Keg/Carboy Washer

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Brew-ta-sauraus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
302
Reaction score
6
Location
Parker, CO
I was thing of building one of these and was thinking, after reading this forum, does it matter if the pipe is rated for the right heat? One would be post-rinsing these anyway and doing a simple sanitizer after PBW or oxyclean.

Also I found this very cheap 1000gph pump for 25 bucks. Wy buy a more expensive pump of this? I understand durability but might just try this today unless someone can point out a good reason not to try it. Unless I get lazy and just buy the more beer one.

On further review I see the above mentioned pump is a 12 v dc so it. Would likely be a pain....
Thanks, ryan
How did you make the connection from the pump to your PVC pipe going into the keg/Carboy
 

HawkATP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2011
Messages
123
Reaction score
2
How did you connect from the pump to your pvc that runs up into your keg/Carboy? Pics showing this would be great. Your pump is cheap but I don't know how I can attach to my PVC pipe and have it still be secure enough to stick inside & was a keg.
The Harbor Freight pump I have came with about 15 different screw on attachments for the discharge. Just take the attachment you are going to use into Home Depot and make sure it fits the PVC attachment you're going to use. I'm on travel so can't post any pics this week.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
7,732
Reaction score
75
Location
Nanaimo, BC
How long are you guys running oxiclean solution through the pump to clean the kegs?

Thinking of building something similar but with copper and brass parts. I usually sanitize my kegs by filling with water and oxiclean and leaving overnight. Cleans everything fine (and sanitizes to boot).

Never have figured out what the min contact time for oxiclean is but I do know when I filled my kegs last I ran into a pinhole leak and had to grab a dirty keg to transfer beer from the leaky one. Filled with oxiclean and hot water for an hour. Didn't make it shiny but nothing got infected. (Due to circumstances beyond my control I had to risk it).

Going to use my march pump. Wondering also how best to make the holder so the keg doesn't fall over when I am out of the room. (Murphys law is strictly enforced around here it seems!) Might have to leave it running for hours to properly wash a dirty keg. Trying to reduce water wastage here.
 

oakbarn

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,704
Reaction score
322
Location
Bartonville
Forget the March Pump. One of the small ones from Harbor Freight works well and the simple fact that these are a little messy means in the middle of the garage on on the driveway. I actually have 2 but one with just connected to a garden hose. I run PBW for about 15 minutes then I move over and rinse with tap water on the lawn. I also use the tap water one on brew days for a pre rinse before cleaning my MLT and Brew Kettle after brewing. I also built one out a old dishwasher but it takes up too much room. I use them to clean everything (Kegs, Conicals, MLT, Carboys, you name it)
 

Chad_C

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
216
Reaction score
21
Location
Milford
I have built one of these out of a HF dirty water pump a few years ago, forget which model. However, I have used it for the last 2 years without a hiccup. There have been times where I leave it on for a few hours at a time, if I'm doing something else and forget about it. The water gets pretty darn hot ~ 130* or so I'd say. I use it for cleaning carboys, kegs, and my faucets.

It usually cleans my kegs in 10 minutes or so, but sometimes the carboys take longer to clean if they have a nice krausen ring. Sometimes I'll need to change the oxyclean solution. The great thing about it is I can clean 3 carboys, and a few kegs in an hour or two if need be, while doing something else.
 

jarrodaden

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
151
Reaction score
4
Location
houston
I was just thinking about this kind of thing earlier today. My idea was to try a short rigid pipe with a semi flexible hose on the end that would allow a similar (soft) spray head to whip about for added agitation.

In my estimation, heat isn't necessary to get a good clean. It is more about chemical sanitation and mechanical scrubbing.
 

Datchew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
45
Reaction score
1
Location
Greenville, SC
Do you really need a rotating ball or nozzle of any kind at the tip?

Why not just an open pipe blasting water at the top? I would think the water would spread at the top and run down the walls of carboys, cornies, and sankes enough to get the job done.

Any thoughts?
 

ocluke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
362
Reaction score
19
Location
Orange County
Do you really need a rotating ball or nozzle of any kind at the tip?

Why not just an open pipe blasting water at the top? I would think the water would spread at the top and run down the walls of carboys, cornies, and sankes enough to get the job done.

Any thoughts?
I'm not sure if I would draw the line at "need." It is a strong word. Is it more effective and efficient? Yes.
 

smittygouv30

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Messages
332
Reaction score
21
Location
Fayetteville
I'm looking to take on this project this week and know very little about pumps. Harbor freight seems to by far have the best prices.

