One of the best ways to share some beers with your friends at a party whether it be your own home-brew or something you get filled at a brewery or bar is the growler. However, enjoyment of this beer can quickly take a turn for the worst if that growler isn’t properly cleaned and maintained beforehand.
Therefore, it is imperative that you properly maintain and clean your growler between uses. Cleaning a growler is quite simple all you really need to do is rinse it out right after use with really hot water. However, if you forget to do that and its been laying around for a while we suggest you don’t use soap. Soap if not rinsed well enough can leave a residue in the growler that can cause off-flavors and undesired effects on the beer. Instead pick up some Star San which is a home-brewers best friend and use it to rinse out your bottle.
However, should you choose to use soap a couple things to consider. First, make sure to get an unscented soap (same should be used to clean beer glasses) this will help ensure that you don’t impart any outside aromas on the beer. Second, if using a brush make sure to get a proper bottle brush from a home-brew store. If you get a hard wire brush you can scratch the inside of the growler which will give bacteria a place to grow which would be bad.
Also, if your growler has sat unused for a long time we suggest you clean it out with hot water and a sanitizing rinse before going to fill it up to ensure the highest quality beer out of it. After rinsing with the hot water, use cold water since you never want to fill a hot growler.
And there you have it, cleaning and maintaining a growler is very easy to do!
And that’s … From My Mellin!