Keeping your brewery clean can go a long way. The public areas where people will be drinking and eating (if you serve food), but more importantly the equipment you're using to brew your beer, need to be clean at all times. Keeping the public areas of your brewery clean is simple, but cleaning the equipment can be a bit more complex. Using these simple but effective tips will make certain that you are brewing your beer at top quality.
- Using vodka in your airlock rather than water is great and works as a sanitizer. This will kill any tiny bugs that may happen to find their way into the concoction of barley. No need for brand named vodka, as the cheap stuff will do just fine. Before pitching your yeast, pour some vodka in a small spray/mist bottle and spray the opening of your carboy to ensure proper cleanliness. If you use multiple bottles and would like to clean them all at once, just grab a big cooler. Set the cooler by the sink with a drain and have the drain facing the sink. Fill the cooler with 6 gallons of water, and no-rinse sanitizer, Place the bottles upright in the water, and make sure they are completely submerged. When you are ready to bottle, simply drain the water/sanitizer solution.
- It may seem that bleach is a good way to sanitize brew equipment, but I'd recommend otherwise. With the mix of chlorine and maltose molecules it causes a chemical reaction that can produce some unpleasant flavors. Bleach can ruin a solid batch of brew because it tends to be harder to wash out. Enough work goes in to making a the first batch of beer, so work smart, and be sure to clean your equipment the proper way.
Making sure your brewery remains clean in all aspects will serve well for future success. There are numerous things that go into running a successful business, some big some small, but they all matter when it comes to the viability of your brewery. As a customer of many places, I really take notice of the small things that businesses do because it shows the owners and all team members pay attention to detail.