CIP Ball- Who has a good process?

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micraftbeer

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I recently got a CIP spray ball, curious if there was some magic there that made cleaning my kettle or fermentor easier. I've tried it once so far, and realized that as simple as it seems, it definitely needs the right process to make it worthwhile.

In my attempt, I was hauling buckets of water from my sink to my kettle so many times, for a process that ended up being harder and much more time consuming.

So if you've got a good process, I'm all ears!
 

VikeMan

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Try recirculating cleaning solution with a pond pump placed in some sort of receptacle to catch the solution as it exists the dump valve (or whatever).


 
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I have spike cf15s and sometimes use my cip ball. I fill my boil kettle with 20gal of water and pbw, heat it to 185f and run it through a pump into the fermenter til I have about 5 gallons in the fermenter. Then I open the valve on the fermenter and run it through my second pump back into the boil kettle. Recirculate like this for 30 mins while doing other chores. Then drain and rinse, check for any missed areas, wipe down, and done.
 

Wagon_6

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I roll my CF10 over to the pump and let PBW recirc. Very convenient.

Does anybody use it in their kettle? I have a 20 gallon but it leaks out the sides of the condenser lid. Any ideas for getting it to “seal”?
 

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I put my CIP on a QD so that I can use it on everything.. My keggle has the SSBrewtech brewbucket lid with a 1.5" TC so the top piece has an 8" nipple on the inside of the TC that drops well below the rim with the male QD. Very little leaks out, and I can pop the CIP onto my keg/fermenter cleaner as well.
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micraftbeer

micraftbeer

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Try recirculating cleaning solution with a pond pump placed in some sort of receptacle to catch the solution as it exists the dump valve (or whatever).


View attachment 781028
The pump specs I've read associated with the CIP Ball makes me think my pond pump won't have enough oompf. But apparently you don't have an issue?

Plus I've found from experience cleaning keezer beer lines with my pond pump that it doesn't like hot water.
 

KVbeer

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I have a CF10 and recirculate within the system with warm water and PBW for 30 minutes. I usually manually scrub any large debris off, flush, then I mix about 2 gallons of hot tap water (120F) and PBW in the FV. I connect the 2" dump valve to my pump with a hose, then another hose up to the CIP in the lid, then start the pump. It's completely closed and keeps recirculating. I'd originally planned to heat the water first up to 150 or 160, but have found 120F for 30 minutes has cleaned everything so I skip the extra preheat.
 

oakbarn

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What pump and specific spray ball are you using? I have one of the SS Keg Washers and that little spray ball works with a little pond pump but I cannot see it on a fermentor. We hand clean our Brew Kettles and Mash Tun as it is easy (Bottom drains and able to tip on stands to reach inside). I want to be able to clean the fermentors. I have Rip Tide pumps for my brewing pumps and would like a spray ball that would work for them.
 

VikeMan

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The pump specs I've read associated with the CIP Ball makes me think my pond pump won't have enough oompf. But apparently you don't have an issue?

Plus I've found from experience cleaning keezer beer lines with my pond pump that it doesn't like hot water.

It works great with my CIP ball, which I suppose could need less pressure than yours. And my pump is rated at 1/8 HP and 21.13 GPM. I've been using it for years, for both wort chilling and for CIP. It doesn't seem to mind hot water.
 

KVbeer

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What pump and specific spray ball are you using? I have one of the SS Keg Washers and that little spray ball works with a little pond pump but I cannot see it on a fermentor. We hand clean our Brew Kettles and Mash Tun as it is easy (Bottom drains and able to tip on stands to reach inside). I want to be able to clean the fermentors. I have Rip Tide pumps for my brewing pumps and would like a spray ball that would work for them.
I use the Spike CIP ball, which connects to a 1.5" TC in the lid. Paired with my brew pump, which is basically a chugger pump it works great.
 
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I didn't try heating it. I suppose that makes a big difference?
It does, I use my chugger pumps so I can get it good and hot. At 185f for even 20 minutes gets it pretty clean, I think the steam it creates helps to soften the krausen line. I still inspect it when done and touch up any areas if necessary.
 

