Chapter 20

Brewery Cleaning and Sanitation

(book excerpts)

Brewery cleaning and sanitation are crucial to producing quality beer. Although often used synonymously, there is a big difference between cleaning and sanitation. Cleaning involves the removal of both inorganic and organic substances from the surfaces of brewery equipment. Cleaning needs to be done before any sanitation steps to ensure that sanitizers make contact with the surface being sanitized. Brewery sanitation involves the reduction of the pathogen load on a surface to a level that minimizes microbial spoilage potential. Sanitation is not the same as sterilization. Sterilization be definition is the removal/destruction of ALL living microorganisms. Sterilization is usually reserved for the bottling. The beer industry is primarily focused on cleaning and sanitation protocols, as there are not many sterile practices utilized in brewery operations. Properly conducted, cleaning and sanitizing programs limit the build-up of mineral and organic contaminants (e.g., proteins, tartrates, biofilms, etc.), which serve as reservoirs for microbial proliferation and re-infection. A lapse in cleaning and sanitation can have significant impact on the quality and marketability of the final product. All chemicals used in a cleaning and sanitation program must be approved including their intended-use concentration. Any deviation from prescribed and approved concentrations is potentially unlawful and may also be a safety concern. It is therefore very important to follow recommendations provided by manufactures.

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