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2017 Master Brewers Conference
58. Out of sight, out of mind—Can it affect your brewery? Yes!

Lee Zacharczuk, Ross Hartrick (1978) Limited, Gadshill, ON, Canada

Coauthor(s): Guy Zacharzcuk, Ross Hartrick (1978) Limited, Gadshill, ON, Canada


Product contamination, bad counts, and flavor carryover—are you wondering where in your system this may be coming from? It may be out of sight, but we recommend it shouldn’t be out of mind! The monitoring and maintenance of your storage vessels is instrumental in ensuring quality and control of the product. Knowing your storage vessels and their condition will allow you to understand areas that should be monitored and or improved on. When is the last time your brewery inspected your vessels? Was it a detailed audit and was it recorded? Have your vessels been inspected for cleanliness? Do you inspect your vessels wet or dry? If you are performing only one (wet or dry inspection), you might be getting inaccurate information. Inspecting a wet vessel can be misleading. It gives the appearance to be smooth, clean, and of good gloss. But when dry, the vessel may have no gloss and could show a buildup of chemical or beer stone, etc. Both inspections should be scheduled. "Gloss" is essential for achieving sanitary requirements within the interior of your vessel. Are your vessel sprinklers or cleaning system working correctly; are they hitting all areas? Are your cleaning materials removing all leftover residues found within the vessel after use? If not, this could affect flavor and or cause flavor carryover and/or contamination. Do your vessels have interior cooling lines and/or other interior process designs that could be difficult to clean? Do your vessels form any pooling, causing leftover cleaning solution to be left behind and mixed with the new product stored within? What information do you have on each vessel? Are they stainless, carbon steel, or copper? What is the condition of the stainless? The quality and condition of stainless can deteriorate over time causing possible product contamination. This can be caused by areas of corrosion. Do your vessels have limitations and do you know them? What chemicals can be used to clean your vessels without causing damage? What temperatures can be used to clean vessels? Do your vessels have glass or a lining system? What's the condition (age) of the lining system? Is it working correctly? What's the condition of the copper? Understanding and knowing what is in your vessel is also important. What fittings are used or found on your vessel? Valves? Sample spigots? Temperature probes? Plugs? Lights? Drains or vents? Man doors on vessel? Level indicators? Counter-pressure valve? Sight glass (window)? Do these fittings have the correct gaskets? Can you clean the gaskets properly? Have you inspected the condition of the gaskets? Cracks in gaskets may carry bacteria into your product. These are areas in a vessel that could affect your product if not monitored.

Lee joined the Ross Hartrick (1978) Limited team in 1993. Since arriving, Lee has taken a keen interest in the entire dynamics of the company’s specialty in tank linings. Lee and his business partner Guy Zacharczuk purchased Ross Hartrick (1978) in 2005 and they have expanded the company in 2014 with a U.S. division called Ross Hartrick Inc. Lee leads their research and development team in all aspects of substrate corrosion. Lee heads the research and testing of epoxy materials around the world and has become a tank lining and coating specialist for applications in food and beverage facilities. Lee has been a proud member of the Master Brewers since 2003. He is also a member of NACE and SSPC. Lee heads up Ross Hartrick (1978) Limited and Ross Hartrick Inc.’s PR Department and often speaks at events.

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