Bottle washer and sanitizer project - done and working
so after long thinking, rethinking and thinking again i decided to build a bottle washer. I just simply hate bottle washing and find it the most annoying part of homebrewing. Here is the outline. I wanted something that would wash around a dozen of bottles at the same time and would also be able to sanitize them with iodophor solution. So the idea was to build some kind of manifold with 12 nozzles place it in some kind of plastic tub and then recirculate water for a couple of minutes folowed by recirculation of the iodophor solution for another couple of minutes. And as always want things to be also economical is should do this with only a small ammount of water and sanitizing solution. So i went to the local hardware store bought some copper pipe, fittings, solder etc, rolled up my sleewes and started:
1. What will you need (for the manifold):
3m (10") of rigid copper pipe - 12mm (1/2") outside diameter max.
3x 90° elbows of matching size
15x T-pieces of matching size
1x pipe to 1/2 MPT fitting of matching size
1x 1/2 FPT hose connector
and appropriate tools
2. Cut 12 pieces about 160mm (6-6 1/2" long). These will be the nozzles.
3. Cut following:
12x 70mm (3")
1x 78mm (3" and something) to compensate T
3x 30mm (1 1/4")
3x 38mm (1 1/4" and something) to compensate Ts
1x 50mm (2") from T to pipe/MPT fitting
and try to assemble it. It should look like this:
The little bit longer pieces should compensate the lenght on one edge where a T is used instead of elbow and on the connections of the middle part to the outer line (I hope that you can see it from the attached picture). Well at least our metric Ts are little bit shorter than elbows, maybe in US they are the same.
4. Disassembly it. Now it is time to make the nozzles. I used hammer and slightly hit the end until the desired shape formed formed. Use a scrap piece first to make a test one. They should look something like this. And make sure they in your bottle necks. If they are little bit wider hit the sides of the nozzle little bit and then reform the nozzle.
5. Now solder it together. The final product should look something like this.
Now you've got the first part done. I did also a testrun with a small aquarium pupm that i had on hand, but it is gonna need something more powerful to get the desired stream from nozzles. The tub and final working piece is soon to come. I hope it is gonna solve the bottle washing problem.
Any pics of this in action, possibly showing the stream quality on the far corner jet? I was thinking about making a multiple bottle washer too...perhaps with a few less nozzles to ensure greater pressure. Thoughts?
If i can make a suggestion. Having the glass bottles in this copper contraption could increase rick of breaks and scratches in the bottles. Depending on how scratched up they get it's always possible for junk to hide in them...
I would suggest making this out of a plastic/pvc deal. You could probably find tips for them that are plastic as well and flat streamed like this.
On a side note, using this concept, (cause I loathe bottle washing to) you could make the lower part a bigger sized tubing and then a reducer in the upward piping to make it smaller, this could increase pressure and maybe even get better cleaning power.
i was thinking that too about breaking the bottles. good luck!
wow, that looks great. Show us some pics in action.
I have tried it on shower outlet and it worked ok. I had to squeze the middle of the nozzles so i got same height spray from all nozzles. Here is the photo:
And about the scratches. Yes, there is a chance but by paying a little attention when putting bottles on the nozzles you should be ok. And the nozzles don't touch the bottom. And you can scratch you bottes even when using the brass jet bottle washer that attaches to faulcet. But your idea of covering it with plastic is good, will try that. I just wasn't able to get plastic tubes with such a small diameter. I'm putting together the pump and tub part right now. I'm got wrong fittings today so i am gonna replace them tommorow.
I recently bought this,
Fermtech Single Blast Bottle Washer - Beer And Wine Making Supplies
and it works BEAUTIFULLY. Plastic so it won't damage the bottles and is good to 200 degrees. I ran a case (that I had lazily not washed) through it to give it a test and it made clean look dirty.
p.s. it even cleans siphon hoses.
I don't know if they still sell it, but there was a 'rubber dip' on the market for re handling your tools; krylon plastic paint maybe? Either way, I'm not sure how "sanitary" they would be. If you use one size of bottle, you should be ok with have the bottles sit on the feed lines, and leave 1/8-1/2 inch from tip to bottom of the bottle...
More of a hassle, but shallow tub with starsan or a verminator would work (although the vermintor is one at a time... defeating your purpose)... Dishwasher?
Finally done and working
Ok, I know that it's been a while but i've been a bit busy. But my bottle washer and sanitizer is done. :ban: I had a little trouble finding the right sized tub. I cut an opening (didn't have proper tools so it looks really nasty :o) at one side then glued a little plastic bucket/pot thing there and lifted the opposite side with a plastic basket. Here it is how does it look like:
Pump detail (i use cheap ass 2000 lph/ 500 ghp pump for 600l aquariums):
I've tested it and it takes only about 2-3 liters/quarts (depending on the size of your bottom end reservoir) of liquid to wash/sanitize your bottles. Of course you will have to change the rinsing water. But you will save sanitizer and labor. I suggest first rinsing all the bottles and them sanitize them. This thing won't help you with moldy, sticky and other messy stuff. It is meant to rinse and sanitize. That's why it is important to clean your bottles right after you drink the beer.
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