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

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

Post by orlando » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:53 am

I thought about a spray ball not long after getting my conicals. Until I dismantled the tri-clamps and discovered yeast had got to parts of the seal that I didn't think a spray ball would reach, so dismantling every time became a laborious but peace of mind part of the brew day.
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Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by PeeBee » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:06 am

orlando wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:53 am
I thought about a spray ball not long after getting my conicals. Until I dismantled the tri-clamps and discovered yeast had got to parts of the seal that I didn't think a spray ball would reach, so dismantling every time became a laborious but peace of mind part of the brew day.
Yeah, I've noticed that too and dismantle my tri-clamps before each use too. I guess the yeast "grows" into "inaccessible" places rather than just washes in (so can't wash out?). I'm hoping use of harder PTFE seals (rather than silicone) and heavy handed tightening (bolted clamp? They do exist) will cure that?

For now, it's one of those inconvenient truths that you don't mention, so keep quiet about it and no-one else will know … ah, there's a flaw in that reasoning, damn!



Today I've got a pressure washer turning up for another, quite unrelated, job. I'll be looking at the possibilities of re-purposing it to drive the big CIP ball I got originally. Not really a solution (pressure washers are wildly expensive) so I'll continue working on a solution with the smaller CIP balls too. But I don't like to think I've fooled myself into buying the big impractical CIP ball.

Also did more digging into past posts about CIP balls. Seems there is a trail of discarded CIP balls going back years. I just don't want my thread to join them …

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

Post by Kev888 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:08 am

Yes, tri-clamps are hygienic in the sense that they're easy to clean (no threads and crevices) and easy to disassemble for that purpose, but I don't like to leave them (or in fact any mechanical fermenter seal) in place for cleaning with relatively gentle homebrew chemicals.

CIP and/or spraying can still benefit other things though: pipework, large/heavy vessels, narrow necks etc. For instance a crude spray suited my big plastic conical quite well - it was too deep to reach to the bottom of, was soft enough to scratch if scrubbed, and took an enormous quantity of chemicals to fill for passive soaking.

I got rid of my excuse for a CIP system at the same time as the fermenter. But.. I may arrange another sprayed doodah at some point; I've now got a couple of 50L crusader sankeys which are quite heavy and unwieldy to move about in the cramped kitchen and/or use a lot of cleaner to fill for passive soaking in place. The same would probably apply to 20L sankeys, PBs and PB-shaped fermenters if I'd trouble with those too; I don't really but a spray would probably still be of benefit if I already had the spray/pump.

Good look with the pressure washer test. TBH I'm not sure how that will go - they are more about pressure than flow volumes, but some might be powerful enough to offer enough of each if the water supply can keep up.
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Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by PeeBee » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:52 am

Kev888 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:08 am
… Good look with the pressure washer test. TBH I'm not sure how that will go - they are more about pressure than flow volumes, but some might be powerful enough to offer enough of each if the water supply can keep up.
Max flow: 500L/hour. Max pressure: 145BAR. Of course in reality neither will be "max" because one is traded off to feed the other. 500L/h (8.5L/m) isn't a lot is it. Over 2000PSI (145BAR) sounds dangerous though, but as you point out, I'm in the same boat as diaphragm pumps (all pressure, little flow).

But as I said, it's not really a solution. The blasted thing costs not far short of £450! I need it for something else (endless DIY). I've yet to find out if it can be attached to my CIP ball.

(EDIT: Just to record for anyone else looking, this was published for one pump I looked at showing the trade off between pressure and flow:
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Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by Kev888 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:25 am

PeeBee wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:52 am
Max flow: 500L/hour. Max pressure: 145BAR. Of course in reality neither will be "max" because one is traded off to feed the other. 500L/h (8.5L/m) isn't a lot is it. Over 2000PSI (145BAR) sounds dangerous though, but as you point out, I'm in the same boat as diaphragm pumps (all pressure, little flow).
I agree, 8.5lpm doesn't seem too promising unfortunately. At that flow rate, there won't be much pressure present/needed at all so the washer's huge pressure capability would be largely immaterial. You'd need a small number of very tiny slots/holes in the ball to build, and so take advantage of, that kind of thing.

But.. at least it means the max flow isn't going to reduce at all noticeably when you connect the ball, so better than most normal 8lpm-max pumps would be. In fact probably better than low-head pumps with max flow rates quite a bit higher than 8Lpm.
Kev

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

Post by Digby » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:36 pm

As I have shared before, my water butt pump has a good flow rate and is plenty good enough to spin either of my CIP balls, for sankey keg or conical cleaning duties.

Not sure of the exact flow rate I am getting from the pump and CIP but I will have a go at the weekend and at least estimate it if that helps at all. When connected to my conical CIP, if I forget to open the dump valve (allowing the return to the bucket) the 8 litres or so of PBW solution disappears from the bucket in not that many seconds!

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

Post by PeeBee » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:37 pm

Digby wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:36 pm
As I have shared before, my water butt pump has a good flow rate and is plenty good enough to spin either of my CIP balls, for sankey keg or conical cleaning duties. …
Thanks Matt. Previously I'd been a bit dismissive about water butt pumps because of their weak power (many quoting a 7m head, which translates to only 10psi). But you're not the first to say you find water butt pumps suitable, so I really need to review what I'm looking for.

