View Full Version : HACCP in Brewing

10-29-2010, 05:36 PM
Are any of you brewers HACCP trained? I know the pathogens related to brewing are rarely dangerous, but it seems like this is a must in every other food-related business...yet I hear little about Critical Control Points from brewers...

Any opinions?


10-29-2010, 11:15 PM
As far as I seen, brewing is concidered food processing and thus has to comply with food processing regulations.

Depending on you local authority, some are as strict as if it were meat processing or dairy, and others realise the difference and are.... more flexible.

With this in mind, your critical control points can be as few or as many as to satisfy you and the regulations.
The bigger breweries are quite detailed in they HACCP programs as even small mistakes could mean big problems and money.

For us, just the malt we have CCPs points from the growing of the barley, malting, deliveries, storage, milling, mashing, lautering, and disposal.

And these CCPs vary some, depending on where the malt is coming from. (Germany, U.S., Denmark)

Some CCPs include specifing variety of barley, size of kernels, moisture content of barley going to the malster as well as the malted barley.
Certifications(Organic), cleaning of the barley and malt, cleaning of shipping containers, etc.

Hope this help.

10-30-2010, 10:49 AM
The country I'm in has only published HACCP regulations for poultry slaughter, but if we want to ship food product to the US of A, our plants need to comply.

I have taken courses for HACCP, but in a conversation with some other local brewers, the others weren't even familiar with the term. Which is what brought me to this post.

I have a HACCP plan for our brewery, but it is largely informal, as we have never been asked to produce it for any local regulations, and frankly I'd be surprised if we were. I'd be interested to see others' plans for packaging...

How about ISO 9001? Anyone required to comply?

10-31-2010, 03:21 AM
Your "largely informal" HACCP program may be enough. It again, depends on who is auditing it. I am also sure, you have more then some other breweries have.
A major point in any HACCP program is Documentation(tracabilty).
To test your documentation/tracibility I look at the finished product in the customers hand and trace it backwards to point of origin.

If any problems occur at this point, you should be able to trace all material used in production back to its origin, including bottles, crowns, labels, as well as the beer, malt, water, hops, yeast, etc.
Once you can do this, then you can put in your control points/critical control points to prevent the problem from reaching the customer in the first place.

Note: 90-95% of all our documentation/tracibility is on 1 sheet of paper.(A3)

I have never heard of ISO 9001 being required by regulation.
Part of ISO 9001 complience would include a HACCP program.(detailed)

ISO certification is time comsuming and expensive. In some cases, unreasonable for smaller companies to achieve.

Hope this helps

10-31-2010, 04:24 AM
Great thread. I had a brewer mention a low kilned malt, <140 degree F. final dry down to <4% moisture, for a light coloured beer. Since this is under the 145 degree F Food safety guidlines. How would this meet specs?

Rebel Malting Co
Reno, Nevada USA

11-02-2010, 11:02 AM
Traceability is key.

The most dangerous point in the process from a consumer standpoint is your malt storage.

Certain molds know to grow on malt and barley can produce very potent aflatoxins.



dick murton
12-11-2010, 01:44 PM
I beg to differ about the moulds. After malting just about the worst you will get is off flavours. Ergot is only really a problem in the barley, and obviously then if Ergot contaminated barley is used for brewing, inthe subsequent beer.

However, think of all the other possibilities that are probably more common - glycol in beer, caustic in beer, glass in the final packaged bottle beer (and these have each happened a few times in the UK in the last few years), plus oil contamination where people have filled kegs with oil / diesel / petrol instead of using proper containers, and I could go on. (oh yes, the odd cat, rat, squirrel where they have fallen into open FVs after being overcome by CO2) Never mind the possibility of microbial contamination, though of course this is virtually impossible to be pathogenic bacteria as they simply don't grow in beer. But all of these things have to be considered by the HACCP schedule

12-11-2010, 02:45 PM
There's a useful paper on HACCP guidelines for microbreweries at http://www.clemson.edu/psapublishing/PAGES/FOODSC/EC691.pdf

