Q: Is it reasonable to keep the bright tank completely sealed and do a water rinse/acid wash/peracetic acid wash between each refill? Additionally, is it possibly to do a full break down only after every five to 10 fills?
A: What you’ve mentioned is completely reasonable with the right type of beer, chemicals, and equipment. Not only is it good for the beer and your bottom line, but it is also more environmentally friendly and sustainable as well.
There are several key points to keep in mind for successfully cleaning bright tanks under pressure with acid and detergent only to conserve chemicals, water, labor, and especially CO2. This also applies to cleaning serving tanks in brewpubs.
- Good quality, properly sized, rotating spray nozzles and pumps are a must
- This method works best on the same or similar types of beer with low protein levels (i.e., fined and/or filtered beers)
- The right acid and detergent blend is critical
- Peracetic acid (PAA) sanitizers work well after cleaning with the acid and detergent method
Q: Does anyone refill their tank without so much as a water-rinse between each fill, and is this even a good idea?
A: Some folks may do this, but I think it is a really bad idea. This is how biofilms start so I caution you to not adopt this approach. Use a little chemical after each batch goes through the bright tank and you won’t regret it.