With the improvement of our living standards, the demand for high-end and diverse beer flavors is increasing. Craft beer aims to provide a premium drinking experience by using the freshest and most nutritious ingredients and implementing strict brewing processes. Here are some points regarding hygiene control in the craft beer brewing process.
Raw material selection and hygiene control
The raw materials used in craft beer should be carefully selected, with pure, high-quality malt being the best choice. No additional additives are used, following the traditional brewing method to create a beer with a rich malt aroma. Proper storage of malt is essential to prevent moisture, mold, insects, and ensure proper air circulation. Temperature and humidity changes in the malt warehouse should be monitored, and pre-emptive measures like spraying and fumigation should be taken to prevent insect damage.
Brewing process hygiene control
Milling control: After milling, the raw materials should be promptly fed into the process, especially in high-temperature summer conditions. Otherwise, the malt could become damp and moldy.
Boiling control: Boiling is a crucial step in wort sterilization, and it is essential to maintain sufficient boiling intensity and duration.
Tank entry control: Once the wort has been boiled and pumped into the lauter tank, it should be cooled without delay to prevent extended exposure in the tank, which can lead to decreased temperature and microbial contamination. Ensure that the wort pipes, compressed air, and yeast are sterile before transferring the wort into the tank, aiming for zero pollution during the process.
Fermentation hygiene control
Prior to wort transfer, the fermenter must be in a sterile state, and the fermentation tank should be promptly cleaned to ensure the effectiveness of disinfection. After each fermentation cycle, a thorough cleaning of the fermentation tank should be performed to prevent any sanitary flaws.
The fermentation workshop environment must maintain cleanliness, including a minimum of 30 minutes of daily ultraviolet sterilization and quarterly fumigation.
Filling hygiene control
The key difference between craft beer and ordinary beer lies in maintaining the pure taste and nutritional value of the fermented product without subsequent sterilization. Therefore, the filling process of craft beer must adhere to stringent hygiene requirements.
Hygiene control of bottled beer
Currently, high-end beer is mainly packaged in cans or glass bottles, which are suitable for low-temperature storage. The bottling process requires strict environmental sanitation standards and adherence to hygienic operation procedures.
Hygiene control of kegged beer
Most beer kegs are filled using a beer injector. It is crucial to control hygiene before the spear caps come into contact with the beer dispensing system to ensure constant sterility.
Hygiene controls for storage and transportation of finished products
The storage and transportation of craft beer must adhere to the entire cold chain process. Beer is not only rich in nutrients but also contains active yeast. Improper temperature control can lead to secondary fermentation, which affects the taste and creates high pressure inside the bottle. This pressure can cause the cap to loosen or leaks from the bottle mouth, leading to microbial contamination.