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Thread: I built a completely automated keg washer for under 1K... any interest out there?

  1. #76
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Concord, NH
    Posts
    35
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobl View Post
    Three part video here.

    Optional:
    Cheap Chinese tablet w/ super basic UI for changing cycle times, running different cycles, etc.

    Pumps and the various plumbing would be the responsibility of the end user, with recommendations & length specs whenever appropriate.

    Looking forward to hearing feedback.
    A couple of observations, one very particular to PBW, two the initial gas purge and the need for two pumps.

    1) PBW works best hot, above 140F - how do you keep it hot

    2) The gas purge cycle is a bit redundant. Opening the purge valve and hot water rinse - making it one step.

    3) The need for 2 pumps really unnecessary. I purge with compressed air and CO2. The gas enters at the beginning or end (depending how you look at it) of the manifold. As such, when I purge the keg the gas purges the pump and manifolds of rinse water, cleaner, in my case Birk-Ox, finally SaniClean, Starsan is too foamy to be efficient. Since the pump is purged with each cycle there is no cross contamination of chemicals.

    Additional comments - I don't use a 3 bay sink, I have a 2 1/2bbl kegs as reservoirs that are flipped to use the 2" snake fitting with a tri-clover bottom drain and a weld on fitting on the original bottom for return. Have cut a 3" hole in the top (orig bottom) for filling. The drain fitting runs to a hose and then into the drain instead of a sink.
    A's far as the manifolds go you can do what you have or use some glycol system manifolds, I think I saw them at GW Kent. The part that interests me is the electronics and programming. I have a box of raspberry pi's 2&3's, some Beaglebone Black's and Arduino boards, but I still hate programming (Hardware good, Software evil).

    Don't misunderstand, I don't mean to be critical what you have works I just can't use our 3 Bay food prep sinks for anything other than our tasting room needs. The pumps you use do work but if they were used in my setup I would have to rotate the pump head 90 degrees so the outlet is on the side for complete purging.

    Geoff

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    32
    Also interested if there is an update to the progress of the new and improved version and if kit availability is a possibility, Thanks!

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Walden, NY
    Posts
    1

    The Brewery at Orange County Hops

    Hi-
    We are a new farm brewery opening in January. How soon would you be able to have a kit available for the keg washing system? I'm definitely interested!
    -Mike

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    16
    Hey guys,

    Happy to share an update here.

    To date, we have washed many thousands of kegs on our original system. Until recently, we had nearly zero failures on the equipment - everything worked flawlessly. In the last month, we experienced relay failures. The common symptoms here are that the valves would fail to open or close. So, for example, one keg in 20 would send 10 gallons of sanitizer down the drain instead of into the keg. Obviously, this is a big problem. So we re-wrote the code to force it to open the valves multiple times, but that was only a bandaid. In the end, I replaced the relay board, which took about two hours. I'm sure we'll get another 5,000 kegs out of this before replacing it again, for a mere cost of $20.

    Here's where we're at with the project.

    - We are converting the current keg washer into a 4-head unit. This will be achieved by increasing the lines to 1.5" stainless with very few transitions to lower the fluid resistance. We may slightly size up the pumps. However, I am confident it will push the extra it needs.
    - We are provided two levels of kit setups. One will likely be very low cost with vinyl hoses and cheap ball valves. The other will be significantly higher cost, which will utilized stainless everything. Both of which you can purchase the kits from us ready made, or we can send you with a shopping list to your favorite brewery supplier.
    - I am going to see about getting a stainless cart fabricated, which will either ship direct from a manufacturer or from us. This will be optional. We already have a heavy duty plastic cart from Lowes that you can use and save hundreds. That's why it's a kit, its all up to you.

    In about a month, we'll be looking to sell the original keg washer. We'll be looking to sell this at cost + shipping. With this, you'll get support for the unit (I know it intimately) and you can wash 5,000 more kegs with it without a hiccup. Then you'll have to replace the relay board for $20. We can send it with whatever code you want to do whatever you want with it - HOWEVER, I am not willing to add a second valve for both air and c02, so you will either have to wash with nitrogen, or use c02 and no cleaning solution that reacts negatively with c02. My preference is that this goes to a cash-strapped brewery or one in startup mode. I can get a price on this very shortly. Delivery would likely be early January.

