One of the most difficult parts of operating a brewery seems to be keeping it clean. Most brewery owners have their own methods of cleaning that differ somewhat from what their competitors use, and they tend to stick with what they know works but still struggle to find a way to get their brewery looking as clean as they would like it.
If you have experienced this same problem, and you are looking for a solution that will give you a thorough clean, then you should keep reading.
Cleaning the Kettle
The kettle should be sanitized every time wort is transferred out of it into another vessel. This means that once a batch has been made, the kettle should get a thorough cleaning. This will prevent cross contamination. You want to start with a cold rinse, as a hot one would bake in some of the contaminants. Then drain the kettle and fill it with a water and detergent solution. How much detergent you use will depend on how big your kettle is. You will want to finish by washing the kettle down with another cold rinse and then cleaning with hot water and disinfectant.
Powerful Chemicals Are the Key
You should use a cleaning agent that is strong enough to kill germs, because with brewery cleaning, you should have the apparatus physically clean and chemically clean. You want to kill all those microbes that you can’t see, since they can affect the flavor of your batches and can contaminate and cause food poisoning. A brewery is the perfect breeding ground for many kinds of germs, so make sure that yours stays very clean.
At the same time, the chemicals should not be so powerful that they eat through your apparatus. You’ll have to do some research for the kind of equipment you are using. You don’t want to damage your investment, but you do want a completely sanitary brewery.
Cleaning Small Equipment
You can’t just rinse down the smaller items that make up your brewery equipment, like spigots, siphons, tubing and racking canes. These will need to be disassembled and then soaked in a sanitizing solution. Once they have soaked for 15-20 minutes, you can scrub them down with a non-metallic cleaning tool, such as a scrub pad or bottle brush.
Replace when Necessary
Part of keeping a clean brewery means replacing the items that won’t hold up over time. Anything that’s made of plastic will have a limited shelf life on it, so be sure to replace them every so often. If you see discoloration start to appear on your plastic parts and see the parts begin to degrade, then regular cleaning isn’t going to fix that. You’ll need to get replacement parts in time.
Poor Cleaning Doesn’t Show Right Away
You may have your brewery looking physically clean, but you might not have killed the microbes. If that happens, you probably won’t notice the negative effects right away. Your next batch will probably taste fine, but the batch after that will be tainted enough that you will likely notice something off. By the third batch, you will definitely taste an issue, and you’ll know that deeper, more thorough cleaning is required.