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Help me decide between Spike CF10 and SSBrewtech Unitank

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how many batches have you done in it so far? I felt the disassembly and reassembly was a lot of work at first too but now it just happens as part of the brew day.
I agree. It was daunting at first, now I can do it in 5 minutes.

I did pick up a CIPball, I don’t remember where I got it. It may have been SS.

I pretty much gave up using it. In order to get any decent spray it requires more flow than a typical brew pump. I have a sump pump style pump for my keg washer which is powerful enough. However after using it a couple times and realizing I needed to take the tri-clovers apart because they would never get hit by any kind of spray. The actual wiping of the inside of the conical is easy and only takes a couple minutes. For me it’s not worth hooking up the CIP system because it only nocks off a couple minutes of what I would need to do.

Another thing to note is that if you have the cooling coil in, it will block a lot of the spray pressure from getting to the conical above and around it.
 

Beenym88

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how many batches have you done in it so far? I felt the disassembly and reassembly was a lot of work at first too but now it just happens as part of the brew day.
I have 3 fermenters so I’ve probably done around 8 in this one. Taking it apart is fine I just find putting it back together difficult. There are a lot of spots where the tri clamps have to be in the exactly right positing or it will mess another one up.
 
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for me the cip depends on how much time i have. if i am busy i will hook it up quick and on a circulating cycle with my brew kettle and set my kettle at 180f and go on with life for 30 min to an hour, then come back to finish the job. typically when i do this there is minor spots left where the krausen was so i wipe that out and rinse and done. even with the chilling coil in it gets 98% clean, and the coil will usually have a small spot from krausen as well. still a quick wipe down and rinse is worth it to me. i would like to get a high pressure pump to eliminate it all together but its kind of at the bottom of my "brewing wish list" also i am cleaning a cf15 so I limit any moving of it i can.
 
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currently just a chugger pump. the first time i did it i did not heat my water as high or let it run as long. so i kinda stumbled on this because the one day i had just hooked up my cip and started circulating it then my 9yr old calls for me to help her and i forgot about if for a while ... close to an hour. so when i went back down to my basement brewery and started taking things apart i noticed it got much cleaner this way. i dont always clean this way, sometimes ill do a quick rinse then fill the thing completely with hot pbw and leave it soak overnight. again it all depends how much time i have ... and what type of mood im in. sometimes i get in a cleaning ocd mood and spend hours cleaning the entire brewery.
 

eric19312

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I agree. It was daunting at first, now I can do it in 5 minutes.

I did pick up a CIPball, I don’t remember where I got it. It may have been SS.

I pretty much gave up using it. In order to get any decent spray it requires more flow than a typical brew pump. I have a sump pump style pump for my keg washer which is powerful enough. However after using it a couple times and realizing I needed to take the tri-clovers apart because they would never get hit by any kind of spray. The actual wiping of the inside of the conical is easy and only takes a couple minutes. For me it’s not worth hooking up the CIP system because it only nocks off a couple minutes of what I would need to do.

Another thing to note is that if you have the cooling coil in, it will block a lot of the spray pressure from getting to the conical above and around it.
I agree CIP is no replacement for full disassembly.
 

eric19312

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for me the cip depends on how much time i have. if i am busy i will hook it up quick and on a circulating cycle with my brew kettle and set my kettle at 180f and go on with life for 30 min to an hour, then come back to finish the job. typically when i do this there is minor spots left where the krausen was so i wipe that out and rinse and done. even with the chilling coil in it gets 98% clean, and the coil will usually have a small spot from krausen as well. still a quick wipe down and rinse is worth it to me. i would like to get a high pressure pump to eliminate it all together but its kind of at the bottom of my "brewing wish list" also i am cleaning a cf15 so I limit any moving of it i can.
I'm doing a bit the opposite. I carry my CF15 to the driveway once empty and disassemble it there. All the parts get rinsed with hose water and stored in a bucket. Then the lid comes off and inside gets hosed out. I then wipe the krausen ring on the wall and lid with a sponge and hose it down some more till everything is visibly clean. Then I take it to my cleaning area, reattach the lid, and then CIP with hot PBW. 135F for 30 minutes. Then that hot PBW moves to soak the parts while I CIP with hot water to rinse. Then rinse the parts. That is followed by sanitizer and reassembly with all the parts still wet with sanitizer.

Since the vessel was visibly clean before I hit it with PBW I see no need to re-open the lid to reinspect after the PBW cycle.

