CIP system design
First, thanks for all your top-quality answers to my queries over the past weeks.
CIP systems: I assume that chemical washing of brewing hardware doesn't just magically happen. Could you please give a brief rundown of how your CIP system works and its equipment? I assume there is a cold and hot chemical solution tank, circ. pumps, heater, and some ability to make up the solutions (all separate to the brewing process equipment HLT and CLT)...
Is the CIP system a simple thing which can be self-assembled, or is it best to go for a commercially supplied one? Or is there some way to avoid one all together and just use available brewing equipment?
I'll expect my consultant fee check in the mail (<----april fools joke!).
CIP is discussed somewhat in this threat:
Basically, for cleaning the brewing vessels, after a cold water rinse at the end of brewing, I usually put hot water in the kettle, add a cleaning agent (lots of options, I've usually used a sodium hydroxide-based caustic), and pump said solution through the system (I like to set it up to backflush the heat exchanger). Rinse is with cold water, followed by a sanitizer.
For cleaning tanks, I pump hot water into said tank, add cleaning agent, and use a portable pump to circulate cleaner from bottom of vessel to CIP ball in top of vessel. Cold water rinse. Sanitizer.
I was rather hoping that one of the micro brewers would have put in a comprehensive answer by now, but ... So here is my two penny worth.
A decent automated CIP set can cost a fortune. Unfortunately in a perfect world, you really need several sets, one for the brewhouse, for for FVs / MVs and one for the bright side, possibly even a separate one if you do lots of kegs. So as a small brewer, chances are you cannot afford this little lot.
So manually controlled cleaning is the answer. Don't forget that plenty of small breweries still manually clean everything, and get very good results with this method, by taking a lot of time and care.
CIP mean the brewery process vessels and pipe have to be designed to be cleaned in situe, e.g. the tanks have decent falls at the bottom, the pipes are reasonably free of joints, and are not full of dead legs, U bends or goal posts that make cleaning difficult. Flow rates for pipes need to be of the order of 1.8 meters / second, tanks need to be thoroughly wetted, preferably with direct impact by the detergent / rinse etc. They are best (but it is not essential) cleaned warm or hot for quicker, more effective cleaning. "If it ain't wetted, with turbulent flow on all surfaces - it ain't clean" - to borrow a phrase
You can set up your own cleaning sytem fairly easily using existing pumps and valves etc. It will just take a little longer to clean, but think of the capital saved.
If you want a commercially supplied system, some of them are so awful that you are better off not going to the suppliers in the first place. I am continually horrified by people saying they supply CIP systems, that wouldn't clean the bath tub properly. In other words, make sure that if you do go to someone, you either know what you are doing - totally, or you check up very very closely the references you must insist on getting.
I have built a CIP system of used ss tanks, one cold water tank, one detergent tank and one tank for waste water. The last one is equal to my batch capacity. I have to check pH value before the waste water goes to drain. My small experience is that long tubes and hoses and to many bends = pressure drops. If the distance between cleaning object and return pump is more than 3-4 meters, I need an extra transportable return pump. I use an internal ss elcetric element in the detergent tank, but I started to reuse the caustic/clorine solution as I was told by JohnsonDiversey, which resulted in a destroyed electric heater. So now I don´t reuse the solution more than during the working day. My CIP room works well so far. If I have had the space I had placed it on the lowest point in the Brewery to make the return easier.
Just a short answer to your question. My last brewery had a fantastic CIP unit designed by DME in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The unit was portable. It was all stainless, complete with CIP pump and all valves. Each tank on the unit held at least 60 gallons of solution (there were two tanks). One tank had an electric heating unit (220 volt) and the other tank was unheated. Since we used Bru-R-Eze and Acid Brite from Birko to clean our tanks, heat exhanger, brewhouse, etc. we used the heated side for Bru-R-Eze (180 degrees F.) and the cold side for Acid Brite.
We always reused our cleaners until they were exhausted, thus saving a lot of money on cleaning chemicals.
I don't know how much the CIP unit cost, since it came as part of our system, but if you contact DME and ask them about the CIP unit built for Rocky River Brewing Company in Tennessee I'm sure they can tell you. Speaking as someone who has had to heat cleaning solutions in the kettle, transfer to tanks for cleaning, and then waste them by dumping down the drain I consider the portable CIP unit well worth the money.