Cleaning records for casks/kegs

Following the launch of our Cleaning & Maintenance records feature, we’ve had a few requests to allow better handling of cask & keg cleaning records. I thought it was best to split this specific request off the original announcement thread, so we could gather feedback from the community on how best to implement this.

We’ve two main schools of thought on this. One involves detailed records of individual casks/kegs and the other a label printing approach, see below for the ideas, and we’d appreciate your feedback.

Option 1 - detailed records and management in Breww

  1. Breww to automatically manage your equipment for casks and kegs to give you a piece of “equipment” for each non-smallpack container type (e.g. Pin, Firkin, 30l Keg, 50l Keg, etc). These would be automatically created & updated by Breww when you manage your container types without you needing to manage the equipment itself (like with Vessels and Brewing Systems). We did consider just one “cask” and one “keg” equipment, rather than one per container type, but think splitting Cask into Pin, Firkin, etc gives you more flexibility.
  2. You can then manage cleaning process, schedules and records that are linked to the above equipment, such as a clean of Firkins.
  3. The cleaning record is initially simply linked to the container type (e.g. Firkin) and not the individual containers (F001, F002, etc) themselves. The thinking here is that on a practical level, you’d set about the task of cleaning Firkins, but not necessarily know for sure which individual Firkins will be cleaned in this session.
  4. When managing the cleaning record, you’ll then be able to add Firkins to the record so that Breww can safely record for you which individual Firkins were cleaned. This can be done by individually entering their codes (e.g. F001) or by asking Breww to add all currently “dirty” Firkins to the record in one go.
  5. This would mean that Breww would then need to start to track the clean/dirty state for all casks & kegs (in the same way that we do for filled/empty/in-trade). We’d expect to mark a container as dirty when it comes back from a customer (unless it comes back still full), and we’d prevent you from racking beer into a dirty container. Obviously completing the cleaning process would make them as clean again.
  6. The entire feature of cask/keg cleaning tracking can be switch on/off so that you can continue to use Breww exactly as you do now, without needing to manage the clean state of individual containers. By default this feature would be off.

We’re trying to think of a good way of Breww tracking which containers are clean and which are dirty for you, but without you needing to specifically enter/scan each individual one (through the use of the “all dirty” button), but still giving you the flexibility to do a few containers at once, or an “all apart from a few” without too much manual data entry.

A significant potential downside to this approach is that it seems quite plausible that on occasions, you might clean a number of casks/kegs, but fail to enter a handful of them to Breww, so Breww would think they were dirty and prevent you using them for racking when you can clearly see that they are clean. I fear that trying to be as regimented as this will cause headaches with the practicabilities… which is where option 2 comes in…

Option 2 - simple records with label printing to track

Another option completely, would be to never tell Breww which containers were cleaned in any given cleaning session, but be able to enter a quantity cleaned and this to generate a set of labels that can be printed and stuck onto the cask/keg confirming when it was last cleaned, by whom and a reference back to the cleaning record (maybe with a QR code to scan). Bullet points 1, 2 & 3 on option 1 above would still apply. Breww wouldn’t be able to manage the clean/dirty state or prevent you filling a dirty container with new beer, but give you the tools to manage this yourselves with the cleaning records & stickers, and potentially save you a lot of admin time (and hassle when Breww’s cleaning state for a cask/keg is out of sync with reality).

Would this give you good enough records for SALSA and other accreditations? This approach would probably be less work for you on a weekly basis, and it’s also less for us to build and manage, so this could be the better option all around. We could also complete the build for this sooner.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the above before we start building anything, so we can make sure that what we build covers as many use-cases as possible. Please reply below with your comments. If you think we’re completely on the wrong track or have another idea completely, don’t be afraid to say!