    We will also be looking for a second brewery to pilot our kit program. This brewery will receive a box with a pre-wired board, a bunch of components, and some written instructions. We'll be looking for some feedback on how we did before we roll this out in a bigger way. This setup will include support to make sure you are 100% up and running with the system. Delivery would likely be mid-late January. My preference would be to send this as a direct clone of the original keg washer, but we would entertain the 4-head unit - just as long as you understood the new and improved model is brand new to us, so support would be slower for new problems. I could fix the original model with my eyes closed and all four limbs tied behind my back.

    Let me know what interest is out there for these two units. After the January run, we will open pre-orders for these units without collecting any payment. Late winter delivery is very attainable!

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    9
    I've been following this thread for a while now and have been anxiously awaiting more details. I'll gladly volunteer for a bit of DIY kit. Count me in! Shoot me a PM. 1 head or 4, we're not picky!

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    64
    I would definitely be interested in being the pilot brewery for the kit. If not, I will be definitely be one of the first pre-orders. Well done on all the progress so far!

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Cocoa, Fl
    Posts
    86
    I would be interested in helping out. My other two partners are electrical and process engineers my work for beer friend is an PE and can sign off on designs and I can code and fab just about anything. Damn, sounds like I bragging. Just letting you know what we will bring to the table.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
    Jon Sheldon
    Owner/Brewer/Chief Floor Mopper
    Bugnutty Brewing Company
    www.bugnutty.com

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Santiago, Dominican Republic
    Posts
    1

    interested

    Nano opening early next year, and need something like this.

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Fall Creek, WI
    Posts
    1

    Interested

    I am interested in this when production starts.
    Dohmbrewing@outlook.com

    Thanks
    Jerrod Dohm

  10. #85
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Boise, ID, USA
    Posts
    1

    Count me in

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobl View Post
    Hey guys,

    Happy to share an update here.

    To date, we have washed many thousands of kegs on our original system. Until recently, we had nearly zero failures on the equipment - everything worked flawlessly. In the last month, we experienced relay failures. The common symptoms here are that the valves would fail to open or close. So, for example, one keg in 20 would send 10 gallons of sanitizer down the drain instead of into the keg. Obviously, this is a big problem. So we re-wrote the code to force it to open the valves multiple times, but that was only a bandaid. In the end, I replaced the relay board, which took about two hours. I'm sure we'll get another 5,000 kegs out of this before replacing it again, for a mere cost of $20.

    Here's where we're at with the project.

    - We are converting the current keg washer into a 4-head unit. This will be achieved by increasing the lines to 1.5" stainless with very few transitions to lower the fluid resistance. We may slightly size up the pumps. However, I am confident it will push the extra it needs.
    - We are provided two levels of kit setups. One will likely be very low cost with vinyl hoses and cheap ball valves. The other will be significantly higher cost, which will utilized stainless everything. Both of which you can purchase the kits from us ready made, or we can send you with a shopping list to your favorite brewery supplier.
    - I am going to see about getting a stainless cart fabricated, which will either ship direct from a manufacturer or from us. This will be optional. We already have a heavy duty plastic cart from Lowes that you can use and save hundreds. That's why it's a kit, its all up to you.

    In about a month, we'll be looking to sell the original keg washer. We'll be looking to sell this at cost + shipping. With this, you'll get support for the unit (I know it intimately) and you can wash 5,000 more kegs with it without a hiccup. Then you'll have to replace the relay board for $20. We can send it with whatever code you want to do whatever you want with it - HOWEVER, I am not willing to add a second valve for both air and c02, so you will either have to wash with nitrogen, or use c02 and no cleaning solution that reacts negatively with c02. My preference is that this goes to a cash-strapped brewery or one in startup mode. I can get a price on this very shortly. Delivery would likely be early January.

    We will also be looking for a second brewery to pilot our kit program. This brewery will receive a box with a pre-wired board, a bunch of components, and some written instructions. We'll be looking for some feedback on how we did before we roll this out in a bigger way. This setup will include support to make sure you are 100% up and running with the system. Delivery would likely be mid-late January. My preference would be to send this as a direct clone of the original keg washer, but we would entertain the 4-head unit - just as long as you understood the new and improved model is brand new to us, so support would be slower for new problems. I could fix the original model with my eyes closed and all four limbs tied behind my back.

