BETE HydroClaw: Solving Tank Cleaning Issues in Fermentation Tanks

Custom Solutions Bulletin 160431
Application #160431
Industry: Wineries
Application: Tank Washing
Product Description: A premier winery in Napa Valley contacted BETE to improve their tank cleaning process, leading to the invention of the unique HydroClaw®

Problem: Seeds, stems, and skins can cause tank washing nozzles to seize or clog

A premier winery in Napa Valley contacted BETE to help improve their tank cleaning process.

They had tried both rotating tank wash machines and traditional static spray balls but they weren’t completely satisfied with either option. Even with a preliminary rinse before the cleaning process, leftover grape debris in the fermentation tanks such as seeds, stems, and skins had a habit of finding its way into the nozzles during recirculation cleaning cycles, causing the nozzles not to perform.

Solution: The BETE HydroClaw®

BETE engineers went to work to develop a solution to this issue that plagues not only the winemaking industry but also brewing, food processing, and many other applications that involve cleaning tanks with high solids content. The result was
the new HydroClaw™ nozzle with a full 360 degree spray pattern, three times the free passage of a comparable static spray ball, and no moving parts to jam.

Spray ball frustrations:

  • Clogging
  • Extended maintenance time
  • Incomplete tank coverage
  • Excessive water consumption

The solids in the fermentation tanks would jam rotating tank wash nozzles, resulting in incomplete coverage which is detrimental to the winemaking process and difficult to detect from outside of the tank. Static spray balls, on the other hand, have no moving parts but feature many small orifices that are prone to plugging, also resulting in incomplete coverage. With both options, the amount of maintenance time required to keep the nozzles in proper working condition was unacceptable.

After trialing the unit, the customer was so pleased with the cleaning performance and clog resistance of the HydroClaw that they used it exclusively to clean their tanks during the busy harvest crush season, the time when the fermentation tanks experience their highest levels of solids. Over the course of several months, not a single clogging issue was experienced. Additionally, the high flow rate of the HydroClaw allowed the customer to adequately pre‐rinse their tanks using quick and powerful blasts of water thus reducing their overall water consumption compared to a lower flowing nozzle operating for a longer period of time.

“I have some very, very good news for you. We are smack in the middle of peak harvesting right now, and the winery is cranking full‐blast. Did our first hard‐trial test on the HydroClaw today, and.....I can't stop smiling. We threw that thing into a tank post‐ferment without any pre‐rinsing whatsoever (had probably 3 gallons of grapes, yeast, garbage in there), and did a sequence on one of our 2-ton tanks and it is absolutely sparkling clean.

HydroClaw advantages:

  • 3X the free passage of static spray ball
  • 360 degree coverage with no moving parts
  • High flow rate provides vigorous rinsing action to quickly flush tank solids and contamination
  • Sanitary finish for food and beverage applications
  • Saves you time AND money!

Read more about the BETE HydroClaw

BETE: your partner for optimized solutions

To discuss your fluid-related challenge, please contact BETE Applications Engineering at 413-772-0846 or