My question is... which pump do I get? Keep in mind I would like to use it to drive ice water through my immersion chiller also.

HF has both a 620 GPH and a 1350 GPH. There is only a 15$ difference so I don't mind going stronger. 1350 won't be too much for the chiller, right? If so will 620 be enough for the cleaner?

What do I do?!?!

Here are links to the 2:
35$ 620 gph http://www.harborfreight.com/620-gph-submersible-fountain-pump-68393.html
50$ 1350 gph http://www.harborfreight.com/16-horsepower-submersible-utility-pump-68422.html

Thanks,
Corey
 

ocluke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
362
Reaction score
19
Location
Orange County
I'm looking to take on this project this week and know very little about pumps. Harbor freight seems to by far have the best prices.

My question is... which pump do I get? Keep in mind I would like to use it to drive ice water through my immersion chiller also.

HF has both a 620 GPH and a 1350 GPH. There is only a 15$ difference so I don't mind going stronger. 1350 won't be too much for the chiller, right? If so will 620 be enough for the cleaner?

What do I do?!?!

Here are links to the 2:
35$ 620 gph http://www.harborfreight.com/620-gph-submersible-fountain-pump-68393.html
50$ 1350 gph http://www.harborfreight.com/16-horsepower-submersible-utility-pump-68422.html

Thanks,
Corey
It depends on what you're trying to achieve. If you're just trying to cascade water down a carboy, then any cheap pump will do. If you're trying to achieve a strong impingement force, then you'll want to look at the PSI rating (15-30) of the pump. Flow rate (GPM or GPH) through an unrestricted hose is much less important in this scenario, which is how most of the sump pumps are quoted. If your flow rate is too high, you're going to have issues because the water/cleaning solution isn't going to flow out of the opening fast enough to recirculate, or the back pressure created by the water not draining fast enough will considerably slow down the water flow through the pump. Maybe someone else can comment on that because I don't use a sump pump in my setup. I use the pump listed here in my build.
 

smittygouv30

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Messages
332
Reaction score
21
Location
Fayetteville
ocluke said:
It depends on what you're trying to achieve. If you're just trying to cascade water down a carboy, then any cheap pump will do. If you're trying to achieve a strong impingement force, then you'll want to look at the PSI rating (15-30) of the pump. Flow rate (GPM or GPH) through an unrestricted hose is much less important in this scenario, which is how most of the sump pumps are quoted. If your flow rate is too high, you're going to have issues because the water/cleaning solution isn't going to flow out of the opening fast enough to recirculate, or the back pressure created by the water not draining fast enough will considerably slow down the water flow through the pump. Maybe someone else can comment on that because I don't use a sump pump in my setup. I use the pump listed here in my build.
Thanks for the reply!

What I don't want to do is just by a cheap pump to save a few bucks and then wish I had a stronger one. Neither pump gives a pressure rating on the HF website, they just refer to flow (gph). There must be a correlation to pressure though, no? If one is rated for 620 GPH and the other 1350 GPH through the same size hole, it seems it would correlate to pressure. My physics professor would be devastated that I don't recall the formulas and don't know the difference. :( Should I be more interested in the HP of the motor to generate more lbs/sqin?
 

jarrodaden

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
151
Reaction score
4
Location
houston
Thanks for the reply!

What I don't want to do is just by a cheap pump to save a few bucks and then wish I had a stronger one. Neither pump gives a pressure rating on the HF website, they just refer to flow (gph). There must be a correlation to pressure though, no? If one is rated for 620 GPH and the other 1350 GPH through the same size hole, it seems it would correlate to pressure. My physics professor would be devastated that I don't recall the formulas and don't know the difference. :( Should I be more interested in the HP of the motor to generate more lbs/sqin?
My previous hobby was freshwater aquariums. I can tell you to pay close attention to the claimed flow rates of pumps. The rate of flow varies depending on how high you are lifting the water.

As an example, if you were holding the outlet waist high while the pump was in a bucket of water it might give you say 100 gallons per minute. If you moved the outlet above your head, it would probably cut the flow rate in half.

The claimed flow rate is typically associated with the "head" (number of feet you are lifting the water) during the performance testing.

