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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Cleaners (keg, carboy, lines, etc) > Clean-in-place keg and carboy washer with 360 rotating spray ball
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:12 AM   #1
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Default Clean-in-place keg and carboy washer with 360 rotating spray ball

I'm embarking on a clean-in-place keg washer for my brewing system. My goals with the build are simple:

  • Use a clean-in-place process that mimics standardized processes in the food and beverage industry.
  • Easy to setup/use on cleaning days

I've purchased the following items for use:
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's my proposed setup:


My current configuration of my fittings from when I was using a sump pump/bucket setup (like you see others using around this site) looks like this: I may have to get different fittings and likely a longer pipe once things are finalized.

The remaining questions I have and am looking for assistance with revolve around the plumbing/bulkheads:
  • What parts do I purchase to create a stable enough of a bulkhead in the middle of the basin for the copper pipe/spray nozzle setup to screw onto? I will use a garden hose for the effluent from the pump. That will allow me to easily disconnect from the hose and attache to the spigot for rinse cycles. If you have specific parts lists or a link to point me to, that would be great.
  • Best parts to connect the 1"ID reinforced vinyl tubing to the utility sink drain? I think I may have solved this question with the setup below using PVC parts from Home Depot, but I'm open to changes, particularly since the only 1" barb fittings they had involve reducing to 3/4" MPT fittings.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:13 AM   #2
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[reserved for updates to build as it develops]

I have my CIP keg/carboy washer up and running. It works very well. I'm currently still on the hunt for a rotating spray ball or nozzle that will fit inside of a carboy that isn't $177. For now, I just disconnect my spray nozzle and let it cascade for cleaning carboys. Not ideal, as there is very little impingement force like with the spray nozzle.

Final build:

  • Cheap utility sink $45
  • 360° spray nozzle $50
  • Sprinkler pump $118 (because it was relatively cheap for the matched PSI rating for the nozzle)
  • Milk crate $0 (had this already) I actually used a smaller Coca-Cola crate because I liked its size and the milk crate was a little tight.
  • 1" Cam and Groove couplings $2-3/each (for connection from drain hose to pump)
  • 1" ID reinforced vinyl tubing (pump to drain) $2.50/ft at Home Depot
  • 1.5" to 1" reducer from drain to hose (I used a coupler and reducer bushing). Price depends on how you do it.
  • Short garden hose (pump to nozzle bulkhead) $10-15, or scavenge an old one.
  • Garden Hose Bulkhead (GHBH008) $11.55
  • 3/4" Garden hose x 1/2" MPT $4

Then do the rest of the connections however you prefer. There are lot of ways to skin this cat. I ran a "T" off the base and ran two barbs out to lines with corny quick disconnects so I can clean my dip tube and gas inlet on corny kegs.

My process is the following:
  1. Get all of the corny and sanke kegs lined up and ready for cleaning.
  2. Hook up the hose that connects to the spray nozzle to the spigot (helps to have ball valve for this) and have the drain hose flow out into the sewer or wherever you drain water to.
  3. Put one keg on at a time and rinse for 15-30 seconds each to get large debris out of the kegs.
  4. Disconnect nozzle hose from spigot and attach to effluent connection on pump. Connect drain hose to influent connection on pump, and make sure your pump is primed.
  5. Add a few gallons of water and cleaning solution (I use warm water and PBW) to the sink.
  6. Put one keg on at a time and run a cleaning cycle. I do a few minutes for each keg and they come out brilliantly clean. The amount of time varies based on impingement force, concentration of solution, and temperature.
  7. Reconnect hoses for rinse cycle and run a 30 second rinse for each keg.

This process makes keg cleaning day go very quickly. I typically do it during the downtime on a brew day. If I make any changes in the future based on feedback or experience, I'll post them here.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:28 AM   #3
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You need to be careful what you run through that pump - it's not designed to handle chemicals and only rated to 120 degrees which is not high enough for something like PBW to be effective. Seems like some use it successfully but not sure how long it'll last and there are cheaper options that will probably last longer.

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Old 03-17-2012, 03:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcaudill View Post
You need to be careful what you run through that pump - it's not designed to handle chemicals.
Yes, I wish I had found a pump that was rated for chemicals and provided sufficient pressure (20-70 PSI) I couldn't find one. Or, at least not under several hundreds of dollars.

Quote:
Seems people use it successfully but there are better and cheaper options.
I'm open to alternative suggestions. Do you have any?

I'm using that pump and basing a lot of my system around this manual that I read, which was written by Tim Bowser, Ph.D., P.E., who is an associate professor and food process engineer.

I'm not completely familiar with centrifugal pumps, which is what it seems most CIP solutions in the food and beverage industry use. The only pumps I find examples of homebrewers using are sump/utility pumps, which are inadequate for the PSI rating I need.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #5
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pbw is only effective over 120?!

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Old 03-17-2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motobrewer View Post
pbw is only effective over 120?!
Actually PBW works at any temp it just foams alot less over 120 degrees
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:00 PM   #7
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Hmmm, I use an aquarium pump with 100deg water and Oxyclean in a 5gal bucket. cleans everything, then I dump the cleaner and rinse real good, replace with triplesan sanitizer for a few min. and dump and pressureize with c02. been doing this for a while. works great.

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Old 03-18-2012, 03:14 PM   #8
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Seriously, 50 bucks for the Plastic Drum-Washing Nozzle ?
I was looking at your idea for an economical idea.

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Old 03-19-2012, 03:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocluke View Post
Yes, I wish I had found a pump that was rated for chemicals and provided sufficient pressure (20-70 PSI) I couldn't find one. Or, at least not under several hundreds of dollars.
My CIP pump is a similar pump and has worked for me close to ten years.
The only part I replaced was the brass screw holding the impeller in place with a SS-screw.
The chemicals I use with the pump are PBW, Acid Cleaner #5, SaniClean and water.

Your pump does supply sufficient pressure based on the lift specs and my pump specs.
My pump does a great job with all my stationary spray balls from 1-1/2"-3".



I am buying one more to use for my automated keg washer which is work in progress for almost lifetime.

Video: Pump in action with the 3" keg washer spray ball, keg removed for demo.

Click on image





Cheers,
ClaudiusB
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
My CIP pump is a similar pump and has worked for me close to ten years.

The only part I replaced was the brass screw holding the impeller in place with a SS-screw.
That is good news to hear. I haven't found very many examples in the homebrew world that didn't involve sump pumps in buckets.

Quote:
The chemicals I use with the pump are PBW, Acid Cleaner #5, SaniClean and water.
That will be very close to my setup, except I'll be using Acid Cleaner #6.

So how did you get that spray ball inside that better bottle? Or is that not a better bottle? I thought the spray nozzle I purchased would fit inside my carboys (I have a few carboys that I like to use), but it does not.

Quote:
I am buying one more to use for my automated keg washer which is work in progress for almost lifetime.
I would be interested in seeing your setup for your automated keg washer.
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