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View Full Version : Sprayball selection for steam fired boil kettle



mattbk
09-21-2017, 07:45 AM
What sort of sprayball are people using in their steam fired boil kettles?

We have a drilled sprayball and we have always had problems getting our boil kettle clean. As production has increased, the problem has gotten worse. The problem is the burnt-on wort around the steam jacket.

We have tried experimenting with various chemical/caustic concentrations, temperature, times, even different chemicals, none of which have worked. We are getting about 250-260 LPM through the sprayball with our cleaning system, and have verified coverage via ribo testing.

Is a typical sprayball for a boil kettle something different that gets more mechanical action? I have been told that chemical coverage/action alone might not be enough to get at burnt wort on a kettle.

Thanks.

BrewinLou
09-21-2017, 08:42 AM
What size kettle and how many sprayballs are in it? Can you list a few of the chemical combos you have tried? We have to run acid, no rinse then caustic or BruREz for a long time with the jackets on low to get the kettle to come perfectly clean. Looks brand new after.

mattbk
09-21-2017, 08:48 AM
What size kettle and how many sprayballs are in it? Can you list a few of the chemical combos you have tried? We have to run acid, no rinse then caustic or BruREz for a long time with the jackets on low to get the kettle to come perfectly clean. Looks brand new after.

20 bbl system. We've tried two different types of caustics (NaOH) as well as PBW. We have had more success with PBW than with caustic honestly, but we've never tried acid then direct caustic, usually the reverse (with water rinse between); although we have tried acid then direct PBW. How long is your acid and your caustic cycle? What caustic concentration and temperature are you using?

dick murton
09-22-2017, 01:54 PM
try adding hydrogen peroxide to you caustic once it is recirculating. If you add it during the makeup stage the effectiveness will be minimal as it decomposes rapidly in heat and particularly heat and organic soil. Best check with your chemical supplier for dose rate of their particular material,

UnFermentable
09-22-2017, 11:38 PM
try adding hydrogen peroxide to you caustic once it is recirculating. If you add it during the makeup stage the effectiveness will be minimal as it decomposes rapidly in heat and particularly heat and organic soil. Best check with your chemical supplier for dose rate of their particular material,

I second both the acid straight to caustic (no rinse) and the addition of h2o2. They both helped tremendously.

Dana Johnson at Briko corp is my main suggestion, but also Dirk Loeffler from Loeffler Chemical is a great resource too.

I suggest a good chemical cycle will benefit you much more than new different spray balls. I have used static and rotating, but they both can work great, or have issues depending on your setup. I tend to prefer the rotators, but you have to have particulate free solutions for them to work properly. Particulates gum up both, but the rotators will start well and leave you a stripe if your not checking periodically. Statics tend to have the bottom jets block up, but my bottom is usually clean! (Pun intended)

nohandslance
09-23-2017, 12:00 PM
Only way to get it clean is manual scrub.
Done it on 7, 15, 100, 300BBl's. Its labor. Get used to it.
Lance
Rebel Mal ting
Reno, Nevada USA.
775.997.6411.

mattbk
09-24-2017, 10:37 AM
Only way to get it clean is manual scrub.
Done it on 7, 15, 100, 300BBl's. Its labor. Get used to it.
Lance
Rebel Mal ting
Reno, Nevada USA.
775.997.6411.

Sorry - but that's BS. Tank entries need not be part of any normal cleaning routine. Inefficient and inherent risks for our employees. I'll continue to look for better ways.

mattbk
09-24-2017, 10:39 AM
I second both the acid straight to caustic (no rinse) and the addition of h2o2. They both helped tremendously.

Dana Johnson at Briko corp is my main suggestion, but also Dirk Loeffler from Loeffler Chemical is a great resource too.

I suggest a good chemical cycle will benefit you much more than new different spray balls. I have used static and rotating, but they both can work great, or have issues depending on your setup. I tend to prefer the rotators, but you have to have particulate free solutions for them to work properly. Particulates gum up both, but the rotators will start well and leave you a stripe if your not checking periodically. Statics tend to have the bottom jets block up, but my bottom is usually clean! (Pun intended)

Any idea of target concentration of H2O2 to add to our caustic cycle?

UnFermentable
09-25-2017, 12:32 AM
Sorry - but that's BS. Tank entries need not be part of any normal cleaning routine. Inefficient and inherent risks for our employees. I'll continue to look for better ways.

Agreed. People die from confined space entry (yes even in a brewery it has happened), and larger breweries have entire classes on this specific subject. I happen to be confined space certified, and even then I try to avoid it as much as possible. No reason a proper chemical cycle won't work. There is even a great write-up on the Birko website involving a wine tanker that's been around for many years.

While I have never even seen anything over a 120 bbl brewhouse (just two at once), I can say I personally have effectively cleaned to a "new finish" on 3.5, 7, 15, and multiple 30's with the h2o2/caustic combination with an acid/no rinse/caustic cycle.

