Is Home Brewed Beer Safe?

Beer is a very popular drink in many cultures around the world.

It has been around for a very long time, and isn’t going away anytime soon.

 

There are today many different kinds of beer currently available in the marketplace.

Given the popularity of beer in many circles, this is a market that continues to steadily grow with the passage of time.

One of the most popular varieties of beer currently around, is that of the homemade beer.

Today, homemade beer is one of the most popular trends in beer circles.

Rather than trying out beer prepared for others, many happen to be interesting in preparing beers of their own; which is where home brewing comes into the picture.

As popular as it may be, there are many concerns about homemade beer. These include everything from safety to legal concerns.

When it comes to safety, there is one question that many wonder, which is,

“Is home-brewed beer safe?”

The answer to this question is neither a yes or no.

In other words, it is actually somewhere in-between. There are several reasons for this, the most important of which is given in the list below.

 

To start off, it is safe to say that home-made beer can be safe.

For much of human history, beer was never really produced in industrial facilities. On the contrary, they were produced at the local level, by small businessmen, often at home.

So the idea of home-made beer is not really something new. It is as old as beer itself. It is only now that people have started to take a fancy towards this style of beer-preparation.

Therefore, the answer to the question depends on a variety of considerations, the details of which are mentioned below.

 

 

Some of the considerations that must be taken into account, when figuring out if home-made beer is safe or not, are the following:

 

  1. The Quality of the Equipment Used

This is by far one of the most important things that are to be taken into account, when it comes to homemade beer safety.

In the case of industrial facilities, there are strict requirements as to the quality of beer that must be enforced. These standards are enforced with the help of legislation and local law enforcement.

This however, is not the case that you would get, when it comes to home breweries. There is always the tendency to ignore the quality of the equipment, which in turn can lead to the production of contaminated or otherwise low quality beer.

In simple words, the quality of the equipment used, in terms of sanitation, manufacturing quality and general maintenance will play a major role in the final quality of the beer, whether in terms of safety, taste or anything else.

 

  1. The Quality of the Work Environment

Another important thing that must be considered is the quality of the work environment.

The work environment refers to the place in which the beer is prepared, as well as other things such as the location where the beer is stored.

It is important that this entire area is maintained in a way that is as clean and hygienic as possible. Among the things that need to be taken into account are dust, dirt, pests (such as insects, rats, etc), and more, all of which will lead to the contamination of the beer if they aren’t eliminated.

 

  1. Health and Hygiene Standards Used by the Brewer

The next thing to take into account is the actual brewer of the beer.

As with any other food product, it is important that the brewer maintain adequate safety standards, when the beer is getting brewed.

These include, among others, things like the washing of hands, the usage of soap or other cleaning agents on the hand, covering of the hair with a hair net, etc.

All of these steps will ensure that the beer isn’t contaminated by the brewer at the time of preparation.

 

  1. Ingredient Quality

The next thing that must be taken into account is the quality of the ingredients.

There are great deals of ingredients that are added for the preparation of beer. These include, among others, hops, barley, etc.

It is important to ensure that these ingredients are stored in a clean and hygienic manner, and undergo thorough cleaning before being allowed to ferment and so on.

It may be tempting to use stale ingredients at times, given that beer is produced by allowing the ingredients to stale, but this has to be avoided. There is a difference between allowing the ingredients to ferment in a tank and on the other side, in the open.

 

  1. The Quality of the Preparation Process

Last but not the least, has to do with the actual preparation process.

This is but an amalgamation of all the above mentioned points, right from the time when the ingredients are stored, to the actual fermentation process and the final refining.

It is important to ensure that the process is carried out in a way that adheres to the kind of safety standards which would be expected in any factory.

 

 

In all, the question of whether homemade beer is safe or not, can be summed up as ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ at the same time.

With proper conditions, in terms of sanitation and hygiene, as well as preparation practices, homemade beer is very much safe to go for.

At the same time however, the wrong conditions will produce the kind of beers that might just end up being both unsafe as well as fatal, depending on just how badly it was prepared.

Ultimately, it depends on the brewer and the way he goes about with the brewing process that decides the quality of the finished product.

What Equipment Is Needed For A Microbrewery, And How Do You Use It?

Beer has become an integral part of our everyday lives.

A popular drink at parties and festive occasions, it is a part of human society, and has been so for a very long time.

 

Today, there are a variety of different beers available in the market, with those mass-produced on one end, and customized ‘craft’ beers on the other.

In the case of craft beers, or those beers brewed by small breweries, i.e. ‘micro’ breweries, you could say that it is one of the hottest drinks among beer fans. Given the uniqueness of craft beers in comparison to mass-produced beers, it is only a given that they will eventually end up developing a cult following of their own.

