When it comes to best practices for CIP cleaning, the answer depends on many different factors. The reality is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to your cleaning regimen. Water quality, equipment, temperature, and soil loads are just a few of the variables that work into the equation. Any of these factors can have a dramatic impact on how effectively and economically your tanks get cleaned. So, what’s a brewer to do? The answer to that question relies on your TACT: Time, Agitation, Concentration, and Temperature.
What is TACT?
First, you’ll need a starting point. Imagine if you will, a pie chart with 4 pieces. These pieces represent:
- Time: The amount of time that you’re cycling the cleaner in your system.
- Agitation: This can be anything from the turbulent flow that is produced by a sprayball, to actual mechanical scrubbing with a sponge.
- Concentration: The ratio of chemical to water that you’re using.
- Temperature: Your water temperature.
As mentioned before, every brewery is different. Maybe you’re limited to 160° water, or maybe your pump isn’t pushing hard enough to generate much pressure from your sprayball. Perhaps you’re at capacity for brewing and need to turn over tanks quickly. Each of these variables influences this “TACT pie” and needs to be addressed accordingly.
Temperature and TACT
Let’s take the temperature scenario first as an example. Let’s say in this scenario; you find your cycle maxed out at 160° when most brewers shoot for around 180-190°. Here, your temperature slice of this “TACT pie” just shrank, and this is an issue because you need a full pie! Since you can’t make the temperature slice any bigger, we’ll have to look at increasing a different slice. An excellent first step would be to increase the time portion of your “TACT pie” by making changes like running your caustic cycle for 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes. In doing this, you’ve increased the “time slice” and now have a full pie again.
Time and TACT
In other situations, you may have control over the temperature factors of the “TACT pie,” but not the time factors. In this scenario, your brewery is running at max capacity, and time is your most valuable commodity. The “time slice” of pie can be decreased by shortening the caustic cycle runtime, but you’re going to have to look elsewhere to bring back balance to your “TACT pie.” You could increase the temperature if possible, or perhaps you could increase the chemical concentration. If those options weren’t available, you could look at an equipment solution to increase agitation. Any of these could enlarge their respective slices, thus getting us back to the balance found in a full pie.
TACTful Brewing is a Balancing Act
If you keep this balancing act in mind, you can easily take a generic cleaning protocol and hone it in to get the most bang for your buck. Keep in mind, however, that your procedures will likely, and should, be different from tank to tank. A fermenter and a bright tank don’t require the same cleaning regimen.
Sweetwater Innovative Solutions is your partner to help make sure your brewery has a TACTFUL approach to cleaning and sanitation. We understand the process behind creating, adjusting, and maintaining comprehensive cleaning and sanitation solutions for breweries of all sizes. We want you to think about the next masterpiece you’re going to brew, which is harder when you’re trying to nail down the right CIP cycles.