Like I said before, Dana is my favorite resource (as I know him personally) and in the July/August edition of New Brewer he outlines the details. Use as little as possible to be effective. He recommends as little as once fl oz per gallon of caustic cleaning solution if using h2o2. You can also use PAA as a caustic additive, however it tends to cost more (but is perhaps a little more stable). Cleaning should be done as hot as possible between -*C (160-180*F).

DO NOT MIX DIRECTLY. Mix your caustic solution well before adding the additive. It will only last about an hour, so get it done before that is up.

mattbk
09-25-2017, 06:34 AM
Agreed. People die from confined space entry (yes even in a brewery it has happened), and larger breweries have entire classes on this specific subject. I happen to be confined space certified, and even then I try to avoid it as much as possible. No reason a proper chemical cycle won't work. There is even a great write-up on the Birko website involving a wine tanker that's been around for many years.

While I have never even seen anything over a 120 bbl brewhouse (just two at once), I can say I personally have effectively cleaned to a "new finish" on 3.5, 7, 15, and multiple 30's with the h2o2/caustic combination with an acid/no rinse/caustic cycle.

Like I said before, Dana is my favorite resource (as I know him personally) and in the July/August edition of New Brewer he outlines the details. Use as little as possible to be effective. He recommends as little as once fl oz per gallon of caustic cleaning solution if using h2o2. You can also use PAA as a caustic additive, however it tends to cost more (but is perhaps a little more stable). Cleaning should be done as hot as possible between -*C (160-180*F).

DO NOT MIX DIRECTLY. Mix your caustic solution well before adding the additive. It will only last about an hour, so get it done before that is up.

This is excellent, thanks. I found the New Brewer article as well. We will try this shortly (acid straight to caustic containing H2O2) and report back results. Cheers!

beerguy1
09-25-2017, 06:41 AM
Curious, why no rinse going from acid to caustic?

dick murton
09-25-2017, 09:22 AM
A bit late coming back to this. Re

"Only way to get it clean is manual scrub.
Done it on 7, 15, 100, 300BBl's. Its labor. Get used to it."

Afraid I agree with other comments about this being BS. I have worked with from 5 to 1500 hl brewhouses - do I / they get in and manually clean the biggies? No chance - chemicals, temperature, time and flow rates. I do agree that internal tube direct fired heaters are a pig, and they are often manually scrubbed before CIP, but they can be cleaned OK without, though in small systems invariably takes longer without a manual scrub.

250 l / minutes is drowning the tank, so in theory you shouldn't have any problem, unless you have loads of intrusions, but even with old copper internal steam heating tubes in old copper kettles, and use of sprayballs - it was simply a matter of time etc. You could try a rotating head for a tank this size, but I'm honestly not sure what you would gain.



Re acid / caustic cycle, I also am intrigued about this cycle. No rinse between detergents and acid before caustic. Anyone explain why this is better than caustic (formulations) perhaps followed by a rinse and acid. As I worked for a couple of pretty big brewing companies, and they didn't use anything like this, I am really interested in understanding the benefits. Thanks

beerguy1
09-25-2017, 09:47 AM
A bit late coming back to this. Re

"Only way to get it clean is manual scrub.
Done it on 7, 15, 100, 300BBl's. Its labor. Get used to it."

Afraid I agree with other comments about this being BS. I have worked with from 5 to 1500 hl brewhouses - do I / they get in and manually clean the biggies? No chance - chemicals, temperature, time and flow rates. I do agree that internal tube direct fired heaters are a pig, and they are often manually scrubbed before CIP, but they can be cleaned OK without, though in small systems invariably takes longer without a manual scrub.

250 l / minutes is drowning the tank, so in theory you shouldn't have any problem, unless you have loads of intrusions, but even with old copper internal steam heating tubes in old copper kettles, and use of sprayballs - it was simply a matter of time etc. You could try a rotating head for a tank this size, but I'm honestly not sure what you would gain.



Re acid / caustic cycle, I also am intrigued about this cycle. No rinse between detergents and acid before caustic. Anyone explain why this is better than caustic (formulations) perhaps followed by a rinse and acid. As I worked for a couple of pretty big brewing companies, and they didn't use anything like this, I am really interested in understanding the benefits. Thanks
Dick, I can respond to the Acid first issue, I am betting you been in the industry long much like myself it always used to be caustic,rinse,acid then leave it on till dry then rinse. Newer thought is proteins can hide behind some mineral deposits so many are hitting it with acid first to remove the minerals then the caustic can go to work on the proteins. I get mineral deposits inside my kettle much like cooking at home, its funny I will dump some acid in the kettle swirl it around with water and you can just see a layer of minerals come off. I usually alternate on a monthly basis with caustic or acids first to try and stay ahead of issues. Seems like it works pretty good for me

mattbk
09-25-2017, 09:53 AM
Dick, I can respond to the Acid first issue, I am betting you been in the industry long much like myself it always used to be caustic,rinse,acid then leave it on till dry then rinse. Newer thought is proteins can hide behind some mineral deposits so many are hitting it with acid first to remove the minerals then the caustic can go to work on the proteins. I get mineral deposits inside my kettle much like cooking at home, its funny I will dump some acid in the kettle swirl it around with water and you can just see a layer of minerals come off. I usually alternate on a monthly basis with caustic or acids first to try and stay ahead of issues. Seems like it works pretty good for me

But do you need to no-rinse the acid before applying the caustic? Wouldn't it be safer rinsing the acid first? Using my boil kettle as an exothermic chemical reactor is not my favorite idea. (I know our fermenters are exothermic bioreactors, but still.) Plus, I assume the caustic is at least being partially neutralized by the acid already in the tank.

dick murton
09-25-2017, 10:26 AM
Matt

Thanks for that. As you say - too many years to want to admit, and counting. Which prompts a few more questions

Do you pre-rinse before the acid cycle, and if so - hot or cold?