12-13-2010, 08:02 PM
I am HACCP certified (for my other job). Just got recert last week. Very interesting, but not much that applies to our trade. HACCP is all about preventing and retarding enzymatic metabolization and fermentation (hence the Critical Control Points), and we are all about achieving and controlling it. It would be nice to have a program (NOT Govn't sanctioned) that would apply to us. I was taught that the FDA is not "interested" in us because (and I quote) "there is nothing pathogenic that could survive in beer." Whether that is 100% true or not, there are certainly pathogens that live on faucets, and tainted beer lines. More importantly, we use chemicals that could REALLY do damage to our bodies. I had an assistant that left a dead leg open in our system, and pumped caustic back into my hot liquor tank. I would have never caught it had I not smelled it. Anyhoo, the HACCP class is pretty useless unless you are working in a kitchen. It's definitely dumbed down a bit for the "common man." In my state, at least 2 people need to be certified in each kitchen. You are better off taking a microbiology class at a local college to learn more, IMHO.

12-13-2010, 11:28 PM
Hey Dick, don't forget about the birds! Ours use to like the brew kettle!

Besides product, HACCP is used for personel safety as well as production efficiency and regulatory compliance.


CO2 is a major hazard in breweries, especially smaller ones.(as most do not recycle CO2)

Burn hazards from chemicals and steam.

Hazards from electrical and water!


I've, seen 100,000+ litres dumbed down the drain because someone forgot to close a drain valve. Besides losing the beer, they had to pay a hefty fine to the council for pollution.

And the list goes on.

As mentioned before, HACCP is flexible and can be very simple or very detail as to its content and scope of coverage.

Roger Greene
12-14-2010, 09:11 AM
Don't forget the little mycotoxin buggers like aspergillus and fusarium. Even though they won't make it into the final beer, their toxins will!

dick murton
12-14-2010, 10:07 AM
Ah yes, forgot about our feathered friends, along with cockroaches and other miscellaneous wildlife that likes to keep warm and dry, and or feed on grain for example.

12-29-2010, 06:09 AM
I beg to differ about the moulds. After malting just about the worst you will get is off flavours. Ergot is only really a problem in the barley, and obviously then if Ergot contaminated barley is used for brewing, inthe subsequent beer.


Off flavours are the least concern when it comes to mouldy grain.

To echo Roger, Fusarium spp. and Aspergillus spp. and their toxins can be an issue. Wet silos, poor sack storage etc.

The single time in my personal brewing history that I have been contacted by a health department (national) was to provide regular proof that my malt was free of these nasty toxins.



Larry Doyle
12-29-2010, 07:38 PM
As usual, many of you make excellent sense. My advice is don't put together a HACCP document just to satisfy someone's requirement. Put it together and then use it. Concentrate on those many areas where loss of control could harm customers and/or the very existence of your company.

dick murton
10-23-2014, 10:19 AM
OK, I know this is an old thread, but I would like to revive it by asking if anyone has a HACCP plan they are willing to share as an example. I have got a simple one which needs a bit more tweaking (and have tried to keep it simple), but I would like to sense check it against a couple of others, especially if you have been audited and passed the audit, or perhaps have got the post audit version.

To give a little background -

Nnominal 16.5 hl (14 US brl) brewlength
Pre-crushed malt and sometimes a little sugar for high gravity brewing / flavours
Whole hops (of course)
5 FVs
Unfiltered beer package into casks
The usual chemicals and finings

Anyone prepared to share what they have?

Thanks very much


07-01-2015, 12:17 PM
Who among us in the USA has gotten themselves HACCP certified and if so, what was the process you went through in order to do so?


09-21-2015, 04:14 PM
I looked into HACCP about 10 years ago. Quite involved to get certified, I believe. Demanding to create and implement. However, you can incorporate the principles into your company policy and procedures. Sierra Nevada has a HACCP program.

04-25-2016, 08:59 AM
Anyone willing to share an example of a Brewery HACCP plan? Thanks