Building a sankey keg cleaner
I need to build a cheap sankey keg cleaner. What's the simplest and cheapest way to clean sankey kegs?
Cheap Keg Cleaning
A couple of methods have worked well for me in the past:
One-Get a three-compartment sink and two low horse power pumps. The first compartment holds PBW or caustic. The pump for this compartment is located on the floor with PVC piping sucking the chemical out and a nylon-braided hose with a sanke fitting handling the out. The keg is inverted on this compartment so the cleaning chemical is returned. The same process is repeated in the third sink with Acid #5. The second compartment is used for a water rinse. Then you repeat the first compartment with a sanitizing rinse. Keep in mind that you'll probably need to pressurize the kegs to facilitate a good chemical exchange.
Two-get two sanke kegs and cut the tops off, these become your chemical reservoirs. Build a framework (use angle iron or angle aluminum) to hold the reservoirs off the ground. Attach wheels (castors) if you wish it to be mobile. Attach drains to the bottoms. Attach these drains to a common pump. On the output of the pump, attach a "Y". Attach a braided-nylon hose to each branch of the "Y". At the ends of these hoses. attach your sanke fittings, with valves. To wash kegs, both reservoirs hold the same chemical. Invert your dirty kegs, attach the sanke fittings and recirc for the appropriate amount of time. Repeat for each cycle. Again, pressurize the kegs with carbon dioxide for good chemical exchange. Otherwise, you end up filling you dirty keg with cleaning chemical.
I hope this help. If you have any questions, contact me at info@glacierbrewing com. I'd be glad to help.
Glacier Brewing Company
Dave, I tried to send you an e-mail directly but it bounced back. I'm currently cleaning hoff-stevens kegs on a setup very much like the second suggestion you made. I can probably adapt that. Did you need to do anything to the sankey tap to make it work for the cleaning? Thanks for your help. Jeff
I'm not sure I understand your question. However, I did not have to manipulate the sanke valve other than connecting the keg fitting and engaging the plunger. Try me again at email@example.com. If you wish, you can also include removing the keg stem in your cleaning protocol. Although that increases you per keg cleaning time.
I am not going to comment on how to build a keg cleaner - I haven't a clue.......
But please ensure you do not use caustic based detergent if your kegs are aluminium, or you have lots of aluminium parts around as the caustic reacts vigorously with aluminium, producing hydrogen gas, in itself a danger obviously, but the kegs willl be seriously weakened, and eventually destroyed. You must use a neutral detergent, composition to suit your cleaning water, and best advised by the chemical supplier you use.
Use wet steam after chemical cleaning and rinsing for best sterility.