Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Cleaners (keg, carboy, lines, etc) > Carboy Cleaner
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
deflagratio
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Default Carboy Cleaner

Last weekend I built myself a carboy cleaner like many have here using pvc, a sump pump, and a bucket. The project was so easy to do and I got to take it for it's maiden voyage today after I racked my chocolate milk stout to secondary. OH MY GOD WHY DIDN'T I BUILD THIS SOONER. using only about 3 gallons of water total for Oxy-clean and rinsing I had a clean better bottle in only 6 minutes even with caked yeast and hop pellets from the krausen. No need to scrub, no need to soak. I just rinsed out the trub and away it went. Everyone needs to go build one of these now.


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Old 06-29-2011, 12:44 AM   #2
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Pictures?


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Old 06-29-2011, 03:00 AM   #3
Malric
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Build guide?
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:04 AM   #4
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Hell yeah man.....nice eh?
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Old 06-29-2011, 04:30 AM   #5
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Ok I took a couple of pictures of everything. I'll also briefly describe the build and even with the most basic instructions anyone can build it.

First off here is the complete setup with betterbottle drying:


Motor and cleaning tube:


closeup of the spray nozzle:


My chiller attachment:


This build has 4 main parts:
1) The bucket: As seen here I just use a lowes bucket and lid. All you need is something
2)A sump pump. Mine is a 2/3rds horsepower generic brand from Ace Hardware. This puppy is the beating heart and made of awesome sauce.
3)PVC Pipes: I decided to use 1/2 pvc and fittings. I found that a 3/4 inch pipe cap does not fit in my 5 gallon carboy.
4)Carboy dryer: The Blue thing in the 1st picture. It provides a ready made support for the carboy
5) Hoses for immersion chiller
So now on to how to build the sucker. Step one is to cut a hole in the middle of your bucket lid. You want it larger than the opening of your carboy dryer to make sure everything drains back in and doesn't spill out. Step two will be attaching your pvc to your pump. My pump has a 3/4th threaded opening. I step this down to an half inch with a threaded(3/4),butted (1/2) pvc coupling. This does not get removed from the pump and allows for an easy change of attachments. Next is to cut your pvc. I had a full length of pipe and probably used about 2 feet for mine. I test fitted this along with my carboy as it is my shortest fermenter and it fit just fine.
After the test fitting comes the cap. You want to drill your holes at an angle to get them to spray out. I started with 5 (one center for outer), pieced the whole thing together, turned it on and looked at where it wasn't spraying. I then just drilled holes to cover the gaps. Once my test was complete I cemented the cap on. You now have a working carboy cleaner.
Seeing as I'm in the south where cooling is a problem I also built and attachment to work with my immersion chiller. Same basic pvc pipe constructions only I have a hose quick disconnect on the end to run water to the chiller. Of course the water returns to the bucket. Things I will do differently in the future is add an elbow. In the first test run of this attachment the hose was crimped and the pressure shot it off the pump. If the hose connected to the side it would reduce that risk.

This is a great first DIY for any homebrewer. The parts are simple pipe fittings and the hardest part was cementing what few fittings I did. There is probably around $100 in parts here but most of that is taken up by the sump pump ($80) but I've heard others have found them on sale at places like harbor freight and withing the remaining $20 is a full length of pvc pipe so If I ever need a different attachment it's just buying the extra fittings at that point.
I think the major difference of my build versus others I've seen is that mine doesn't clean keg posts. Fortunately my set up is so simple to change out that when I do start I can just build a new attachment specifically for them and I don't have to bother with any valves.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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Nice, thanks for the information.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:49 PM   #7
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Great build and documentation!
I agree with you, I couldn't live without mine now.
I've also made an attachment so I can hook up my kegs gas and liquid posts and wash them out real good. Makes cleaning up so much easier!


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