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splitting a single keg cleaning machine?

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  • splitting a single keg cleaning machine?

    Hi Dear Probrewer users!
    I just got my hands on a 2nd hand, never been used keg cleaning machine. It's fully automatic with a PLC that is programmed to do a drain-rinse-caustic-rinse-sani cycle. I can change the time of each step.
    It's actually quite a fancy machine, It has a Siemens controller and pneumatic valves for each product (water, caustic etc). the spear cleaning is done through a "pulse valve" that can generate slow flow of product so it drips along the spear.
    It's made by an Austrian company that has already gone out of business, but I was able to get the manual and uploaded some photos here from it.
    So my question is - It's a great machine, but I got the single keg model that can do only 12 kegs an hour which is slow... Why would anyone design a single keg washer is a question by it self but that's what they did.
    I though that it would be great if I can split the in and out hoses of the coupler and make it a two-keg machine, hence increasing it's capacity.
    Obviously I have no idea if that can be done... I think that by increasing a bit the timing of each step I can pull it off. The pump looks like it is big enough to spray the caustic strong enough for two kegs simultaneously.
    Anyone has experience with pimping a keg machine like that?

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  • #2
    It's possible. My 4 keg washer is basically the same concept as yours, similar control scheme, and all it does is have some fancy pipework to split into 4 couplers. It really is a matter of the pump being large enough, and if you can adjust the pulse valve to get good flow through both spears at once.

    That said, the manufacturer probably sized the pump specifically for one keg, doing two may decrease the flow rate enough that you don't get an effective clean.

    I wouldn't risk it, personally. If you were to try it, you'd absolutely have to check some kegs with ATP swabs to know it's working effectively.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk


    • #3

      In addition to the pump question- does it have a surge tank for rinse water, fed through the pump? If using 'city water' pressure to feed the rinse, the flow can become ineffective. Probably OK for two, but any more & you might have problems.


      • #4
        Thanks for the answers guys.
        The rinse is through city water.
        The pressure we get from the city is very high, around 6 bars so I don't think that's an issue. Plus I'm using a manual double keg premier machine rinsing with city water for the past few years, never had issues.
        Anyone out there that have ever split a machine and can share his experience?

        Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk


        • #5
          Be very careful....

          Unless you are extremely careful to measure and document the flow rates achieved by splitting, this could be a nightmare. It's not only the pump that you have to consider, but also the entire valving and plumbing system. Smaller bore piping/hosing cannot deliver twice the flow without a significant increase in pressure. And your heater for caustic must be sized to take on the higher load. And pressure of your city water doesn't equate to flow. You could have 6 bar pressure, but if it's squeezed through a restriction somewhere, then the flow rate could still be quite low when the pressure drops to less than one bar. Pressure does not equal flow. There is usually a sensor to determine when the empty cycle is complete. Make sure that the second keg gets checked by this. Each step of the sequence needs to be verified for efficacy. They mention a test keg in setting the spear cleaner; it is a good idea to build two test kegs to confirm proper cleaning with two heads. In short, it's not as easy as adding a few tees and another coupler.
          Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


          • #6
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            Click image for larger version

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