We All Love Great Tasting Beer!

Craft breweries are becoming more and more popular and this year the growth rate of craft breweries actually outpaced that of commercial breweries. According to FastCasual magazine, it was estimated that craft beer revenue has grown at an annualized rate of 19 percent to $4.2 billion over the last five years and forecasts put the segment at $6 billion by 2019.

Poor sanitation effects the quality of beer

We’ve all experienced it – you order a craft draft from your local microbrewery and something just doesn’t taste right. Bacteria, which is easily managed through proper sanitation, can wreak havoc on a brewers’ processes and cause spoilage, off flavors, and a generally bad beer.

Contamination can Infiltrate from a number of sources

Bacteria is resourceful and prolific. In the brewing process, everything that comes in contact with the yeast must be sanitized – this includes the kettle, the mashturn, tanks, lines, heat exchanger, even storage areas. In the plant, vessel surfaces are particularly important to pay attention to. Any recurrent contamination may indicate the presence of a biofilm. Biofilms are difficult to clean as they can bind strongly to the vessel. So, get ahead of it and always keep your brewing plant properly clean and sanitized!

Microorganisms are ever present in the air. They can also be introduced to the environment by insects or pests. Proper cleaning of the brew house environment helps to reduce the risk of outside contamination decreasing the opportunity for bacteria to thrive.

Sanitation is the key

The craft beer industry is fortunate from a safety standpoint that no pathogens can survive in beer with normal alcohol content, bitterness, carbonation, and pH. However, sanitation is the first step in a great brew process and a step that must be repeated as necessary throughout the process in order to ensure a great batch every time.

There are two components to a proper sanitation program: (1) cleaning and (2) sanitizing. Cleaning proceeds sanitation and prepares the way for sanitation treatment by removing organic/inorganic residues and microorganisms from the brewery equipment. Cleaning agents are offered in two types; alkaline based or acid based. Cleaning agents work by breaking the soil into fine particles and holding them in suspension so they can be rinsed away.

When choosing a cleaning agent, remember alkaline detergents are best for removing organic soils, i.e oil, fat protein, starch and carbohydrates. Acid detergents are best for removal of beer stone, water scale, and aluminum oxide.

Sanitizers reduce the surface population of microorganisms and prevent microbial growth on the brewery equipment. Remember, sanitizers are only effective if the surface has been completely cleaned and rinsed.

A chlorine based sanitizer is effective for broad spectrum germicidal action on tanks and kettles used in the brewing process. Specialty sanitizers, such as PAA (peroxyacetic acid) or iodine are recommended for sanitizing fermenter and brite tanks, as well as heat exchanger and parts sanitation.

Brew masters can use ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) readings to detect contamination on tanks. This process detects the organic proteins found on surfaces and can be used to highlight areas for additional cleaning and sanitation, as well as a standard process check to ensure no bacteria exists in the brewing process.

Spartan Chemical offers a BrewCheck® Sanitation Program which includes a complete line of cleaners and sanitizers, SSOP support, (sanitation standard operating procedure), employee safety training, and local deliveries and support from a local distributor.

To find a sanitation expert in your area to to learn more visit: http://www.spartanchemical.com/programs/brewcheck/


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