While it is well established that the quality of raw ingredients used in the brewing industry is paramount for a good tasting beer, the impact of a proper cleaning and sanitation on beer quality and brewery installations must not be overlooked. In fact, just as important as raw ingredients, cleaning and sanitation procedures can greatly affect the consistent quality and taste of beer. Properly cleaned brewery installations will help prevent beer spoilage, unexpected shutdowns and interruptions during production.
One of the main contributors to beer spoilage is the bacteria contamination that can originate from microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, Enterobacteriacea, Pectinatus, Megasphaera, Zymomonas and wild yeast. Another major contributing source to beer spoilage is beer stone. Beer stone is a complex soil primarily composed of calcium oxalate that precipitates out of solution in the process of making beer. In fact, beer stone formation is largely driven by reactions between the alkaline cleaners (caustics), hard water minerals (calcium and magnesium) and proteins (amino acids) in the beer. When it is not properly cleaned, beer stone will harbor microorganisms leading to off flavors and shortened beer shelf life. Aside from beer stone and other common soils encountered in the brew house, the fermentation tanks or kegs are mixtures of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, hop resins, minerals, and oxalates of various salts which can adhere to heated surfaces to form burnt-on scales.
Brewery soils have traditionally been cleaned with alkaline products. In general, the alkaline product is used in Clean in Place (CIP) circuits at dosages ranging from 2-4% alkalinity (as NaOH) in heated water (~ 150°F). Caustic soda still remains the most commonly used alkaline cleaner in the brewery. However, caustic soda on its own does not possess all the required properties for an effective cleaning of brewery soils. In fact, the ideal caustic based cleaner must fulfill the following requirements:
Therefore, caustic based cleaners intended for the brewing industry must be carefully formulated to ensure optimal cleaning of brewery soils while providing great value to the customer that will keep brewery operations sustainable and profitable.
To fulfill this need, DeLaval Cleaning Solutions recently launched a caustic based cleaner (Alka Plus CLF), especially formulated for all the cleaning needs in the brewing industry. Alka Plus CLF is formulated with the proprietary HaloTec technology to reduce surface tension, improve soil penetration, and both prevent and remove beer stone deposits during cleaning. The product shows superior cleaning and rinsing and can be used at dosages as low as 1 % w/w as NaOH. The proprietary HaloTec technology in Alka Plus CLF allows it to be used for all types of brewery soil cleaning without the need to boost the caustic cleaning solution with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCL) – bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Furthermore, the product is ideal for cleaning at very low temperatures without compromising the cleaning efficiency. In fact, Alka Plus CLF is ideal for brewery CIP cleaning at temperatures as low as 90°F.
Extensive trials have also proven that Alka Plus CLF greatly increases water saving up to 300,000 gallons/year in comparison with other formulated caustic cleaners currently used for cleaning in the brewing industry. Another hallmark of Alka Plus CLF is its ability to dramatically reduce the CIP cleaning time, thus allowing a fast turnaround of the brewing equipment and an extension of overall production time. The reduction in CIP time is particularly attributed to the low surface tension of Alka Plus CLF cleaning solutions which in turn induces efficient soil removal and fast rinsing.
Alka Plus CLF is also formulated with a special package of water softeners and chelating agents, allowing the product to withstand water hardness as high as 25 grain. The superior chelating package in Alka Plus CLF not only prevents mineral deposits during CIP but also allows the product to efficiently clean mineral and beer stone deposits during the alkaline CIP step. In most cases, Alka Plus CLF high chelation feature can greatly reduce the need to follow up the alkaline cleaning step with an acid CIP cleaning step, or can significantly reduce the acid dosage during any acid CIP cleaning steps.
Overall, Alka Plus CLF answers some of the most challenging sustainability questions in today’s brewery CIP cleaning processes as it provides superior cleaning results with less chemical, water, time and energy. To set up a plant survey or trial today call or email us: DCS-MarCom@delaval.com, (805) 312-5798!
Fohona S. Coulibaly, Ph.D.
DeLaval Cleaning Solutions
11100 N Congress Ave
Kansas City, MO 64153www.cleaningsolutions.delaval.com