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Old 12-23-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
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Default Cheap and Easy Keg & Corny Washer

I tripped across jcaudill's thread on his brilliant CIP style keg washer. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/easy-corny-keg-washer-363598/

I started looking at putting one together for myself. The last time I bought a pump was a few years back a the cost was a bit of a shocker. So, I started looking at smaller pumps.

The. I started thinking about flow rates and such and realized that, while 3,000 gallons per hour was an impressive number, I didn't need that much. In fact, with our low flow regulations here in California, our kitchen sink is flowing at about 2 gallons per minute. And we clean things just fine with that.

So, I picked up a Submersible fountain pump from Harbor Freight (#68395 -$14.99). It puts out 264 gallons per hour. It also has a 1/2" threaded female fitting built into the top of the pump.

A quick trip to Lowe's netted the following:

5 gallon bucket. 315728 $2.78
Lid and gasket 356493 $1.97
1/2"x12" PVC Riser 56127 $1.62
1/2"x18" PVC Riser 196233 $1.39
1/2"x24" PVC Riser 196234 $1.73
1/2"x1/2" PVC Coup 167200 $0.66
Full Round Nozzle 160283 $1.39

That's a total of $25.91!

The three risers and the coupler give me length options. I can use the two footer to wash out my shorter carbons. I can use the 24" and 18" sections to wash out my 10 gallon cornies, and so on.

I used a 1-1/8" and a 2" hole saw to drill holes in the lid. A 1-1/8" hole in the center of the lid allows the risers to pop up through the lid. Another one near the rim lets the cord out of the bucket. Four 2" hole act as returns for the water. And they're plenty big enough to drain the water.

BTW - do not use the blue lid with this bucket. It doesn't have much of a rim. The white one in the parts list has a rim that sticks up and acts as a small dam for water before it drains.

I used the same schedule as jcaudill:
warm water rinse
PBW wash
warm rinse
StarSan rinse

It worked great! I had a fermenter that had a nasty krausen ring I was dreading scrubbing on. Two gallons of warm water, a few ounces of PBW and 20 minutes on the washer and that puppy was clean! And no scrubbing! And no scratching my precious stainless fermenter...

I have a short piece of video of the sprayer working on the inside of my 6-1/2 gallon glass Carboy that just finished duty fermenting a cider for my wife.

This unit will never compare to the awesome one jcaudill built with a CIP rotating spray ball. I still want to build one of those. In the meant time, this unit, which I put together for $3 less than the 1/2" SS CIP Spray ball from Brewer's Hardware (http://www.brewershardware.com/CIP-Spray-Balls/ which I lust after in my heart), alone!

Anyway, I've taken so many tips and gadgets from this site, here's one back... Enjoy!

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Old 12-23-2013, 03:19 AM   #2
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http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gWKqG57D-MA&feature=em-upload_owner&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgWKqG57D-MA%26feature%3Dem-upload_owner
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Old 12-23-2013, 03:24 AM   #3
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The unit...

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Old 12-23-2013, 03:25 AM   #4
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The pieces...

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Old 12-23-2013, 03:29 AM   #5
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Awesome build!

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Old 12-23-2013, 10:49 PM   #6
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Does the sprinkler head allow it to spray up to the bottom of the carboy?

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Old 12-24-2013, 04:57 PM   #7
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Pick yourself up a "carboy drier", I think it's called........Little plastic deal that holds the carboy inverted, and set it on top of your bucket.......It'll give you a more "stable" base for your carboy.........Nice build!

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Old 12-24-2013, 05:09 PM   #8
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Awesome! Thanks for the details, I may do this for my carboys.

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Old 12-24-2013, 11:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaGZ View Post
Does the sprinkler head allow it to spray up to the bottom of the carboy?
That's the one drawback. Sprinkler heads just shoot out. By leaning the Carboy against the Brewhouse wall, I can get the spray on the bottom of the Carboy.

Usually, my problem is the walls and krausen rings. This puppy works great on those!
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