Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

The place to discuss all things about brewing hygiene!
User avatar
PeeBee
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:50 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by PeeBee » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:52 pm

Some more contingency plans:

I couldn't find suitable (tri-clover mounted) fixed balls, but did find these:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Sanitar ... ce53d649f1

Hell of a price, twice what I paid for my current one. But these actually say they are compatible with Chugger pumps. Obviously handles lower flows. I think they give a clue to where the home-brew market is going?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Rotatin ... 410b8e5e7c

Same size and pressure rating as my current CIP ball, but the limited slots suggest it will work with a lower flow.

Both have pass-through tri-clover fittings, so it would be possible to switch the ball for the many other examples available. Can't find the pass-through tri-clover fittings on their own though.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7585
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by Kev888 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:23 pm

It certainly sounds like a better match to homebrew requirements and pumps. Though they're still avoiding mention of the fundamental flow requirements, which seems especially poor at that price. It would mean relying on their interpretation of 'works great', which I'm slightly suspicious of given that the chuggers appear to be marginally below the recommended pressure. But one would hope it is at least arguably adequate if they say that.
Kev

guypettigrew
Under the Table
Posts: 1611
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:10 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by guypettigrew » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:35 pm

Apologies if I caused any offence. Definitely not intended.

Guy

TheSumOfAllBeers
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 613
Joined: Tue May 05, 2015 11:21 am

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:43 pm

I have a spray ball, where the ball itself is larger than the 1.5" TC that I want to put it through.

I have to take the lid of the conical, and thread the silicone tube through instead to the pump. A small nuisance, but it works with my mains powered pump.

It is nice to let the pump and cleaner do the work unattended, freeing you up to do some other brew/bottling day task.

User avatar
PeeBee
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:50 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by PeeBee » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:02 pm

guypettigrew wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:35 pm
Apologies if I caused any offence. Definitely not intended.

Guy
I know. But I wasn't going to miss an opportunity like that :D


(EDIT: No-one need feel pity for me: The Welsh Assembly have just announced their intention to make local governments cough up and back-date a little known council tax exemption. If you've heard about it you'll know that makes me a nutter (as opposed to someone with physical disabilities - I have them too, by my physical disabilities are literally "in my head"). Err, you can't say that ("nut***") 'cos it's very non-PC. I can say it because … well … I'm a nutter! \:D/ )
Last edited by PeeBee on Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
PeeBee
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:50 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by PeeBee » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:52 pm

Some basic empirical trials:

Connecting my CIP ball directly to a tap, turning the tap on until the ball is rotating just adequately and letting it run for about 30 seconds. This bodged up simulation collected about 15L of water, or a flow of about 30L/minute.

Two conclusions, 1st: Even if I splash out on the bigger expensive pump I'll surely be disappointed. 2nd: Knowing the flow (litres per minute) is a much more useful figure than knowing the pressure, and as all the Ali Express balls only quote pressure (not flow) picking the right ball is a lottery.

I've ordered the ball that states it will work with a Chugger pump (yeah, perhaps, but I'll use a diaphragm pump) as I can be pretty confident now that I'll not get the original ball to turn. That'll take 3-4 weeks. Meanwhile I'll have to work out what keeps burning holes in my pockets.

User avatar
PeeBee
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:50 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by PeeBee » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:44 am

Something came to me a moment ago. Many folk might think "that's obvious" but there will be some folk, like me, that don't immediately get it.

Looking for a pump to match my CIP ball I was perhaps looking at the wrong things. As we've been discussing buying a CIP ball on the grounds of psi rating is a bad guide. Neither is flow a good guide on its own (and you're not given flow for many Aliexpress balls). But you need a third variable to make a good judgement, and Kev888 did allude to this. Resistance. Just like basic electrical circuits and "Ohms Law". If the ball has little resistance (and many have little resistance) it will require enormous flow before the psi starts to rise enough to turn the ball.

"Impeller" pumps (like a Chugger) can create great flow (performance down to the depth of the impeller blade apparently, and the pump's motor has to be up to driving those big impellers), but they are capable of poor "head" (e.g. PSI) (which is affected more by the number of impeller blades apparently, more blades for more "head"). Diaphragm pumps generate good head but are not so good on flow. The head both generate requires a resistance to build. Other pumps? Other useful snippets: The flow quoted may be at zero head, though not exclusively, some will have a bit of head for the given flow. The head (max.) quoted will be where flow drops to zero.

Taking the head and flow together you can start to imagine how fast the ball will turn (if at all). Bit like figuring out watts (work) from volts and amps.

I wonder if putting diaphragm pumps in parallel will increase the flow? This will cause the head to increase for the same resistance. (EDIT: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/pump ... d_636.html)

For the CIP ball, we can chose one for the lower of its head rating, because we do not clean huge vessels (a 1M diameter spray range is going to be ample). A useful guide may be to select the tightest and fewest slots because they will be most resistive.
Last edited by PeeBee on Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7585
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by Kev888 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:43 pm

Yes, that seems broadly right to me. A spray ball can be designed with different resistance for different available water supplies and vessel sizes. This should be implicit in the flow and pressure requirements specified - but if 'either' of those is not quoted then there is not enough information to specify the pump required. Most CIP systems are designed for industrial use and so tend to lean the design compromises (which affect said resistance) towards cleaning rate and/or vessel size rather than small flow rates and pressures, so not many will necessarily work well with our modest pumps, even in small vessels.

