The Calabogie Brewing Company opened it’s first location in Calabogie, Ontario in summer of 2015 with a 10-barrel brewhouse, 4×10-barrel fermenters and a taproom. In the spring of 2019 the Calabogie location expanded it’s taproom and added a kitchen. In Fall of 2018 a second location was opened in a 7000 square foot space at 105 Schneider Road in Kanata. This new location includes a 20-barrel brewhouse, 8×20-barrel fermenters, 2×20-barrel brite tanks, tap room and patio with food service, and a retail store.
Calabogie Brewing Company In House Quality Assurance Practices
In the past few months, Calabogie has re-examined its internal protocols and investigated areas in which to improve our processes. We have expanded our QA/QC commitment as well as making significant investment in lab equipment and testing capabilities to help ensure only the highest quality beer is released to the consumer. The following is a summary of the steps we have taken, thus far, to improve our Quality Assurance Best Practices.
Every batch of beer is checked for wild yeast and bacteria at the beginning of fermentation, after transferring to bright tanks, and in package. Lin’s Copper Sulphate medium (LCSM) is used for detection of wild yeast, and Wallerstein Laboratories Differential medium (WLD) is used for detection of bacteria. This is tracked and recorded using Excel, and notes are taken on numbers and colony morphology. Any growth is then looked at under microscope to help further characterize it, and further actions are taken depending on the type and size of the infection. Our pitching yeast is also plated on LCSM and WLD, and cell counts and viability are calculated and tracked. Our yeast is re-pitched up to 5 generations and stored for up to a 2 week period prior to discarding. The yeast batch used is recorded on our brew sheets, as well as cell counts and viability in tank after pitching.
The effectiveness of Cleaning In Place (CIP) procedures are ensured using an ATP Luminometer, whereby each tank is checked using an ATP swab under the manway after the CIP cycle is complete. If the ATP reading is out of specification, the CIP cycle is repeated. Titrations are completed weekly of our sanitizer and caustic strength to further ensure sanitation cycles are effective.
Beer is tasted during a weekly sensory panel, where panelists taste each packaged product for “Trueness To Type” using the DraughtLab beer sensory app. The same app is used to build brand descriptions for new beer varieties and trials, as well as shelf life testing. Forced ageing of samples is conducted when undergoing trials or when beer has a high dissolved oxygen content to ensure a consistent shelf life. Beer is also tasted throughout production to ensure consistency.
In addition to microbiological and sensory testing, the Specific Gravity (SG), pH, and
Temperature of each batch of beer is measured throughout the mash, runoff, boil, and knockout (see attached example brew sheet), as well as throughout fermentation (see attached example tank sheet). The SG is measured by hydrometer and is used to calculate the %ABV. The carbonation volume and dissolved oxygen (DO) content is measured by a Haffman c-DGM to further ensure consistency. DO is also measured in package, and upon a high measurement accelerated shelf life studies are completed to ensure a sufficient shelf life. Raw materials are also analyzed prior to use by smelling and tasting, as well as recording important information from Certificates of Analysis and making adjustments as necessary.
Every batch of beer is designated a lot number based on the brand name and the number of times that brand has been brewed. This lot number is present on every can and keg packaged, along with the date and location of packaging. (One-Step-Backward) The lot numbers of raw materials are also recorded on the brew sheets to maintain traceability. Brew sheets and tank sheets are then scanned, and electronic copies are held for easy lookup. Samples are retained of each batch for 4 months so that any further testing can be completed in the case of a customer complaint. (On-Step-Forward) For direct shipments to customers, product lot numbers are recorded for each product on every invoice. For indirect shipments through 3rd party partners, product lot numbers are recorded for each product on the BOL – Bill of Lading.
Confirmed by the following responsible representatives of the brewery:
General Manager: Tom Leger
Head Brewer & Quality Control Manager: Hugh Colbert