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The role of the CIP system in brewery equipment

The role of the CIP system in brewery equipment

Hygiene and daily cleaning of brewery equipment is arguably the biggest challenge for brewers, but a good cleaning-in-place system (CIP System) can help. It may not be an exciting topic, but cleanliness is as essential to brewing quality craft beer like hops, water, and malt.
It doesn’t matter whether you brew beer at home or do my craft brewery or commercial brewery, but every time someone makes a difference to your product, it has the potential to take a toll on your reputation. And the best and easiest way to make sure your beer is delicious and drinkable is this: You have to have a thorough, systematic, and consistent cleaning routine. So, the clean-in-place (CIP) system was born.
The role of the CIP system in brewery equipment
CIP System

What is a clean-in-place (CIP) system?

Cleaning-in-place (CIP) refers to a method used to clean the interior surfaces of pipes, vessels, and tanks without disassembly, and often without manual intervention. But before the CIP system became popular in 1950, cleaning of brewery equipment required disassembly. After disassembly is complete, clean the parts individually by hand.
The emergence of the CIP system has broken this tradition. Using the CIP system can not only complete the cleaning without disassembling the equipment but also does not require manual labor. CIP is not unique to the brewing industry, it applies to all industries that handle liquids in closed systems.
Advantages of using a CIP system

Advantages of using a CIP system

The CIP system has become standard equipment in the craft beer industry because it not only saves labor-intensive but also has many other advantages:
  • Greater Error Reduction: Automated cleaning reduces many opportunities for human error that can lead to unsafe products.
  • Keep employees safe: Reduce employee exposure to chemicals by including cleaning solutions in your CIP system.
  • More productive time: Continuously heating cleaning and sanitizing solutions and maintaining them at specified temperatures during the cleaning and sanitizing cycle greatly increases the efficiency of cleaning and sanitizing, thus saving equipment operating time and power consumption. Because less time is spent cleaning brewery equipment, the time spent producing products increases accordingly.
  • Product Quality: Reliable and repeatable cleaning means sustainable product quality and consistency.
  • Utility Cost Savings: Reduce water and energy use with repeatable cycle controls.
  • Less Prep: Sanitizing solutions are generally prepared in CIP containers in advance, they can be used for multiple cleaning and sanitizing cycles at the desired dilution, and do not require preparation before each cleaning and sanitizing cycle.
  • Improved job safety: Limiting the frequency of operations with a sanitizing solution reduces the likelihood of operator burns when handling concentrated acids and bases.
  • High cleaning and disinfection efficiency: Compared with simple food processing equipment circulating pumps, CIP has higher cleaning efficiency. In addition, CIP can completely clean the container and equipment and is free of organic matter and impurities.
  • Simple and effective neutralization of acid-base solutions after use: The neutralization container (part of the CIP system) can easily, safely, and completely neutralize the used acid-base disinfectant before pouring into the channel. It fully complies with the requirements of protecting the environment, preventing damage to sewage systems and other building components.
clean-in-place system

Description of Common Steps for a CIP Wash Cycle

CIP cycles are typically run after a process run that produces normal contamination, or when a process line is switched from one product to another. Every CIP cleaning cycle has unique steps, so there is no such thing as a “typical” CIP cycle. Elements of the cleaning process, duration, and duration can vary from system to system, but most cleaning cycles include some common steps:

Pre-rinse

Pre-rinsing is a very important step in the CIP cleaning process because good monitoring and execution of pre-rinsing can make the remainder of the cleaning cycle predictable and repeatable.
Pre-cleaning cycle:
  • Wet the inner surfaces of lines and tanks.
  • Removes most of the remaining residue
  • Dissolved sugar and partially melted fat
  • Provides non-chemical stress testing of CIP flow paths
You will need to use drinkable plant water, deionized water (DI), water treated by reverse osmosis (RO), or reuse the final rinse solution from a previous cleaning procedure. A turbidity sensor can be used to verify that the pre-rinse effectively removed all solids.

Alkaline wash (140℉~185℉)

Alkaline washes soften the fat, making it easier to remove. The alkali used in alkaline washing can be either caustic soda or sodium hydroxide (NaOH). Additionally, the alkali used for caustic scrubbing has a very high pH in the concentration range of 0.5 to 2.0%, and solutions of up to 4% can be used on highly soiled surfaces.
In most CIP cleaning systems, caustic is usually used as the primary cleaning agent. Plus, the foam-free formula helps reduce corrosion and increase productivity, and it also prevents excessive foaming in the tank when the system begins to recirculate.
Water-saving tip: In many cases, the liquid used in caustic washing can be returned to the jar and used multiple times. As a result, this significantly reduces water, chemical, and energy costs compared to single-tank systems.

