Sunday 17 November 2019

Cellarmanship in the 1920s (part eight)

Still giving this dead animal a protracted beating. As you do. I need to fill up each day with something.

Here are some handy hints on how to keep your beer engine in good order.

"The beer engine (we refer to it here because it is so closely connected with the cellar) should be thoroughly cleaned, with all taps and pipes, at least once a week. To clean :— Disconnect the pipe from the cask, and drain off the beer (this beer should afterwards be used for rinsing the pipes).

Dissolve half a pound of soda in a bucket of hot water, and draw this liquor through the pipes, and leave them full all night. In the morning, draw off and thoroughly wash out, by pulling a bucketful of cold water through each pipe, then pull through the beer first drawn out, so that the pipes are rinsed with beer.

Great care should be taken that the pipes are properly connected up, and that all washers are in good condition, for, if the engine is allowed to suck in air, the beer will probably become cloudy."
"The Art and Practice of Innkeeping" by Alexander Francis Part, published by Heinemann London, 1922, page 202.
I find it interesting that the beer drained from the pipes was used to rinse them out later. I suppose it makes sense and is quite economical. My guess is that far from all publicans followed such a vigourous weekly cleaning regime. This look at London Porter quality in the period shows just how lacks many publicans were.

These lists of equipment for a pub cellar remind me of the deliberately random lists of shit I'd specify for my Christmas Drinkalongathon.

"The Brewers will, almost always, supply corks, spiles, porous spiles, and scotches, and a supply must always be kept.

The following are among the other implements necessary for a well-equipped cellar :

Beer Dip.
Jar Dip.
Spirit Rod.
Spiral Dip.
Double Slide Rule, and book of instructions for use.
Sike's Hydrometer and Table Book.
Tape measure.
Stave gauging for gauging the thickness of wood.
Plumb Line.
Sample Dipper.
Small Sample Dipper.

All the above are necessary for stock-taking.

The above-mentioned articles are not indispensable in a small house, but the following articles should be in every house:

A Tool-case or Chest.
A Saw.
Beer Taps, various.
Porous Spile.
Hard Spile.
Flannel filter.
Automatic Barrel Tilts.
Lead Piping and Rubber Tubing, several lengths of each. (The latter should be kept off the floor, unless the latter is perfectly dry and smooth.)
A range of Copper Measures, undented, to hold 5 gallons, 4, 3, 2, 1, and 0.5 gallon respectively.
Funnel for Beer.
Funnel for Spirits.
Cellar Candlestick, with long handle.
Strips of Paper for beer taps.
Filter Papers, Finings."
"The Art and Practice of Innkeeping" by Alexander Francis Part, published by Heinemann London, 1922, page 203.

Some of the items are revealing, as they look like what you'd need for returning slops to a cask. I'm looking at funnel and filter. What else would you be using those for in a cellar? Other. like the lead piping, sound more like potential murder weapons.


Rob Sterowski said...

Lead piping, a candlestick, a mallet .. if I were Dr Black I'd be staying away from the pub cellar.

Rob Sterowski said...

Why would you rinse the freshly cleaned lines with the dirty old beer you'd taken out of them in the first place? That beer would have been contaminated by the dirty lines, and then you'd have had it in a bucket overnight to collect more bacteria.

Anonymous said...

That reminds me. I need to start loking for string.Takes a long time to find two whole pieces.