Brewing, Biofilms and the Value of Expertise

Brewing_Biofilms_Blog Brewing_Biofilms_Blog
Kris Krueger
Principal Application Scientist - Food And Beverage
Aug 27, 2019

Consumers see the work of Diversey experts in the breweries they visit – they just don’t realize it. Consumers expect consistency from a brewery, in product taste and appearance, but many are unfamiliar with Diversey’s role in maintaining that consistency. Diversey provides breweries with the scientific expertise that allows them to produce a consistent product. They don’t know that the brewhouse they are touring is kept clean and microbe-free thanks to Diversey’s innovative solutions and sanitation products.

 

As a Diversey Sector expert, I want customers to get to know the people behind the work we do. I hope to provide some insights by outlining my experience with Diversey, explaining how our work brings tangible benefits to businesses and providing guidance on a key trending issue: how to prevent biofilms. 

 

 

Bringing Brewing Experience to Diversey

 

Since I arrived at Diversey more than four years ago, I’ve put my knowledge and background in the brewing industry to good use. For example, I was very involved in the development of Divo Kool, a powdered, caustic-free low temperature clean-in-place (CIP) solution for small breweries. It helps brewers not only be safer due to its caustic-free formulation, but also reduce wear on their equipment and save energy because of the low temperature.

 

My favorite part of the job is helping brewers solve issues that can arise within their operations. They understand that product consistency is extremely important as customers are increasingly perceptive, noticing any changes or small irregularities in the beer. I enjoy helping breweries take a big-picture look at everything in their operation, finding areas of improvement, and giving them the confidence to accomplish true consistency.

 

Developing Solutions and Processes to Beat Biofilms

 

Biofilms are cohesive groups of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other, often forming slimy layers on a variety of surfaces. Biofilms can harbor bacteria and harmful yeast in food and beverage processing environments. One of the things we help customers address is the biofilm hotspots and whether they’re process related or general sanitation. Controlling biofilm growth allows customers to make a higher-quality, consistent product and improve their brand image as a result. 

 

The following tips will help you prevent and control biofilms in your facility.

 

  • Stay on top of your facility. 
    • Be diligent in inspecting your equipment, hoses and gaskets. Make sure you’re keeping detailed records, including making written comments on exactly what happened when an issue came up so that the whole staff can understand how to avoid it next time. 
    • Create spreadsheets to chart each step of the cleaning process so you can pinpoint where something changed. Document and track your water usage – keeping everything dry and avoiding standing water reduces the risk of biofilms. Constantly walk around the facility, look at your equipment and always conduct a thorough annual check of your sanitation standard operating procedures.

 

  • Explore our solutions.
    • There are a number of Diversey products that help tackle and prevent biofilms. A good example is DivoSan Plus, which is a peracetic acid-based sanitizing agent that can be used in dairies, breweries and other food and beverage processing facilities. It’s non-foaming and acidic, which makes it ideal for CIP and brewery applications. DivoSan Plus is great for taking on bacteria that live in biofilms like E. coli and Salmonella. 
    • Diversey’s Biofilm Management in Food and Beverage Processing online training module from the Diversey Hygiene Academy will increase your knowledge and understanding of biofilms, how to correctly identify them, prevent them and implement corrective actions if required.

 

Knowledge is a Priceless Resource

 

At Diversey, our depth of knowledge and our commitment to supporting customers goes a long way. Customers understand that they can always contact us with any issues that arise, and we’ll find a solution. Whether that’s helping them understand how to clean wooden kegs or how to keep flavor profiles from one production run from impacting the next, we have a wealth and depth of helpful information.

 

A lack of experience or working hygiene knowledge raises potential problems for a brewery. From a consumer’s standpoint, it can be frustrating when a brewery lacks consistency, does not acknowledge quality concerns, or takes complaints seriously. If problems go unaddressed, that comes back around, and negative word-of-mouth will hurt a business eventually. Some brewers also may not realize where they’re wasting time, money, or chemicals in their process. For example, they may not understand that for cleaning chemicals, stronger isn’t necessarily better. Because of my direct brewing experience, I have been able to assist breweries realize their potential, saving time and money by fully utilizing their existing equipment - something that many of our customers were not doing before partnering with Diversey.

 

Diversey offers a range of craft brewing solutions, including conveyor lubrication, open plant cleaning, CIP solutions, affordable online training and more. Contact us for further information.