5 kegs and 2 fermenters to clean.

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Spivey24

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As the title says. Don’t want to but has to be done. :) what’s the easiest way. All need a full pbw clean but not looking to make up 35 gallons Of the stuff. I have tried transferring in the past but pbw gets too cool too fast. Find me a better way!
 

Brewdog80

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Why would you need 5 gallons per? Make up a gallon, clean and if you want it hot, reheat. Or make up a gallon per keg. Ain't any reason to make up and waste even 5 gallons
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, there are a few home-brewed "keg washer" builds here on HBT, and then there's the Mark II commercial version. All are based on submersible pumps, though the best ones use sump pumps, likely due to their enhanced power vs typical "pond pumps". Combined with a bucket and some sort of armature to steady the keg and/or carboy they can take a gallon or so of hot PBW and practically re-use it...

Cheers!
 

Brewdog80

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It's called shake-it-baby. Put the gallon in with lid on and shake it baby. Push out and into next one. Rinse the first and repeat.
 
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Spivey24

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It's called shake-it-baby. Put the gallon in with lid on and shake it baby. Push out and into next one. Rinse the first and repeat.

Yea I’ve done that, but my experience is PBW needs a little time to do it’s magic. Maybe I just need to build a keg shaker! Ooo, on to something here. Like those paint shakers at the paint store.
 
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Spivey24

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fwiw, there are a few home-brewed "keg washer" builds here on HBT, and then there's the Mark II commercial version. All are based on submersible pumps, though the best ones use sump pumps, likely due to their enhanced power vs typical "pond pumps". Combined with a bucket and some sort of armature to steady the keg and/or carboy they can take a gallon or so of hot PBW and practically re-use it...

Cheers!

I can see that being more work than it’s worth. Maybe for times like this when I have many to do but otherwise set up and clean up is probably harder than cleaning the keg.
 

Murph4231

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I'm on the page with @Brewdog80. I make up a gallon of pbw and hot water pour it in a well pre rinsed keg or carboy, lay it on its side and roll it back and forth a few times, let sit for a few minutes the dump it into the next vessel. If it takes more effort than that then a little brush work does the trick. Been doing it this way for 30+ yrs. Of course I have come across some former soda cornies that had dried soft drink residue in them that required some serious scrubbing but I wouldn't trust any of the water pressure cleaners to properly clean one in that condition anyway.
 
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Spivey24

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I'm on the page with @Brewdog80. I make up a gallon of pbw and hot water pour it in a well pre rinsed keg or carboy, lay it on its side and roll it back and forth a few times, let sit for a few minutes the dump it into the next vessel. If it takes more effort than that then a little brush work does the trick. Been doing it this way for 30+ yrs. Of course I have come across some former soda cornies that had dried soft drink residue in them that required some serious scrubbing but I wouldn't trust any of the water pressure cleaners to properly clean one in that condition anyway.

How many Tbsp PBW per gallon do you use?
 

eric19312

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I've integrated my keg and fermenter cleaning process into my brew day. My typical brew day includes brewing an 18 gallon batch and packaging previous batch (usually 15 gallons into three kegs). I ferment in a unitank so I can dump yeast and dry hops and the beer is fully or mostly carbonated before brew day.

I've collected a few cleaning tools over time that help out including:
Mark II keg washer (I also tried bucket blaster but the Mark II design is better for kegs)
2000W floating immersion heater
Inkbird temperature controller I use this one as it is rated for power up to 1800W vs the 1100W the ITC-308 is rated for
a bucket
sump pump 1/3 HP oil free
CIP ball from Spike
I use the inkbird and immersion heater to keep my PBW and rinse solutions at 130F. Afraid neither the pond pump in the Mark II nor the sump pump will really tolerate solution hotter than that for long

I think having a process, doing it the same way every time helps me a lot. I don't lose pieces or forget to clean anything.

I start with the kegs, they get warm water rinse, followed by 15 min 130F PBW on the mark II, followed by warm water rinse, followed by star-san purging. The Mark II uses about 1 gallon of water and I give it a half a scoop (I guess about a Tablespoon) of PBW.
Once the kegs are full of beer the fermentor gets hosed down in the driveway, krausen ring wiped with a sponge, all the attachments go into bucket of warm water, then lid is reassembled. I transfer the cleaning solution from the Mark II to a bucket, add another gallon or so of water and another T of PBW, and fermentor gets 30 minutes hot PBW through the CIP ball with the sump pump. This is followed by 15 minutes warm 130F clean rinse water (clean bucket too). The parts that were rinsed in warm water now get moved into the PBW bucket and soak in there while the rinse runs. When that is done the parts get transferred from the hot PBW to the warm rinse water bucket and I run star-san through the CIP ball for 5-10 min. When that is done I reassemble the fermentor, pulling parts from the warm water bucket, dipping them in star san bucket, then assembled onto the unitank.

The warm PBW is saved for a few more minutes and then gets a final use in cleaning the mash tun and boil kettle. I'll probably add about 4 more T of PBW along with 4 more gallons hot water (recovered from chilling) for cleaning the hot side equipment.
 

Mike Howard

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I usually use 2 ounces per gallon for the kettle and the kegs. I fill the keg up halfway with 160F hot water, add the PBW and shake it real good. Then I let it sit for 30 minutes, then flip it over and let it sit for another 30 minutes.

