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Old 07-05-2009, 12:17 AM   #1
HomebrewJeff
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Default How do YOU clean your kettle?

As I'm slowly building in more and more automation into my process, I seem to become more and more annoyed by any "manual" process (i.e. Cleaning). I use a cooler for my MLT, and it simply gets dumped in the compost bin. I use the runoff from the chiller to clean it the rest of the way. The HLT doesn't get cleaned, which leaves me with the BK.

By design, my kettle (keg) leaves about a quart or so of liquid. If I tip it a few inches, I leave about half that. I end up scrubbing the keg and use a bunch of paper towel to wipe the rest of the crud out / dry it.

I would prefer not to have to remove it from my stand, as it's heavily insulated and barely fits into the stand as it is. I have the temp prob wire and element cord which get in the way / are easily damaged. Dumping it is kind of messy and some of the liquid seems to get behind the insulation.

So far, I've thought about:

  • Making everything removable from the kettle (insulation, element cord, temp probe) to make it easier to remove.
  • Changing dip tubes out (boo)
  • Add a second valve with a longer dip tube to drain more of the kettle.
  • Make a longer dip tube and just drain the kettle completely, resulting in everything going into the fermenter.

I guess right now I'm leaning towards the last option, but was curious what everyone else is doing?
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:27 AM   #2
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I have a dip tube, so once the fermentor is full, I flush all the crap out through the tube. Then I soak in 7 gallons water and 2 scoops OxiClean... (SUN brand).

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Old 07-05-2009, 01:33 AM   #3
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Once empty, I hit mine with the hose outside and rinse it well. I then pull the dip tube and put it back on the burner and fill it with 19 gallons of water and PBW and heat it to 160 degrees. I let it soak 30 minutes before draining the hot PBW into empty, but dirty kegs. Then I rinse again and turn upside down to drain and dry.

I put lids on the kegs, hit with co2, and run PBW through the dip tube. I then turn upside down for 30 minutes and then rotate. I leave the PBW in the kegs till I get ready to use them, then I dump and rinse using a gadget that connects to both posts.

So far the system works fine.

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Old 07-05-2009, 01:54 AM   #4
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I just rinse it well with hot water. Any stubborn spots come clean with elbow grease, a scrubby sponge, and some BKF.

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Old 07-05-2009, 02:13 AM   #5
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BKF stinks right? (as in smell) Actually only have used it for regular pots and pans. Works great but STINKY! For BK - I rinse it out, then soak overnight with pbw, or one-step, or something similar. I have no allegiance to any one particular product; maybe I haven't been brewing as long as these other guys.

-OCD

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Old 07-05-2009, 02:34 AM   #6
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BKF (Bar Keeper's Friend) smells no worse than any other abrasive cleaner, and it rinses easily.

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Old 07-05-2009, 02:35 AM   #7
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Well, uhm, hm.. So far you guys are heating up 19 gallons of water, 7 gallons of water, or doing an overnight soak.

I guess what you guys are trying to tell me is, quit b??chin about having to scrub with a green/yellow scrubbie for about 30 seconds and soaking up a cup or two of water with some paper towels.

Sally

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