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Thread: Balancing flow in a multi-head washer???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jameson, SK, Canada
    Posts
    121

    Balancing flow in a multi-head washer???

    Hey guys,

    So last week I thought I was pretty clever and added a second head to my home built manual washer. Fired it up this eve and lost my nerve. Now I'm wondering if I plumbed it right.

    The 2 head circuits are run in parallel. 3/4" line fed by a 60gpm pump that is then split to two 1/2" lines to the sanke connectors, then 1/2" line back to a 1.5" sight glass (so I can see when the crap is flushed out) and onto 3/4" outflow lines to drain, acid/caustic return, rinse water return, and starsan return.

    I have co2 and compressed air connected too.

    The process we run is blowout the old beer with air to the drain, rinse with hot (~150F) water - cloudy water down the drain, then switch to a return to the rinse water tank (our BK), then acid or caustic wash for 1-2 minutes, blowout with air back to acid/caustic tank (our HLT), the a water rinse and air blowout back to the rinse tank, then a starsan rinse and blowout with CO2 to the starsan tank (our MLT) , and finally the outflow is closed allowing the keg to pressure up to 5-10psi with CO2.

    There are some subtle difference in lengths of the 1/2" lines that feed the sanke connectors, but otherwise the fittings, valves, etc, are all the same. My thought is that the rate limiting step on either circuit is the sanke connector, so a 3' vs a 5' line shouldn't matter. Am I right?? I have the 1/2" tailpieces, but the sanke connectors are tighter than that.

    I suppose my post has gone from asking about balancing the pressure and flow to multiple keg washer heads, to also seeking confirmation that my design is ok....sorry about that!!!

    Any advice is appreciated.

    -J.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    18
    I am having the same issue with adding an additional head to my keg washer. As I see it with the flow of liquids you need some sort of balancing valve or flow restrictor on each of the feed lines to kegs. Liquid will take the path of least resistance in a circuit, so it is necessary to place a control to make sure each circuit is balanced. Right now I am considering a pair of Kobold in-line flow restrictors to handle the problem.

    I am open to suggestions though.

    Geoffrey Carson

    Evil Genius and Problem Solver
    Litherman's Limited Brewery
    Concord, NH

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jameson, SK, Canada
    Posts
    121
    Washed 20 kegs last eve. Used both heads, but lost nerve and washed kegs one at a time. Still saved time, but would love to do two simultaneously. Those Kobold restrictors look good, but they're kinda pricey.

    I'm going to to some testing to see what flow rates I'm seeing from the sanke connectors, so I know what flowrate to select.

    Anyone know a less expensive option for the flow restrictors??

    Cheers

    -J.
    Last edited by Jer; 07-18-2017 at 07:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Jameson, SK, Canada
    Posts
    121
    Did a little testing today.

    When I run one head into a pail I get 10GPM flow. When I run both heads into pails I get 7.5GPM on the closer head, and 7GPM that is about 3' farther downstream.

    This eve I am going to do some tests on actual kegs based on weight. This should allow me to see how much actual flow-through there is over let's say I minute.

    I spoke to my engineer brother as well. The 100$ Kobold flow restrictors can be replaced with either a washer of a specific orifice size for your desired flow, or a gate valve to do the same thing.

    Stay tuned!!!
    Last edited by Jer; 07-18-2017 at 06:57 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    4
    Any update?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Medellín, Colombia
    Posts
    20
    I'd also love to hear an update

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