Homebrewing 101: The Basics of Brewery Cleaning Equipment - Share A Word
Brewing liquor in the comfort of your own home has a ton of benefits, doesn’t it? You get the chance to have a bit more fun and experiment with taste and appearance, constantly on the lookout for ways you can improve your brewing methods. Plus, you have access to your favourite liquor at all times. No need to drag your feet to the store to stock up. What a relief.
But there’s a catch. As the old Spiderman saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. And while you do have the power to create unique and delicious alcoholic blends at home, you also have the responsibility of making sure it all goes right. No doubt, you’ve probably already gone through all the essentials for creating your own beer. But by the far the most important aspect you need to consider is cleanliness. No surprise there, right? After all, cleanliness is a crucial factor in the food and drinks business. To help you maintain the necessary level of cleanliness, you need to invest in efficient brewery cleaning equipment. Fortunately for you, we’ve got all the information you need to get started.
Why Is Cleanliness Important in Brewing?
Cleaning your brewery equipment is crucial for preventing contamination and maintaining the highest production standards. If you practice inconsistent and improper cleaning, you’re immediately setting yourself up for failure. Any bacteria, germs or other microorganisms that come into contact with your concoction at any point in the brewing process will definitely have a negative impact on the quality, appearance and taste of your liquor. And no one likes bad alcohol. For this reason, you should take special care of all of your tools, including pots, kettles, spoons, siphons and tubing.
How Is Brewing Equipment Cleaned?
To answer that question, we need to have a look at the difference between cleaning, sanitising and sterilising your equipment.
This is the first thing you should do. The process includes removing dirt, dust and other visible stains and it’s pretty similar to how you wash your dishes at home. It’s a good idea to clean your tools as soon as possible since some kinds of yeast and sugar by-products might be difficult to remove after a while. In any case, you need to get rid of all the gunk and grease first before you proceed. However, this doesn’t eliminate all the potentially harmful bacteria and microbes which is why you need to move on to the next stage.
Now it’s time to sanitise your clean equipment. This is an integral part of the process since a home brew sanitiser is supposed to kill all of the unwanted microorganisms that can have adverse effects on the final product. In this stage, you’re essentially getting rid of all the invisible threats and minimising the risk of them spoiling your drink or causing an infection.
Word of advice – always use a no-rinse sanitiser since rinsing water may have all sorts of unwanted bacteria. Sure, it’s good for drinking but it might not be good for your yeast. Another thing you can do is to occasionally switch up the type of sanitiser you use, to prevent any kind of resistance build-up over time.
Sterilising is the most potent stage which eliminates all life forms on the surface of your equipment. This effectively lowers the risk of bacteria, viruses and fungi from multiplying and causing excessive damage to your product. This stage isn’t compulsory and you can totally choose to skip it if you sanitise regularly.
What Products Should You Use to Clean Your Brewing Equipment?
Despite the large number of options, there are a few core items that get the job done like no other. While the three cleaning stages are virtually the same regardless of which brewery cleaning equipment you get, you should nonetheless read the instructions on the label carefully before use.
In the cleaning stage, always choose detergents that are non-toxic and unscented. Nowadays, many howebrewers opt for the same type of detergent they use to clean the pots and pans at home because it’s convenient and cost-effective. But if we’re being honest, you’ll likely get more satisfying results if you use detergents whose formula is specifically designed to clean brewing equipment.
Bleach, which can be found in both liquid and powder form, is quite effective at removing stains and sanitizing your tools. Make sure you never apply it as is, straight from the package or bottle, because it can easily cause damage due to its harsh properties. For this reason, you need to dilute it with water before you begin sanitising.
Yet again, the type of bleach you get should have no fragrance whatsoever since it can impact the smell of your product. Once you’ve applied the bleach, make sure you rinse it thoroughly, preferably with boiled water.
In order to sanitise your squeaky-clean equipment, you need to spray with or submerge them into peroxide or acidic solutions to get rid of all the bacteria. No rinse sanitisers are quite popular in recent years since water itself may carry multiple harmful microbes which can latch onto the surface, despite the fact that you’ve only just cleaned and sanitised everything. You can never be too careful when handling your liquor, right?