And without any bits of stuff in there my CIP ball doesn't get plugged. When I first got the CIP ball I tried CIPing the fermentor with quite a bit of krausen still in it. The spray ball plugged up pretty fast and wouldn't spin. Even after switching from Chugger pump to a sump pump.
 

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currently just a chugger pump. the first time i did it i did not heat my water as high or let it run as long. so i kinda stumbled on this because the one day i had just hooked up my cip and started circulating it then my 9yr old calls for me to help her and i forgot about if for a while ... close to an hour. so when i went back down to my basement brewery and started taking things apart i noticed it got much cleaner this way. i dont always clean this way, sometimes ill do a quick rinse then fill the thing completely with hot pbw and leave it soak overnight. again it all depends how much time i have ... and what type of mood im in. sometimes i get in a cleaning ocd mood and spend hours cleaning the entire brewery.
You give me the hope my Blichmann pump is going to do the job.
 

Bohern

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I'm doing a bit the opposite. I carry my CF15 to the driveway once empty and disassemble it there. All the parts get rinsed with hose water and stored in a bucket. Then the lid comes off and inside gets hosed out. I then wipe the krausen ring on the wall and lid with a sponge and hose it down some more till everything is visibly clean. Then I take it to my cleaning area, reattach the lid, and then CIP with hot PBW. 135F for 30 minutes. Then that hot PBW moves to soak the parts while I CIP with hot water to rinse. Then rinse the parts. That is followed by sanitizer and reassembly with all the parts still wet with sanitizer.

Since the vessel was visibly clean before I hit it with PBW I see no need to re-open the lid to reinspect after the PBW cycle.

And without any bits of stuff in there my CIP ball doesn't get plugged. When I first got the CIP ball I tried CIPing the fermentor with quite a bit of krausen still in it. The spray ball plugged up pretty fast and wouldn't spin. Even after switching from Chugger pump to a sump pump.
I agree, I think getting the vessel hosed out before you start your PBW cycle. Sorta like washing the mud off your Jeep before you get the soap and sponge.
 
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yes i should state that before i start the cip i have one of those restaurant sinks with a big sprayer on it in my brewery that i give it a quick hit with first. i have also started with 20gal of pbw in my kettle and when i fire up the cip i open up the bottom valve and let the first couple gallons drop into a bucket so as to get the initial nastiness out and keep the ball from clogging.
 
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I'm doing a bit the opposite. I carry my CF15 to the driveway once empty and disassemble it there. All the parts get rinsed with hose water and stored in a bucket. Then the lid comes off and inside gets hosed out. I then wipe the krausen ring on the wall and lid with a sponge and hose it down some more till everything is visibly clean. Then I take it to my cleaning area, reattach the lid, and then CIP with hot PBW. 135F for 30 minutes. Then that hot PBW moves to soak the parts while I CIP with hot water to rinse. Then rinse the parts. That is followed by sanitizer and reassembly with all the parts still wet with sanitizer.

Since the vessel was visibly clean before I hit it with PBW I see no need to re-open the lid to reinspect after the PBW cycle.

And without any bits of stuff in there my CIP ball doesn't get plugged. When I first got the CIP ball I tried CIPing the fermentor with quite a bit of krausen still in it. The spray ball plugged up pretty fast and wouldn't spin. Even after switching from Chugger pump to a sump pump.
So you completely clean your fermenter, and then CIP? Dude, OCD much? :p
 

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I agree. It was daunting at first, now I can do it in 5 minutes.

I did pick up a CIPball, I don’t remember where I got it. It may have been SS.

I pretty much gave up using it. In order to get any decent spray it requires more flow than a typical brew pump. I have a sump pump style pump for my keg washer which is powerful enough. However after using it a couple times and realizing I needed to take the tri-clovers apart because they would never get hit by any kind of spray. The actual wiping of the inside of the conical is easy and only takes a couple minutes. For me it’s not worth hooking up the CIP system because it only nocks off a couple minutes of what I would need to do.

Another thing to note is that if you have the cooling coil in, it will block a lot of the spray pressure from getting to the conical above and around it.
My experience exactly. Though I do get good performance with the CIP fed from a 17 gpm sump pump, even with the cooling coil in place. But the time to set up and getting everything going has proven to be about the same as the time to accomplish a hot water spray down and rinse followed by a fill and PBW soak to loosen krausen.

The difference is when I CIP, the job of cleaning is done in :30 minutes, excluding the removal and cleaning of all the TC valves and accessories. With the rinse and soak process, the soak can last a couple hours or even overnight. And I still have to disassemble and clean all the TC accessories. Of course I save a lot of water and PBW if I CIP, bit then also have more hoses and fittings (and pump) to rinse and dry.

