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Thread: CIP process - am I doing it right?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    CIP process - am I doing it right?

    Hi,

    I recently began working as a head brewer in a middle size brewery where a ton of ameliorations have to be done. I mostly worked on efficiency issues and to install some quality control programs. Now we're getting better over there, I start to focus on cleaning.
    We have a huge amount of loss while cleaning. Inefficient CIP, waste of chemicals, loops during for ages... I have to say that nobody in the team in place have an education in brewing. So I try to reduce the waste of water, chemicals and time, as well as ameliorate our productivity when it gets to cleaning.

    So for now, the fermentation process is the following:
    We have 4x 42 HL CCTs and 6x 42 HL belly tanks. We have only one 82 HL BBT, sometimes pretty filled (72 HL), sometimes just half-filled (30 HL!)
    - 4-7 days in CCT for active fermentation phase, bunging when about 1.5°P (.006 SG) left;
    - transfer into belly vessels for dry hop and/or maturation phase (kept at 15°C for 3-4 days if DH, or just 1-2 days for diacetyl rest then crash cold for 5 days);
    - kieselguhr filtration to BBT equiped with a carb stone and correction of carbonation if necessary.

    For now, when emptying a tank, my process is:
    - hot water rinsing, mostly when it comes to belly tanks where all the yeast settles down, and take sampling valve and gasket apart for manual cleaning + H2O2 sanitizing;
    - make a 2.5% NaOH solution with hot water (60-80°C) and a 15 minutes loop;
    - pulse rinse with cold water;
    - 0.5% PAA solution loop for 5-10 minutes;
    - no rinse but keep every valve open with a half-crewed cap.

    My concerns are about the fact that NaOH is the only detergent we got except DivBrau (phosphoric acid based detergent) we use for keg washing, although belly tanks are the only CO2-free environment. As you might expect, CCTs are not flushed with air so still full of CO2 when CIPed. I noticed the high inefficient CIP we do with some beers including spelt or wheat in the malt bill. When I began working here, my actual colleague did all the CIPs for roughly 15 minutes then opened the manhole and took a long brush to manually take off crap from the FVs.
    This is the very first time I work with pressurized tanks. In Europe, most of the small breweries work on atmospheric installations, doing "open" fermentation (understand not bung) then prime and gravity fill bottles and even kegs, mostly for budget concerns. So usually, tanks are not that CO2 filled and NaOH works fine.

    After having read a few thread here, I'd like to switch to pressurized CIP for the BBT and FVs for obvious CO2 waste concerns.
    Unfortunately bellies are impossible to clean under pressure, they've way too much surface too clean. I tried once to clean them only through spray balls, instead of my usual hand spray. After about 6 HL of wasted hot water, I finally opened the boy to clean it manually. Good new is I convinced my boss to sell them away this winter and replace them by CCTs!
    So, long story short, I'd like to switch from NaOH, which get neutralized associated with CO2 due to carbonic acid, to an acid detergent. My main question is: how to get rid of any trace of acid?
    Today, my NaOH is neutralized thanks to my PAA. But what about phosphoric acid for example? A good rinsing would be enough?
    Is there any counter indication to use PAA after an acid detergent?
    One more precision, I have a really soft water (27ppm of CaCO3, 26ppm of HCO3) so passivation is not my biggest concern, am I right?

    I hope I've been pretty clear, sorry for messy English, you might have noticed this is not my mother language.
    Thanks for helping!
    Guillaume

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Proper rinsing should be plenty to remove the acid remaining. Remember you can't get rid of caustic completely, you will from time to time need to open the tanks out, ventilate them with air and wash with caustic. Acid cleaners are pretty good, but they are not effective against all soils the same. Proteins and oils are better cleaned with caustics. That said, you can go for a long time with just acid washes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA.
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    431
    i always vent every tank. my cip process is so

    10 min hot water rinse
    10 min KOH loop
    5 min hot water rinse
    10 min Acid loop
    5 min cold water rinse
    10 min sanitiser loop

    then i seal the tank and purge with CO2 if necessary. the acid help neutralize and KOH left after the rinse and help prevent beer stone build up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Aveyron (France)
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    Thanks for both of your answers.

    @jebzter, as I understand, acids could do the job for quite a long time in a BBT which receive only filtered beer and lemonade, right?

    @brewmaster 2011, when you say you vent, you mean physically, like flushing air? If so, and viewing your process, don't you consider your cycles are a bit too much labour intensive?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Richmond, VA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guiche View Post
    Thanks for both of your answers.

    @jebzter, as I understand, acids could do the job for quite a long time in a BBT which receive only filtered beer and lemonade, right?

    @brewmaster 2011, when you say you vent, you mean physically, like flushing air? If so, and viewing your process, don't you consider your cycles are a bit too much labour intensive?
    after all pressure is released i open all valves and manway door/s to allow CO2 to fall out. it take 10-20 minutes to allow most of it to escape to before i set it up for cip. i don't think of it as labor intensive. i look at it as doing everything right the first time.

