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scotts
09-17-2014, 08:41 AM
I'm wondering how small breweries handle chemicals when diluting them down into usable quantities for CIP/soak.

I'm in a corner of the world that doesn't have any small breweries, but the chemical company I'm working with has all of the chemicals I need available through partners, and at reasonable prices. But I think they're used to dealing with large factories in the food industry, because they insist that I need peristaltic pumps with electronic dosing systems at a cost of $4000-5000; that these chemicals are too dangerous to be handled manually.

I was under the impression that small breweries did handle cleaning chemicals manually, measuring with a syringe or glass beaker, albeit with the appropriate PPE, so I'm asking for a reality check from probrewer users.

In case you're wondering, the chemicals are a caustic and a nitric/phosphoric blend, each to be diluted down to 1%, and PAA to be diluted down to 0.5%, all of which I believe to be pretty standard.

TGTimm
09-17-2014, 09:26 AM
These are the same cleaning chems we use. Unless you're going to be installing a complete closed CIP system, you won't need dosing pumps. Caustic is the most dangerous of the chemicals you've listed, not only due to it's extreme corrosivity, especially for flesh, but because it's highly exothermic when mixed with water. I once tried to rinse out a plastic pitcher that was caked with caustic, and the danged thing just melted in my hand. Good thing I was wearing proper gear. As with most concentrated chemicals, add the chems slowly to a large amount of water. Caking is another problem if you're using dry powder caustic. We once had the bottom port of our kettle completely clogged by a brewer adding too much caustic too quickly. Not an easy situation to safely remedy.

When cleaning a brewing vessel, we fill the vessel with enough water to prevent the pump from forming a whirlpool and cavitating, then add the chemicals through the manway door.

Concentrated PAA will attack and oxidize skin instantly, but much less seriously than caustic. PAA breaks down rapidly if left open. The phos/nitric mix is also highly corrosive, but does not attack skin as rapidly as the others.

If you do intend to build a closed CIP system (something OSHA really likes to see), I'm sure you can find dosing pumps for cheaper, depending on the volume you need to dose.

tariq khan
09-17-2014, 09:30 AM
Always used a manual plastic hand pump with a jug with of course full face shield and gloves. In England our chemicals came in 20L (5gal) jugs so we would carefully pour into a jug (again with proper protection).

T

jakecpunut
09-17-2014, 10:00 AM
We talked it over quite a bit before we started our brewery and ended up with PBW and Starsan. Some will say the cost is too much but to me the risks with caustic etc were worth the cost especially as clumsy as I tend to be at times.. The PBW as done really well on the MTL, BK and FV's. 10bbl system

Cheers!
Jake

Thirsty_Monk
09-17-2014, 12:06 PM
We talked it over quite a bit before we started our brewery and ended up with PBW and Starsan. Some will say the cost is too much but to me the risks with caustic etc were worth the cost especially as clumsy as I tend to be at times.. The PBW as done really well on the MTL, BK and FV's. 10bbl system

Cheers!
Jake

For what ever reason I do not have the same experience with PBW as you and I advise every professional brewer to stay away from
It. It is all right for soaking and that is about it.

scotts
09-17-2014, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the sanity check. By the way, all of our chemicals will be liquid. I was thinking a manual pump that you could preset to certain volumes would be nice, like this:

http://www.metrohmusa.com/Products/Titration/Bottletop/Bottletop-Dispensers/

But they're quite expensive ($400-900) due to their laboratory grade precision and design. Anyone have a cheaper alternative, even if it doesn't measure while pumping? I'd prefer not to pour 25kg jugs if I don't have to.

TGTimm
09-17-2014, 02:11 PM
Our pumps for liquid chems are made by Reike Corp. I don't know the numbers or where they came from (ULine?)--which means they last a long time, as I've been doing all ordering for several years. We often modify them to fit different depth jugs/barrels by cutting pick-up tubes from PE tubing.

gitchegumee
09-17-2014, 06:33 PM
That's not too big to pour from! I do it all the time! Although I don't like using caustic unless I absolutely have to (countries that don't have an alternative because "cheaper is better"), I pour it into a plastic pitcher. Same as acid wash. Same as PAA. What's the big deal with pouring from a 5 gallon jug? Just be sure of a few things: Proper Personal Protective Equipment, clean plastic pitcher, clean chemical jugs, add acid to water (NOT the other way), and never pour chemicals back into the storage jug if you happen to accidentally pour too much. And by the way, I use PBW or Bru-r-eze whenever I can. I've had great luck as long as an acid wash is employed. Pumps are a hassle and may actually be more dangerous with tubes flinging caustic and getting caked with solid material. Keep it simple!

CharlosCarlies
09-18-2014, 07:24 PM
First of all we use all the chemicals you've mentioned. We tried using some cheap model hand pumps at first, but ended up switching over to these for all our chemical drums/pails. I think they're called EZ-Action pumps and cost ~$50 each. They are really easy to use w/ decent precision and seem pretty damn durable.

19160

From there we just pump them into 1 gallon Rubbermaid pitchers (that I think are Polypropylene) or into a 1L graduated pitcher for when finer, more accurate dosing is required. It's probably not perfect, but it's simple and worked well for us.