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Old 08-05-2010, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default How risky is not disassembling TC plumbing?

OK, this is embarrassing. I wanted to reduce my time cleaning so I designed a new brewery based on lots of expensive Tri-Clover ported 1" OD bling that I assumed could be cleaned in-place by twiddling valves and pressing buttons. Apparently I am wrong about that. I was recently told that even 24/7 operations disassemble their TC plumbing for cleaning after every single batch.

After investing all this time and money, my system is almost complete. I'm very proud of the design, but I went way over budget and so I'm just praying that I actually get some time savings out of all of this. So here's my question:

How risky is it to leave TC components connected for many brew sessions? After each brew, I plan on cleaning with a schedule something like this:

  1. send hot PBW solution through every component at high pressure/velocity, in both directions, for several minutes.
  2. rinse with boiling water, then maybe with cold water
  3. rinse with star san
  4. open all drain valves (every low point in the plumbing will have a drain valve to air)
Most of my components are TC, but I was unable to avoid threaded connections in my pump inlets and outlets, and on my plate chiller (Therminator). Everything is stainless steel (mostly 304) except for the glass-filled Ryton pump heads, the copper plates in the Therminator, and the silicone hoses connecting the hard-plumbing to the brewing vessels.

Does anyone out there leave their TC plumbing assembled for multiple brews?
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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I'm in the same boat as you are, building an expensive TC rig.....

I'm not sure it's accurate to say that 24/7 operations disassemble after each batch...they will usually do several CIP operations before they shut things down to disassemble and clean things. I think your current regimen is fine, the key is to let it drain dry (my rig is designed with a drain at the lowest point), and perhaps run some starsan through before brewing, as a chunk or two of mold could be flushed out before you start.

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Old 08-05-2010, 11:21 PM   #3
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AFAIK CIP is usually a caustic clean and an acid rinse, caustic to remove soil and acid to kill germs. And by the sounds of it that is what you are planning. Although you will want to do a more thourough (sp?) tear down every so many months.

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Old 08-06-2010, 01:39 AM   #4
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I do many CIP cycles with PBW and Acid Cleaner # 5 to remove and prevent beer-stone.
Twice a year I take them apart and they look perfect.
If you use the wrong gasket type you may have a few problems down the road.

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Old 08-06-2010, 03:39 AM   #5
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What's the wrong gasket type? I just bought 40 silicon gaskets......

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:17 AM   #6
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I do the same as Claudius. My seals are Buna N.

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Old 08-06-2010, 04:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
What's the wrong gasket type?
ScubaSteve depending on your application the seal fitting combination below may not be the best choice.
The seal pictured is for 1.5" fittings.
As long you disassemble the fittings after every use you may not have any problems, CIP cleaning will not work very well.
The problem you can encounter is grain or hops buildup between the fittings.




The correct combination




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Old 08-06-2010, 06:54 AM   #8
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Speaking of wrong gaskets, what is the best gasket material for long-term use without regular disassembly?

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Old 08-06-2010, 11:48 AM   #9
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I am sorry I can't be more productive to the topic, I use some triclover fittings for my build but all the rest is silicone tubing. What I am interested in is seeing some pictures of this rig you are building! Do you have a post somewhere with some pics or can you post some.

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Old 08-06-2010, 05:17 PM   #10
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Not sure if you're referring to my build or the OP's, but mine is in my sig.

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