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-   -   DIY Carboy/Keg Cleaner (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-carboy-keg-cleaner-300441/)

Adeering 02-02-2012 12:41 PM

DIY Carboy/Keg Cleaner
I made my own carboy/keg cleaner a few weeks ago and decided to post on here the instructions. Real simple build that took me maybe an hour total:

Supplies Needed:
1- 5 gal bucket with lid
1- submersible pump with 1/4 hp or more (some use 1/6 but I find thats a little weak to do the kegs)
PVC piping
PVC Glue
2- 1/2" threaded to 1/4" barb
2- 3-4' of tubing
1- set of keg connectors either ball or pin
1- carboy dryer


Tools Needed:
PVC cutter or hack saw works good
Drill with small - medium bits

Build the pipes. This depends on your pump, but my pump had the output at the top, slightly offset buy not enough to matter so I built a straight pipe. Some pumps are at the bottom and have seen similar designs with a bend to put the pipe out the top. Heres a pick of the final product minus the barbs (those are in the mail)
- What you are going to do is get a female threaded PVC connector that fits your pump, mine was a 1-1/4" for the threads
- Connect that piece to a adapter down to 1/2" PVC pipe.
- Now I didnt need anything extra here but you might need extra pipes to get the next section above your pump.
-Connect a 1/2" cross to the end and then a straight 1/2" by mines about 15" long, didnt measure just stuck the carboy on and marked where i needed, you want it about 4" below your shortest carboy/keg when on the stand, on the opposite cross output
- Put a cap on the end of the pipe
- on the two horizontal put a 1/2" female threaded connected and then attache the two barb adaptors
- Next set up your system with your carboy on there and get an item where your trub line from fermentation will be and drill a series of small holes we did 1/8" around the pvc pip about 2" long on the pipe slightly higher than the trub line(this allows a range and gravity will pull water down some by the time it gets to the walls so you want to go about an inch above)
- drill a four hole pattern with a fifth hole in the middle on the top cap, make the middle hole bigger I think we did 1/4"
- attach lines to barbs and the disconnects and that parts done

-Next cut a hole about 3" in diameter in the middle of the bucket lid, also cut a hole big enough for the power cord on the edge of the lid and two holes big enough for the disconnects on the side as well.

The setup:
Pump in bucket, pipe on pump, fill with water/cleaning solution/sanitizing solution, put lid on, put carboy dryer on for carboys put carboy/keg on upside down, connect keg connectors if needed, plug in pump.

The water will shoot up through the pipe and connectors if they are connected and clean the container. As you run it the water will heat up some as its cooling the pump. Also it may take a little bit to get all the trub, but for plastic carboys its better than scrubbing. Hope this helps

aubiecat 02-02-2012 03:26 PM

This thread is worthless without video. ;)

Adeering 02-02-2012 05:18 PM

really worthless without video, well maybe when I transfer my lager to my secondary Ill video tape the cleaner working....though for a similar build and where i got the idea from look here:

This is not mine, but this is what I used to get the idea from and as a reference

hamiltont 02-02-2012 05:22 PM


Originally Posted by aubiecat (Post 3734916)
This thread is worthless without video. ;)

And that's about the most meaningless post in this whole thread, except this one of course...;)

mendozer 02-29-2012 05:55 AM

so no scrubbing needed for kegs? What's the difference from letting it soak then?

Adeering 02-29-2012 11:38 AM

No scrubbing for carboys or kegs, for soak time not needed, just run the machine for like ten minutes (longer if there is a nasty krausen)

Also great for brew day for sanitizing your equipment put all the little stuff in the bucket with the sanitizer and the carboy on top, run it for a few minutes and let it sit sealed up ready to go until you need it

mendozer 02-29-2012 08:54 PM

How much water does it use. What was the cost

Adeering 02-29-2012 09:05 PM

The pump was 40 everything else was probably another 20, as for water use it recycles the water so I usually do around 2 gallons, depending on amount of gunk in it, I usually do a quick rinse to get the loose stuff out to keep the water cleaner

mendozer 02-29-2012 11:04 PM

oh so you fill the bucket up with water/cleaner and just let it go until the gunk os off or the water is too dirty? I like that connector idea from the video, clean the in/out posts too.

After using this, I'm guessing you still sanitize and lube up o-rings or do you do that before filling it up next time?

also, where did you get that pump? i can't find one for $40

Adeering 03-01-2012 01:07 PM

yeah, i still sanitize the O-rings before i keg, no point in doing it early and looks like the pump went up a little heres the same one I got of amazon for 50


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