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Thread: Foaming Caustic

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Seattle, WA
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    41

    Foaming Caustic

    Hey-all,

    I've had some issue with my caustic cleaning cycle on our CCV's foaming in less than a few minutes under krausen heavy loads. No problem with our lagers but our ales are a pain in the butt.

    We've bought some chelating agent and that's helped, but I'm worried about head retention. What do you use?

    We bought a low-foaming caustic(missing a surfactant or two?) and that doesn't help at all. Could it be our pump? We use cold water for the caustic, could it be that?

    Kevin
    Chuckanut

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    218

    foaming caustic

    You may find that if you hit the tank with just a small burst of caustic, let it sit for a few minutes and then hot rinse until the runoff looks pretty clean, you can remove a lot of that heavy soil load prior to running your main caustic cycle. This might help with the foaming. The foam is probably due to the caustic getting saturated with the proteins from that heavy krausen load.
    Steve Bradt
    Free State Brewing Co.
    Lawrence, KS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Palau
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    Saponification: hydrolysis of lipids by caustic = soap. If you are using fresh caustic, then change brands. Shouldn't foam first time, but reuse will eventually foam.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--
    Worldwide Brewery Installations
    www.GitcheGumeeBreweryServices.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    60
    I have run in to this especially with Hefeweizen. I use my everyday caustic (with dose have a small amount of low foam already added then I also have a separate supply of straight low foam additive. This way I can adjust the level based on how dirty the tank is and if a tank starts foaming up I just add a little more. For cleaning a very dirty (lots of yeast) 15BBL fermenter with a 2.3%caustic solution (1BBL total cleaning solution) 2tbsp of low foam work well.

    cheers

    jamie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Copenhagen
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    k

    Concur with Steve. Can also do it with just water. A lot of the Kräusen ring will come off when you hit it with a high pressure water stream. Then use the Caustic for serious stuff. Imperative, leave the empty tank under pressure until you're ready to clean it, otherwise the Kräusen will cement up as it dries.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    673
    I do what Jamie does -—problem solved.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    St.Louis->Tacoma
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    Acid first...

    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.
    Jeff Byrne

    12 year pro craft brewer *NOW available for hire...
    Auburn, Wa - for now

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
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    Use hot water. Most caustic cleaners are formulated for hot water(160-170f)and will foam when cold, and not clean as well. Also if you have heavy Kausen rings, a ricirculation of hot water for only 5 mins will take a lot of the cake off, dump and do your caustic cycle. Adding acid @ 1oz/gl like some mentioned will help too, but jusat water does alot. If you want o use colder water try a clorinated caustic like 5-star super CIP @ 120-140f, but that demands an acid cyle every time.
    Operations Director, Tin Roof BC
    ted@tinroofbeer.com
    "Your results may vary"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Copenhagen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Briggs
    Use hot water. Most caustic cleaners are formulated for hot water(160-170f)and will foam when cold, and not clean as well.
    I try to avoid hot/cold interactions when it comes to tanks. I have enough other things to worry about than pressure/vacuum issues and for the record, I have used cold caustic CIP successfully for years. I guess it depends on the product and how you use it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Las Vegas
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    387
    I never heard of cold caustic before! Learn something everyday.
    So...What do you use and how do you use it?
    Big Willey
    "You are what you is." FZ

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
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    209

    Thumbs up Rinse

    Added benefits to rinsing first with hot water is that it will purge your tank really well of any CO2 and pre-heat your tank so your hot caustic will stay hotter during the full CIP cycle.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    St.Louis->Tacoma
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    Hot Rinse CIP - I started doing this a while back and had great results.
    --It was while i was doing Hot Water CIP i remembered the Acid First trick (it doesn't take much Acid either) hadn't thought about it helping vent the Co2 but yea.. that too.


    Cold Caustic - Although it is not my SOP I can verify that this works with Sodium Hydroxide (Wesmar Liquid Excel 425E) I Accidently left the FV setpoint at 32°F, once i realized what i had done i inspected the tank and to my surprise the tank was just as clean as when i use hot caustic.
    --I don't think this would work so well with a solid (powdered caustic, or chlorinated alka cleaning agent) - anybody have success with it?
    Jeff Byrne

    12 year pro craft brewer *NOW available for hire...
    Auburn, Wa - for now

  13. #13
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    Location
    Palau
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    PBW cold (22C) for the last five years. No problems except we need a strong acid to keep oxylate down. Works much better at colder temperatures than NaOH.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--
    Worldwide Brewery Installations
    www.GitcheGumeeBreweryServices.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    St.Louis->Tacoma
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    Quote Originally Posted by gitchegumee
    PBW cold (22C) for the last five years. No problems except we need a strong acid to keep oxylate down. Works much better at colder temperatures than NaOH.
    Huh, who'd of thunk it... good to know.
    Jeff Byrne

    12 year pro craft brewer *NOW available for hire...
    Auburn, Wa - for now

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Tadcaster, Yorkshire, UK
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    Cold caustic simply takes a little longer to clean, and or requires higher concentration. It often takes alittle longer to rinse off - but we are not talking the difference between 5 minutes and 30 minutes here, but 5 and perhaps 8 or ten at most


    The crucialdifference between hot and cold is that hot caustic is much better at killing off bacteria, yeasts etc, but if you followed caustic with an acid wash, particularly if a combined acid & sterilant, then this should be fine.

    Personally, although I know caustic + hypochlorite is brilliant at removing soil, and killing bugs, it foams far more than straight formulated caustic, and having seen vessels and pipes etc fully perforated by chlorine induced corrosion, I am always wary of the mix. It needs to be at pH > 12 to be safe, and thoroughly rinsing off the plant with fresh water before hitting it with acid

    Many European breweries are using a dilute raw caustic pre-rinse to remove the bulk of the soil, followed by acid main detergent, rather than acid followed by caustic
    dick

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