Homebrew pumps are often not that great with pressure/head. The magnetic coupling and large clearances (to allow for expansion with very hot liquids and some particulates) additionally compromise them. Which can be useful if one wishes to restrict the output to control flow-rate (or not cause braumeisters to explode if the top filter blocks), but means they aren't usually optimised for CIP.

I haven't tried it myself, but believe that diaphragm pumps in series might not be that successful at increasing flow rate; parallel would likely be better for that purpose assuming their pressure is adequate. But if one was to get a pump specifically for CIP then generally I would expect impeller types to be a better choice - without some of the characteristics that make them particularly suited to wort etc then even similarly sized ones can achieve pretty high pressures and flow rates.
Kev

User avatar
PeeBee
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:50 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by PeeBee » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:59 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:43 pm
... parallel would likely be better for that purpose assuming their pressure is adequate. But if one was to get a pump specifically for CIP then generally I would expect impeller types to be a better choice - without some of the characteristics that make them particularly suited to wort etc then even similarly sized ones can achieve pretty high pressures and flow rates.
Thanks. I meant parallel; "serial" was "a slip of the tongue" (or "typing fingers"?), it needed correcting - I'll do that (EDIT: I've done that!)

I'm beginning to see impeller types are probably better now with some of the smaller efficient pumps looking good (but will require I remove the obvious gunk by hand so the pump doesn't have to deal with it - but I was planning on that anyway). (EDIT: Central heating pumps look a good deal, <£30 and quite high performance specs).

(EDIT1: This was a rotating CIP ball I'd picked out based on the "enlightened understanding": https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spray-Ball-San ... =8-5-spell. Available from eBay and Chinese sources too (heck, the Amazon one is coming from China too!). No tri-clover fitting but accommodating tri-clover fittings for keg washing was going to be more awkward and more expensive than purchasing a new CIP ball for that job. Having two pumps in parallel might have other advantages for cleaning conicals; they have two ports from which to recirculate the cleaning fluids, the dump valve and racking valve, so having a pump on each improves the "hands-off" cleaning routine.)

(EDIT2: That linked CIP ball is no panacea, "only needs 1.5-2.5 kg" ([sic], kg/cm2?) means 21 to 36PSI, not exactly an "only". But it does also quote required flow; 15L/minute!)
Last edited by PeeBee on Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7585
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by Kev888 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:31 pm

It does seem like an improvement over the original, at least. Though I see they still haven't quite managed to quote the required pressure transparently (unless I'm missing something). As you spotted, kg is not pressure (as they claim) without knowing the area it applies to - you are 'probably' correct that they meant to say 'per square cm' but it would be nice if they'd actually bothered to indicate one way or the other!
Kev

User avatar
LeeH
Under the Table
Posts: 1651
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:42 pm
Location: North Lincs
Contact:

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by LeeH » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:10 pm

A ball rotating on a bearing would be the one to go for, if such a thing existed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
To monitor my latest fermentation 27/10 click here
To view my new AG build click here
Keg 1: Berliner Weisse
Keg 2: APA
Keg 3: Stout (Nitro)
Keg 4: Empty

User avatar
PeeBee
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:50 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by PeeBee » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:25 am

Question: I'm well aware that reducing the pipe diameter does not increase pressure, one can just get that impression. But does this apply to pumps too?

With the "central heating" pumps I'm rather counting on the quoted head (which is often about 5-6 meters, or an inadequate 7ish PSI) is measured for the pump's 1.5" BSP outlet and would be higher if choked down to 1/2" or 3/8". But I feel I might be getting sucked into a (another) Noddy trap?

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7585
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by Kev888 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:53 am

I'm not sure if I'm interpreting this correctly, but restricting the pipework leading to the spray ball will ultimately make things worse unfortunately.

You could perhaps view it as the flow rate being the primary requirement, of which the back-pressure is a consequence (i.e. the pump must be able to overcome this pressure at the desired flow rate). Additional restriction beforehand will actually require more pump pressure, otherwise throughput at the spray ball will reduce.
Kev

User avatar
PeeBee
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:50 pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by PeeBee » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:18 am

Aye. So I'm falling into a Noddy trap! (Apologies to anyone called Noddy - but I'm just using "a figure of speech"!).

So scratch my idea of using cheap central heating pumps. I thought they had a chance because unlike Chuggers and like they are directly coupled to the motor and not magnetically coupled (I think?) so they overheat and pack up under too much pressure rather than just "de-couple".

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7585
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by Kev888 » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:41 pm

Central heating pumps are a bit unusual, in that they have a wet rotor (not unlike solar project pumps) so they avoid a rotating shaft in seal whilst (as you say) having no secondary magnetic coupling to slip. (Not sure how the cast iron impeller housings would like chemicals though). Some of the more modern hot-water/potable types are magnetically coupled though (and food safe) in fact I think the braumeister uses small examples of these.

I'm not sure if any of these actually have the specs required (I haven't looked at them for this purpose) but it illustrates the kind of thing I'd expect to have potential. There are/were also things like the Stuart Turner RG550 (plus some march mays and rebrands have much more umph than the wort type), not sure if there is a current model but they come up second hand on ebay occasionally.
Kev

Post Reply