Intermediate flush

Intermediate cleaning is the use of fresh water to rinse away any traces of detergent left in alkaline cleaning. Use the correct instrument during each step of the CIP cycle, including rinsing, to ensure proper cleaning.
  • Level Transmitters and Probes monitor tank levels of wash and rinse tanks.
  • Flow Transmitters ensure optimum flow for spray devices to precisely control wash and rinse steps.
  • Conductivity Transmitters ensure chemical levels are hitting predetermined set points.

Final rinse

Rinse the jar with DI, RO, or tap water to flush out any residual detergent. In many systems, the final rinse water can be recovered and reused as the pre-rinse solution for the next cleaning cycle. The warm-up and chemicals it retains from the last flush will help make the next pre-flush more efficient and economical.

Disinfection rinse

Before starting the next production run, it may be necessary to help the equipment kill microorganisms. Various hypochlorite solutions (potassium, sodium, or calcium), also known as “hypo”, have been used as disinfectants in many CIP circulation systems over the years.
The active cost of a disinfecting rinse is chlorine (bleach), which is:
  • The cost is relatively cheap.
  • Disinfecting and cleaning ingredients that are prone to bacteria, such as dairy products, is very effective.
  • Potentially hazardous to stainless steel, causing staining, corrosion, and pitting.
In recent years, more and more health managers have moved away from bleach-based disinfectants and turned to peroxyacetic acid (PAA) — a combination of hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid.
The advantages of using PAA are:
  • A powerful disinfectant even at low temperatures.
  • When flushed, little or no chlorine residue is left that corrodes stainless steel.
  • Effective against all microorganisms, including spoilage microorganisms, pathogens, and bacterial spores.
  • More environmentally friendly in wastewater treatment.
Although PAA has a strong pungent odor, it is not a problem to use it in a well-ventilated area. Also, disinfectants reduce bacterial growth but do not completely kill all pathogens in the system. Because this is the last step in the cleaning process of brewery equipment, recirculating the sanitizing solution can run the risk of spreading any residual contaminants that may be present. Disinfectants are also sensitive to high temperatures and will quickly lose their effectiveness if dissolved.
clean-in-place (CIP) system

Description of optional steps for the CIP wash cycle

Because each CIP system has unique cleaning steps, some facilities may choose to perform some or all of these optional steps.

Push-out

Using a projectile-type product recovery system to push out residual product in the line before a pre-flush cycle can improve cleaning and keep the valuable products out of the drain. So the purpose of the push-out step is to increase product recovery and improve cleaning.
The product take-back system works by forcing the removal of any product left on the line after a transfer. Polyurethane or silicone projectiles (often referred to as “pig”) act like pipe cleaning scrapers, pushing the remaining product out of the end of the line or, where appropriate, back into the product storage tank.
Product recycling system:
  • Increase product yield.
  • Reduce pre-rinse time.
  • Remove more dirt from the pipes before cleaning.
  • Reduce the number of chemicals needed to break down the remaining soil.

Pickling (130℉~150℉)

Many dairies routinely use pickling to remove milk scale, also known as “milk stone.” Acid is also great for brightening discolored stainless steel by removing calcifying material stains. This optional step is performed after the intermediate rinse and before the final rinse. Also, acids must be used with caution, as they can attack certain elastomers in the system, such as gaskets or valve seats.
Many dairies routinely use pickling to remove milk scale, also known as “milk stone.” Acid is also great for brightening discolored stainless steel by removing calcified mineral stains. This optional step will take place after the intermediate rinse and before the final rinse. Acids must be used with caution as they can attack certain elastomers in the system, such as gaskets or valve seats, causing premature degradation or failure.
Pickling cycle:
  • Dissolves mineral scale from hard water deposits and protein residues.
  • Neutralize the pH of the system.
Nitric acid is the most commonly used cleaning agent for descaling and pH stabilization after alkaline cleaning. At a typical concentration of 0.5%, it can be used effectively at lower temperatures than caustic solutions and requires less heating. Of course, some breweries may use phosphoric acid, but it is less common.

Air blow: remove residual moisture

This step removes any moisture remaining in the lines after the final flush. While conventional puff can be used for this procedure, it is recommended that you use a CIP-capable puff check valve. This eliminates the need to disassemble the valve for manual cleaning.
Most breweries will agree to use a CIP system because it reduces a lot of cleaning. Doing better in less time is what a CIP system is all about. You may still need to manually clean some small valves, seals, lines, and various other parts occasionally or regularly, but a CIP system can help you improve beer production and beer quality. Of course, Micet Craft can also provide you with various forms of CIP systems, if you want to know more information, please contact us.
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