 

For those interested in entering this interesting industry, one of the biggest concerns, would be that of equipment.

Getting the right equipment for breweries can be a real problem, if one doesn’t know how to go about doing it. But at the same time, it is possible to take care of much of the hassles, with the right details.

Some of the most important brewery equipment is as given in the list below:

 

  1. The Mash System

This is an integrated system, which comprises of a range of different processes.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term mash, it is a hot water steeping, which is used to activate barley and other ingredients. It activates the enzymes present in the ingredients, allowing for the starches to be converted into sugars.

Some of the things included in it are the mash tank, electric steam generators, wort pump, malt mill machine, etc.

 

  1. The Fermentation System

This comprises of a range of different barrels, usually made up of stainless steel. It is the place where the actual yeast is added and where the fermentation process takes place.

In addition to the barrels, there are also other aspects to the system such as piping systems, valves, etc.

 

  1. The Cooling/Temperature Control System

This is the system which ensures a steady and stable temperature for the beer-making process.

An optimum temperature is required for the fermentation process to take place at a steady pace. It will also prevent the growth of unnecessary microbes such as bacteria, thereby ensuring the safety of the finished product.

 

  1. The Filtration System

This is one of the final systems in all microbreweries.

As the name would suggest, it helps to filter out any impurities that may be present, once the beer has been prepared.

It removes, among other things, residues such as pieces of barley, sediments, etc, allowing for the clean beer to pass through.

 

  1. Sanitation Equipment

As with any other food or beverage business, there is a need for maintaining a certain standard of hygiene.

These include, among others sterilization tanks, alkali liquor tanks, washing pumps, etc.

 

  1. Bottling Unit

There are two things that microbreweries can do with their finished product; one is to bottle up the beer, or they can serve it up to their customers.

Given that bottled craft beers are a big business, there will be a need for a suitable bottling machine, which helps to pack up the finished product in the right kind of packaging.

 

  1. Kegging Tap

In other cases, there may be people who are interested in getting a sip while at the brewery, especially if they have an outlet attached to the brewery.

In such a case, you may need to have a couple of kegging equipment complete with taps and other infrastructure, to help with dispensing the finished product.

 

  1. Controlling System

There is no point in having all of this, if you don’t have a centralized way of managing the facility.

This is where a suitable control system, in terms of both hardware and software, comes into the picture. It helps in keeping a track of everything that goes on in the brewery, and give its management adequate control over the facility’s operations.

 

 

Last but not the least, it should also be added that there are other equipment that are also necessary for microbreweries.

This is especially the case when there are special ingredients and processes involved, to give it the unique flavor it is famous for.

Either way, the above list gives an excellent idea of how the microbrewery industry operates, and the way to go about using them.

 

How To Load-Unload The Microbrewery Equipment And The Attentions

1. Why should the microbrewery equipment be packed, loaded, unloaded in the right way

With the development with the craft beer, more and more people are looking for the microbrewery equipment and build their own brewery. Most of them are brewers or beer lovers, and have enough knowledge on how to use their brewery equipment to brew the craft beers, but maybe they don’t know well on how to load, unload their microbrewery equipment in the right way, especially for the situation that they purchase their brewing tanks from the abroad. So some damages or scratches may happen in the loading or unloading process. Following we will talk about on how to load the brewery equipment in the containers and unload from them for the different situations, as well as some important attentions.

2. How to load the brewing equipment in the different shipping containers

(1) LCL ( Less Container Load )

 What is LCL
It refers to brewing equipment packed with small amount less than a full container. This kind of goods is usually taken by the carrier separately and centralized at the container freight station or inland station. Two or more tickets of goods are assembled into one container, and then the same goods are delivered separately at the container freight station or inland station at the destination.

 Advantage and Disadvantage
The advantage is that we could save much shipping fee in this way. The disadvantage is that the shipping time is unstable. If the shipping company does not receive enough cargo for one container or any package, the shipping time will be delayed. In addition, in order to avoid the damages or scratches of the tanks in the long shipping, the tanks need to be packed by the plywood, which will lead to the increase in costs.

 How to pack the brewing tanks
A thin film will be covered in the tank surface, the tanks could be supported by the U-steels with wheels at the bottom for moving conveniently, and then it will be loaded in the plywood case for the protection.

(2) 20GP ( 20 Feet General Purpose )

It is the general container for the shipping, internal dimensions is 5950 x 2340 x 2370 mm. The inner space is very small compared with the general 40 feet containers, so it is often used for the microbrewery upgrading or expanding.

