Tell me about your CIP system

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by kscaldef, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. kscaldef

    kscaldef Champion (845) Oregon Jun 11, 2010 Verified

    Now that I have a pump (isn't Christmas great?), I'm thinking through how I'll incorporate it into my brewdays. I'm curious to hear details of how various people have implemented a CIP system. As I understand it, in pro breweries, they make use of a high-pressure sprayer to hit the walls of everything with the cleaning solution, getting some mechanical cleaning effect to help loosen up whatever is sticking to the vessel. I'm particularly curious if anyone does this on a homebrew scale, or simply relies on heat and time in contact.
  2. They use some powerful caustics for CIP to clean and remove organics. Acid are used to remove beerstone.

    I use PBW and SS, but do manual cleaning and beerstone removal.
  3. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (395) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    I'm pretty confidant that my hot-PBW wash with a Sani-clean acid rinse suffices on my MT set-up. I do the same with the kettle, but I have to manually the sides and both the outlet and tangential in-let. I don't have a white scrubby so I often use bar-keepers friend. Hoppy beers seem especially worse. Hops get stuck in the tri-clover fittings.

    I also do the same hot-PBW, Sani-clean acid rinse - recirculated w/a sump pump through the corny. It looks clean but I'm skeptical that something is building up.

    Five Star has it on it's website that it's coming out w/a beer stone remover. I did see that a HB website sells something that it's caustic (yes- this term is debated a lot) but I forget which one.

    edit: Here is the site that I was thinking of. They are acid cleaners. I'd like for someone with knowledge to comment of the use of these.
  4. I thought it was alkaline/basic that was best for beerstone/beerscale (acid for mineral, alkaline for organic). I use distilled vinigar and it works great.
  5. I have done a few commercial batches on a 7 barrel system. The brewer does and acid scrub on the that requires the use of those nice heavy rubber gloves and eye protection. As the guest brewer of the day I got to do that. The acid was from a more local company, but it was similar in make up.
  6. Beerstone is a mineral build up. Vinigar is acidic, with a pH of around 2.5 IIRC. Read the 5-star link, and they talk about the acids for beerstone removal.

    Or this.
  7. Naugled

    Naugled Advocate (550) New York Sep 25, 2007 Verified

    Is it a March pump? I don't think it will be strong enough for a CIP. I use a sump pump for my CIP spray ball, which I use for cleaning kegs. It does a great job, but I wish even that had more pressure.
  8. you're right. i stand corrected. thanks.
  9. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Savant (485) Nevada Dec 4, 2008 Verified

    I'm far from implementing a preventative maintenance system at this point in my 10 gal homebrewing system (5 batches)...but to answer the OP's question: heat and time seem to be sufficient so far. I will probably run some oxyclean and sanitizer through every 10 batches or so, but 5 batches into it, it appears that time and heat are adequate (boiling water for 15 min run through all ball valves, pumps, and hoses). This all assumes recircing is done promptly and that hoses are flushed with clear water immediately.
  10. No problem, I learned that from some pro-brewers. Used to think different.
  11. telejunkie

    telejunkie Savant (365) Vermont Sep 14, 2007

    when i brewed professionally we used pbw at 160F, then rinse with hot water 170F, then a shot of acid cleaner. This is generally technique I have followed in my CIPing. The water I was working with was very soft whereas I'm guessing the water hopfen was using out in Michigan was a lot harder and therefore a caustic acid would be much more useful.

    Currently after mash is done, i give a quick rinse of the mash tun and then start running a hot solution of PBW/oxyclean (basic) through my RIMS tube and MLT and a forward flush of my plate chiller. This will run for maybe 30mins. If I have time i may hit it with a hot rinse, but usually just switch right to star san (acid) so I can rinse the PBW/oxyclean and sanitize my plate chiller and eventually my fermenter. Hint: don't use PBW/oxyclean for a cleaner if you are using aluminum pots. Organic deposits are easily swiped off the sides of the MLT & Kettle after a few seconds of exposure to the hot PBW/oxyclean solution.
    After beer is in fermenter PBW/oxyclean is backflushed through plate chiller for maybe 30mins and then hot rinsed with chiller water and then a shot of star san.

    I got a spray ball through brewer's hardware and you need a solid sump pump as Naugled describes to get the spray ball to be an effective cleaner to hit the corners.