Every container of craft beer equipment needs to be cleaned when in use. Since we are producing beer, there can be no contamination at any stage, and the microbial indicators must be within national standards to ensure food safety. The following is an explanation of the pollutant cleaning process using CIP equipment.
The Importance of Cleaning Beer Equipment
During the production process, various types of dirt can accumulate on the inner surfaces of containers and pipes. These include oil, dry yeast, hop resin, beer stone, protein, and minerals. They adhere to the surfaces, making them rough and difficult to clean, as well as providing a breeding ground for bacteria. Additionally, the effectiveness of fungicides is reduced.
The Purpose of Craft Beer Equipment Cleaning
The main purpose of using CIP cleaning equipment is to remove the fouling film and deposited minerals formed by proteins and carbohydrates. However, since the bactericide can only kill surface bacteria, surviving bacteria inside may multiply and cause re-contamination. Therefore, thorough cleaning of the entire system is necessary before sterilization.
The Importance of Craft Beer Equipment Cleaning
The craft beer industry is experiencing rapid growth, resulting in stricter requirements for sanitation and sterilization during the brewing process. Both the cleanliness of the production site and the cleaning of craft beer equipment have become increasingly important.
Producing craft beer requires not only high-quality equipment but also proper cleaning, sterilization, and disinfection to improve the biological and taste stability of the beer.
Cleaning Beer Equipment
For craft beer equipment with a capacity of 2000L and below, CIP cleaning equipment typically consists of a lye tank and a disinfection tank. These tanks, with capacities of 50-100L, are mounted on a stainless steel trolley, allowing for easy movement and cycle cleaning of specific equipment. The connected hoses minimize fluid loss, making it suitable for small-capacity craft brewing equipment that is cost-effective and practical.
The lye tank features an electric heating tube and a control box on the cleaning car, which stops heating once the desired temperature is reached. This ensures thorough cleaning of organic matter, and the used lye can be recycled back into the tank.
The disinfection tank is a single-layer container that does not require heating. Similar to the lye tank, it has a hand hole for adding bactericides. Typically, food-grade hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of 0.5-1% is used for circulating sterilization. After cleaning, the hydrogen peroxide decomposes into water and oxygen, eliminating the need for rinsing with sterile water and saving time and effort.
In general, this combination of CIP trolleys provides a cost-effective solution. With the advancement of automation technology, some users with higher automation requirements now have access to automatic control of the cleaning process through PLC and touch screen systems.
Craft breweries use various CIP equipment, including acid tanks, lye tanks, disinfection tanks, sterile water tanks, and hot water tanks, which are fixed on the ground.
The acid tank stores acidic detergents and is used for pickling to remove inorganic dirt such as calcium and magnesium salts in the system.
The lye tank stores alkaline detergents and is often heated using steam coils or jackets, providing convenient maintenance through external circulation heating.
The sterile water tank treats water with sand filtration and then sterilizes it with ultraviolet light to rinse residual bactericides and improve the system’s sterility.
The hot water tank can be heated using the same heat exchanger as the lye tank. Hot water helps flush lye residues faster and can also be used for thermal sterilization during pipeline circulation. Cooled water is more reliable than sterile water, so a separate sterile water tank is generally not necessary if there is a hot water tank.
The above information explains the composition and function of CIP equipment in craft beer workshops and microbreweries. We hope this can help those who are considering purchasing beer equipment.