How To Clean Tanks When You Receive Your New Brewery Tanks

Every brewer will be very excited when they receive their brewery tanks and see the new brewery equipment in the new site, as they can not wait trying a brewing and try to know their friends well who will bring and produce amazing beers by brewers innovation and inspiration idea. But you can not just start brewing immediately, there are still a lots of work to do before brew beers.

Tanks Cleaning is a import process you have to do, as maybe there is something still existed in your tanks, such as dust, residual water and even rust on the surface or tank ports. You have to know how to clean them and ensure tanks are very clean and no harmful pollution of beers. Here we introduce some tips to clean the tanks and this is applied for brewery tank no big than 100bbl, for bigger tanks, it will be better handled by professional clean team stuffs.

Below cleaning tips we got from professional chemist and integrated with our years experience, to help clean the tanks well. In general, you need to get the cleaning tools ready, learn the instruction and procedures, then get the cleaning work finished.

A. Cleaning Object

Stainless steel tank, stainless steel pipe(hard pipe), hose(soft pipe)

B. Clean Tools/Material Preparation

Get the tools ready firstly so you can clean the tanks not waste a lot of time.

  1. Safety Gear
  2. Pump with cycle pipes(CIP skid if available)
  3. Clean Water
  4. Heat Source to Heat the Water
  5. Citric Acid
  6. Dilute Sodium Hydroxide
  7. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
  8. Phoshated, Silicated, and Oxygenated Non-Caustic Alkaline Cleaner
  9. 75% Ethyl Alcohol

C. General requirements

  1. pipe flow rated≥5m/s
  2. Check the if there is litter in tank, pipe or false bottom, if does, remove those solids firstly
  3. Make sure the safety device does work, such as PVRV valves on the fermenters, also check gaskets, end caps, valves to make sure there is no leakage and electrics work well.
  4. Protective measure-Protect your skin and eyes from touching any acids or caustic, you can the clothes that can cover full of your skins, rubber gloves and shoes… If you touch those chemical accident, use clean water washing immediately and use soda water and vinegar to neutralize it or go to hospital if came with serious situation.

D. Cleaning Process

1) Stainless Steel Tanks and pipe line cleaning

Below sheet offer the cleaning procedures of tanks and pipeline, the first part is to remove machine oil, road grim and dust, and the second parts is the ways to do a coversion coating in your site if need, finally is the hose, valves and fittings cleaning. As there are many different recipes to clean the tanks, you can remove or add the new process according real situation.

Part1) Machine Oil, Road Grim And Dust Remove
Step Process Cleaning Chemical Time Temperature Remark
1 Water cleaning Hot water 10-15min 140-150 F Wash residue and dirt
2 Caustic cleaning 2-2.5% dilute sodium hydroxide 30min 175-195 F cycle cleaning Remove machine oil, road grim
3 Water cleaning Hot water 15-30min 140-176 F Clean the caustic in the tanks

(PH test paper detects water neutrality)

4 Acid washing 12-13% citric acid 30min 120-130 F Remove surface dust
5 Water cleaning Hot water 15-30min 140-176 F Clean the acid in the tanks

(PH test paper detects water neutrality)

Part 2) Conversion Coating Passivation If Need
Step Process Cleaning Chemical Time Temperature Remark
6 Acid washing 12-13% nitric/phosphoric acid 15-30min 120-130°F Passivation
7 Drain / / / Not Rinse
8 Caustic cleaning 12-13% Phosphated, silicated and oxygenated non-caustic alkaline 15-30min 120-140°F Conversion coating
9 Water cleaning Hot water 15-30min 140-176 F Rinse
Part 3) Sterilization
Step Process Cleaning Chemical Time Temperature Remark
10 Sterilization 2-2.5% Hydrogen peroxide solution 20min 68 F

Normal Temperature

Sterilizing for brewing and collect use as sterile water
11 Sterile water Use the collected sterile water or made new one-35% Hydrogen peroxide solution, 1:3000 adding water mixing for 100min 10min Normal Temperature Rinse and Clean
12 Sealing / Sealing pipe and valves tightly and ready for brewing

2) Hose cleaning

  • Cleaning with 1% dilute sodium hydroxide at 175-195 F for 15mins, then rinse with water
  • A container with 1% hydrogen peroxide solution at normal temperature for 120 min
  • Do not cleaning with copper fittings or chloride ion water, as the hose will be accelerated aging

3) Valves and fittings cleaning

  • Use a sprinkling can filled wth 75% Ethyl Alcohol for cleaning the valves, gaskets and fittings when you assembly and replace.

4) Tank outside surface

  • If the tanks outside surface is dirty, you can clean the stains manually with soft ray by using some detergent, then clean it enough by clean water and waiting inner surface be dry. And notice the surface will not be damaged and cause scratches.

Above should follow with reasonable time and procedures, especially the time , as a long time cleaning process may cause huge damage to the tanks. Usually the tanks cleaning is different in most cases, the one thing need to care is that ensure put you in a safe situation, as you may use citric acid and nitric acid in the cleaning process, know the protection may help you in some emergency situations. Follow the right cleaning procedures and get ready for brewing.