So to recap, my experience with CIP on a 7 gallon system saves overall cleaning duration but not necessarily the actual "hands-on" cleaning time. CIP requires more "moving parts" (pump, hoses), but uses a lot less water and PBW. I'm satisfied with the overall cleaning performance, but you still have to do much disassembly just like you do with manual scrubbing. CIP is probably overkill for a smaller system, though I'm not sorry I bought the system, even if I don't use it all the time.

In the end, the differences between the two cleaning methods is "a wash." Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Brooo Brother
 

BarryBrews

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My plan as of now is to use my Blichmann pump to run 160 deg PBW mixture through the spray ball and see how that works. Not sure if that pump can do the job or not though
I also have the Blichmann pump and love it for quietly moving the wort around on brew day, but when it comes to CIP I highly recommend the much more powerful Superior Pump Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump at Amazon. There is a 1/4 hp ($48) version which I have used for 4 years now and there is a 1/3 hp ($54) version as well. It's held up well with PBW and really gets the job done. I use my old round 10 gallon (formerly a mash tun in another life) Coleman cooler with a PVC pipe extension on the pump to CIP clean both my SS Brewtech 7 gallon brew bucket fermenters and my beer kegs. Cleaning both is almost no work at all, seriously! The buckets fit perfectly upside down on the cooler and a couple of pieces of packing foam wedge the kegs perfectly in place.

This is an old thread, but my two cents says SS Brewtech 7 gallon Brew Buckets. I have had and sold a SS Brewtech Brewmaster half barrel fermenter because I did not want 15 gallons of the same beer and I like to brew and have variety, besides it was a pain in the backside to clean even with CIP. Plastic carboys had too much cardboard taste and the glass carboys are too heavy and dangerous.
 

Bohern

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I also have the Blichmann pump and love it for quietly moving the wort around on brew day, but when it comes to CIP I highly recommend the much more powerful Superior Pump Thermoplastic Submersible Utility Pump at Amazon. There is a 1/4 hp ($48) version which I have used for 4 years now and there is a 1/3 hp ($54) version as well. It's held up well with PBW and really gets the job done. I use my old round 10 gallon (formerly a mash tun in another life) Coleman cooler with a PVC pipe extension on the pump to CIP clean both my SS Brewtech 7 gallon brew bucket fermenters and my beer kegs. Cleaning both is almost no work at all, seriously! The buckets fit perfectly upside down on the cooler and a couple of pieces of packing foam wedge the kegs perfectly in place.

This is an old thread, but my two cents says SS Brewtech 7 gallon Brew Buckets. I have had and sold a SS Brewtech Brewmaster half barrel fermenter because I did not want 15 gallons of the same beer and I like to brew and have variety, besides it was a pain in the backside to clean even with CIP. Plastic carboys had too much cardboard taste and the glass carboys are too heavy and dangerous.
to what temp can that pump go up to? A video I posted a couple of pages back used the pump you are talking about. My concern is with how I have my out put set, they are too close to the floor to have room to drop into a bucket. So I most likely would have to use a hose.
 

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I believe it’s 7 gallon. The way I do it is probably different then most and I plan on purchasing a cip ball. But right now I take the thing in my walk in shower spray it down then let it soak with about 4 gallons of pbw mixture and shake it. Then if there is any residue I get in there with a sponge. I drain about 2 gallons of the pbw in to a bucket and take everything apart and let that soak which you have to do their is always still yeast in those spots when I take it apart. Then rinse thoroughly. Let it dry and put it back together.
I have an extra CIP ball that’s never been used. PM me if interested.
 

Kazama

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I believe it’s 7 gallon. The way I do it is probably different then most and I plan on purchasing a cip ball. But right now I take the thing in my walk in shower spray it down then let it soak with about 4 gallons of pbw mixture and shake it. Then if there is any residue I get in there with a sponge. I drain about 2 gallons of the pbw in to a bucket and take everything apart and let that soak which you have to do their is always still yeast in those spots when I take it apart. Then rinse thoroughly. Let it dry and put it back together.
The Riptide pump is able to spray the entire inside of my Spike CF10, with a CIP ball, but doesn't get the top lip as well as I'd like. I wanted more spray force so I bought a garden hose camlock adapter from brewhardware and do a high pressure rinsing spray after fermentation. I follow with a PBW spray, then a high pressure rinse with fresh water again. This works well and the extra pressure gets the top lip much better. If you already have the pump, give it a try and if it isn't enough, adding that fitting might work better than a second pump.
 

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