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I have a Spike ball that I use on my fermenters and Blichmann ball I use on an old lid to clean the BK. I didn't get enough flow with a Riptide to get the cleaning I thought the balls were capable of, so I got a "shallow well" pump (this one) which works great, though I'm uncertain what temperature it can handle (I think there's a plastic diverter in the impeller area). I currently heat to 135F. I recirculate directly from the vessel being cleaned--no tray or grant. I also chain my brew hoses and chiller while recirculating to the ball for some of the BK cleaning time to get anything out of those. I added a 3" spool when inserting the ball into the fermenters to get more spray at the top of the fermenter. The process continues to evolve...
 

OakIslandBrewery

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I manually clean my CF10. I do a rough cleaning with hot PBW initially then tear down the fermenter and soak all parts then rinse and spray everything with sanitizer before assembly. After it's back together I open the bottom dump valve and spray the inside, wetting all surfaces then close it up till my next brew day.

I tried a CIP on the CF10 but didn't have good results. I do use a CIP connected to a 12 inch pipe with a tee for the two keg QD's all plumbed to a 1/6 HP utility pump. The pump sits in a five gallon bucket with holes drilled in the bottom, the cover has a large hole for the CIP stand pipe. I fill my brewery sink with hot water and PBW, the bucket/pump sits in the sink. I control the pump with a wall mounted switched (GFI protected). Works great for cleaning kegs.
 

oakbarn

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I use the Spike CIP ball, which connects to a 1.5" TC in the lid. Paired with my brew pump, which is basically a chugger pump it works great.
Thanks I have a March Riptide but am going to get the higher flow Spike pump for cip. I have ordered my Spike Spray ball.
 

PCABrewing

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Thanks I have a March Riptide but am going to get the higher flow Spike pump for cip. I have ordered my Spike Spray ball.
I found that flow is important but so is pressure in order to get a decent spray that dislodges gunk.
I also tried the external reservoir and just recirculating in the fermenter. Advantage to the external reservoir is that it allows the spray to reach all of the vessel VS being somewhat blocked by the liquid level in the cone. So I think having the flow over all surfaces with the external reservoir does a better job because the spray hits everything. Today was the attempt using just liquid recirculating in the fermenter. I put a gallon in and ran it for thirty minutes. Everything above the level of the solution in the cone was nice and clean but when I drained the cone through the dump valve I found debris still stuck to the walls below the level of the solution.
So I'll probably go to a modified reservoir in the future.

As for pressure, the magnetic coupling pumps (chugger etc.) are limited. They flow well but as pressure builds the mag-coupling slips. That's why you can dead-head them without problems. One other thing. The chugger pumps advertise a teflon impeller and PBW says not to use it on teflon. Not sure if it will cause real harm but it is worth knowing.
I tried a cheap "Transfer Pump" from HF (Drummond 63317, 56149). It is a Positive Displacement type as opposed to the centrifugal design, so it has better pressure capability. The Head Lift spec tells the pressure story 42 feet for the transfer pump, 18 feet for the chugger. You can hear the difference in the ball spinning. I also watched it spin with both pumps, a messy proposition. You can see a much more aggressive spray with the transfer pump.
That seems to work very well. The downside is the quality of the pump and the fact that it is not rated for high temp. But it's cheap!
Just my experience thus-far.
 

OakIslandBrewery

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I tried a cheap "Transfer Pump" from HF (Drummond 63317, 56149). It is a Positive Displacement type as opposed to the centrifugal design, so it has better pressure capability.
I see this is a non-submersible pump. The utility pump I'm using sits in a sink of hot water and PBW (for keg washing now). I'm going try adapting it to clean my CF10 - a PBW mixture in a bucket, then the CIP ball dropped into the top through the 4" TC cover. I got the solid TC I could weld a fitting to and connect the CIP ball.

But so far, the manual cleaning works so this project is on the back burner, perhaps a good winter project. The weather is turning fast here in Wisconsin.
 
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