schedule, manager stated the Sams tasted bad again... all of the kegs in the cooler were in code and none were expired. I let the BLC soak today for over 30 minutes!! Beer still tasted like complete crap.

    Now this place likes to keep about 2-3 Sams kegs as back ups, heck all of their beers, outside of the cooler, and they rotate them in when needed about a day before one of the two kegs is going to kick, its not outside in the heat, but it isnt exactly "cooled" to beer standards.

    This is totally on them for not keeping the kegs cold correct? Or are there rare instances of getting a bad batch of kegs?

    Today, we removed the 3 kegs in the cooler that tasted like total a$$ lol and placed two new ones from their holding room into he cooler.. giving them a day to cool down, then going back to see if those taste bad tomorrow too. I have been going to this account for over 1.5 years and they have always done this with kegs since Ive been cleaning them, and have never had skunky kegs... did their luck finally run out?
    Their cooler is jam packed with cases of beer and wine, along with kegs... its hard to get around in it at times
    Last edited by THE ICEMAN; 07-01-2015, 04:52 AM.

  • #2
    I've personally gone through 20 1/2 barrels of Boston Lager and never had an issue. All sour taste I've experienced have been the result of the faucet. But it is strange that it's only the Adams fouling. One way to isolate the keg or delivery system would be to hook a party pump to the keg and sample that beer right out of the keg. Of course I don't have to tell you not to pump air into the keg since there's enough pressure to push out the small sample needed for tasting. I'd contact the distributor and have him check out if all the kegs are off the same run from the brewery to him.

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    • #3
      PremiumVADraftTech,
      I'd use the attached picture to check keg outside of dispense system, that and a coupler, you could get a couple of ounces to check for flavor, or use a 5 lb. tank if you need more beer to taste, if kegs are in holding room.
      KB
      Attached Files
      Last edited by KillianBoy; 06-30-2015, 12:35 AM.

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      • #4
        Hah never thought about using a party pump/tap to taste the kegs, good call

        And I clean all of the faucets almost every cleaning


        pvs6 I work for the distributor haha .. my local sales rep is contacting the local sams rep to see if there is any
        word on any bad batches

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        • #5
          PremiumVADraftTech you must keep us Posted until answer is solved. I love puzzles and this one is intriguing.

          1) exclusive to Boston Lager.

          2) Year and half but only started happening in last month yet affect at least 5 maybe 6 barrels in a row.

          3) Beer goes foul while on line.

          quote: (The beer didn't smell or taste skunky/sour after the initial service call , I poured a beer before cleaning, then one after so the manager could smell and taste the difference. Today when I went in to clean the lines on my regular 2 week schedule, manager stated the Sams tasted bad again)

          [tasted bad again when it was good to start with.] my interruption went bad on line correct? seems to rule out bad kegs, points to fouled delivery system. Yet you clean lines and faucet properly (you didn't include cleaning couplers in your post but if you're cleaning faucets I suspect not mentioning couplers too was an oversight.



          Ballparking now if it will turn out to be the delivery system what could it be? Will need more intel on that side.

          A.) Are these 4 runs all glycol cooled. And beer temp tested for warmed lines after sitting for periods overnight?
          Idea: Over night beer festering in warmed lines could slowly start bacteria growth build up.

          B.) Age of the lines and components parts.
          Idea: The lines them selfs or rubber washers in coupler/faucet could be breaking down with age. Either has been
          know to impart an off taste. This is not likely since the onslaught of all 4 kegs at once is what gamblers
          call a long shot.


          C.) edit:
          Describe the delivery system from the 2 kegs to the four taps. ie: 1st keg T-ed into two lines running to both taps 1st floor through one glycol trunk line. or what ever it is there. same for both kegs.
          Last edited by pvs6; 07-01-2015, 01:13 AM.

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          • #6
            Well all 4 kegs were not from the same batch (1 partial, 3 full) all of them had different dates and codes, so we ruled out a bad batch, all were in code, the soonest to expire was soon on july 7th, the others were 2 in late july, one in august.

            We busted out the hand pump after pulling a couple kegs through the lines, all of the kegs in question tasted bad online and off with the pump. This country club was totally rebuilt about 3 years ago before I started working for premium distributors of va I was told. All runs are glycol cooled with chill rite 32 power packs , I would assume they are all ran in the chill rite trunks as well, but not certain. I have cleaned the fobs recently so that was not the issue.

            In the end, my supervisor/boss and I chalked it up to them leaving the kegs at room temperature, sometimes they sat in that condition for almost 2 weeks before they got rotated into the cooler when one of the online kegs was getting low. But how come this hasnt happened to their sierra nevada, miller light, blue moon, pilsner urquell, fat tire, or other products not ours in the past? Just listed our products we have there They have been doing this rotating keg thing for a while they said with no problems, so from now on, I will be writing down dates, codes and # of kegs of each every 2 weeks when I go to clean so we can track how long each one sits heh

            They had 2 good kegs we put online, other than that, they had no more/backups until their next delivery, which is tomorrow I think he said
            Last edited by PremiumVADraftTech; 07-01-2015, 05:38 PM.

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            • #7
              You had me at "Now this place likes to keep about 2-3 Sams kegs as back ups, heck all of their beers, outside of the cooler, and they rotate them in when needed about a day before one of the two kegs is going to kick, its not outside in the heat, but it isnt exactly "cooled" to beer standards". Don't waste anymore time trying to figure this one out. American kegs are not pasteurized and MUST be kept under refrigeration at all times. The warm kegs are refermenting and have spoiled. Keg beer is a fresh food product and must be treated as such. Most American bottle and can beer goes through the pasteurization process to prevent spoilage, kegs do not.

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              • #8
                Had similar complaint from a new install here in Richmond. They were complaining that the beer was "bad and tasted sour, must be something in the equipment, you just installed, that is ruining the taste of my beer!" This came out of the mouth of the beer distributor rep.

                Pulled out the party pump, attached to the keg and pulled a pint of every beer they claimed my equipment ruined. Every one on them, spoiled inside the kegs. Bad taste, bad smell, and off color.

                Kegs had been allowed to warm up before being placed in the beer cooler.

                Love my party pump set ups, one in every truck!

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                • #9
                  Here is a better explanation of what is going on with these kegs.

                  The following information copied from this forum's main page, bottom of the page, "Draft Beer Dispense FAQ'S" under Beer 101.

                  Non-Pasteurized

                  For the most part keg beer brewed and packaged in kegs in the U.S. is not pasteurized. During the packaging process non pasteurized draft beers are sterile filtered and chilled to the point that any surviving bacteria, which could ferment the beer, become dormant. Kegs are kept cold ( < 50

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                  • #10
                    Gotcha DCullender thanks!

                    Oh and if you ever run into a fellow by the name of Cris who owns the new Sangjun Thai down there next to VCU, treat him good, him and his father are very good people... they own one up here that is my account and they own 2 other thai places up here in northern va and opened the vcu location not long ago.

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                    • #11
                      PremiumVADraftTech,

                      thanks for the heads up on Sangjun Thai. I'll have my guys check it out.

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                      • #12
                        I'm new to This beer world, thanks for knowing such information.

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