Craft an Invigorating Brewery Maintenance Strategy

Pre-Processing of New Equipment

The newly installed mash tun needs to be cleaned with clean water to remove any dirt. For mash tuns with heating tubes, a leak test is required. Water is added to the mash tun and over the heating tubes to check for any leaks. If there is a leakage, the screws should be tightened to ensure safety. For mash pots with electric steam boilers or gas boilers, the boiler should be heated to check if it is operating properly. The boilers are equipped with water treatment systems that use softened water to improve the quality of the water used in the boiler.

The function of water softening is to prevent scaling. The continuous evaporation of steam in the boiler causes a high concentration of calcium, magnesium, and impurities in the boiler water, which can lead to rapid scaling at a rate of 1-2mm in just six months to one year. Scaling is very harmful and can even cause the boiler to burst. Scale has a thermal conductivity of only about 0.5% compared to metal. Therefore, scaling reduces heat absorption, decreases boiler thermal efficiency, wastes fuel, increases operating costs, weakens the strength of the steel in the furnace wall, and may cause bursting in severe cases. Scale also affects the quality of steam, causing scaling and blockage in boiler accessories and steam appliances.

There Are Three Main Hazards of Scale

1. Reduced heat absorption, decreased boiler thermal efficiency, wasted fuel, and increased operating costs.

2. Increased temperature of the furnace wall, weakened steel structure, reduced strength, and possibility of bursting, leading to a decrease in the service life.

3. Impure steam containing calcium and magnesium ions, causing scaling and blockage in boiler accessories and steam appliances.

Maintenance of the Late Brewhouse System

After each brewing process, the residual wheat dregs in the tank should be cleaned using a high-pressure water gun. The brewhouse pipeline should be cleaned with tap water to remove any residues, especially if there is wheat grain attached to the heating tube. The plate heat exchanger should be washed with tap water and then backwashed. Oxygen or carbon dioxide can be used to blow out the water in the plate heat exchanger to prevent odor over time. If the brewhouse system is not used for a long time, it needs to be cleaned with hot alkaline water, similar to the cleaning process of a new tank. The clamp connections of the pipe fittings in the brewhouse system should be tightened to prevent leakage and injuries during use.

Brewery equipment differs from ordinary small equipment in that it generally uses steam heating. Therefore, a boiler is usually installed with the equipment.

Daily Maintenance of the Boiler

The water used in the boiler must meet national standards. Demineralized water should be used for the boiler equipment. Failure to use demineralized water may cause scaling in the gas-fired steam boiler, affecting its performance, service life, and potentially causing accidents. The power distribution terminal for the boiler should be connected to a leakage protector (self-provided) to ensure safety. Professionals should check the fasteners, main circuit connectors, power line ferrules, circuit breakers, voltage-controlled switches, and heating pipes on a weekly basis. The power supply must be disconnected during maintenance and repair of the gas steam boiler. Sewage should be discharged at least twice a day with a pressure of 0.2MPa, and the sewage pipe should be connected to a safe place. The water level cylinder should be cleaned with a pressure of 0.1Mpa, and the water level electrode and water tank filter should be cleaned under no pressure. When the temperature is below 0°C, precautions should be taken to prevent freezing and cracking of the water supply pipeline. Warning signs should be hung near high-temperature pipelines and brewhouse equipment to prevent scalding while the equipment is running.

Maintenance of the Control Cabinet

Every six months, the wiring in the cabinet and component terminals should be fastened with the main power disconnected. The cabinet should be vacuumed once a month. Control cabinets should be installed away from water sources, and iron control cabinets should be raised to prevent rust and moisture damage from contact with water.

Routine Maintenance of Fermenter

Before using the fermenter, a pressure-holding leak test should be conducted. The clamp should be tightened, and the pressure gauge should read 0.2MPa for a day using water or compressed air. If the pressure remains unchanged, it indicates no air leakage, meeting the production requirements, and can be used. The fermenter should be cleaned using a cleaning ball, which requires tap water with a pressure of 0.2MPa to ensure a 360-degree thorough cleaning. If the pressure is insufficient, water should be added to the mash tun, and a washing pump should be used to clean it. The solenoid valve and temperature probe of the fermentation tank should be properly maintained. The 24V power supply of the solenoid valve should not come into contact with water, and the flow of the solenoid valve should be checked regularly.

Routine Maintenance of Ice Water Tanks and Refrigerators

Maintenance of Ice Water Tank

The ice water tank has a liquid level that can be marked to determine the volume of refrigerant in the tank. Over time, the liquid level may drop, and 95% alcohol should be added to maintain the desired concentration. The pipeline between the ice water tank and the ice water pump should be tightened to prevent leakage.

Daily Maintenance of Chiller

For a copper tube chiller, the high-pressure gauge and low-pressure gauge should be checked. The chiller has pressure control, and it will not start if the pressure is too low or too high. The console should be kept clean. Check for refrigerant leakage and any abnormalities in the pressure gauge readings. Look for oil stains or refrigerant leaks at the joints of pipelines or assembled parts to check for potential leaks. Check if the external circuit, flow switch, water temperature, water pressure, and water flow of the water pipeline are normal. Ensure that there is complete exhaust. Check the power supply before and after starting the chiller. Look out for abnormal vibrations and noises after starting the machine. After starting up, check if the high and low pressures are normal. Observe the host’s operating conditions, record voltage, current, high and low pressures, as well as the temperature and pressure of the water entering and leaving the condenser and evaporator. Lubricating oil should only be added during the unit’s overhaul. Notify professional personnel for inspection and maintenance when the unit is in an abnormal condition.

Daily Maintenance of the Mill Machine

Check the hopper of the mill machine for foreign objects and impurities. Ensure that the fasteners are tight, the drive belt is properly tensioned, and all safety protection devices are reliable. Regularly check the terminals for looseness.

CIP Cleaning Routine Maintenance

Pay attention to the concentration of alkaline water in the alkaline water tank. If the concentration is too low or turbid, it should be replaced with fresh alkaline water. For the disinfection tank, a mixture of food-grade hydrogen peroxide and tap water with a concentration of 1% should be used. If the concentration is insufficient or turbid, it should be replaced. Fasten the control system, power cord, and components on the disinfection vehicle to ensure safe operation.

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