Brewing & Distilling

Cleaning Krausen Rings in Fermenters

After primary fermentation of beer is complete, cleaning the fermenter is relatively easy, except for the krausen rings that form during rigorous fermentation.

What is a krausen ring?
It is the heavy layer of soil that forms when the yeast is most active, and the resulting foam contains not only some yeast, but lots of protein, and hop oils, as well. Krausen likes to stick to the sides and can be tough to remove without some fairly aggressive mechanical action (scrubbing or high-pressure spray).

Caustic does a nice job of removing it, especially when an oxidizer like hydrogen peroxide is added. Non-caustic alkaline cleaners do an exceptional job removing them, and Birko’s new BBC is swift and has the advantage of a higher pH without caustic, compared to our other non-caustic alkaline cleaners. The higher pH, surfactants, and dispersants make short work of krausen rings in the fermenter so brewers can spend more time brewing and less time cleaning.

For even more effective protein removal, adding ½ – 1 fl. oz of Pur-Ox per gallon of BBC cleaning solutions (do not combine concentrates) provides even better brewhouse cleaning and wheat malt krausen rings removal in the fermenter.


Dana Johnson, Technical Director, Craft Brewing, Birko, can be reached at [email protected] or (303) 289-1090.