Draught beer equipment and microbiology—Investigations to avoid microbiological contamination

Packaging (Bottles, Draft, Cans) Session
Johannes Tippmann, TU München, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan, Lehrstuhl für Brau- und Getränketechnologie, Freising, Bavaria, Germany
Co-author(s): Simon Henke, Jens Voigt, and Karl Sommer, TU München, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan, Lehrstuhl für Verfahrenstechnik Disperser Systeme, Freising, Germany; Thomas Becker, TU München, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan, Lehrstuhl für Brau

ABSTRACT: In the brewery, cleaning and sanitation are one of the most important issues in producing a perfect beer. In contrast, in many draught systems sufficient cleaning is not carried out, and the hygiene situation is more than insufficient. As a consequence, the quality of the beer is destroyed during the last meters, just before the consumer enjoys it. In many cases poor quality standards are the result of two main factors: lack of knowledge and disbelief, although the challenges are nearly the same as in the brewery. For this reason, a number of extensive and complex investigations have been done in the last few years to eliminate the remaining ambiguities surrounding this issue. The investigations were done with a focus on the microbiological situation in the draught system, which depends on the following factors: the influence of daily tap cleaning, the influence of regular cleaning of the coupler, the influence of correct and regular cleaning of the draught lines including critical components like pumps or flow meters, the age of the equipment, and the correct construction of a draught system. The results show scientifically that the experiences and recommendations given in many rules and standards are correct and significant. Periodic cleaning of the tap and the coupler prevent retrograde contamination via the open areas of a draught system. These are the two main critical points at which microorganisms enter the draught system. In unavoidable cases, a microorganism can still enter the system; in such cases, it must be ensured that growth of a biofilm is inhibited by performing regular and sufficient cleaning. In addition to prevention through cleaning, prevention can be enabled through correct construction of draught systems using the latest hygienic design criteria. The abovementioned conditions are necessary qualifications for the customer to receive the same high quality beer in a pub or restaurant as the beer has in the brewery. This presentation, which is partially a review (issue of investigations of tap hygiene), describes the failure, investigations, results, and solutions for the issues mentioned above.

Johannes Tippmann graduated from university in 2004 as a diploma engineer for brewing sciences and beverage technology. In 2005 he started his Ph.D. thesis with Karl Sommer at the Lehrstuhl für Verfahrenstechnik Disperser Systeme, TU München, on solids handling in the brewhouse. He collected wide experience with the procedures in beer production during his studies, conducting student research projects and his diploma thesis on this topic. In 2012 he changed his affiliation and is now working for the Lehrstuhl für Brau- und Getränketechnologie, TU München. He is group leader for the work group Brewhouse Processing and Dispense Systems. Since 2000 he has worked as a student research assistant with dispensing systems and has collected much experience in this subject area. Since 2006, he has been responsible for research issues in dispense systems. He is also a member of the Dispensing Systems Technical Committees of the government association for the food and catering industry (BGN) and of the DIN German Institute for Standardization. He is working for the MEBEK dispense group and has published a number of papers.