Keg cleaning and root cause analysis

Technical Session 15: Cleaning and Packaging Session
Jeffrey S Hutchison, Ecolab, St. Paul, MN, USA

ABSTRACT: Cleaning kegs is similar to the CIP of a bright beer tank, only faster. Kegs are purged, cleaned, rinsed, sterilized, and filled at simultaneous stations, each cycle typically lasting less than one minute. To ensure beer quality in the keg, it is critical to be able to verify that the keg cleaning program is functional and consistent. Additionally, the keg cleaning operation must be cost-effective. This includes chemical selection, chemical concentration control, chemical monitoring, and proper programming for the cleaning and rinse functions. Excessive chemical use, including caustic loss, may be due to mechanical or programming issues. This paper will focus on troubleshooting the performance of a keg line and keg cleaning operations. It will discuss some real world examples of issues that can be encountered with keg cleaning and the steps that were used to identify the root cause of the issues. Corrective actions will be reviewed with corresponding field results.

Jeffrey Hutchison received degrees in both chemistry and mathematics from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He began his career with Ecolab in 2007, working in the Food and Beverage Division. Since 2010 Jeff has worked as a senior chemist in the Global Lubricant Development group within Ecolab’s Food and Beverage Division. Jeff has been able to work both at the lab bench and in field applications, developing and deploying global conveyor lubricant solutions for the food and beverage packaging industries. His work has led to one patent and several patent applications. Jeff has been a member of MBAA since 2011 and enjoys skiing, traveling, and performing music in his free time.

Hailing from rural Iowa, Kenny Gunderman received degrees in both mathematics and philosophy from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. He has worked at Summit Brewing Company since 1995 as a bottler, racker, brewer, and now packaging manager. When time allows, Kenny enjoys spending time with his wife and two young daughters, as well as pickin’ on an old banjo and playing the odd round of golf here and there.