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Thread: Brewery SOPs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Brewery SOPs

    I am just starting up my microbrewery and I want to get some written SOPs in place for safety, confined spaces, quality, and cleaning before I start operations. I was wondering if anyone has some examples or samples they would be willing to share. I hate to reinvent the wheel so figured I would see what was out there as a starting point. If so please share it on this site or send it via email to robot@tinwhiskersbrewing.com. Thanks for any assistance you can give!

    Slainte!
    Jeff
    Tin Whiskers Brewing Co

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Ventura, CA, USA
    Posts
    70

    Any news?

    Hey Jeff,
    Just wondering if you got any info from others? I am finishing my brewpub plans and just saw this tread, thinking to myself that this is good timing. If you get tidbits of SOP's can you share? If so, PM me.
    Thanks
    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6
    Hey John,

    I will be certain to pass it along if I get anything. So far I have got nothing.

    Slainte!
    Jeff

    Quote Originally Posted by OGBrewer76 View Post
    Hey Jeff,
    Just wondering if you got any info from others? I am finishing my brewpub plans and just saw this tread, thinking to myself that this is good timing. If you get tidbits of SOP's can you share? If so, PM me.
    Thanks
    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chesterfield, UK
    Posts
    1,535
    No example SOP, but a few thoughts....

    The trouble is that every brewery and every operation is different and so what might be valid for one brewery is not for another. It also depends exactly what you want to use the SOP for.

    Do you want it to be a refresher for someone who has been trained, but only does that particular job say as holiday relief, so perhaps a few week of the year, or

    do you want it to be a blow by blow account such that providing the operator can read and is physically strong enough to do the job, he / she can simply follow the instructions parrot fashion and get the basic job done correctly, or

    Do you want it to be the above, but with additional explanations about what is happening when button "A" is pressed, so it gives an introduction to the theory of the process, or

    do you want it to be option 2 or 3, but with guidelines for troubleshooting?

    Do you want to use the SOP as the basis for assessing someone's competence verbally / in written form (I sugest this is unlikely as though I have acutally been employed a couple of times to introduce such an assessment system it has never been implemented - too much work in the short term)

    The level of detail required has to be decided first - with obvious implications for the complexity of the instructions.

    Is the plant complicated enough that diagrams and or pictures are the most sensible way forward for many instructions (my preference is for good simple diagrams as I find stainless reflects so much light and the pipework can be so complex that the photo often is less clear)

    The you need to decide how often this instruction is likely to be referred to, which will help determine the layout and level of detail, the font type and size, and indentations etc (i,e, general layout).

    However, what should be included are references to other associated SOPs, hazards (e.g. CO2 atmosphere, caustic leaks), material safety data sheets, safety equipment, formal safety assessments, safety checks to be carried out before, during or after the operation, prestart conditions / checks and what has to be done / who to contact in event of a problem. Make sure any records that need to be completed are also included.

    Try out a few formats first and then decide on a single format accross the brewery.

    Make sure there are only known copies in circulation and that version control is good - you don't want old versions lying around either in personal possession or simply left lying around.

    Make sure they are waterproof / water resistant, i.e. in plastic ring binder pockets or encapsulated. Make sure there are enough, but not too many copies around.

    And finally, make sure the procedure specified in them is being used . If not, is it because someone is carrying out a simpler / safer procedure which should become the official version? If not, why not?

    Cheers
    dick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6
    Hey Dick,

    Thanks for the response. You have given me some things to think on as I progress in the writing of this SOP. I am thinking more like something more like option 2 with a little of 3 so that way when new people are brought on that there is something to refer to after training as been completed.

    I really appreciate your response and your insights have been good to refocus on what the SOP is all about.

    Slainte!
    Jeff


    Quote Originally Posted by dick murton View Post
    No example SOP, but a few thoughts....

    The trouble is that every brewery and every operation is different and so what might be valid for one brewery is not for another. It also depends exactly what you want to use the SOP for. With any manufacturing process whether beer or something else control and consistency of the process is key and having a troubleshoot guide would be something we should have as well.

    Do you want it to be a refresher for someone who has been trained, but only does that particular job say as holiday relief, so perhaps a few week of the year, or

    do you want it to be a blow by blow account such that providing the operator can read and is physically strong enough to do the job, he / she can simply follow the instructions parrot fashion and get the basic job done correctly, or

    Do you want it to be the above, but with additional explanations about what is happening when button "A" is pressed, so it gives an introduction to the theory of the process, or

    do you want it to be option 2 or 3, but with guidelines for troubleshooting?

    Do you want to use the SOP as the basis for assessing someone's competence verbally / in written form (I sugest this is unlikely as though I have acutally been employed a couple of times to introduce such an assessment system it has never been implemented - too much work in the short term)

    The level of detail required has to be decided first - with obvious implications for the complexity of the instructions.

