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Thread: looking for some input on my automated kegwasher

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Ia
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    looking for some input on my automated kegwasher

    I have been building a keg washer for my hope to be soon brewery and looking for some input on what kind of information/ functions would be useful.
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    Getting close has Caustic tank "adding heat control soon", Sanitizer tank, Air purge, And CO2 purge.
    I have wash recipes for 1/6, 1/4, 1/2 barrel kegs and one for 50l kegs. plus RINSE ONLY and EMPTY FULL KEG don't know if they would be useful?
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    On the wash screen, you select the keg size "previous picture" START, STOP, and a pre-drain" for kegs that aren't quite empty will alow them to drain prior to washing"
    The message display shows the current status of the keg washer "ready to run, caustic wash, air purge ......"
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    Wash time button from previous pic has all the times for all the recipes and changes based on what keg you have selected.
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    FIRST RINSE. Uses fresh water to wash and drains to floor.
    AIR PURGE 1. Uses air to purge water to floor.
    CAUSTIC. Washes with caustic and returns to caustic tank.
    AIR PURGE 2 . Uses air to purge caustic to caustic tank.
    RINSE 2 . Uses fresh water to rinse and drains to floor.
    AIR PURGE 3. Uses air to pure water to floor.
    SANITIZE. Uses sanitizer and returns to sanitizer tank.
    CO2 PURGE. uses CO2 to purge back to sanitizer tank.

    PRE DRAIN.The amount of time to drain to the floor prior to washing.
    WASH COUNT. Number of wash cycles to complete be for notifying you to change fluid.
    PUMP DELAY. The amount of time to delay the pump before pumping so no air enters pump. " I don't think this needs to be charged once set so will probably remove.
    *I will be adding a CO2 fill cycle that will use a regulator to set the pressure.

    let me know what you think, what are things that make sense to have and not to have?
    Don't know if I should make less changeable time's to make it simpler? My wife thinks i should try selling these things "winch may be half the reason i wanted so many changeable times" that and i already bought a touch screen for it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
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    1,283
    Howdy,
    Can you post more photos of the hardware? Have you thought to have chemical specific pumps so they don't "share" the same one? What about insulation to maintain chemical temp in reservoirs? I wish I would've done that on my home build.
    Is there a button for full cycle or does an operator need to manually push the different buttons in order? Is the water rinse municipal water or will it be hot liquor? If you could keep the keg metal hot/warm during the cycle then any heating element you install won't need to be reheating the returned chemical as much as if the keg shell was cooled during a water rinse.
    How about hand, dump/drain valves at the low points of each chemical reservoir?
    Definitely add a CO2 pressurization option at the end of the cycle BUT somehow make it so the operator cannot increase beyond safe pressures. BOOM!
    Lastly, I suggest to use a different decking material. From your pic it looks like an MDF board or some other laminated composite wood product. I think that will be destroyed quickly by the wet environs of keg washing. You could get away with a simpler metal framework as all you need is a couple of contact points to hold the inverted keg.

    Great build! I agree with your wife.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Ia
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    8
    Dave thanks for the response!
    Supply piping
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    "I have ss pipe on order to replace the pvc."
    Return piping " the center valve is the floor drain the pipe fell off
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    Have you thought to have chemical-specific pumps so they don't "share" the same one?
    Main reason I didn't use 2 pumps is Cost another reason is with my rinse water supply valve prior to the pump my thought was it would clean out the caustic from the pump and piping. "dont know it how well it will work?

    What about insulation to maintain chemical temp in reservoirs?
    Hoping my caustic tank heating element will maintain correct temp. the insulation might be nice if the washer is left on for a while. "not yet installed" I could add an interlock if temp drops below a certan temp to not allow kegs to be washed untill temp raises to correct temp.

    Is the water rinse municipal water or will it be hot liquor? If you could keep the keg metal hot/warm during the cycle then any heating element you install won't need to be reheating the returned chemical as much as if the keg shell was cooled during a water rinse.
    Great idea! I have only hooked cold water to mine but could just as easaly add hot water.

    How about hand, dump/drain valves at the low points of each chemical reservoir?
    Yep! In planning!


    Lastly, I suggest to use a different decking material. From your pic it looks like an MDF board or some other laminated composite wood product. I think that will be destroyed quickly by the wet environs of keg washing.
    Sure is mdf Just using for the time being.

    You could get away with a simpler metal framework as all you need is a couple of contact points to hold the inverted keg.
    Very true!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,283
    Again, nice build.
    One thing I forgot to suggest are backflow preventers. I installed them on my washer on each chemical line to prevent the CO2 pressure backing into my pumps and destroying their prime. Your solenoids should do the trick but you could place backflow preventers after the solenoids to reduce wear and tear on them caused by back pressure.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    907
    How hot will your caustic be? the grey pvc hose barbs do not handle heat at all. The schedule 40 pvc is not really going to handle much heat either. I would def not send much air/gas pressure at all thru a hot schedule 40 pvc pipe, higher the heat lower the pressure rating.
    Last edited by BrewinLou; 12-05-2017 at 12:55 PM.
    Joel Halbleib
    COO / Zymurgist
    Goodwood Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    goodwood.beer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Ia
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    Yep got all SS on order won't be here until the end of December

    Ordered the PID temp controller on backorder until first of the year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Added a test screen to help find problems if one ever comes up.
    The screen is password protected to enter and will not let you leave the screen until everything is turned off.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Ia
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    Just an update

    Got a lot of the SS piping in waiting on a couple pieces tho. Also Got the temp controller currently integrating it to the plc.

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    Also got the heating element, temp probe and low water switch.
    And bottom drain valve!

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,720
    That is a great design! I envy your programming skills.

    I'm very glad to see you replacing the PVC with SS plumbing. I wouldn't even have tested it with PVC.

    You will need waterproof junction boxes for all your wiring--but I'm sure you're on that, too.
    Last edited by TGTimm; 01-08-2018 at 02:16 PM.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

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