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View Full Version : having issues with my "homebuilt" kegwasher



yap
04-14-2013, 06:55 AM
I know the easy answer is to just buy a real one, but not in the budget...

I have employed a similar setup to many detailed on here before. The system works, but is of course pretty time inefficient so I am trying to improve it. I currently use my VFD pump to pump from a reservoir through the inverted keg and back to the reservoir. I have been attempting to set up a second pump to run the sanitizer side so that I don't have to change out the solution and basically run each keg twice to do clean and sanitize.

My main problem has been sizing this pump. I know where the "sweet spot" is on my VFD to get the flow nice and balanced in and out of the keg. I have measured this flow to be about 5-6 gpm. I have tried a couple of different single speed pumps that are rated for the same flow, but it seems that they are blasting too much pressure and the drain doesn't keep up thus leaving a lot of sani in the keg which then takes a couple of minutes to purge out.

Most of the info I have searched shows everyone using ~ 1/2 HP pumps. That seems like way too much as I am down to something like a 1/10th HP and still seem to have too much flow.

I'm guessing that there is some basic aspect of pump and flow design that I am missing here. Anyone care to take a minute and straighten me out?

Thanks as always in advance,

CPESystems
04-14-2013, 07:27 AM
Hi Scott

There would be two easy fixes using your existing pump(s). Either add a throttling valve on the discharge side of the pump to reduce the flow or selected a spray head that has a lower maximum flow rate. The second choice will give you better results because you would still have full pressure spray.

yap
04-14-2013, 07:54 AM
Thanks Don,

I have thought about a throttling valve and may end up going that way. Just wanted to see if there were thoughts on pump size as I eventually want to have dedicated pumps for this thing and hate the idea of buying a bigger more expensive pump just to throttle it down. I restrict the flow somewhat now with a ball valve, but it is complicated to get it set just right. Any particular type of valve you recommend?

Also, I'm not sure what you mean by spray head. The kegs are cleaned with the spear still in them so there is no CIP ball or anything like that.

Thanks again.

CPESystems
04-14-2013, 08:13 AM
I would try something like a HAMLET H300 series needle valve.

DaveK
04-15-2013, 12:09 PM
I think with the proper flow/pressure from your pump the gravity drain from the keg will not keep up, and that's OK. I have a similar setup and use compressed air between cycles to clear the kegs, then CO2 after the sani.

yap
04-16-2013, 06:37 AM
DaveK,

That's exactly the situation I have now. I'm trying to improve the cleaning cycle time. With the VFD running the caustic loop it keeps up well and only requires a few seconds to purge at the end. My sani cycle ends up filling the keg half way full and takes 2-3 minutes to purge. I'm trying to get those 2-3 minutes per cycle back by sizing the sani pump better, but not having much success....

YSBrewer
04-16-2013, 07:20 AM
Scott, I can't remember if you have an air compressor or not? We blow ours out with 40psi and it takes about 30 seconds or so. We do two at a time so it's never seemed unreasonable to us. We run the CO2 at 20psi to evac the sani and it takes longer, but it's not crazy long...

We use this pump for our sani cycle. They are little beasts! We have two of em and love them!

http://www.plumbersurplus.com/Prod/Little-Giant-5-MD-HC-1-8-HP-1050-GPH-@-1-Magnetic-Drive-Pump-6-Power-Cord-583603/57463/Cat/1006

yap
04-16-2013, 07:44 AM
I might have to give one of those a try Nate, Thanks.