In this case, you are only "lifting" the water about 3' so it should not matter that much.
 

tracyt1800

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 21, 2012
Messages
55
Reaction score
2
Location
Lubbock
Other than several people mentioning that the pumps should be oilless, are these sump pumps safe for use in this manner? I would LOVE to build one of these, but I am a little concerned about the sanitizing solution picking up some chemical, plastic by product, or something else that would then get sprayed up into my kegs & carboys.

I searched for "potable water pumps" but those are several hundred dollars before you can get to a decent rate of flow.
 

cwilliams108

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2009
Messages
71
Reaction score
0
Location
Indianapolis, In
So, decided to build one of these yesterday. Picked up this pump http://www.harborfreight.com/1-horsepower-submersible-dirty-water-pump-with-float-69300.html on sale for $49.99 and as I'm paying for it I get the "do you want to buy the warranty it's $5.99 for one year and you can get it replaced within a year regardless if anything is wrong with it or not" sold american. Ran it on 3 kegs last night 2 corneys and a sanke and it does warm the water up pretty well (I'd say 140 ish based on feel and what I know I have my water heater set at). Anyway anyone looking to build one I would recommend this pump especially given a $6 warranty that will give me peace of mind as I beat the hell out of it. As a side note yeah the pump is probably overkill but when is that ever a bad thing.
 

HawkATP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2011
Messages
123
Reaction score
2
I've noticed with my keg washer that it works great on corneys, but it isn't able to break the krausen ring on my sanke fermenters. Anyone that uses sankes as fermenters had this issue? I still have to brush the inside krausen ring on the sanke to break it up.
 

ocluke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
362
Reaction score
19
Location
Orange County
I've noticed with my keg washer that it works great on corneys, but it isn't able to break the krausen ring on my sanke fermenters. Anyone that uses sankes as fermenters had this issue? I still have to brush the inside krausen ring on the sanke to break it up.
There are a lot of variables between each person's keg washer, so it's hard to compare apples with apples, unless of course two people have the exact same setup and process. Some variables to consider changing in your system:

- are you using a nozzle/spray ball, and if so, what is it rated at and what is the coverage (e.g. 360°, 270°, etc)?
- are you using a pump with sufficient PSI for your nozzle/spray ball (they give flow rate/PSI ratings)?
- what type of cleaning solution are you using, and at what strength? If PBW, time, temperature and concentration are all factors in how well it cleans (the higher the better the job for all 3).

Try thinking on some of those variables and decide for yourself which you can change to get better results.
 

Monster Mash

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
1,323
Reaction score
99
Location
Castaic, CA
I have a 30 gallon fermenter that I put on mine, I wasn't expecting much because normally I have to really scrub to get the krausen off. I was pretty surprised to find it cleaned almost all of it off except a few small spots.

I guess it depends on the setup, the temp of the water and the type of cleaner...

 

Monster Mash

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
1,323
Reaction score
99
Location
Castaic, CA
Other than several people mentioning that the pumps should be oilless, are these sump pumps safe for use in this manner? I would LOVE to build one of these, but I am a little concerned about the sanitizing solution picking up some chemical, plastic by product, or something else that would then get sprayed up into my kegs & carboys.

I searched for "potable water pumps" but those are several hundred dollars before you can get to a decent rate of flow.

These are meant for a cleaning solution to be run through them, you rinse and sanitize afterword so there is nothing to worry about.
 

kenyabob

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
57
Reaction score
3
Does the pump have to be a dirty water pump, or can it be any submersible pump? I'm worried a generic pump might leach nasties I dont want ending up in my beer (although I could just do a final rinse with non pumped water)

Example of a generic pump:
http://is.gd/E4wnKa
 

ocluke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
362
Reaction score
19
Location
Orange County
Does the pump have to be a dirty water pump, or can it be any submersible pump? I'm worried a generic pump might leach nasties I dont want ending up in my beer (although I could just do a final rinse with non pumped water)

Example of a generic pump:
http://is.gd/E4wnKa
The pump you link to is an oilless utility pump, which shouldn't leak anything. I don't know what kind of keg cleaner you are intending to build, but if you're looking for something to cascade water down the keg, then it will work fine. If you are going to be using a spray ball/nozzle, or otherwise putting back pressure on the pump, I'd recommend going with something that is rated for restriction (a PSI rating will be given).
 

kenyabob

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
57
Reaction score
3
Thanks for the tip on this. I did want to use a spray nozzle or some kind of cap. I wasn't aware about being rated for back pressure. I'll hunt around some more.
 

kenyabob

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
57
Reaction score
3
I'm having a hard time finding PSI information or back pressure ability for a lot of these pumps. Would pond pumps or hyrdrofarm pumps be suited for this, however, since most of them are connected to some kind of spray head?

