When it comes to sanitation, cleaning-in-place (CIP) systems are a staple for most craft brewing vessels. CIP refers to the process equipment, associated fittings, pipe work, chemicals and fluids that can thoroughly clean vessels internally without dismantling them. It can be totally automatic, semi-automatic or manual. CIP has been around for about 50 years and is used in hygiene critical industries, including food, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, beverage and brewing.
Each CIP system has to be designed properly to match the vessel being cleaned. The primary function is debris removal but CIP is also needed to sanitize the process equipment. For effective cleaning, breweries need to consider: temperature, scouring action, time, detergent type and concentration and sanitizer. If any of these aspects are not sufficient, then cleaning will be compromised.
Speaking of compromising your fermenting beer, the CIP can’t do everything. Don’t forget about cleaning the sample port by hand, as shown by Smokey Mountain Brewery in the video above. Thanks for the reminder, guys.