Mold vs. the Craft Brewery

September is Mold Awareness Month, and Beall Brewery Insurance wants to take the opportunity to remind craft brewery professionals that brewery conditions are ideal for the proliferation of mold.

Large amounts of water are necessary for brewing—but even outside the act of brewing, humid conditions can exist inside brewery vessels. Humidity can also lead to mold infestations on walls, in hops or grain storage areas, and in other areas of the brewery, such as the bathroom.

One environmental control company reports working with Dutch brewer Heineken to decrease the humidity in their production area to reduce condensation and resulting bacteria growth. According to the company, 224 pounds of water per hour were removed in order to improve the brewery’s sanitary conditions.

Is There Mold in Your Craft Brewery?

How can a craft brewery tell if it has a mold problem? If there are tell-tale dark spots or discoloration on door frames, walls, or ceilings, that simplifies the diagnosis. But there are other signs to watch for, including:

  • Musty odor
  • Condensation
  • Warping floors
  • Buckling drywall
  • Paint peeling due to moisture seepage

Ridding Your Craft Brewery of Mold

If you discover mold in your craft brewery, there are a number of ways to respond.

  • You can try to remove it yourself with soap and water or a bleach solution (one cup bleach per one gallon of water). This may be a good solution in non-brewing areas of the business, such as bathrooms. Be sure to prevent bleach from mixing with other household cleaners, allow for ample ventilation, and wear protective eyewear and gloves.
  • You can hire mold remediation experts to remove the infestation.
  • You can invest in an air-drying or dehumidification system that will prevent the condensation that allows the mold to proliferate.

Preventing Mold Infestations in the Craft Brewery

Of course, the best way to deal with a mold problem is to prevent it from starting in the first place. Here are a few mold prevention tips:

  • Check around the perimeter of the brewery for ground water dampness or foundation leaks
  • Look for standing water (or even just dampness) around windows, tanks, sump pumps, and plumbing fixtures.
  • Monitor humidity levels with a humidity monitor. Ideal humidity levels (which will not permit mold proliferation) are between 30 and 50 percent.
  • Consider installation of dehumidification equipment to maintain appropriate humidity levels in the brewery.

For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as wineries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.

 

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