There’s no doubt that owning any food or beverage establishment comes with extra responsibilities to ensure consumer health and safety. Important tasks include checking your ingredient storage area monthly for needed commercial refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR and regularly cleaning distillery equipment. Regular maintenance is a crucial step in preventing the growth of bacteria that can lead to illnesses, bad tasting drinks, wasted products and equipment failure. Those in the beer and spirits production industry can attest to this.
Did you know that properly cleaning and sanitizing distillery equipment often goes overlooked? You may rinse and wipe down distillery components after each use, but sanitizing equipment is what will kill unwanted germs, bacteria and yeast.
With that in mind, here are some tips for maintaining your brewing and distillery equipment.
Implement a cleaning routine
Make sure to clean all brewing or distillery equipment parts after use. If you skip this step, you’re taking the chance of germs spreading through the entire system. Parts to clean include the brew kettle, mash paddle, fermenter, fermented lid, pump, hoses, hydrometer, airlock, thermometer, yeast containers and measuring spoons and cups. Always wear eye and hand protection when using cleaning solutions (your cleaning product will depend on what your equipment is made of). Some parts can be washed in an automatic dishwasher, but washing by hand ensures effectiveness and proper flushing.
Sanitize it all
Although cleaning and sanitizing sound like the same thing, they are not—especially when it comes to the food and beverage industry. To clean means to get rid of dirt, debris, stains and other matter, while to sanitize means to kill or greatly reduce spoiling microorganisms to minimal levels.
If you don’t get every area and surface on every piece of equipment, you run the risk of contaminating your next batch. Both cleaning and sanitizing your equipment—all of it, from the large kettle to the handheld measuring instruments—provides the best brewing or distilling conditions possible. Use chemical sanitizers manufactured specifically for sanitizing distillery equipment, and consider making a soaking bath for equipment you cannot reach inside to dissolve leftover ingredients. You should also schedule monthly and yearly maintenance appointments to avoid costly distillery equipment and commercial refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR.
Applying heat is another step you can take in the sanitation process. Heat is good at blasting bacteria from your equipment; you may be able to use the high-heat drying cycle on your commercial dishwasher as the final step in the sanitation process. While metal does great in high temperatures, plastic components do not. Avoid putting plastic pieces in the high-heat cycle.
Clean and sanitize immediately
Yes, you’ve spent the last several hours in front of hot equipment making alcohol, but the time to clean up is right away. Waiting to clean and sanitize gives bacteria time to grow, and makes the mess tougher to remove.
Keep your distillery equipment healthy and clean for fresh batches of beer or spirits every time. Luckily, the team at American Refrigeration Inc. is here to help. Give us a call any time you need distillery equipment maintenance, parts repair or commercial refrigeration repair in Eugene, OR!