The process of brewing beer can be very time extensive. From malting to fermenting, and everything in between, you spend weeks waiting for the perfect batch of beer to condition. Whether pouring from a tap or drinking from a bottle, a certain taste and flavor profile is expected. IPAs, lagers and stouts – the list goes on and on. To ensure a quality, delicious beer time and time again, you must prevent contamination.
Why is cleaning and sanitizing important to the brewing process?
To best protect your brand, you must clean and sanitize all brewery equipment. When done properly, the taste of your beer will be consistent, while inconsistent sanitization can deeply impact the taste of your beer. Every brew vessel, tank and line must be properly sanitized and free of any containments before, during and after the brewing process.
What is the difference between cleaning and sanitizing?
Cleaning not only removes any residue that is visible to the eye but will improve the appearance of your brewing equipment. However, it will not reduce the amount of microbes that linger around food preparation areas. Sanitizing is the process of killing 99.9% of contaminants on a surface in a short amount of time. To save time and money, many breweries use no-rinse sanitizers during the brewing process. State’s Po2wer™ DC is an EPA registered disinfecting cleaner that is safe for food and beverage facilities and uses both hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid to kill various forms of bacteria in as little as two minutes. With 67 kill claims, Po2wer DC is safe on metals, such as stainless steel, and will not damage your brewing equipment. To inquire about Po2wer DC, click here.
What could contaminate my beer?
The two major types of contaminants present during the brewing process are bacteria and wild yeast. Although there are many different types of bacteria, they can all be categorized into two groups: gram-positive and gram-negative. Bacteria can be threatening due to their rapid growth rate. Gram-positive bacteria, such as Lactobcillus and Pediococcus, have a potential to thrive in harmful environments that gram-negative bacteria would not thrive in. Gram-negative bacteria, such as Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli (E. coli), are responsible for producing unwanted by-products, disrupting the fermentation process and passing into the finalized beer. Generally, gram-positive bacteria cause spoilage, while gram-negative bacteria create unpleasant flavors and could cause food poisoning, all of which are not desired.
Wild yeast is any uncontrolled yeast, other than the pitching yeast. If present, it will cast a film over the surface of your beer that often leads to a hazy, heterogeneous mixture with undesirable flavors and smells.
Both bacteria and wild yeast are unwelcomed during the brewing process. Luckily, they are preventable.
How do I prevent contamination?
In the brewery industry, the clean-in-place (CIP) method refers to the cleaning of the interior surfaces of tanks, kettles, and lines without disassembly and relocation. Before CIP cleaners, breweries had to disassemble all equipment and clean each surface by hand, which was often difficult due to the closed-loop system and prohibited proper sanitization. CIP makes cleaning easy due to the automated process where all equipment is thoroughly cleaned in the same location your beer is brewed, which saves time, money and manual labor.
State’s Brewery Program, comprised of five alkaline and acidic CIP cleaners, allows for a more efficient cleaning and sanitizing process by using high performing chemicals that clean your equipment faster which yields quicker kettle turns.
Keep bacteria and wild yeast from contaminating your beer by using the necessary chemicals and cleaning processes to combat any microbes, therefore protecting your brand by keeping your beer true to taste. You’ll be able to maintain safety standards and spend less time cleaning your equipment and more time enjoying the brew!