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A Perfect Growler Fill In 9 Easy Tips

by Tony Chase on February 18, 2021
A Perfect Growler Fill In 9 Easy Tips

For those of you not quite in 'the know' about growlers, these are containers typically in aluminum, ceramic, or glass that are used to transport beer. The growler is the perfect choice for your patrons to take beer along home to share or enjoy later. These containers are also an excellent means for you to make beer sales if your area has declared on-site closures.

While the growler has become increasingly popular and consumer demand is driving sales upward, you do need to know about growler filling. Proper growler filling allows the beer to maintain its flavor and keeps your patrons returning for more. These are tips to learn on growler filling to both follow standards for keeping safe during the pandemic and maintaining the quality of the beer.

 

Growler Filling Supply List

For your establishment to properly fill growlers there are certain supplies you will need to have on hand:

  • Growlers
    • As stated above, a growler is an aluminum, ceramic, or glass container that your patrons will use to transport beer
  • Growler Caps
    • If your growler does not have a bottle fastener with it, you will need growler caps that are compatible with your choice of growlers
  • Growler Fill Tube
    • The growler fill tube attaches to your beer's faucet, is about a foot-long, and allows you to fill the growler. A tube with a metal connector and two O-rings will give you a more seamless connection. This type of tube is also easier to use. Some breweries use plastic tubes without the metal connection which is acceptable to use, but these can leak, causing loss of beer
  • Growler Labels
    • You will need the blank growler labels, so your establishment can write the necessary information required by law on them and then attach them to each growler sold
  • Sanitizer
    • You will need a liquid cleaning sanitizer kept in a red bucket. Whenever the growler fill tube is not being used, it should be stored in this sanitized bucket

These are the supplies to get you started on growler filling. You will now need to understand the proper steps for growler filling to maintain the quality of your brews.

 

How to Perform Growler Filling Properly

When you perform growler filling properly, you save yourself any potential waste of your beer supply. The proper fill also ensures you don't under deliver to your patrons. If you consistently under deliver with your growler filling, you are sure to lose customers.

 

If you consistently under-deliver with your growler filling, you are sure to lose customers.

These are the 9 tips for proper growler filling:

1.  Clean & Sanitize: Growler, Cap, and Tubing

Maintaining clean equipment has always been important, but with the onset of COVID-19, these procedures are more carefully observed and critical. Before every growler filling, you must make sure the growlers, their caps, and the tubing you'll use have been cleaned, sanitized, and left to air-dry. Air-dry the items by placing them upside-down. You may want to set up a sanitation station off to the side to keep these items cleaned and ready for use.

2. Chill Your Growlers

There is nothing like a frosted glass of beer. The same is true for growlers. After you've cleaned and sanitized your growlers, you can store them in a cooler until the next sale. This step is not required, it is an optional choice to vaporize any moisture inside the growler, and reduce the carbonation from foaming when you do the growler filling. A chilled growler is also going to give an added chill to the brew inside.

3. Secure the Tubing

When you've selected the growler, you are ready to secure the tubing to the desired beer tap. Some breweries have stated it is easier to control the carbonation during growler filling if you cut the bottom of the tube at a 45-degree angle.

4. Reduce the Pound-Per-Square (PSI)

When you serve beer by the glass, your PSI is usually set between 10 and 15 PSI. This amount of PSI gives you more turbulence and foam with each serving. Growler filling requires a bit slower fill, so you have more control and less foam. For growler filling, you want to set your PSI between 4 and 5.

5. Remove the CO2 From the Growler

If your establishment uses a beer tap system with counter pressure, your growler filling should include removing the CO2 from inside. Push the CO2 out of the growler so it doesn't dispute the beer's flavor. CO2 is heavier than oxygen, so it can easily be pushed from the growler and your beer maintains its flavor notes.

6. Growler Filling From the Bottom, Up

When you've attached the tubing to the correct beer tap, make sure the end of the tubing goes to the bottom of the growler. You want to perform growler filling from the bottom, up to reduce the amount of turbulence, reduce the CO2, and keep the beer's flavor. There should be a pre-marked line on the growler to know when you should stop filling. If there is no mark, growler filling should go until you have only a 5 or 10% headspace.

7. Capping on Foam

A capping on foam method is used for growler filling. To complete this, you take the fill tube out of the growler and remove it from your beer tap. Top the growler off directly from your dispenser until the beer is all the way to the top. When the beer begins to foam out of the growler, you'll secure the cap nice and tight.

8. Clean Up the Surface

Since you've filled until the foam ran out of the growler, you will want to clean up the outside of the growler.

9. Capping and Labeling

Different states have different regulations regarding the sale of growlers. If your state requires it, you may have to seal the growler's cap with electric tape or plastic. You will also have to check if your state requires labeling the growler with your establishment's name, the weight of the growler, and in some cases any government warnings.

Conclusion

Growler filling is more than just putting beer into a container. When you decide to sell growlers at your establishment, you have to ensure house rules and common practices are in place to ensure you comply with government regulations. You also want to make sure you follow proper growler filling steps so your patrons receive the best possible brew.

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