What is Clean-In-Place? Why would I CIP my Ss Brewtech gear?
Clean in Place is a type of automated cleaning where you recirculate cleaner and sanitizer solutions with a decent hot-side brewing pump, a specifically sized spray ball, and various tubing. Since the pump will launch the liquid solution into the fermenter at high speeds, the spray ball will spin and evenly distribute the hot liquid solutions. When done correctly, you will have a clean tank with little to no labor.
How do I run a CIP cycle?
Operating a CIP Sprayball is as easy as attaching it to a pump loop and cycling your liquid solutions. In general, you will want to Prepare, Wash, Rinse, and Sanitize.
1) Drain and pre-rinse your tank to remove excess sediment and debris before your cleaning cycle.
2) Run Cleaning Cycle.
3) Run Rinse Cycle.
4) Run Sanitizer Cycle.
The linked article below includes an example CIP process, but feel free to make adjustments. You will have to determine for yourself what works best for your setup and brewing process.
How do I know what pump and what spray ball to get?
Please check out our CIP Sizing and Comparison article for more detailed information.
- For Homebrewing (Less than 20 gallons or 75 liters) you will typically need a Chugger pump (or equivalent 7 GPM pump) and CIP | 3" TC | Spray Ball (Standard)
- For Nano brewing (1-5bbl or 120-575 liters) you will typically need a Chugger Max pump (or equivalent 17 GPM pump) and CIP | 3" TC | Spray Ball (Pro).
What about the other parts, what should I get?
That is a tougher question. The short answer is whatever parts you want. The Long answer is that there are many ways to build a CIP setup, just like there are many ways to set up your brew day. It all depends on what you want to get out of it. We have an article below, with an example setup, but feel free to get creative with tubing and fittings you already have.
Can I use a sump pump instead?
Sure, although we no longer recommend them. We recommend the standard Chugger pumps because a lot of customers have them already and you run them inline instead of having to submerge them in cleaner or sanitizer. You will need to arrange your setup so your tank is up high enough to let your cleaner/sanitizer drain into a bucket from gravity. Please note that most sump pumps are not rated for high temps and are usually not made out of food-grade material, so do your research.
What Ss Brewtech gear is compatible with the Ss CIP Spray Balls?
Right now all Unitanks, Brite Tanks, and Chronicals are compatible with Ss CIP Spray Balls. Please see the CIP Sizing and Comparison article for information specific to each tank.
What about the Brew Bucket or my carboy? What about kettles?
Unfortunately, these are not good vessels for Clean In Place. CIP needs a bottom drain port that can quickly return the cleaner/sanitizer solution back to the pump without running it dry. Running a pump dry can actually create a vacuum that can damage your vessel. Side ports on most kettles and the Brew Bucket will not return the liquid fast enough.
What about running a CIP on homebrew kegs?
Ss Brewtech has actually designed the Keg WaSsher with this concept in mind. It comes with a custom pump that can stand temperatures up to 160F, a mini CIP spray ball, a stand designed to allow cleaner/sanitizer solution to drain, and an air return tube preventing suction.