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Top Ten Mistakes in Brewery CIP System Designs

by System Administrator / Thursday, 25 February 2016 / Published in

A brewery will ultimately live and die by its ability to brew quality, consistent batches of beer. However, even a skilled Brewmaster with the best recipes, superior ingredients and finest equipment cannot overcome the distasteful effects of improperly cleaned equipment.

The CIP process isn’t rocket science, but it does have its intricacies.  No matter how many gallons of chemicals you throw at it, you will not be able to overcome a poorly designed system.  

Graham Broadhurst, Sprinkman’s Director of Brewing Operations and a +30 year veteran of brewery designs, compiled a list of CIP design pitfalls to avoid:

  1. CIP pumps and piping incorrectly sized or fitted. If undersized or not fitted with variable frequency drives this causes high or low flow and pressure or potential for cavitation in the CIP delivery pump or atomization of the CIP solution through the spray ball or cleaning machine in the vessel.  This can interfere with effectiveness of cleaning as well as rinsing.
  2. CIP Tanks incorrectly sized. Tanks are sometimes grossly under or oversized.  For example, if you have a brewkettle with an internal heater and periodically do a full caustic brew sequentially transferred from mash to lauter to brewkettle vessels, the CIP caustic tank often does not have sufficient capacity to supply the volume needed.  So you either end up making up several batches to fill the brewkettle which requires extra time and leave you having to dump the caustic to drain after completion of caustic brew.
  3. Wrong CIP return pumps. The return pumps from tanks not being self-priming or liquid ring, so the potential exists for not recovering all of the cleaning solution which can waste chemicals and time.
  4. Incorrect selection of cleaning machines. You need the correct type and size of vessel, for example, sprayballs for high volume low pressure CIP versus rotary impact cleaning machines for low volume medium pressure CIP.
  5. Insufficient continuous monitoring. Should include operator alarms for chemical strength (conductivity), temperature and volume in CIP tanks and in supply and return circuits results in under – and over-dosing of chemicals, under- and over-heating of solutions and wasting CIP recovery to drain.
  6.  Lack of reliable and rugged, self-cleaning strainer on CIP return lines. This can result in solids carryover into CIP tanks which can plug CIP sprayballs and cleaning machines.
  7. Insufficient access or sample points. Need to take phenol, alkalinity titration or ATP checks on rinse water, especially if acid is not used for neutralization.
  8. Lack of properly designed standpipes. The standpipes in CIP tanks can recycle CIP sludge through the system.  Need ability to drain and self-clean CIP tanks routinely and sticking to a self-clean schedule is also important.
  9. Not allowing for correct line velocity for CIP transfer rate.  1.5 times wort or beer process flow needed to clean all interconnecting process piping, which can mean sizing wort and beer transfer pumps to accommodate higher CIP flows.
  10. Not installing mix-proof/double seat valves. These protect vessels and/or process piping systems, which may be in operation while CIP of other equipment is carried out.

The engineering team at Sprinkman drew from their extensive sanitary processing system experience to design a line of CIP Systems for any sized brewery.  All can be configured with a choice of one of three automation packages to meet your cleaning needs and objectives.  Contact Sprinkman to discuss your CIP needs and be on the way towards making batch after batch of excellent beer!

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