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Acid cycle CIP

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  • Acid cycle CIP

    I learned at Siebel to do 5 caustic cycles then 1 acid to knock out the beerstone. The brewery I work at is doing CIP cycles with caustic and acid every time.

    What are your thoughts on this? Wasting acid?


  • #2
    I am of the school that "depending" on the vessel (FV/BBT) that acid CIP's aren't necessary every cleaning cycle. Wort ways are to have Caustic/Acid “every” time.

    Anyway, the frequency of course depends on the beer style/s being produced. More yeasty/concentrated beers have more substance that needs to be removed from the tank/lines. I have usually done a 3:1 (three caustic to one acid) ratio with great success. However, doing an acid cycle every time does provide the added benefit of providing additional sanitizing capacity of the acid due to the very low pH encountered with acid CIP's. When in doubt, do them both. Also, it is quite difficult to see/detect the buildup of beerstone before it is far beyond what can harbor microorganisms without sophisticated and expensive equipment. And once beerstone is there, it is a pain to remove!

    Ultimately, it is up to you, but I wouldn't go less than a 3:1 alternation. Yes, chemicals certainly do add up and must be considered in your breweries QA regimen.

    Patrick Dobolek
    Master Brewer-Brewing Technologist
    Tel: 720.302.3377


    • #3
      In my experience this can depend on alot of factors and there is no right answer. I've found that the closer you are to the brewhouse (or in it) the more frequent caustic you need; closer to finished beer (bright tanks) needs more frequent acid. Extended storage tanks (like serving tanks in a pub or kegs) need alot of acid. Acid and caustic every cycle sounds like overkill to me, but it can't hurt if you've got the manpower and the chemicals.

      Geoff DeBisschop
      Evolution Craft Brewing Company
      Delmar, DE


      • #4
        Turns out there was a miscommunication. I was told there was an acid cycle after each caustic cycle. Turns out it is a sani cycle, which maks a lot more sense.

        Our water has 5ppm Ca so, once every 4 months seems to be the concensus on a BSR cycle.


        • #5
          It will depend on beer style, water chemistry and materials of construction.

          We acid wash only every three months. We have naturally soft water and the bonus of tank interiors made of polished 316 stainless.


          Liam McKenna