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Thread: Keg Commander

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Germantown
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    12

    Keg Commander

    So we are thinking of getting a Keg Commander from ABE. Seems to be pretty sweet. One thing that I am interested in is the recycling of sanitizer. I have used the Premier manual washer before with the needle injection for sanitizing and a keg washer with the peristaltic pump. I did not like either of those options because of constantly having to replace parts. Does anyone have any experience with the Keg Commander and the recycling of the sanitizer. How many kegs can you do with a single reservoir of sanitizer? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Calmar Iowa U.S.A.
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    104
    I have had the commander for about one and a half years now and I F#$%ing love it! As for as your question though it depends entirely on the type of sani that you use. I use paa. And typically can wash 20 kegs and stay in the ppm range I need. Ask your chemical supplier for test strips for the sani you use. Test your solution every few kegs for a while until you find what works for your water.
    Side note: it came with some pre set cycle times that I thought were way too short. (40 kegs/hr. I think. ) I increased the times by almost 2x. Cause I'm a stickler for clean kegs. 1.5 years and haven't had a single keg "turn" due to infection or oxidation. (Knock on wood.) Also, if you have the ability, I recommend plumbing a constant flow of hot water to it. The heaters in the reservoir takes a while to heat the solution.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    192
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pivo View Post
    I have had the commander for about one and a half years now and I F#$%ing love it! As for as your question though it depends entirely on the type of sani that you use. I use paa. And typically can wash 20 kegs and stay in the ppm range I need. Ask your chemical supplier for test strips for the sani you use. Test your solution every few kegs for a while until you find what works for your water.
    Side note: it came with some pre set cycle times that I thought were way too short. (40 kegs/hr. I think. ) I increased the times by almost 2x. Cause I'm a stickler for clean kegs. 1.5 years and haven't had a single keg "turn" due to infection or oxidation. (Knock on wood.) Also, if you have the ability, I recommend plumbing a constant flow of hot water to it. The heaters in the reservoir takes a while to heat the solution.
    We love ours as well and I would agree with his comment about plumbing hot water to it - the elements take forever and I imagine use a ton of electricity. We start keg washing day running buckets of hot water from the HLT to the keg washer. Even so the elements can struggle to keep the temp high enough if you use high temp caustic to clean as opposed to say acid. It can keep 120-135 all day (which is fine for acid cleaners) but on a cold day with cold kegs it can make caustic wash temps drop to the very low end of what I would want to see.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Germantown
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    12
    Thanks for the response. Are you using pH strips to test the sani solution? If so what pH are yo trying to maintain? I use paa as well and am just doing some titration right now. By doubling the cycle times how many kegs are you able to get out of it in an hour?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Minocqua WI
    Posts
    823
    Hanna has Paa test strips.
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Germantown
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    12
    Thanks guys I really appreciate the input. This is a big purchase and I just want to really make sure that we are making the right decision. I think the design of this thing is pretty awesome and user friendly. I feel like once you dial in the amount of kegs you can get out of one batch of sanitizer it becomes even easier. The choice was between this and a premier 2 head semi-auto

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Germantown
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    12
    Are you guys using hot/warm water to rinse your caustic solution? There was no specification for rinse water but I would imagine the warmer the better. I guess my only concern would be if the water is too hot the sani reservoir temp could climb.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Calmar Iowa U.S.A.
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    104
    Quote Originally Posted by foxtown View Post
    Are you guys using hot/warm water to rinse your caustic solution? There was no specification for rinse water but I would imagine the warmer the better. I guess my only concern would be if the water is too hot the sani reservoir temp could climb.
    We use hot water for the rinse. Shouldn't have any issues with that over heating your sani as long as your air drain cycle is long enough to get all of the rinse water out of the keg prior to the sani cycles. You will probably need an inline instant hot water heater to keep up with the demand.
    If You have to use cold/ ambient temperature water to rinse, extend the rinse cycle times and test the draining rinse water with ph strips to make sure you are getting all the caustic out.
    That's actually a good idea even with hot a hot rinse until you are confident that you have a good rinse.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Germantown
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    12
    As usual thanks for the responses! I actually missed the last one been busy. That is a great idea for sure.

    So I just got the washer uncrated and hooked up today and had a few more questions observations. The wash/rinse times do seem to be ridiculously short. Also, I didn't realize there would be so much messing around with the height of the pedestal going between keg sizes. My 1/4 and 1/2 behave the same but the height needs to be increased by almost 1/4 inch to change to 1/6. Is this pretty common? Also, while running water tests on it, I noticed I was losing volume in the wash tank. I filled it to the recommended level per the manual and watched the return line blow all solution followed by air back into to the tank but I am still losing volume. Anyone have any ideas why this is happening? Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Calmar Iowa U.S.A.
    Posts
    104
    Lossing a small amount of chemicals is normal. If you watch the screen as you run some kegs you will see that it goes through a "manifold flush" cycle. This is when the commander rinsed out the internal valves with water to remove residual caustic that could not be pushed back into the reservoir with air to prevent mixing caustic with sani inside the manifold.
    As far as needing to adjust for different kegs I have ran into that as well with the stackable sixtels. They just have a steeper "shoulder" than the half bbl kegs. no real work around on that besides washing all of one size before making adjustments and swapping to the other size.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Germantown
    Posts
    12
    Do you get a little water/solution leaking from the white pedestals during cycles and rinsing? Seems to happen more often on one side than the other even though their at the same height.

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