Making the decision to have your own brewing equipment can be an exciting new challenge.
While it is easy to lose yourself to mental images of owning a brewing system and making beer to your heart’s content, the reality is that there is a lot of work to be done when it comes to making and operating your own brewery, no matter how big or small it is. Though you might get the joyous hard work of brewing beer, it isn’t all fun and games when it comes to managing your own personal microbrewery. All of the amazing equipment that you will use to make your delicious brews must be maintained in order for it to continue to brew delicious beer. If you fail to maintain your equipment, you run the risk of it breaking down. This can lead to expensive repairs, or worse, a need for a completely new system. In addition to potential damage, failing to correctly clean and maintain your equipment can result in health concerns. Since beer is meant to be ingested, it is important to always remember that your regular maintenance can help you to dodge health risks.
The first thing to consider when it comes to maintaining your brewing equipment is keeping the kettle clean. Your kettle is a primary component of your brewing system. Making sure that it is not suffering from buildup is imperative for the quality and safety of your beer. Allowing an excess of buildup can lead to inefficiencies in the system, compromised taste, or even health concerns in the worst-case scenario.
When you clean your kettle, you will want to make sure that you do not use anything too abrasive to do so. Damaging the metal of your kettle, particularly if you are leaving scratches, can make abrasions that will not only damage the integrity of the system but are an easier place for bacteria and other health risks to hide.
Some brewing experts suggest using a nitric acid-based cleaner as a start, but traditional brewing cleaner should be fine. You can always do a more manual scrubbing process in the event you notice that any buildup has been left behind. The most popular approach is to run a traditional water cycle through the equipment followed by a cycle with water and cleaner. You can then do an acid rinse, and will end by doing several complete rinse cycles in order to ensure that your brewing equipment is completely devoid of any toxic chemicals before you begin brewing again.
As a general rule, you will want to make sure that you manage to clean all components of your brewing system regularly. This will help to preserve your systems and keep them nice, and will also ensure that your beer is not tainted by previous brews.
Since the majority of people making beer at home like to experiment with various kinds of beer, a good general rule is to clean your systems between uses. This will help to ensure that your beer always has a completely clean and pure taste, and will allow you a good maintenance cycle to ensure that you don’t have to battle any pesky build.
Maintaining your brewery equipment might not be the most fun process, but it is absolutely worth it. You can be proud of yourself for preserving the integrity of your equipment and giving your process the respect that it deserves. More importantly, when you keep your equipment clean, you will be able to taste the difference. It might take a little bit of effort, but it is the price that we all pay for making amazing brews at home.