Example:
http://is.gd/VVDkNv
 

Brew-ta-sauraus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
302
Reaction score
6
Location
Parker, CO
Just about any pump will work for this washer. Check the beginning of the thread and guys are using pond pumps. I built one using a 12 volt bilge pump from harbor freight ($9.00). I use a ac to dc converter rated for 4 amps to run the pump from a wall socket. It doesnt take much paower to run the water up a pvc tube and out a spray nozzel into your keg to wash it.
 

kenyabob

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
57
Reaction score
3
Wow, this thing is great! I just bought a 620 gph pump from harbor freight (http://www.harborfreight.com/620-gph-submersible-fountain-pump-68393.html) It's on sale for $35 now. I cleaned my sanke keg fermenters and a corny keg already. Total cost was $40 (pump, homer bucket lid, and 3/4" pvc parts)! Cleaning the sanke makes this thing well worth it.
Your pump has a removable filter in it. Do you use it while you are cleaning? Or do you run it without the filter?
 

kenyabob

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
57
Reaction score
3
Just about any pump will work for this washer. Check the beginning of the thread and guys are using pond pumps. I built one using a 12 volt bilge pump from harbor freight ($9.00). I use a ac to dc converter rated for 4 amps to run the pump from a wall socket. It doesnt take much paower to run the water up a pvc tube and out a spray nozzel into your keg to wash it.
That's what I am starting to understand. People seem to be having success with as little as 300gph, and certainly upward from there (1500, 2000gph). I think I might just get the 600gph pond pump and call it good!
 

JonW

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
2,101
Reaction score
315
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
That's what I am starting to understand. People seem to be having success with as little as 300gph, and certainly upward from there (1500, 2000gph). I think I might just get the 600gph pond pump and call it good!
Depending on what you're cleaning, you do have to be careful of having TOO MUCH flow. In addition to cleaning my cornies, I also put my sanke kegs (fermenters) on my keg cleaner. Sometimes the PBW solution doesn't come out of the keg as fast as it goes in and the pump can start sucking air.
 

odie313

Active Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2009
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Location
92223
Yes that pump will work great, its what I use for my keg/carboy cleaner.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
458
Reaction score
13
Location
Denver
Thanks odie313. They didn't have that in stock (doh!), I ended up getting this one that most here are using http://www.harborfreight.com/620-gph-submersible-fountain-pump-68393.html
Pretty simple to set-up, I wanted to go all threaded or use adapters to do the threaded pieces so I can take it all apart. My challenge was the cap had those strips for tightening/gripping and won't fit in the carboy.
Question for all, how much water/pbw do you guys put in? Was thinking enough water to cover the pump and a tablespoon'ish of pbw? cheers! Can't wait to get this bad boy working and all set-up.
 

-MG-

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
336
Reaction score
1
Location
Cedar Rapids
I'm considering building a similar idea, but trying to see if I can contain the entire setup in my 14" deep stainless sink bowl. I just bought the McMaster plastic sprayball that I intend to use.

I'll probably just build a platform out of cpvc with the quick disconnects as well. This way everything gets cleaned and hopefully contains everything in the sink bowl.

I'm still a little nervous about these pumps that people are using. Most say they aren't rated for about 77 F water, yet I don't think that's been a problem and sounds like the pumps actually heat up the water as well. I'm considering this one:

http://www.harborfreight.com/1-hors...ty-water-pump-with-float-69300.html?hftref=cj

I like it for the stainless steel housing.

Final question: are people just recirculating their cleaning solution into multiple kegs? Does it matter that trub and yeast will dirty the cleaning water for the next keg?
 

-MG-

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
336
Reaction score
1
Location
Cedar Rapids

Brian4x4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
104
Reaction score
13
Location
Clinton
I just went to harbor freight and picked up this pump:

http://www.harborfreight.com/35-horsepower-dirty-water-pump-with-float-switch-69298.html

The box says 21 PSI on the outside. There were other versions, including the one I linked above but it was only 8 PSI.

