How to clean the beer brewing equipment?

Oktoberfest-German beer festival
Common problems with mashing systems

Everyone with brewing equipment can’t avoid cleaning their beer brewing equipment. How to properly clean beer brewing equipment? This will be a problem that plagues most people. Dirt and microbes are everywhere, hiding in all corners of brewing equipment. Even if you follow every step of the brewing process, even if you modulate it in a dirty device, the resulting beer will be full of odor. Therefore, cleaning beer brewing equipment is also an important step.

Then, other problems are coming up. Which kind of cleaner should I use? Which kind of cleaner should I not use? How to make sure the equipment is clean and completely sterilized?our suggestions below may help you.

1. Why is there dirt accumulation in the beer brewing equipment?

The most common source is the accumulation of proteins and minerals after saccharification. They come from grains, fruits, hops, and water, and when bacteria begin to grow. They easily adhere to the walls of the tank, forming scale, scum, and biofilm.

Now, we find out how it came from. Let’s see how to clean them. Because of the different types, size equipment. Therefore, we have listed the following methods for cleaning the equipment in different situations, I hope to help you.

2. Several cleaning methods commonly used in small brewing equipment

Step one; Cleaning installed equipment

When the equipment is installed, wash it with water and rinse the mashing pot, filter tank, and whirlpool tank with tap water. When flushing the fermenter, connect the tap water pipe to the fermenter exhaust valve. Then you should open the drain valve, and rinse for 10 minutes.

When the fermenter is washed with hot water. The first, you connect the wort pump to the pipeline between the heat exchanger and the exhaust valve of the fermenter, open the drain valve of the fermenter, and rinse for 5 minutes.

Step two; Wash with caustic soda.

Add about 200L of tap water to the mashing pot, add 3% of the caustic soda sheet, and heat it to a temperature of 80-90 degrees. The alkali washing of the mashing tank and the filter tank is realized by the transportation of the mashing stirrer, the filter agitator, and the wort. When the fermenter is alkali-washed, the wort pump is first pumped to the pipeline connection between the heat exchanger and the fermentation tank drain valve.

Pumping the caustic soda into the fermenter, and then using the wort pump to circulate the lye in the fermenter through the drain pipe and the exhaust pipe, alkaline washing for 20 minutes, and then pumping the lye in the fermenter through the drainpipe drive into the next fermenter and proceed as above. After all the fermenters have been alkali washed, the lye can be placed in a storage tank or diluted.

If the temperature of the lye is lowered when cleaning other fermenters, it should be recycled to the mashing pot and reheated before cleaning.

Step three; Wash with hot water.

A small amount of tap water is added to the small brewing equipment, and make heating, the temperature is 90-100 degrees. The alkali washing of the mashing pot, the filter tank, and the whirlpool tank is realized by the transportation of the mashing mixer, the filter agitator and the wort pump. Flush the dead angle, and this process needs to flush it manually by people. When the fermenter is washed with hot water, first connect the wort pump to the pipeline connection between the heat exchanger and the exhaust valve of the fermenter, open the drain valve of the fermenter, and rinse for 5 minutes.

3.The cleaning for the copper and stainless steel two different material of equipment

Cleaning Copper

When people try to clean their copper cladding beer brewing equipment, they need to know the copper is more complex than the normal metals, The oxides of copper are more readily dissolved by the mildly acidic wort than is the copper itself. By cleaning copper tubing with acetic acid once before the first use and rinsing with water immediately after each use, the copper will remain clean with no oxide or wort deposits that could harbor bacteria. Cleaning copper with vinegar should only occasionally be necessary.

Cleaning and sanitizing copper with bleach solutions is not recommended. The chlorine and hypochlorites in bleach cause oxidation and blackening of copper and brass. If the oxides come in contact with the mildly acidic wort, the oxides will quickly dissolve, possibly exposing yeast to unhealthy levels of copper during fermentation.

Do not clean the lustrous aluminum luster or use bleach to clean the aluminum brewing tank as this will remove the protective oxide and may result in a metallic taste. The detectable aluminum content is not dangerous. The aluminum content of ordinary acid-resistant sheets is higher than that of a batch of beer made from aluminum cans.

There are oxalic acid-based cleansers available at the grocery store that are very effective for cleaning stubborn stains, deposits, and rust from stainless. They also work well for copper. You can find some cleaner stuff manufacturer in your local store, they will tell you which more suitable for you and more harmless to your equipment.

4.Cleaning of the heat exchanger

The cleaning of the heat exchanger and the pipeline is in principle the same. The heat exchanger is in a normal flow state under normal working conditions. If using the cleaning liquid is 20%-30% higher than the design flow rate to clean, a good cleaning effect can be obtained.

5.Cleaning of the pipeline

The main point of the washing of the pipeline is to fully exert the mechanical action to improve the washing effect. When cleaning with the cold cleaning liquid, in order to achieve a good washing effect, the pipe diameter is different. And the flow rate in the pipe is different. When you wash with hot cleaning liquid at the time, the flow rate of the washing liquid in the tube is maintained at 1-1.5 m/s. You need to attach importance to clean the carbon dioxide and compressed air pipelines and their accessories.

6.CIP cleaning


The cleaning of the tank can be completed by an automatic tank washing machine, also called a CIP car or tank. In general, the CIP car has two tanks, one is the alkaline tank, another is sterilization tank. They were controlled by PLC or Siemens control cabinets. The CIP cleaning machine has two kinds of spray ball types and mechanical types. When the beer equipment to be cleaned is dirty and the diameter of the tank body is large, a mechanical CIP tank washer is generally used.

The washing radius and cleaning strength are increased by increasing the CIP tank outlet pressure. Compared with the spray CIP ball washer, the mechanical tank CIP washer can use a lower cleaning fluid flow rate.