  6. #6
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    I was more thinking about the acid loop after the KOH, instead of using an acid based sanitizer, plus the pretty longs time of rinsing. It seemed to take lot of time plus a high water consumption compare to what I usually do, but after all, my technique is way from perfect. My feeling was you take loads of security by overdoing your cleaning, or am I just wrong and quite light on my own cleaning?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guiche View Post
    I was more thinking about the acid loop after the KOH, instead of using an acid based sanitizer, plus the pretty longs time of rinsing. It seemed to take lot of time plus a high water consumption compare to what I usually do, but after all, my technique is way from perfect. My feeling was you take loads of security by overdoing your cleaning, or am I just wrong and quite light on my own cleaning?
    remember bases and acids neutralize each other. as far as hot water you can rinse with cold if you choose. this is the cleaning regiment that i was taught 14 years ago and have yet to have an infection.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Aberdeen, WA, United States
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    my process is

    open fermenter, use a hose to spray out yeast along the side walls etc. take off the thermometer and sample port for manual cleaning. take the racking arm off also and clean out yeast and hops that accumulated around it and spray it down good and put back together.

    • rinse fermenter with hot water, bursting 3 or 4 times 3 second bursts
    • prepare CIP solution and close loop cycle for around 20 or 30 minutes
    • rinse again for 3 or 4 , 3 second bursts.


    if we are filling the same fermenter that day i will sanitize with a close loop for maybe 5 minutes. i open the manway slightly so the sanitizer will cover the outside of the gasket also.

    before i sanitize i will always check the inside of the fermenter to make sure the acid wash i did for 20 or 30 minutes was good and that the stainless is nice and clean.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Aveyron (France)
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    Hey guys,

    Thought it was fair enough to do a nice check-up of my new processes of CIP after all of your interventions.
    First of all, I have to thank all of you guys whom answered me on this topic or even deeper through MPs.
    I have to precise that a new brewer is taking over my position in the brewery I'm currently still working in (following my departure for a brewer position closer to my personal occupations), and this guy being more experienced than I am taught me a bunch of good practices.

    So as you might have read, we are currently brewing on a 25hl BrauKon brewhouse and fermenting in 4x 42hl FVs, followed by 6x 42hl bellies (aka horizontal maturation tanks). We got one 82hl BBT as well.
    I ain't going to discuss to limitation due to the tanks we have, except that the brewery will decidedly sell away its bellies to replace them with classics FVs (unitank). As we're not doing lagers, these are just not justified.

    So, whether I'm cleaning a belly or a unitank, my process is the same.

    - discharging the tank of pressure then residual CO2 by flushing air straight from the compressor though CIP balls (we don't have blow-off on these tanks) until I can smell air and not C02 at the bottom.
    - taking apart all pieces that can be: sampling valve, additional stitching for carbonation candle... and let the parts sit in caustic while CIPing. Once first caustic done, I rinse them all and let them sit for the PAA CIP in a second tray full of H2O2 1% solution.
    - rinsing the tank with COLD water. I was sure that beginning straightly with hot water rinse was a good practice, apparently, it cooks proteins, so better not. I usually do burst rinses of 10 secs until water runs clear.
    - preheat the tank. Never forget you could create a aspiration that would not be appreciated by your tank so let the manhole half open and do it in a few bursts instead of sending directly really hot water for 2 minutes.
    - once the tank is preheated, accumulate enough hot water to prepare your caustic solution. It can be no more than 50 litres (roughly 1/2 barrel) for a unitank and up to 300 litres for a belly. Add caustic to achieve the right dilution according the specs given by your retailer.
    - 20 minutes loop at 60-80°C. Check the pH of the solution after 5 minutes, if it goes down 11, evacuate, do a new dilution and start over.
    - after your 20 minutes loop, or second loop, operate a visual inspection by the manhole. If the tank is clean, rinse it until the pH of the water goes down to 8.
    - once well rinsed, take all gaskets apart, clean them and their sit and then spray them with ethanol. Do a second loop for 10 minutes with 0.5% PAA.
    - DO NOT RINSE, except if your water is 0.4 micron absolute filtered.
    - Put back all the parts that are sitting in the H2O2 tray. All valves and other spigot that could have contact with beer is sprayed with ethanol and capped if possible.

    After this, I usually close every single valve, CIP and blow-off, mostly in this season cause the difference of temperature between the air inside and outside the tank could create an aspiration inside the tank and make new bacteria come. Before filling the tank, just open the lower valve in order to evacuate the residual PAA.
    Before transfer, I take off every gasket that is going to be in contact with wort apart and spray then again with ethanol, as well as the valves I'm using, the others supposed to be
    sanitized and protected by a cap since CIP is over.

    We don't do any acid detergent loop tanks to the highly soft water we have (25pp CaCO3). But we still do a nice nitric acid cleaning every 6 months.

    My process for cleaning the BBT is pretty close, but I'm currently putting in place pressurized CIP and still improving it to avoid O2 intake. I think my process isn't great enough to be shared yet.

    This process isn't perfect yet (does perfection exists when it's about sanitation in brewery?) but I hope it could help some of you guys. Critics are welcomed, as always.
    Cheers,
    Guillaume

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