    Let me know what interest is out there for these two units. After the January run, we will open pre-orders for these units without collecting any payment. Late winter delivery is very attainable!
    Please email me with your contact information as we would love to be involved or to purchase what you have!
    Thanks for helping everyone out,
    Casey casey@basquebrewing.com
    Last edited by Basque Brewing; 02-08-2018 at 01:59 PM. Reason: Forgot to include contact

  11. #86
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Morelia, Mexico
    Posts
    6

    Interested

    Hello, we are really interested in the project, can you count us in, contacto@nacionalmorelos.com.mx

    Thanks!

  12. #87
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Spokane, WA, USA
    Posts
    4
    We're in! Totally interested.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
    Searchlight Hard Cider - Spokane, WA
    Making craft cider for the folks we want to hang with. Ed would be proud.

  13. #88
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Irving, Texas, United States
    Posts
    1
    I would like in as well!

    stuartmaples@maplebranchcraftbrewery.com


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #89
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Frederick County, MD
    Posts
    49
    Interested too. Mike@idiombrewing.com

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  15. #90
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Posts
    7

    Super interested!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobl View Post
    Hey guys,

    Happy to share an update here.

    To date, we have washed many thousands of kegs on our original system. Until recently, we had nearly zero failures on the equipment - everything worked flawlessly. In the last month, we experienced relay failures. The common symptoms here are that the valves would fail to open or close. So, for example, one keg in 20 would send 10 gallons of sanitizer down the drain instead of into the keg. Obviously, this is a big problem. So we re-wrote the code to force it to open the valves multiple times, but that was only a bandaid. In the end, I replaced the relay board, which took about two hours. I'm sure we'll get another 5,000 kegs out of this before replacing it again, for a mere cost of $20.

    Here's where we're at with the project.

    - We are converting the current keg washer into a 4-head unit. This will be achieved by increasing the lines to 1.5" stainless with very few transitions to lower the fluid resistance. We may slightly size up the pumps. However, I am confident it will push the extra it needs.
    - We are provided two levels of kit setups. One will likely be very low cost with vinyl hoses and cheap ball valves. The other will be significantly higher cost, which will utilized stainless everything. Both of which you can purchase the kits from us ready made, or we can send you with a shopping list to your favorite brewery supplier.
    - I am going to see about getting a stainless cart fabricated, which will either ship direct from a manufacturer or from us. This will be optional. We already have a heavy duty plastic cart from Lowes that you can use and save hundreds. That's why it's a kit, its all up to you.

    In about a month, we'll be looking to sell the original keg washer. We'll be looking to sell this at cost + shipping. With this, you'll get support for the unit (I know it intimately) and you can wash 5,000 more kegs with it without a hiccup. Then you'll have to replace the relay board for $20. We can send it with whatever code you want to do whatever you want with it - HOWEVER, I am not willing to add a second valve for both air and c02, so you will either have to wash with nitrogen, or use c02 and no cleaning solution that reacts negatively with c02. My preference is that this goes to a cash-strapped brewery or one in startup mode. I can get a price on this very shortly. Delivery would likely be early January.

    We will also be looking for a second brewery to pilot our kit program. This brewery will receive a box with a pre-wired board, a bunch of components, and some written instructions. We'll be looking for some feedback on how we did before we roll this out in a bigger way. This setup will include support to make sure you are 100% up and running with the system. Delivery would likely be mid-late January. My preference would be to send this as a direct clone of the original keg washer, but we would entertain the 4-head unit - just as long as you understood the new and improved model is brand new to us, so support would be slower for new problems. I could fix the original model with my eyes closed and all four limbs tied behind my back.

    Let me know what interest is out there for these two units. After the January run, we will open pre-orders for these units without collecting any payment. Late winter delivery is very attainable!

    I'm a new brewery in start-up mode! I have actually been spending a lot of time recently on the keg washing subject. I'm sure by now you've sold your made ones, I'm not afraid of DIY, would love to see more info about a kit!
    grayson@cgbrewing.com

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