In Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhood, something new is brewing. In 2016, the Hickey family opened Streetside Brewery, with the goal of brewing exceptional beer that’s as diverse and original as the community they serve. With four 15-bbl fermenters, two 15-bbl brites and one 45-bbl fermenter, the team brewed 561 bbls in 2017, but hit a wall cleaning the direct fired boil kettle. This year, thanks to increased demand and great beer (produced using cleaning chemicals specially designed for craft brewing), Streetside hopes to double their barrel output.
Like many craft breweries, Streetside had a kettle cleaning problem. When wort, yeast, hops and other additives are boiled together, a calcium carbonate-based inorganic deposit develops, creating problems for cleanliness, quality, and uniform heat transfer. A caustic cleaning cycle is commonly used to remove this stubborn buildup, but even with peroxide additive, the deposit must be manually scrubbed — a time consuming and laborious chore.
Streetside’s craft beers run the gamut from hoppy to malty, with colorful combinations of adjuncts including maple syrups, spices and seasonal fruits. Kettle cleaning between batches is essential to prevent flavor tampering and ensure the safety of the brewing process. After running 45-minute high concentration cleaning cycles, their kettles still needed another hour and a half of scrubbing by hand. To get the kettles completely clean, they used twice the amount of caustic chemical, adding up to costly overhead. At a going rate of $8 per gallon of chemical, the team was using close to $50 worth of chemical up to three times a week.
The additional cost and wasted time kept adding up until Garrett Hickey, managing brewer and founder, and his team decided it was time for a change. Streetside’s cleaning transformation however sparked from an unlikely source: a free sample. Scott Penley of Madison Chemical dropped by the brewery for an introduction and to leave some parting gifts. With nothing to lose in trying something new, Hickey put the sample products to the test and was delighted by the results. No second cycles or additional cleaning was needed. Instead, he saw a clean kettle — Madison Chemical finally got Streetside Brewery out of the scrubbing business altogether.
Brewing like mad
With alkaline products, acids and sanitizers designed as a direct response to customer requests, Madison Chemical’s MadBrew line of craft brewery cleaning products were specifically designed for the needs of craft brewers like Streetside Brewery. One of the samples Penley dropped off was Madison Chemical’s MadBrew Caustic LF, a liquid, heavy duty, alkaline cleaner for in-place or recirculation cleaning. Hickey used it with MadBrew OX, a Madison Chemical additive to clean the direct fire boil kettle, one of the particularly troublesome parts of the brewing process to clean. The combination cleaned the boil kettle better than anything he’d previously used, without high
concentrations or extra scrubbing.
Non-foaming, heavy-duty MadBrew Caustic-LF for soak and recirculation in breweries, acts both physically and chemically on typical soils including tough deposits like the ones Streetside was scrubbing off by hand. It saponifies and emulsifies oils and fats, disperses proteinaceous soils and breaks down carbohydrates. Its good wetting, rinsing and foam control characteristics permit fast cleaning at high circulation velocities.
Chlorine-free MadBrew OX is a special oxidant formulation containing hydrogen peroxide that enhances the removal of protein and other soils. The combination of MadBrew Caustic LF and MadBrew OX proved effective in penetrating Streetside’s hot-side brewery residuals and preventing the formation of beerstone.
The Streetside team brews two to three times a week. They clean the boil kettle every two to three brew days and clean the fermenters after every cycle. By eliminating the hand scrubbing, Hickey saves up to five hours a week — thats five hours that can now be better spent in other areas of the brewery. With no shortage of tasks around the brewery, those give hours of “found time” allow the Streetside team to be more productive. Whether that is doing more testing, kegging, canning, inventing new formulas and combinations — or whatever needs to be done.
Streetside gets street smart
By using a combination of MadBrew Caustic LF with MadBrew OX, Hickey no longer has to double the amount of caustic chemicals used in the process. Saving up to $50 per cleaning adds up quickly, especially for a smaller scale craft brewery. Hickey quickly converted the cleaning closet to Madison Chemical products, including their phosphoric. The team plans to use what they already purchased before switching all the chemicals over to Madison. Streetside uses MadBrew Chlorfoam — a liquid chlorinated, moderately alkaline detergent for their outside the kettle cleaning around the brewery.
Aside from products with game-changing results, Streetside has benefited from product support as well. “Scott is always handy to get us the tools that we need,” Garret said, “Whether it is a spray gun, or a safe dispenser so we don’t have to tilt over 50-gal drums or use auto-syphons.”
With a full year of production under their belt, Streetside is no longer the new kid on the block — they’re growing with purpose and passion. They are on track to hit their target of 1,000 bbls this year — comprised of roughly 30 percent kettle sours, 30 percent IPAs and the remainder a mixture of one-offs and specialty brews like their Café con Leche Coffee Stout, Tea Bags Blonde with Honey. By making the switch to Madison Chemical MadBrew Caustic LF with MadBrew OX and MadBrew Chlorfoam , Hickey is streamlining the cleaning process. Using chemicals specifically designed for cleaning stains left by craft brewing means Streetside optimizes their time and money with every cleaning cycle — freeing Hickey and the team to get back to doing what they love: brewing new beers for their old friends and community.
Ken Dreyer is a sales manager for Madison Chemical where he travels the country working with technical sales representatives and brewery specialists to help craft breweries of all sizes optimize their cleaning and sanitation. He may be reached at [email protected] or (812) 274-4410.