Monday 27 April 2020

Site Safety Checklist

Health and safety in breweries needs to be taken seriously*. Here's a something handy from the talk I went to at the SIBA AGM.

Site Safety Checklist
  • Fire equipment. Is the equipment in the right place and unobstructed?
  • Means of escape. Are escape routes free from obstructions and clearly signed?
  • First aid provision. Are first aid facilities available?
  • Fire safety. Are flammable substances kept to a minimum?
  • Electrical safety. Are all electrical appliance inspected prior to use?
  • Manual handling. Are measures taken to ensure the safety of people and equipment?
  • Slips, trips and falls. Have slip, trip and fall hazards been addressed?
  • Working at height. Is the equipment suitable and safe to use? Have you been trained for the task?
  • Food hygiene. Are food preparation and service areas kept clean and tidy?
  • Security. Are measures taken to ensure the safety of people and equipment?
  • Violence to staff. Have staff been instructed on how to deal with violent or abusive visitors?
  • Lone working. Are precautions taken when working alone?
  • Animals. Are you aware of the risks associated with contact with animals?
  • Personal Protective Equipment. If necessary is suitable PPE available?
  • Chemical safety. Are hazardous substances used and stored safely?
  • Accidents and emergencies. Is there a list of emergency contact numbers available?
  • Housekeeping. Is the site kept free from obstructions and waste?
  • Machinery Safety. Are staff trained in the safe use of equipment?
  • Vehicle movements. Are pedestrian and vehicle areas separated?
  • Lighting. Is there sufficient lighting?
  • Young persons. Do young persons work on the site?
  • New and expectant mothers. Do new or expectant mothers work on the site?
  • Noise. Are noise levels too loud for normal conversation?
  • Confined spaces. Are confined spaces identified and correctly managed?

*Particularly broken guards on kieselguhr filter dosing pots

Saturday 11 April 2020

A German view on extraneous CO2

In these difficult times it has been encouraging to see many people return to beer blogging. But there has been a noticeable lack of pointless arguments, which as we know is what the internet is for. So you'll be pleased to hear I spotted in article in the IBD magazine where a German brewer gives his views on extraneous CO2. Always good for a pointless argument that.

Often I've seen Satan's minions dismiss any objections to artificially carbonating beer by saying that "CO2 is CO2", which is true on a molecular level, but misses the point that all bubbles are most certainly not the same.

Dr Frank Müller, Brewmaster at Riegele brewery, certainly holds this view as the article reports that he:
"describes fermentation derived carbonation as a more delicate, more integrated effervescence than the coarse bubbles that result from CO2 delivered by gas suppliers and injected in-line. One theory briefly mentioned in the course of this conversation dealt with saturation aspects of CO2 around haze particles, visibly perceived or not evident. Arguably, a slow evolution of CO2 leads to a more gradual saturation and better mouthfeel properties in the final beer."

Germany may sadly have been on the wrong side of the great schism and most of their beer is served in an illicit manner, but the German brewing tradition is still valid, as are the views of Dr Müller. The best information I've found on bubbles due to natural carbonation came from a book I read about champagne bubbles. It came to the same conclusion: that during secondary fermentation tiny particles make nucleation sites for CO2 bubbles, leading to smaller bubbles with a smoother mouthfeel. But you don't need to take my word for it, just say "Get thee behind me Satan" to the Lord of Lies and use your own senses when drinking a naturally carbonated beverage.