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2017 Master Brewers Conference
11. Efficacy of sanitizers in the brewery

Elliott Parcells, Bell's Brewery, Inc., Galesburg, MI, U.S.A.

Coauthor(s): Josh Pohlmann, Bell's Brewery, Inc., Galesburg, MI, U.S.A.

Cleaning and Sanitation
Thursday, October 12
1:30–3:15 p.m.
Imperial Salon B

Proper sanitation is paramount to maintaining the overall quality and microbiological stability of beer. The use and efficacy of chemical sanitizers relevant to the medical field has been thoroughly documented and researched. However, the target organisms and sanitation practices in a brewery setting are fundamentally different from those in a healthcare setting. This study focused on the efficacy of four different sanitizing agents on microbes of critical importance in brewing, including beer spoilers. Lactobacillus spp. (co-culture used for sour wort production), Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (house Belgian strain) are commonly encountered organisms in the brewery and were therefore chosen as test organisms. The sanitizing agents were chosen because of their known efficacy and widespread use in breweries. Two factors were investigated in this study. The first factor investigated was the effectiveness of different types of sanitizers. Ethanol, isopropanol, peroxyacetic acid, and iodophor were selected. Second, the contact time required to kill high concentrations of the selected microorganisms was varied up to 8 minutes. Standard working concentrations of each sanitizer were used for preliminary experiments. The results relating to iodophor led to further experiments on stability and efficacy at varying concentrations. Each trial consisted of inoculating two to four of the organisms in separate sanitizer preparations and measuring the contact time required for the organisms to succumb. Growth was ranked by either a yes or no with description of the surviving colony morphologies. Results from these experiments highlight the critical importance of selecting the proper sanitizer. The upper concentration limit for using iodophor as a no-rinse sanitizer is 25 ppm, yet a freshly prepared 25 ppm solution was found to be completely ineffective against high concentrations of diastaticus yeast and Lactobacillus for all contact times investigated up to 8 minutes.

Elliott is currently a laboratory technician at Bell's Brewery, Inc. In 2014 he graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.S. degree in chemistry. At the university, Elliott specialized in analytical chemistry and always had a passion for biology as well. After graduating, he earned an internship in the quality control laboratory at Bell's Brewery. It was here that he discovered his passion for quality, craft beer, and the science behind it all.

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