Brewing = Cleaning
So in the first part of this mini series, we got all the “stuff” cleaned, this week we will focus on the actual brewery. That is the kettles, coolers, and such that you brew in.
For me, cleaning the brew-house is not as hard as cleaning all the other stuff, but it does take longer. Most of that time is spent waiting for water to heat up, and then letting it run through all the pots, pumps, valves, chiller, and hoses.
Once again, I will be using my DIY PBW to do the heavy lifting.
BIAB brewers will have a much simpler brew-house cleaning, as they only have 1 pot to clean, and maybe a false bottom. Brewers that use a cooler and manifold will need to ensure that they disassemble the manifold if possible. It will be up to brewers to adapt and adopt a cleaning system that fits their personal needs.
So this is how I clean my brewery, it starts with 5 gallons of hot water and DIY PBW in each of the 3 kettles. Next, I set the control panel to heat the water in the Mash tun to 165F. I then run my system just like a brew day; the cleaner in the mash tun runs through the HERMS coil in the HLT until it hits the set temp, and then I let it run for 5-10 minutes at that temp. While this is going on, I use a brush to clean the insides of the HLT and Mash tun.
After I run the cleaning cycle, I drain the kettles, using the hot PBW to clean any kegs or fermenters that may need attention. Then I add 5 gallons of hot fresh water to the HLT and MT and let the heat and run process run as described above. Once again, I drain the 2 pots, using the water to rinse anything I washed earlier, then I do it one more time. 1 wash, 2 rinse cycles, or until you feel everything is completely free of PBW.
After those two pots are cleaned, I set up the BK to do the same cycle, this time making sure I run the clean and rinse steps through my plate chiller. While this is going on, I unhook the 1st two pots, and do any touch up cleaning they may need, and store them in such a way that they can drain and dry.
When the BK is done, I make sure to back flush the chiller, do my final touch up cleaning, and store them away as well.
A note on the HERMS coil and the chiller: getting all the liquid out of each of these is important, the chiller is easy, just set on it’s side and it will drain. The coil is much harder, currently I am building an attachment that will let my hook my small air compressor to it so I can pressure it up and blow it out, until that is complete, I am forced to treat it like a balloon and just blow through it as best I can…..low tech for sure.
In part 3 I will cover sanitizing.