New Mash Tun CIP at Balblair Distillery

When Balblair distillery had issues cleaning their mash tun, Allen Associates stepped in to provide a Clean In Place (CIP) system.

mash turn balvenie 

The Project

During the mashing process not all the draff is retained above the mash tun plate as a small amount is washed through the plate by the wort. Once under the plate the draff will either remain suspended in the wort and be transferred through to the fermentation stage or it will fall out of suspension and remain in the bottom of the mash tun.

Over the course of a working week more and more draff will accumulate under the plate and this build up can restrict the flow of wort from the mash tun thus increasing mashing time. Consequently at least once per week the draff under the plate has to be removed / cleaned out.

Traditionally underplate cleaning has been a manual operation where operators have entered the mash tun, lifted the plates, and swept out the draff.

When managers at Balblair Distillery realised that confined space entry legislation would restrict this type of working Allen Associates was instructed to design and install an underplate CIP system at the distillery.

The underplate CIP system was designed to wash the accumulated draff to the wort outlets using a series of spray nozzles. The nozzles were installed in a number of ring formations in the mash tun so that the sprays would push the draff to the wort outlets.

The spray nozzles would be operated in a sequence to ensure that the sprays will not interfere with each other and also to prevent flooding of the mash tun during cleaning. New mash tun CIP drainage pipework would also have to be installed to ensure correct draining of the mash tun during CIP.

mash turn 


Not only did the system provide an automated mash tun underplate CIP system to reduce manual entry but the overall improvement in mash tun drainage also improved the mashing process at Balblair.

Other mash tun CIP projects include: Ardbeg Distillery, Balvenie Distillery, Dufftown Distillery.