For the small fermenter tanks or bright beer tanks, such as 500L or smaller sizes, theycould stand in the 20GP containers with the ropes and feet bolts fixed, so we could save much space in the containers, and also save the shipping fee for the customers.

For the larger fermenter tanks or bright beer tanks, such as 10hL or bigger sizes, they could lie down in the 20GP containers with the U-steel supported, it’s very conveniently to move the tanks because of the bottom wheels assembled in the support frames.

(3) 40GP ( 40 Feet General Purpose ) & 40HC ( 40 Feet High Cube )

They are the most general containers for the shipping of the brewing equipment, the internal dimensions of the 40GP is 11950 x 2340 x 2370 mm, 40HC container is 11950 x 2340 x 2680mm. The inner space is very big compared with the general 20 feet containers, so it can be not only used for the microbrewery upgrading or expanding, but also for the turn key brewery built projects. And also, the 40HC containers have a bigger internal space than the 40GP containers, but both have a very similar shipping cost, so the former (40HC) is more popular in the shipping of the microbrewery equipment.

(4) 40OT ( 40 Feet Open Top ) & 40FR ( 40 Feet Flat Rack )

They are the special containers for the shipping of the brewing equipment and their prices are more higher than the general containers. So they are not common in the shipping of the brewery equipment, only used for the very larger tanks or turn key brewery built projects.

The internal dimensions of the 40OT is 12034 x 2352 x 2330 mm. Open-top containers can hold the brewing tanks whose height exceeds the maximum of containers, so theheight of open-top containers after loading is naturally higher than that of ordinary containers. Generally, some larger tanks can be loaded into the open-top containers. In fact, the open-top container is not larger than the general container, but higher than the general container. Its length and width are the same as the general containers, but the top can be opened.

The internal dimensions of the 40FR is 11784 x 2030 x 1943 mm. This container has no roof, no side plates around it, only front and rear plates, corner columns and front and rear roof beams. At the same time, the front and rear plates can be folded. After folding, they are integrated with the floor and look like a flat plate. In addition, the container floor is very thick, and the overall weight is heavier than ordinary containers, mainly used for loading very large tanks.

(5) 45HC ( 45 Feet High Cube )

It is the special containers for the shipping of the brewing equipment, the price is higher 30% than the general 40 feet containers. The internal dimensions of the 45HC is 13716 x 2438 x 2890 mm, it is longer than the 40 feet containers and could contain the taller tanks.

3. How would customers unload and reassemble the brewery equipment when the arrival

It’s always a exciting thing when the customers receive their brewery tanks, the first thing should do is to check if all the brewing tanks in good condition without any damages or scratches, and then unload the brewery equipment from the containers and move them to the brewing site.

 For the small brewery upgrading and expending projects

General speaking, there are only few small fermenters or bright beer tanks needed for the small brewery upgrading or expending projects. What should we do is to loosen the ropes and feet bolts that fixing the tanks, and then transfer the tanks from the containers to the brewing site by the forklift truck, it’s a very easy work!

 For the small turn-key brewery built projects

Regarding the small turn key projects, such as 10hL or smaller size brewing system, the brewhouse could be loaded in the general 40HC containers, so the customers could unload them from the containers directly without any adjustment or assembly before the using.

 For the large turn-key brewery built projects

Regarding the large turn key projects, such as 15hL or bigger size brewing system, the brewhouse could not be loaded in the general 40HC containers directly, the brewhouse system has to be disassembled and packed separately before the shipping, so the customers have to reassemble the brewhouse system when they receive the tanks. This is really a difficult work.

 For the very large tanks contained by the special containers

For the large tanks shipped by the special containers, such as 40OT or 40FR containers, the crane machine will play an important role for the unloading tanks, it will handle the brewing equipment from the top of the containers by the ropes, and then deliver it by the the trucks.

4. Summary

Admittedly, the manufacture process of the brewing equipment is very important for the quality, but the loading, shipping and unloading also play the important roles in the whole turn-key projects process. How to avoid the damages or scratches of the brewing equipment in the handing process is the theme of this article. What we said above are some common attentions in the loading & unloading process of the microbrewery equipment. Hope this could help you a lot if you are a beer lover and are looking to purchase the brewery equipment from the abroad!

 

Maintenance Methods for Beer Production Equipment and Accessories

To run just about anything in life, is to put in the time and effort needed.

This holds true for everything ranging from things in your personal life, to those related to your profession and career.

All of this is required, as just about everything you do in life, requires active maintenance, to be in top condition and run smoothly.

 

And this holds true for individuals as well as other entities.

When it comes to industries, this is very much applicable, wherein there is a constant need to take care of the equipment, facility and other aspects of the business process.

