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Tackling Humidity Problems In Breweries

Brewing alcohol is a complex, skilled and multi-faceted craft. There are many different factors to consider from start to finish, and the entire process is very sensitive to environmental conditions. Brewing requires large volumes of water and heat. Therefore brewing produces a lot of water vapour, which raises the relative humidity level within the brewery.

In a brewery, yeast is a beneficial fungus. However, if ambient humidity levels remain unchecked, other harmful microbes and fungus may also grow, causing damage to building interiors, equipment, causing a hazard and disrupting the brewing process. Excess moisture in the air can also result in condensation on walls, in the hops storage area, the fermentation areas, and yeast rooms. This causes a safety hazard and could spoil raw ingredients.

Humidity Problems In Breweries

Here in the UK, the weather can feel so different day-to-day, even if the temperature stays the same. The relative humidity can range from between 50%-90% throughout the year. Our humid conditions and fluctuating temperatures can cause moisture problems in areas like breweries. Also, any process that involves large amounts of water will release more moisture into the air. If this causes the relative humidity in the space to rise considerably, then the moisture can accumulate as condensation on cold windows, pipes, tanks and other surfaces.

In such a sensitive environment, excess moisture causes several issues, including:

  • Condensation forming and pooling on vessels, pipes, equipment, cold surfaces and even floors
  • Corrosion and other damage to buildings, structures, fittings and equipment
  • Bacterial growth and mould, resulting in hygiene issues and compliance difficulties
  • Problems attaching labels to bottles due to the excessive moisture
  • Issues with integrity of cardboard packaging due to moisture damage
  • Higher servicing and maintenance costs as a direct result of uncontrolled humidity

These problems are generally annoying and inconvenient, but they can also cause serious health & safety hazards, damage to equipment and ingredients, and delays or even a complete halt in production. One of them is particularly unpleasant and can cause a lot of hygiene problems – mold.

If mold develops in a brewery’s storage rooms, it can cause stains, nasty smells, material damage and can even lead to unhealthy conditions. In addition to the damage and destruction of the labels used in your brewery, mold is a sure symptom of moisture problems and a clear sign of a poor indoor climate. A high level of humidity is required in the room for mold to grow, so you must resolve this.

Mold growth is an unhygienic situation that only gets worse with any steam cleaning, as this creates even more uncontrolled moisture in the air. Fans, ventilation and air conditioning are rarely a solution because all they do is replace one body of air and uncontrolled humidity with another, with little control.

Solutions To Brewery Humidity Problems

There is no getting around the moisture in the air in breweries. You are continuously brewing barrels of beer, and you must store them in vessels at low temperatures for weeks, which results in the inevitable condensation and moisture load.

One thing you can do to protect your brewery and prevent water damage is invest in a high-quality, high-capacity dehumidifier. An industrial dehumidifier will suck moisture out of the air and reduce the overall humidity. Some larger breweries need more than one dehumidifier. Ultimately, finding the right dehumidifier for your brewery will be the first crucial step towards protecting your facility from water and moisture damage.

Dehumidification systems enable your brewery staff to maintain control over the air conditions through production, and while the resulting product is being stored. This specialist technology helps to control the relative humidity level within a space, to prevent condensation, damp and mold growth, and protect the integrity of ingredients and packaging.

When the relative humidity is brought below 65% at 20°C, condensation problems are eradicated. Plus, the added benefits are:

  • Maintain better end-to-end control of air conditions in your brewery
  • Eliminate a wide range of practical issues stemming from condensation
  • Prevent corrosion and other damage in structures, fittings and equipment
  • Reduce energy consumption via unique, heat recovery modules
  • Ensure better safety, hygiene and standards compliance
  • Lower service and maintenance costs for buildings and equipment