cleaning and filling kegs
I'm starting up a small brewery and only plan on going through 30-50 kegs a week. Is there a way to clean and fill the kegs without spending a bunch of money on a keg cleaner and filler machines?
is there any alternative machines or something I can make to help speed up the process?
yes. all you need it one pump, a keg filling coupler from GW Kent, and a vessel to heat liquids.
pick your process (e.g. caustic, rinse, acid, whatever...) then just hook your hoses up. liquids go in through the beer out, and drain through the gas in back into your vessel.
not as quick or hands-off as a keg cleaning machine, but it works like a charm for us!
we fill directly off our fermenters using the same coupler. no pump... just gravity. gas out valve is open to vent and beer enters through the beer out port. again, works well for us thus far. we use a scale and tear the keg/coupler weight. just close the valve at 42lbs (for 1/6bbl) and you're good to go.
I just posted a pic on our blog of my keg cleaning setup-which I got from a post here
It works well for me, a few dozen kegs at a time. Probably longer time span than the real keg cleaners, but I own 40 kegs right now, and it was made mostly from parts I had in house.
Our blog is
I was inspired by some other posters here(the blog), though I will admit to a lack of follow up. I have done thirteen batches this year, but I am NOT superstitious.
pm if you like, I can talk/walk you through my photo, which is not as clear as it could be.
And yes, it is a plastic keg. I have the air compressor set to 20 psi, and I purge the sani with CO2 at 12psi. PKA is supposed to swap out five of my kegs for inspection sometime, but this arrangement was made a few months ago, before the recent tragedy at redhook. Once funds increase, I hope to be in the market for 30 and 50 liter schaeffer kegs. Lighter, stackable... We will not be sending the current kegs out to customers, they stay in our tiny walkin cooler.
Thanks a lot guys. This helps a lot.
I found this thread useful and have pretty much done the same thing. The only difference is that I have a large three tub sink, so caustic goes in one, rinse water in the next, and sanitizer in the last. Then I just have to move the suction hose from sink to sink.