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Thread: Autovax

  1. #11
    In Search of Ebriety Millay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gillhalfpint View Post
    Lots of folk didn't know it was a more common practice these days again, though mainly in the north and Scotland, but someone says the Euston Tap has them, and another that a pub has them on 6 of their 11 lines.
    I hope not, from what I can remember the Euston Tap doesn't have individual drip trays, just a trough that runs under all the pumps. Adds a whole new meaning to a "pint of mix"
    I've just joined Alcoholics Anonymous - I still drink, just under a different name.

  2. #12
    Real Ale Drinker Brewguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millay View Post
    I hope not, from what I can remember the Euston Tap doesn't have individual drip trays, just a trough that runs under all the pumps. Adds a whole new meaning to a "pint of mix"
    Looks unlikely to be any kind of cask return system. If they had a stout on one pump and a pale ale on another the two would mix and the pale wouldn't be pale any more! Any brewer and pub worth their salt who cares about beer quality would never endorse returning beer from a drip tray. I would imagine that it's the poor quality back street pubs which do this on the whole.

    I once saw a cellar which had great big funnels situated over the shives, where the beer is spiled. The only reason to have a funnel there would be to return beer into the cask. It was in Tynemouth/ North Shields but fortunately for the pub I cannot remember it's name. It was about 5 years ago as well so hopefully they no longer do this adhorent practice.

  3. #13
    Real Ale Drinker Crossste's Avatar
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    When i had my pub in West Yorkshire the beer was dispensed through the autovac system. At one time the brewery mentioned taking them out which i mentioned to my regulars, who as one, sounded thier anger if they were to be removed. The autovacs stayed.

    Just for clarity each tray should be individual to each beer and the beer is returned into the line with a non return valve stopping any beer from returning to the barrel. In each of the trays a small float allows a small amount of beer into the line on each pull of the handpump. 4-5 sharp/fierce pulls on the pump and one long slow one into a clean glass usually pours the perfect pint with a nice tight creamy head. If done correctly there is no need for the spillage to run over the servers fingers.

    Personally i cant see owt wrong with 'em if the beer is being sold quick enough and i cant recall having to stride over folks rolling on the floor with belly wharch at closing time. If the beer was to remain in the autovac system for a prolonged period of time i could then see it becoming a problem.
    From the home of the kebab of doom

  4. #14
    Inndigestion Strongers's Avatar
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    It all sounds a bit manky to me.

    What happened to 2 1/4 pulls, nice head, no spillage, no sparklers, happy customers?
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewguru View Post

    I once saw a cellar which had great big funnels situated over the shives, where the beer is spiled. The only reason to have a funnel there would be to return beer into the cask. It was in Tynemouth/ North Shields but fortunately for the pub I cannot remember it's name. It was about 5 years ago as well so hopefully they no longer do this adhorent practice.
    This device?

    They still exist. One place I worked over 30 years ago we had a gallon jug into which everything was tipped. At the end of the night it all went into whichever was the fullest barrel. You can still buy the equipment, so I'm sure it still gets widely used.

  6. #16
    I'll stay on me own Alesonly's Avatar
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    The whole thing sounds disgusting too me especially when I think of some of the things Ive seen Bar staff do with there hands whilst working behind the bar including not washing there hands after going too the bog.
    Don't You just hate Pubs that say
    ( We don't stock any Real Ales as theres Just no call for it.)

  7. #17
    Real Ale Drinker Brewguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickDavies View Post
    This device?


    They still exist. One place I worked over 30 years ago we had a gallon jug into which everything was tipped. At the end of the night it all went into whichever was the fullest barrel. You can still buy the equipment, so I'm sure it still gets widely used.
    That's the one, makes me shudder. They were on all the barrels in the pub that shall not be named, so not just the fullest got topped up.

    I had looked on Masons website to see if they were still sold and couldn't find it, so well done!

  8. #18
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
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    This device?

    I used to use them when I worked in a pub, (sometimes they're known as "dolphins" BTW). They made the difference between profit and loss even back in the 70s when you had a busy night with lots of spillage in the drip trays. We put the same beer back into the right barrels, ie bitter into bitter and mild into mild and only in small enough quantities not to foul the barrel. We would empty the trays into a clean bucket regularly then cover it before "Back Filitering" through a fresh filter paper later on. We were always very careful about clean hands, glasses and the buckets used, certainly nothing horrible like fag ends ever got into the beer. However I can't say I was ever at ease with the practice - my thought being that nothing that comes out of the cellar should go back into it. This was all in the South and the pub in question was GBG listed for over 20 years under 3 different licensees and the beer always tasted good.

    We didn't have swan necks in that pub either, lovely old Gaskill & Chambers pumps, with a straight spout, fitted in 1947 and coming through 1" external diameter pipework, half pint to a pull. They were changed out in the 1980s as they had Gun Metal barrels which have a high lead content;- sadly the beer never tasted as good afterwards when it came out of stainless steel barrelled pumps; nowadays pulling beer through food quality plastic/stainless, 1/4 pull pumps through skinny plastic pipework tastes worse even if the losses are smaller.



    Oh and don't start me on long swan necks - an abomination that has damaged beer flavour south of Doncaster since about 1980 when those bloody Boddington ad's made people think a pint of beer was meant to look like milk. much as I admire Tarquill's Trolleys - artistically of course. and YEP, that is how beer was advertised in the 80s.

  9. #19
    Spritzer Swallower
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    Today most pubs insist on giving you a fresh glass each time you buy a drink.
    In the days of the autovac a lot of customers used to insist on using the same glass, which could have picked up anything from whatever surface it had sat on. Cigarette ash, dirt or any other gremlins that were hanging about on the tables could now be stuck on the bottom of the glass. When the barman then pulled the drink using the autovac all the ale overflowing and running down the side of the glass would pick up any dirt from underneath it as well as from his fingers, all heading into the trough to be re circulated into the next customers glass.
    I remember one barman from those days who worked as a gardener, the dirt was ingrained into his fingers and when he was pulling ale or handing you change you couldn't help noticing his dirty hands but nobody seemed to bother about it.
    We must have had stomachs like leather in those days being immune from most of the germs lol

  10. #20
    I'll stay on me own Alesonly's Avatar
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    I think after reading this thread I will stick too Real Ale in Bottles more often in the less salubrious Pubs I visit. I'm not surprised Lager & Keg took off in the 70s & 80s If this was a standard practise in a lot of Ale Pubs. Makes me feel glad I grew up in North London in a totally Keg area with Trophy' Red Barrel' & Double Diamond. And We though we were hard done by because we could not get a decent pint of Ale .
    Last edited by Alesonly; 13-11-2011 at 22:52.
    Don't You just hate Pubs that say
    ( We don't stock any Real Ales as theres Just no call for it.)

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