Brewery Hose Storage
Finding a storage solution for large brewery hoses with sanitary fittings can be one of the most surprising challenges commercial brewers face. As production is scaled and equipment upgraded, the cost of FDA compliant beer transfer hose can already prove to be a significant expense for many growing or established breweries. The good news is the strategy used to store these specialty brew hoses can prevent damage and significantly increase the life of a brewer’s investment in their hose assemblies. Beyond sanitary storage practices, a consistent storage method for these sometimes-cumbersome tools can prevent accidents like machinery running over and crushing a hose tube.
It is tempting for brewers to use existing equipment such as tanks, pipes, or even part of lighting fixtures to hang and dry the assembly. Often these makeshift solutions lead to kinking or punctures because the hanging point puts too much pressure on the construction of the hose tube and cover. Hanging over existing equipment also makes the sanitary fittings more likely to incur damage from a fall. Overtime these factors decrease the useful life of the beer transfer hose and lead to expensive replacement costs.
Proper storage of beer hose along with regular inspection and cleaning can help prevent beer spoilers like Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus Pediococcus, Brettanomyces, and Pectinatus from occurring within the hose tube and creating off flavors by contamination. These types of bacteria and yeast/fungi can ruin an otherwise great batches of beer.
Fortunately, finding a sanitary way to hang and store beer transfer hose is easier than most brewers think. Some solutions allowing brew hose to drip dry can even be installed in an afternoon depending on the size and quantity of the hoses. Each solution is different, so we have listed general tips that can be applied to various lengths and sizes. If you need help with a custom brewery hose storage solution don’t hesitate to submit a question to one of our specialists.
How to Store Your Brewery Hose with Sanitary Fittings
- Ensure any device you are hanging your beer transfer hose on has a smooth surface and a large enough surface area to not put too much pressure on a small point of the hose. The surface should support the full ID of the hose and at least 6” to 12” of length depending on weight
- Before attempting to hang dry or store beer transfer hose, it is a best practice to wash with hot water, clean, then rinse out the tube after use
- Evaluate your hanging support points in proportion to the beer transfer hose’s size and length: A 1.5 inch ID, 10’ long brew hose may be able to be successfully hung with one appropriately sized stainless steel support. However, a 2” I. D. 50’ brew hose may require multiple supports. A good rule of thumb is to have at least one hanging support for every 10-15’ of hose length again depending on the weight of the hose
- Never store a wet hose. That is one of the easiest ways to introduce beer spoilers into your beer transfer system. After the tube has been thoroughly cleaned and rinsed make sure to hang it at an angle where it can fully dry
- Make sure your hanging support has enough surface area. Makeshift solutions that rely on smaller polls or brackets with hard lines don’t have enough support for the pressure being applied between the hose and the edge of the support. A one-inch bracket with flat sharp edges can pinch a brew hose and separate the liner – even if it can support of the weight of the hose. This can sometimes be overcome by adding several supports along the body of the hose.
- There are many products available for hanging brewery hoses, but they can be more expensive than DIY solutions. A common, cost-effective solution is to used refurbished vehicle wheels with stainless steel bolts to provide effective support. The length, width, and natural curve of the wheel help distribute hanging pressure throughout the hose body, while the curvature allows the hose to drip dry. If you install this for your brew hose storage make sure to size appropriately so that the sanitary fittings are kept off the ground.
- Do not store brewers hose where sun can damage it
- Finally, if you are storing for long periods of time make sure to block off the ends so nothing enters the hose tube
If you are concerned with keeping your brewery hose assembly off the floor of your brewery, Risers can be a great option that limits manual effort especially during cleanings. These hose assembly risers can keep a hose body and sanitary fittings off of the floor of a brewery which allows any liquid to flow underneath the hose without contaminating its cover or fittings. While risers won’t help a brew hose drip dry or remove it entirely from the floor to avoid vehicle traffic, these tools can help maintain the sanitary the quality of your transfer system.