Nearly all brewery equipment, including tanks, fermenters, brew kettles, and lauter tuns, contain product residue that must be removed between batches or at routine intervals in continuous operations. There are two widely used methods for cleaning equipment:
Manual cleaning is exactly what it sounds like – a worker physically cleans the brewery equipment. Many craft brewers do not have the luxury of cleaning-in-place systems and have to manually clean and sanitize their equipment. They often use soft-bristled brushes, non-abrasive pads, cloths, and handheld spray hoses for cleaning. When cleaning manually, great care must be taken to ensure that brushes and equipment are cleaned to avoid cross-contamination.
Clean-in-Place (CIP) Systems
Clean-in-Place (CIP) systems were developed by the dairy industry as a means of reducing the amount of labor needed for cleaning and sanitizing operations. One of the main advantages of CIP systems is that they can recirculate and allow the reuse of chemicals and rinse water, thereby reducing consumption by as much as 50%. CIP systems largely remove human contact with cleaning and sanitizing agents, thus reducing the risk of harmful exposure. They also ensure more consistent cleaning by eliminating some common sources of human error in cleaning.
Spray devices are used to apply CIP fluids to the surface being cleaned. Two general types are available: static and dynamic.
CIP Single-Use or Recovery Systems
CIP units are available as single-use or recovery types, or as a combination of both.
In the single-use method, the cleaning solution is prepared and recirculated through the system and discharged at the completion of the cleaning cycle.
In the recovery type, the solution is recovered at the completion of the cleaning cycle.