Hops are a type of flower whose resin is used to impart flavor and bitterness in beer. The resin is very sticky and not water soluble, making it a difficult soil to clean off brewery equipment. International Products Corporation (IPC) has been making cleaners for the Food & Beverage industry for years, but recently, IPC Chemist Linda Wolfe, evaluated a number of products and other variables to determine the best cleaning conditions for removing hops resin from stainless steel.
Various combinations of cleaner, time, concentration, and temperature were tested. “In brewery cleaning, the most important factor in cleaning is the selection of an appropriate cleaner,” Linda writes. “Second to the cleaner, variables such as dwell time, temperature, mechanical force, and cleaner concentration are important factors in developing a cleaning protocol. When these factors are limited, for example, when high temperatures cannot be achieved, they can be substituted for one another to compensate for detergency.”
For this experiment, various temperatures and concentrations were tested with each of IPC’s cleaners to determine which combinations are best at cleaning hops resin on stainless steel.
“In addition, hops are the most closely related plant to cannabis, as both are members of the Cannabaceae family, and both share many of the same terpenes,” Wolfe says. “The information learned in this project could be applicable for not only cleaning in the brewery industry, but for cleaning equipment within the cannabis industry as well.”
And speaking of cleaning, we have a webinar this week that outlines the benefits of testing for ATP as part of your brewery sanitation program, and how a new technology from Kikkoman goes beyond ATP testing alone. It is free for you, but helps pay our bills. Sign up here.