I also just got my mcmaster plastic spray ball, this thing is tiny! Off to the hardware store to put together my fittings.
I have that same pump! :D
Mine works great! 25gpm I think it calculated out to. I got it for 30 bucks with a coupon.
Tip for any doing this, use the smallest tube you can like 1/2" pvc so the water can drain out fastest. Also drill small holes not large. I fould 1/8th was too large and pumped too much water into the bottle and it pools at bottom.
use less holes as well.
4-5 on top then a row of small holes around where the fermenting line is.

The thing has some force and it like a pressure washer. I don't have to leave mine on for more than 5-10 min and all clean using PBW.
oxi clean foams too much.
dishwasher soap even worked for me before I bought the PBW cleaner.

my total build cost was about 40$ and I would recommend this project to anyone!
great idea.
I still need to adapt mine to have the keg hose hookups.(cut the PVC and put them in someday)

Here are the 2 wands I made so far. I am going to make a third 1 with smaller holes and less of them like I said.







little video of mine in action..(old video with the 1st tube I made out of 3/4" PVC. I don't have a new video of other one running. it is the same thing pretty much. lol) you can hear the pressure!



washing my keg fermentor.

 

kenyabob

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
57
Reaction score
3
I cannot seem to be able to find the male thread to 1/4 barb nylon pieces anywhere in town. I've found a few them in brass at plumbing shops for 4 dollars a piece, and on amazon for about the same price in plastic, but for a 10 pack. Anyone with leads where I can find the barb fitting to let the washer hook up to the quick disconnects?
 

HawkATP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2011
Messages
123
Reaction score
2
I gave up using this set up for cleaning my kegs because it just wasn't cleaning the krausen ring on my sanke keg fermenter. I've been using the carboy cleaner for kegs from http://www.carboycleaner.com/. It works great, a lot less work too.
 

Brian4x4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
104
Reaction score
13
Location
Clinton
I gave up using this set up for cleaning my kegs because it just wasn't cleaning the krausen ring on my sanke keg fermenter. I've been using the carboy cleaner for kegs from http://www.carboycleaner.com/. It works great, a lot less work too.
hahaha funny thing is I use this and that as well. I hook my drill up and spin it all up then spray it then spin it again then finish with another spray. sooooo easy. no hassle clean in less than 10 min.
 

Brian4x4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
104
Reaction score
13
Location
Clinton
my mistake the brush I use is not that one. (that one cost to much) this one I found cheaper and works just as good. (and is softer)



 

Brian4x4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
104
Reaction score
13
Location
Clinton
this is what I use. Works much better now that I drilled smaller holes in the tube.
watch the end when it drains lightning fast.
its a carboy pressure washer now!

Had a little trouble with one spot but it's because I was watching it, if I just let it go it would have gone away.
but that is why I use my drill and spin scrubber as well then back to the washer...

 
Last edited by a moderator:

davidgsmit

Smithaus Brewing
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 25, 2010
Messages
84
Reaction score
1
Location
Centennial
Two things regarding this build after having built mine today;

Probably the best size drill bit for this project is a 1/16th bit. I have 9 holes on the top that are 1/16th and another 8 in the shaft (to clean around the neck of the carboy) that are 5/32 in size. I wish i had made these 1/16 as well as i'm getting just a bit more water than my carboy can drain with the 1/2 inch pvc line. In other words i think it could handle 8 holes in the pvc neck/line and 9 up top for a total of 17 1/16 holes. I have this hooked up to the 1/6hp pump from harbor freight (http://www.harborfreight.com/16-horsepower-submersible-utility-pump-68422.html) that puts out 1350 gph. I get quite a bit of pressure with this setup.

Second; can somebody tell me the brand name of the low-foaming oxyclean?? I bought the stuff at my dollar store as was mentioned on this thread, but i suspect it isn't the same stuff as mine has been foaming too much. Once it foams up a bit the holes in the shaft stop wirking as the water starts collecting in the carboy. The foam doesnt seem to be an issue till you actually get some crud mixed in the water, them the foam starts to form. Thanks!
 

J-Pizzel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
170
Reaction score
21
Location
Santa Cruz
Aaaarrrrrrgggghhhhhh! Heard a crash, initially thought it was the cat. Nope, gravity strikes again! I think it got a lil top heavy and nature took its course. What sucks is another 6 gal carboy met the same fate about 30 minutes prior after rolling about a foot on the cement, didn't hit anything, it just decided to implode or something....

image-2178777555.jpg
 
Top