In the case of the beer industry, it is pretty much the same case. With a host of different machinery, pipes, containers and dispensers around, along with other paraphernalia that keeps everything together, it is clear that maintenance is something that one cannot ignore, if they are to be running at peak capacity.

 

 

Given in the steps below are some of the most important maintenance methods for beer production equipment and accessories.

 

  1. Routine Inspections

This is by far the most important steps that are to be taken up, if the beer making equipment is to be in top order.

That the equipment breaks down, at least in the long run is a given. It is not something that can be contested. At the same time however, it is also not something that can be ascertained with any degree of certainty.

It is here that the routine inspections come into existence. Having someone or a group of individuals take up routine inspection of the way things are running in the facility is a great way to identify problems before the happen, and apply the necessary measures before it is too late.

It is usually done every couple of weeks, with the actual maintenance process being something done at similar intervals. Depending on the intensity of equipment use, inspection frequencies may also vary.

 

  1. Outsourcing the Work

If there is one trend that has emerged in the world of modern business, it is that of outsourcing.

Simply put, outsourcing helps a company to shift a part of its work load to another company, in an effort to focus on its core product or service, while the other company takes care of the less important work.

The tasks that are related to maintaining the equipment, as well as its inspection, can be outsourced to a third party. Also to note here, is that the third party can be the manufacturer of the equipment, or someone authorized by it.

 

  1. Setting up a Fund for Repairs & Maintenance

Spend some time to check up on the balance sheets of any company.

You will notice that there is a specific section in it called repairs and maintenance, or something like it. There is a reason why this section exists.

It is there to ensure that there is a certain amount of funds available, in the case where there is any sudden breakdown of machinery or other such emergency.

And if something like that were to take place, things can be brought back to normal before something negative happens to the company.

 

  1. Sterilizing the Equipment

This is by far one of the most important steps of hygiene when it comes to maintaining beer equipment.

It is important that the beer equipment be properly sterilized, at regular intervals, so as to ensure the right production environment for manufacturing beer.

There are several things that should be sterilized here, including the fermentation tank, connecting pipes, hoses, and taps and so on. And these have to be done in a way that leaves them sterilized, without in any way contaminating the next batch with cleaning solvents and what not used during the sterilization process.

While there is no specific chemical or technique used by brewery, one of the most common ways of cleaning equipment is using bleach. The bleach, when dissolved in cold water, helps to eliminate any and all organic deposits as well as other residue that may exist in the mixture. In addition to this, there are several other chemicals, many of which are patented, which can be used as well.

Regardless of the chemical being used, it is important to ensure that the chemicals are thoroughly washed away with water, before the next beer batch is prepared. As much as these chemicals may be of use, they are also dangerous when ingested.

 

  1. Using Plain Hot Water

Another way of cleaning up the equipment is plain old hot water.

As rudimentary and primitive as it may sound, hot water is a great way to kill just about anything that may be living on the surface of the equipment.

If one is reluctant to use hot water, one could use other sources of heat, such as steam, autoclaves or any other such machinery.

  1. Application of Vinegars

There are a host of different chemicals that are currently used for cleaning beer making equipment.

One of the more traditional ones used for cleaning, is somewhat like the one mentioned in the previous point; vinegar.

Vinegars come in a variety of different preparation styles, all of which are made up of acetic acid. It is a great way for one to strip equipment of any deposits that may have accumulated over the years.

If one is interested in using vinegars to clean the surface, it should be noted that the affected layer will have to be soaked in vinegar for a certain period of time, usually a couple of hours, to effectively strip away accumulated deposits.

 

  1. Scrubbing a Humble Brush

This is a great way to get rid of any accumulated mineral or organic deposits, particularly one that is resistant to other materials.

Rubbing with a hard brush can usually eliminate even the toughest of deposits on beer equipment.

 

  1. Maintain a Clean Work Environment

Last but not the least, it is important to ensure that a clean workplace environment is maintained at all times.

This is because quite often, the maintenance issues have more to do with the place where the equipment is housed, rather than the equipment itself.

For example, a good proportion of the dust in machinery comes from the factory, rather than the machinery itself. Likewise, there is a possibility that the equipment may be damaged by rats living in the facility, which tend to be attracted to the ingredients stored in the factory.

In simple words, maintaining a clean working environment helps to ensure that the equipment can avoid much of the issues that it would have otherwise encountered.

 

 

In all, these steps and others like it are a great way to ensure that the machinery used by the business, will help out immensely when it comes to maintaining the equipment in working condition.

It may seem like a hassle to go about doing it all, but this is what is required if one has to keep the business running at a capacity of optimum productivity and profitability.