View Full Version : Cleaning BBT's under pressure - O2 ingress concerns

07-24-2018, 06:45 AM
Hi All,

We have begun cleaning our larger brite tanks under pressure for the obvious reasons. However, I'm curious if those conducting this practice could shed some light on your nuances of the process, primarily dealing with best practices to avoid small DO ingress while adding rinse water and detergent to the tank?

Currently, we run a whole series of block & bleed assemblies that allow us to fully purge all fittings and spaces between connections by either completely filling them with water or backflushing and purging them with CO2 from the tank. Our goal is to avoid, if possible, the small amount of DO introduced in the spaces between connections when dealing with the pressurized tank. That all being said - it is kind of a PITA and uses a ton of valves and tees that result in very heavy connections on the ports. Plus, its not like we are using deaerated water for cleaning anyway. Is this overkill?

Has anyone had the opportunity to monitor the gas purity, via DO meter, of a tank cleaned under pressure? Are those who clean under pressure doing a "secondary purge" prior to filling by running in CO2 at a slightly higher pressure to the bottom of the tank and slowly venting the top, in an effort to further reduce oxygen in the tank?

Or am I just overthinking this?!

Thanks in advance for any insights that are able to be shared!


R McKernon
07-24-2018, 07:01 AM
It sounds like you are making a whole lot of extra work for yourself. My procedure is to CIP the tank normally with Caustic and then acid rinsing between cycles. Sanitize with PAA. Pressurize the tank with CO2. Push the PAA through the line to the bleed & block at the fermenter. drain any remaining sani from the brite. Purge remaining air through the PRV port. I introduce the CO2 through the CIP arm. No need to go from the bottom since CO2 is heavier than air. Repressurize the brite to 3-5 psi and you are good to go. The CO2 will blanket the incoming beer and prevent any contact with air.


07-24-2018, 08:44 AM
Hi Scott,

Thanks for the feedback.

Our real incentive for cleaning the tank (60bbl brite, in this case) under pressure is to preserve the CO2 environment and all the gas that is already in there, not only for the cost savings but for the time savings when we need to turn the tank. A full purge and pressurize for a 60bbl tank takes upwards of 2 hours to get to adequate purge levels. That is valuable time for us.

Our 15 and 30bbl brites have stand pipes, rather than racking arms. So we are relegated to opening them up between turns to remove the stand pipe, clean, sanitize and re-insert it before purging and pressurizing before filling.


07-29-2018, 12:13 PM
Bumping this up...

I know a lot of folks on here are cleaning their brites under pressure. Other than avoiding pushing entire hose length's-worth of air into a tank when cleaning like this are there any other steps you've found useful to ensure the tank remains at the lowest possible DO levels?


08-02-2018, 03:03 PM
I always use a tee and a valve on each end of my CIP pump hoses. You can easily pop on a gas fitting to the valve and push CO2 through the entire loop and out the other tee/valve. Also comes in handy to drain sanitizer, or dump first yeasty beer, or about a dozen other things that come up when cleaning, transferring, filtering, etc.

08-02-2018, 03:50 PM
Maybe some more details or pictures of the areas you consider problematic might help. We've been CIPing under pressure for years and our SOP is pretty easy to execute without a total excess of fittings. Are you noticing a dramatic increase in tank o2 levels or are you just worried you're letting air into the tank during some point in the process? Shoot me an email and I'd be happy to share our process if you want, tony at roughtailbeer.com

08-05-2018, 04:18 PM
Thanks for the feedback!

I'll snap some photos and take note of any specific areas we are struggling with when we turn our next tank.

I suspect, like many new operations in the brewery setting, the setup and execution seems like a PITA until it just becomes the system that you use and then it's just the way things get done.