What strength acid do you use?

Do you use straight nitric, or a phosphoric / nitric mix? Warm or cold? Single pass or recirculation

And are you able to reduce the caustic strength used after the acid?, or perhaps I should say - what strength is typically effective?

And finally, as has already been asked - why no rinse between?

The thermal reaction between dilute caustic and dilute acid is irrelevant so that is not a problem, but I thought it would allow a huge carryover of muck into the caustic tank, or if reclaimed, the acid tank.

Thanks

UnFermentable
09-26-2017, 12:38 AM
So I learned much like you all did, and I was hesitant for the same reasons. My background is in hazardous materials safety, so I thought much along the same lines.

When washing with the acid first, yes you remove some mineral build up, but the main purpose is to soften the protein structure of the build up. The reason for no rinse between is because it will give the complex protein structures a chance to reset and "lock up" after the acid wash. The no rinse is very important. Yes, some of the detergent solution will be neutralized, but if you fully drain the acid solution first, you won't have much molar mass left for the neutralization/reaction, and the softened proteins will be removed much easier by the detergent.

To avoid "the gunk" I try to give a strong hot rinse first (and usually cycle for a few minutes). It removes any easy solids and preheats the vessel so I don't loose temperature in cycle. The rest of it tends to float on the top of my solution and hasn't presented an issue for me up to this point. Since the cycle should be done hot, it helps to pre-rinse hot.

There used to be a few data sheets on this technique on Birko Corps website, but I haven't been able to find them on there recently. I have some info in .pdf that I can send to y'all if you want to see the recommended procedure from Birko and some details on it. Just PM me or leave your email address here. You can also contact Dana, as he is "the man", and he can give you more complex details if interested.

I often use their described chemical formulations (Acid Brite #2, Bru-R-Eze, Cell-R-Master, ect), but have also used other manufacturers products that consist of the same chemical compositions and ratios. The prescribed detergent is an alkaline non-caustic, but it seems to have worked well with the sodium hydroxide (Cir-Q-Late) in place of it.

Sorry I don't have easy volume answers at hand, but if you contact me, I can forward the documents I have saved. I generally don't need this method often, but it has worked quite well when something sticks or builds up over time. This specific method has been used on a dirty wine tanker as well, so it obviously has been proven to work on large vessels (even back in 2005).

I have been using this method for about 5 years now, and have seen no negative effects, other than the cost of chemicals. I usually run regular CIP (caustic, rinse, acid, rinse) unless it gets build up. Probably use this method every 4-6 months on average.

UnFermentable
09-26-2017, 12:46 AM
If re-collecting the solutions, I usually collect most but dump the first little bit and last little bit to avoid solids collection. If there is some solids that end up in my CIP tanks, I just let it settle and dump off the bottom until I get a decent amount out before the next usage. I test concentration and re-dose as needed.

mattbk
09-29-2017, 10:26 AM
Thought I'd provide an update: we did the acid straight to caustic with H2O2 and got great results. I found I had to do another acid wash afterwards to clear off some the residual inorganics. Kettle cleaner than it is been, even with manual scrubbing, in a very long time. I want to play with the acid concentration a bit more at the start and we may play with the peroxide concentration a bit but very, very happy with initial results. One thing I found out was that my flow rate was a bit less than I thought (probably closer to 70 - 80 LPM) but I still seem to get getting coverage - I assume this just affects time and concentration required. Thanks all for the help! If I have any more learnings will be sure to share.

UnFermentable
09-29-2017, 09:40 PM
Awesome man. I am glad to hear it worked for you like it has for me!

I will continue to recommend it to people with build up issues in full confidence.

dick murton
09-30-2017, 01:58 PM
UnFermentable

I sent you a PM a few days ago, but my email has been badly hacked since then so I haven't been able to read anything for a few days. I have now changed email provider. I'm still interested in hearing of your experiences / documentation so am dropping you a PM with my new email address.

Thanks in advance

Cheers

Dick

UnFermentable
10-02-2017, 01:25 AM
Dick,

It looks like to u've got too many stored PM's so I couldn't send you one. Not sure if it means you can't send one either, but I didn't see any messages from you in my inbox.

If you try me again, I will definitely shoot over what I've got!

dick murton
10-02-2017, 12:02 PM
Thanks for trying - I have cleared out a few messages now, so it should work OK now. I wish they let you know automatically when the limit had been reached