First off Co2, assuming you do not get it 100% vented before your caustic cycle, will begin to neutralize your caustic as soon as you start your cycle. I like to use acidic properties of Co2 to my advantage.
Try a good hot rise and the run a mild acid cycle first before your caustic cycle. I do sometimes need to add a bit of defoamer during the acid CIP, but once complete the tank is usually 80-90% clean with only a few oz's of phos/nitric. Drain the tank and fill with your caustic solution and start CIP without rinsing. I have cut my chemical usage and cleaning time quite a bit by doing this.
I'm no chemical engineer, but my understanding is that the PH shock does quite a bit to help cut through the rest of the gunk. I learned this, Acid->Caustic->Acid (and or Sani) years ago and just recently rediscovered its benefits. I'm now using about 1/3 the amount of caustic as i did previously and my tanks are immaculate in half the time.
Works great on the kettle too..
Last edited by Jephro; 09-08-2010 at 12:36 PM.
12 year pro craft brewer *NOW available for hire...
Auburn, Wa - for now