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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Carboy/Corny/Keggle Cleaning Made Easy (long & photo intense)
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:59 AM   #1
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Default Carboy/Corny/Keggle Cleaning Made Easy (long & photo intense)

Edit: 3/30/13 - Go to post #31 for the newest version.

I really HATE the cleaning aspect of brewing. Specifically carboys & kegs. All other aspects I love, but the one thing I always put off until necessary is cleaning my carboys & cornies. So I decided to make this an easier process that didn't require fumbling around with wet carboys/kegs full of water and making a mess.

I got the idea from another post on here using a sump pump and a bucket, so I can't take credit for the idea. I just decided to take it up a notch and make it a permanent piece of equipment in my brewery, and usable on carboys, cornies, and keggles/pots/etc.

I have access to beat up dishwashers that are still perfectly functional, and had been thinking of converting one to use for this purpose. The problem is they are just too small inside. So I decided to rob the parts and build something that did the same thing. I had a laundry sink that I have been meaning to install in our laundry room for several years but never got around to, so it made a perfect candidate for this.

Before hacking into the sink, I decided to make a prototype from OSB and a rubbermaid storage container. This material is easy to work with and cheap to replace if I screwed it up, so I did that first. Here is what I made.







The last pic with the bolt plugging the hose is where it would tee off into ball lock connectors so it can be connected to a corny and wash the dip tubes as well. There was also a tee tee to allow me to drain the tub with the pump, but the plan changed and that was eliminated.

Once this was assembled, I put it to the test. Here is a before and after shot after only 30 seconds.





I considered this a success, so I grabbed the sink to move the parts over.

The sink:


The final product. I was lacking the liquid connector to finish the install for connecting to cornies but have the gas side connected.





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Old 01-04-2011, 01:59 AM   #2
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Here you can see that I can use it for nearly any vessel and when not in use I can plug it and use it as a sink.






And the money shot.

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Old 01-04-2011, 03:25 AM   #3
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that is crazy cool

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Old 01-04-2011, 02:40 PM   #4
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I like it....a lot....

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Old 01-04-2011, 02:57 PM   #5
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Very very cool. The one minor criticism is to figure out a more secure way to hold a carboy upside down. Maybe an inverted 2 gallon bucket with a large hole cut in the bottom to hold the carboy at the taper? How about some kind of insert that jams against the walls of the sink and the carboy? Styrofoam?

Have you noticed any sewer gas smells? I was looking at the way the feedback loop rushes past the drain P-trap and thought it might pull a vacuum on it due to venturi action. How do you stop all the water from going down the drain during the cleaning cycle. Maybe I just don't know how the pump works 100%.

I'm trying to figure out if my wife would kill me for messing with the laundry sink.

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Old 01-04-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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I have a 8" PVC coupling that I had originally used for a hop bag, I use it to turn my carboys upside down for drying. Could use that I guess to help steady the carboys?

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Old 01-05-2011, 12:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for the compliments everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Very very cool. The one minor criticism is to figure out a more secure way to hold a carboy upside down. Maybe an inverted 2 gallon bucket with a large hole cut in the bottom to hold the carboy at the taper? How about some kind of insert that jams against the walls of the sink and the carboy? Styrofoam?

Have you noticed any sewer gas smells? I was looking at the way the feedback loop rushes past the drain P-trap and thought it might pull a vacuum on it due to venturi action. How do you stop all the water from going down the drain during the cleaning cycle. Maybe I just don't know how the pump works 100%.

I'm trying to figure out if my wife would kill me for messing with the laundry sink.
Bobby, the carboy is actually more stable than it looks. It's hard to tell in the pics, but the sink is deep enough that if it did tip over it can't fall out of the sink. I was thinking I would need to build something to hold it better, but it actually balances itself very well. The bunji cord was just for added insurance.

Regarding the plumbing setup, I put a 1.5" pvc ball valve after the p-trap on the outside of the sink so I would have easy access to it. I close it, fill the sink with 2 gallons of water, then have at it. When I'm done, I just open the valve and the sink drains. Since it's after the p-trap, it wouldn't be able to siphon the water out of it. Of course you could always plumb this in before the p-trap if you wanted to.

I will probably eliminate the p-trap as well as all of the slip joint fittings and just hard pipe it. I used these fittings so it would be easy to work on if I ever needed to, but the slip joint fittings are just not very solid. Also, there really is no need for the p-trap since I don't have it connected to the house plumbing yet, and if I do it will drain into the laundry drain line which has a p-trap in the drain line itself. I just used it for easy alignment to the side where I wanted it to drain.

When I built it I was planning to hook it up in our laundry room since I had stubbed in for the sink when I remodeled the basement, but never got around to doing the finish plumbing work. At this point though, I am thinking I'll just keep it freestanding in the garage near my brewing equipment and run a couple pex lines out there for water supply, then drain it out the garage door. My thinking here is that don't want the sink to get used for things like washing paint brushes and such, then getting used on my brewing equipment.

Here's a link little video I made. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=OqY0Is_iT6k
It makes it easier to see how stable the carboy is and the current plumbing setup. The hose that is hanging in the sink when I switch the pump to reverse is where the other ball lock fitting will be connected once I get it.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post

I'm trying to figure out if my wife would kill me for messing with the laundry sink.
I'm trying to figure out if SWMBO would kill me for messing with the dishwasher.....

Great build. I really like the idea.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:07 PM   #9
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Question:
when the pump is switched to reverse, that line shown in the video spouting water is what would have been the drain line in the original dishwasher?

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Old 01-05-2011, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrabb22 View Post
Question:
when the pump is switched to reverse, that line shown in the video spouting water is what would have been the drain line in the original dishwasher?
Yes, that's what it is.
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