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Thread: CIP process - am I doing it right?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Aveyron (France)
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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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    Livermore, CA
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    596
    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.
    Posts
    411
    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
    Location
    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
    Location
    Richmond, VA.
    Posts
    411
    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
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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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
    Location
    Richmond, VA.
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    411
    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.

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