    Is the plant complicated enough that diagrams and or pictures are the most sensible way forward for many instructions (my preference is for good simple diagrams as I find stainless reflects so much light and the pipework can be so complex that the photo often is less clear)

    The you need to decide how often this instruction is likely to be referred to, which will help determine the layout and level of detail, the font type and size, and indentations etc (i,e, general layout).

    However, what should be included are references to other associated SOPs, hazards (e.g. CO2 atmosphere, caustic leaks), material safety data sheets, safety equipment, formal safety assessments, safety checks to be carried out before, during or after the operation, prestart conditions / checks and what has to be done / who to contact in event of a problem. Make sure any records that need to be completed are also included.

    Try out a few formats first and then decide on a single format accross the brewery.

    Make sure there are only known copies in circulation and that version control is good - you don't want old versions lying around either in personal possession or simply left lying around.

    Make sure they are waterproof / water resistant, i.e. in plastic ring binder pockets or encapsulated. Make sure there are enough, but not too many copies around.

    And finally, make sure the procedure specified in them is being used . If not, is it because someone is carrying out a simpler / safer procedure which should become the official version? If not, why not?

    Cheers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    York, Maine
    Posts
    3

    "Specific for Safety"

    Hey Jeff,

    I am new to Probrewer and excited that you asked the question. Though I am a "year late" to the conversation, I think that I have some value to add. Written SOPs for confined space, LOTO and Fall protection just name a couple are absolutely essential in the operation of brewery or microbrewery. These documents are also required per OSHA. Once these documents have been created and implemented, there is training required. The training conducted needs to be done by the proper individual. Also, for some of these there is refresher training required, specifics vary for each subject. Other programs that you should be thinking of include Hazard Communication, Emergency Evacuation and a Fire Safety Plan. Again, all required under OSHA. I know this is a very high level snapshot of this, if you are in need of more information or want to talk, let me know. askTEDconsulting@gmail.com

    Quote Originally Posted by mori0146 View Post
    I am just starting up my microbrewery and I want to get some written SOPs in place for safety, confined spaces, quality, and cleaning before I start operations. I was wondering if anyone has some examples or samples they would be willing to share. I hate to reinvent the wheel so figured I would see what was out there as a starting point. If so please share it on this site or send it via email to robot@tinwhiskersbrewing.com. Thanks for any assistance you can give!

    Slainte!
    Jeff
    Tin Whiskers Brewing Co

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    York, Maine
    Posts
    3

    Follow up to Brewery SOPs

    I am in agreement with mashpaddled that the OSHA site is a great place for starters, and would push many people that route to begin the overall education as to what is necessary from a regulation and compliance perspective relative to Facilities Safety... however going this way on your own is not advised. In working over general industry and the construction industry over the last thirteen years, it is recommended that you have a subject matter expert on Facilities Safety. This includes everything that was highlighted in my initial post and more (Fall protection, Confined Space Entry, LOTO, HAZCOMM, etc.). Someone will need to have the background (technically) from a safety perspective/ OSHA regulations perspective for this. From the creation of the SOPs, annual compliance audits, training, refresher training, maintenance of the equipment, etc. this is all required per OSHA.

    I hope that this helps, any questions that you have let me know.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    1,676

    Stupid Stuff Content

    Have you looked at this content? http://www.probrewer.com/resources/stupidstuff/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    York, Maine
    Posts
    3

    Words of Wisdom SEction

    Hey Jamie,

    Not sure if this is this the section you are referring too as far as Facilities Safety? If I missed something please let me know. Though this goes over a couple of items, many of the critical programs that are required by OSHA and that are essential to safe brewery operations are lacking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    43

    Thoughts on SOP's

    I saw your post and thought you would find my latest blog post about brewery training helpful. You can also go to www.aaronbrodniak.wordpress.com, however, for convenience I posted the whole article below.

    If you have ever spilled a beer then you know and accept the amount of ridicule that is normally dispensed by friends or others nearby. At the end of the day it is not going to have an adverse impact on one’s mood, life goes on. However, what if the amount of beer “spilled” is increased to hundreds or thousands of gallons?

    While working as a brewer on the day shift a few years back I came across a co-worker with an expression of shock and bewilderment with their back firmly pressed to a fermenter. To my fellow brewer’s left was a 100 barrel fermenter (approx. 3100 gallons) with cold beer rocketing out of the racking port, which was about four feet off the ground. As he proved to be immovable and thankfully uninjured I trudged through foam beginning to crest my boots in search of the missing racking arm, butterfly valve, clamp and gasket. Perhaps I should have been in shock as well; however, all I could think about was saving the beer! After enduring the near freezing temperature of the beer fountain I was able to secure all the needed items to the fermenter, close the valve and attend to my co-worker.

    What came to mind later was how was I able overcome the dramatic nature of the situation to come up with a solution. It was not due to training since both of us had been trained in the same manner and had worked on teams to create standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for the brewery. However, it was determined that such a situation could repeat itself due to the design of the fermenter and the need to move brewery hoses to be used for transferring and filtering beer. So, how do you ensure that others know how to properly and quickly apply a solution? This is critical in a brewery as whole or partial batches of beer can be lost in moments by opening the wrong valve or equipment issues.

