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Cleaning 4bbl Plastic Frementors

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  • Cleaning 4bbl Plastic Frementors

    Ive been brewing for over 10 years and always on SS never had any issues. Now the new location uses plastic and I have run into a # of problems along the way. What have others used to clean these frementors. We seem to have random issues of a tart/slight sour batch every so often. The cleaning process is with 20gallons water/35ppm Idione run through a CIP for 30 mins. Water temp is around 150 degrees. Tanks are less then a year old. The Heat exchanger is also cycled with the same mix 2x before wort is run through it. Would love to hear what others do, if they have issues, how many batches them make a week, and how long you have been brewing. Just trying to get an idea if the answers are coming from pro or home brewers.

  • #2
    Also wanted to add in that the kitchen to the fremention room are attached and separated only by a door (that has some traffic) Our frementation room is cooled by high flow AC units which may or may not draw air in from the outside as well.
    Last edited by NYCraftBrewer; 03-10-2015, 03:00 PM.


    • #3
      I am curious, are you just cycling the hot iodine solution without any other cleaning solutions prior? If so, I would first stop cycling iodine above 100 degrees F as it can become corrosive and even dangerous. You may have experienced getting hot iodine vapors in your eyes before, it will immediately make you tear up for quite some time. Secondly, the tanks and heat exchanger need to be free from any soils or mineral deposits in order for the iodine to be effective. You may notice the iodine forming small bubbles in areas where the surface is not sufficiently clean.

      Sanitizing with iodine should be your last cycle at room temperature. At 12.5-26 ppm, iodine is a no-rinse sanitizer. While iodine is effective, if you are using plastic fermenters, I would suggest using PAA as it will not stain your vessels.

      A chemical representative should be able to provide you an SOP for a chemical regime that works best for your situation. Make the chemical supplier earn your business. They are usually more than willing to spend a day with you overseeing your procedures.


      • #4
        Thanks- NHBRewer23-

        Yes I do a full cleaning cycle before the sani cycle with 170 degree PBW. I have had the vapor issue with the Iodine and only come in with the hotter temp because the tanks are in a cold room and will come down to 80-100 degrees in a few minutes. But I will also try a cooler temp as you suggest. The supplier we use does not carry PAA so I went with something that offers low foam and works at a lower temp.


        • #5
          We had a SOP for ours that really worked well.

          I would suggest CIP them well with hot PBW first.

          Then run a few 4-5 gallon batches of 180-190 degree water through them to heat the whole tank up to pasteurization temps. make sure to run each batch separately. One bucket of hot water won't do the trick, you need 2 or more because the thermal inertia of the fermenter will cool the water down. After your fermenter is all heated up to past. temps, then run room temp sanitizer through.

          Sanitizer on its own is not going to sanitize plastic tanks. theres too many pores for crap to get into.