Below is the general process for cleaning your tanks via the Clean-In-Place (CIP) method. This utilizes a pump, spray ball, and tubing to distribute cleaners and sanitizers in your tank reducing the labor that goes into cleaning. Please keep in mind that this is a starting point and not a definitive, end-all-be-all solution to cleaning your gear. We do include optional steps for improvement, but your process will be dependent on what you feel is necessary for your setup. Always remember that cleaning and sanitizing are a product of both time + temperature and to stay within the operation range of your equipment and your chemicals.
Please review dosage and disposal requirements for all chemicals before use. Always wear appropriate personal protection equipment.
The amount of cleaner, rinse water, or sanitizer will depend on the size of your tank, how much tubing/piping you have, and your pump flow rate. You will want enough liquid solution to avoid running the pump dry, but too much liquid solution will be soaking your tank instead of spraying it. Please refer to the volume charts below as a starting point and adjust your practices to account for your setup.
|7gal Tanks||10gal & 14gal tanks||Half BBL & 20gal Tanks|
|7gal/minute pump||1.5 GAL||2 GAL||3 GAL|
|1BBL Tanks||2BBL & 3.5BBL||5BBL+ Tanks|
|17gal/minute pump||5 GAL||10 GAL||15 GAL|
Step 1 - Prepare
Step 1a - Drain and pre-rinse your tank to remove excess sediment and debris before your cleaning cycle. By removing most (if not all) of the visible debris in your tank, you will prevent contamination in your cleaning and sanitizer solutions. Contaminated cleaner/sanitizer solutions will reduce their effectiveness and may result in the steps needing to be repeated for a beer clean tank. Common methods for this would be to take a non-scratch scouring pad and a garden hose to the krausen and hop residue for removal. This includes all accessories and the ports themselves.
*Step 1b - Replace your accessories with clean gaskets, plugs, caps, or blanks (Optional)
By swapping out your used accessories for clean caps or plugs, not only can you verify those parts are clean but you will also eliminate additional factors for contaminants. Since you will be removing the accessories from the tank anyway, this allows you to clean the accessories during the CIP cycle.
*Step 1c - Preheat your tank (Optional)
By optionally preheating your tank with hot water, not only will you reduce the temperature loss of your hot cleaner but you will also remove more physical matter that can cause contamination. Common methods of this would be to recirculate 180F water for 5 minutes.
Step 2 - Wash
Step 2a - Premix and add alkaline cleaner per manufacturers instructions. For the liquid solution volumes please check out our charts at the beginning of the article. For recommendations on CIP cleaners check out our Cleaning FAQ article. The general recommendation is PBW at 180F.
Step 2b - Recirculate cleaner through the spray ball for 30 minutes or longer if needed.
*Step 2c - Recirculate cleaner through each additional TC port for a minimum of 5 minutes each. (Optional)
Step 2d - Inspect your tank for any residual krausen or other debris. Repeat Step 2b or drain and continue on to the Rinse.
Step 3 - Rinse
Step 3a - Add ambient temperature water. For the liquid solution volumes please check out our charts at the beginning of the article.
Step 3b - Recirculate water through the spray ball for 5 minutes or longer if needed.
*Step 3c - Recirculate water through each additional TC port for a minimum of 5 minutes each. (Optional)
Step 3d - Drain and Continue on to Sanitize.
Step 4 - Sanitize
Step 4a - Premix and add sanitizer per manufacturers instructions. For the liquid solution volumes please check out our charts at the beginning of the article. For recommendations on CIP sanitizers check out our Sanitization FAQ article. The general recommendation is Saniclean at ambient temps.
Step 4b - Recirculate sanitizer through the spray ball for 5 minutes or longer if needed.
*Step 4c - Recirculate sanitizer through each additional TC port for a minimum of 5 minutes each. (Optional)
Step 4d - Drain and Replace gaskets, valves, and accessories with sanitized parts and seal tank.