    One method to ensuring employee’s know how to react in an unusual situation is to incorporate scenarios into their training. Although some knowledge is empirical in nature, as it is acquired it should be put into a trouble-shooting section for SOP’s and included in training. Also, refresher training helps employees remember the important lessons from their initial training that they may or may not ever experience. Refresher training can be accomplished as part of regular employee meetings.
    A useful process for developing training may be found in the ADDIE model which is:

    A – Needs Assessment. What knowledge and skills do employees need?
    D – Program Design. What will the training consist of and how will it be delivered?
    D – Program Development. Create SOP’s and other training materials.
    I – Implementation of Program(s). Initial pilot program and ongoing training.
    E – Evaluation. Obtain and track participant perspectives and monitor performance on the job.

    Creating a successful training program can be a time and resource intensive project, however, the benefits of higher productivity and increased efficiencies tend to yield a favorable return on investment (ROI). Evaluating the training program should include ensuring objectives are being met, making changes as needed and calculating the ROI. Also, the loss avoided by saving 3000 gallons of beer could just pay for your training program!

    Cheers,

    Aaron

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Amity, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by mori0146 View Post
    I am just starting up my microbrewery and I want to get some written SOPs in place for safety, confined spaces, quality, and cleaning before I start operations. I was wondering if anyone has some examples or samples they would be willing to share. I hate to reinvent the wheel so figured I would see what was out there as a starting point. If so please share it on this site or send it via email to robot@tinwhiskersbrewing.com. Thanks for any assistance you can give!

    Slainte!
    Jeff
    Tin Whiskers Brewing Co
    Jeff,
    I know I'm a little late to the party....by about 4 years... but I was looking for the same stuff you were. My local Health Department is asking for this stuff and they gave me very generic templates to "help". A little too generic. So basically I'm starting from scratch and don't really have a clue what they want, they don't know either. Did you ever find any templates or examples? if you did and still have them handy would you mind paying it forward?

    I'm looking for templates, examples, or rough ideas for:
    Daily SOP - Receiving and Brewing
    Sanitation SOP
    Recall Policy
    Allergen Control policy
    Employee Health and Hygiene policy

    I have a pretty good idea of the last 3 but I wouldn't mind see another so I know if I even did it right.

    I'm going to keep searching and I may even have to start a new thread, but I figured id give this a shot first!

    Thanks in advance for any help! Appreciate all I can get!

    Ori
    slaterockbrewing@gmail.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Surf City, NC
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by Slaterockbrew View Post
    Jeff,
    I know I'm a little late to the party....by about 4 years... but I was looking for the same stuff you were. My local Health Department is asking for this stuff and they gave me very generic templates to "help". A little too generic. So basically I'm starting from scratch and don't really have a clue what they want, they don't know either. Did you ever find any templates or examples? if you did and still have them handy would you mind paying it forward?

    I'm looking for templates, examples, or rough ideas for:
    Daily SOP - Receiving and Brewing
    Sanitation SOP
    Recall Policy
    Allergen Control policy
    Employee Health and Hygiene policy

    I have a pretty good idea of the last 3 but I wouldn't mind see another so I know if I even did it right.

    I'm going to keep searching and I may even have to start a new thread, but I figured id give this a shot first!

    Thanks in advance for any help! Appreciate all I can get!

    Ori
    slaterockbrewing@gmail.com
    Ori,

    Any luck with working through this? I too am developing an SOP currently.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Amity, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by LoggerheadBeerCo View Post
    Ori,

    Any luck with working through this? I too am developing an SOP currently.
    Ugh! This was the worst part of any of the paperwork I had to do, mainly because I really didnt know what I was doing. I dont even know if I did it right. But I'm calling it done and the HD better be happy with it, especially since they didnt ask any of the other breweries in the area for one. To be honest I did a lot of copying and pasting. The BA website was a good resource and MBAA has good safety stuff, it covers some OSHA topics in a comprehensible way. If you need more, I'm happy to try to help.

    Orianne,

    slaterockbrewing@gmail.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Ventura, CA, USA
    Posts
    70
    Don't know if this will help, but I made S.O.P.'s for everything, CIP, when we clean what floor with what chemical, where items are to be stored. In every S.O.P. I list required and optional PPE. It's a living document, so don't worry about getting it all. But it does demonstrate that you are thinking about these things and taking a proactive approach to safety and monitoring. I also drew out a diagram of the brewery and walk-in cooler space too. For many S.O.P's, I used the info from where I bough the chemicals. Also, have a MSDS folder, or SDS as they call it these days, handy. And lastly, I made a training document illustrating CIP of a tank to demonstrate that the true cleanable surface was the tank, and everything outside, walls, floor, etc, was secondary.

    Hope that helps
    John

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