Like day_trippr said though, there are a lot of DIY solutions out there and a few commercial ones. I like this concept here DIY CIP KEG CLEANER All you need to do is add an inline heater, or a submersible heater in the keg and you are set.

BrüBlaster Keg & Carboy Washer | Do It Yourself

Sanke keg cleaning for homebrewers – on brewing

Marks Keg Washer
 

Golddiggie

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I've been using the Bucket Blaster to clean out kegs for a while now. Works really well for that task. I put 3 gallons of hot PBW mix into the bucket, run the cleaning cycle through all kegs, then do the rinse and then sanitize tasks (rinse with the blaster to the posts and dip tubes rinsed). The thing lets me use far less PBW mix to do the job. In the past I've also hooked it up to my plate chiller to run hot PBW solution through that in both directions.

If you want to make one of your own, make SURE you get a pump rated for use with HOT water. Otherwise you'll kill the pump. I've done that with a different pump where it was in hot water long enough that it was being killed.
 

eric19312

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I've been using the Bucket Blaster to clean out kegs for a while now. Works really well for that task. I put 3 gallons of hot PBW mix into the bucket, run the cleaning cycle through all kegs, then do the rinse and then sanitize tasks (rinse with the blaster to the posts and dip tubes rinsed). The thing lets me use far less PBW mix to do the job. In the past I've also hooked it up to my plate chiller to run hot PBW solution through that in both directions.

If you want to make one of your own, make SURE you get a pump rated for use with HOT water. Otherwise you'll kill the pump. I've done that with a different pump where it was in hot water long enough that it was being killed.

I bought a bucket blaster but was not happy with trying to balance kegs on the stand. I did like very much the included pump and EVA line/post cleaning system so I just moved all that to my Mark II which uses even less cleaning solution than the BB needed.
 

Golddiggie

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I bought a bucket blaster but was not happy with trying to balance kegs on the stand. I did like very much the included pump and EVA line/post cleaning system so I just moved all that to my Mark II which uses even less cleaning solution than the BB needed.
I've used it with my single handle (2.5 and 3 gallon) corny kegs as well as the Torpedo kegs I have without much effort. Just a matter of getting things lined up so they work. IME, you don't need to have the keg perfectly vertical (relative to the base). I did change out the reduced port cap for a NPT CIP ball to make it better for cleaning.
Works whicked pissah.
 

Murph4231

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How do you clean the inside of the dip tubes, posts, etc?
With a long stemmed 1/4 inch brush. I have collected an assortment of long (30 inch) brushes over the years. Some came from automotive tool suppliers. I use them for what ever needs cleaning, dip tubes, hard lines and such.
 

day_trippr

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With a long stemmed 1/4 inch brush. I have collected an assortment of long (30 inch) brushes over the years. Some came from automotive tool suppliers. I use them for what ever needs cleaning, dip tubes, hard lines and such.

Good answer! :mug:
Obviously that was a leading question in response to your post using just a gallon of cleanser and rolling the keg around. Clearly, that's going to do zip wrt cleaning the Out dip tube :)

This hobby does tend to lead to an accumulation of specific-use brushes. I have a long 1/4" piping brush for dip tubes, a long 1/2" piping brush for my silicone brew rig hoses, a big carboy brush, a corny keg brush, and an e-flask brush...

Cheers! ( I'm a brush industry supporter! :D)
 

day_trippr

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Wrt to firing up a Mark II keg washer...

It literally takes more time waiting for the hot water at the brew sink to hit peak °F than it does to set up the washer, position a keg, snap on the Out dip tube flushing QD, and putting a couple of tablespoons of PBW in the machine. Once the faucet is running hot the system's capacity is just a bit more than a gallon which shouldn't take long to fill.

So, while historically I do tend to wait until I have at least 2 kicked kegs to clean before going through the ritual, there have been plenty of times I did just a single keg, as the effort is minimal...

Cheers!
 

Murph4231

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Good answer! :mug:
Obviously that was a leading question in response to your post using just a gallon of cleanser and rolling the keg around. Clearly, that's going to do zip wrt cleaning the Out dip tube :)

This hobby does tend to lead to an accumulation of specific-use brushes. I have a long 1/4" piping brush for dip tubes, a long 1/2" piping brush for my silicone brew rig hoses, a big carboy brush, a corny keg brush, and an e-flask brush...

Cheers! ( I'm a brush industry supporter! :D)
Yepper, and so on and so on. But the toys are also a big part of the brewing hobby.
 

jerrylotto

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Yea I’ve done that, but my experience is PBW needs a little time to do it’s magic. Maybe I just need to build a keg shaker! Ooo, on to something here. Like those paint shakers at the paint store.

Or just rollers. The keg can lay on it's side so the gallon covers the length of the keg and put on something like a tumbler.
 

madscientist451

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I have tried transferring in the past but pbw gets too cool too fast. Find me a better way!
Y'all over thinking this. PBW works fine when its not hot, and can be re-used many times. Sure, it works better with hot water so if you want to dump it in your kettle and re-heat, then go for it. Rinse out your fermenters with plain water, then fill with PBW solution and let sit overnight. Dump the PBW to the next fermenter (crud will settle on the fermenter bottom so dump it carefully) and then use the same stuff for the kegs, although kegs don't really get that dirty and are easy to brush out compared to a carboy.
 

Golddiggie

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mrveeno

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I use oxyclean with great success, even on moldy bottles I get back from some people. I moved to big mouth bubblers years ago, makes it easy to dry hop as well.
 

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