I suppose the quoted minimum pressure for the 32mm ball I got originally (15psi, 40psi recommended) is because it was built for big tanks coated in manually inaccessible crud. But even 10psi will probably be pretty scouring in a tank only 350mm across (65L conical), and my tanks/kegs are not inaccessible for seriously caked on crud. So flow will be everything, and water butt pumps have plenty of that.

But the other reasons I didn't consider water butt pumps are; they are fairly expensive (although I'm beginning to appreciate this project is going to require £25-35 of any pump type to make it work), and they weren't in-line which I wanted for a "tidy job" (all the water butt pumps I've seen are self-contained immersible types).

So I'll continue looking but change my criteria of what I think the perfect pump will be. My new CIP ball which allegedly works with low power/flow (designed for homebrewers?) will be with me within a week.

(EDIT:
Kev888 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:25 am
I agree, 8.5lpm doesn't seem too promising unfortunately. …
I think you can tell from this post I am taking on the advise you are giving me. Slowly, but I'm getting there! Cheers!)
Last edited by PeeBee on Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Digby » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:56 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Digby wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:36 pm
As I have shared before, my water butt pump has a good flow rate and is plenty good enough to spin either of my CIP balls, for sankey keg or conical cleaning duties. …
Thanks Matt. Previously I'd been a bit dismissive about water butt pumps because of their weak power (many quoting a 7m head, which translates to only 10psi). But you're not the first to say you find water butt pumps suitable, so I really need to review what I'm looking for.

I suppose the quoted minimum pressure for the 32mm ball I got originally (15psi, 40psi recommended) is because it was built for big tanks coated in manually inaccessible crud. But even 10psi will probably be pretty scouring in a tank only 350mm across (65L conical), and my tanks/kegs are not inaccessible for seriously caked on crud. So flow will be everything, and water butt pumps have plenty of that.

But the other reasons I didn't consider water butt pumps are; they are fairly expensive (although I'm beginning to appreciate this project is going to require £25-35 of any pump type to make it work), and they weren't in-line which I wanted for a "tidy job" (all the water butt pumps I've seen are self-contained immersible types).

So I'll continue looking but change my criteria of what I think the perfect pump will be. My new CIP ball which allegedly works with low power/flow (designed for homebrewers?) will be with me within a week.
Hi,

I must admit my water butt pump setup is not 100% tidy! A standard bucket with about 8 to 10 litres of PBW solution, positioned under the dump valve of the conical. So the PBW is pumped up, into the top of the conical via the CIP ball then back out of the dump valve to the bucket.

It works well for me, and yes as you say I think flow rate is king in this situation.

I am looking forward to reading of your continued progress!

Matt

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

Post by PeeBee » Tue May 21, 2019 12:38 pm

I haven't given up yet! But progress is slow. The "home-brew pump friendly" CIP ball is not a panacea, although I am still struggling with diaphragm pumps.

My first diaphragm pump (5L a minute, 60W, 12V) was pathetic, but the ball was turning. Next up a beefier version (8L a minute, 100W, 12V) which managed to splash a bit of water of the sides of the fermenter (Grainfather conical): I began to doubt the truth in some published "keg washers" I've seen online that use this type of diaphragm pump. I hope others will be wary of these "keg washer" designs too.

So next, get a second "beefy" version of the diaphragm pump and fit it in parallel (not series) with first. Spray is reaching the sides now, but not in any quantity. I had to give up with the 10A supply (12V x 10A = 120W) for this and attach the big 'un (Note: Normal 'plugin' supplies are only 1 or 2A). It isn't adequate but I get the impression a third pump (crickey, but they ain't too expensive) will do the job. I suppose I could try the underpowered first pump is parallel with the other two ...

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

Post by Kev888 » Tue May 21, 2019 3:03 pm

Apologies if I'm losing track, but have you tried the 'friendly' spray-ball with a normal impeller pump of any kind?

I'd be very surprised if many of these didn't work if the ball will work even on a lowly (in terms of flow and head) homebrew chugger.
Kev

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

Post by PeeBee » Tue May 21, 2019 3:33 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 3:03 pm
Apologies if I'm losing track, but have you tried the 'friendly' spray-ball with a normal impeller pump of any kind?

I'd be very surprised if many of these didn't work if the ball will work even on a lowly (in terms of flow and head) homebrew chugger.
I had the 5l/m one anyway, and I got those 8l/m because I thought I was in with a chance. If multiple diaphragm ones can be made to work they'd be cheaper than a single beefy impeller one.

But if I can't get them to work I'm just throwing good money after bad.

So this thread will either be valuable to someone working on the same thing. Or, a cautionary note! I'm now doomed to fate.

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

Post by PeeBee » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:55 am

I'm still waiting for all the parts to arrive to continue this project. Including the all-important third beefy diaphragm pump which arrives today. The "solution" will have three 8L/min pumps (12V x up to 100W each) plus the old 5L/min pump (12V x up to 60W) individually switched for versatility. It will put quite a strain on my mains 45A 12V power supply - that's a very big power supply and that must be considered before embarking on these projects, including the cabling (I'll use 5A 230V stuff) and plugs/sockets (I'm using the "old style" mains 5A round three pin plugs - the earth pin just to get the positive/negative orientation correct) or things will get very hot!

My brewery pump (a March-May 809) is capable of 30L/min (6M head) but would be considerable hassle to redeploy even for testing (it is plumbed in).

I stuck with diaphragm pumps because they were so cheap with the 8L/minute ones costing about £18 each. But they have shot up in price recently (in the last few weeks; £28 each was best I could manage now). So even though I'm committed I looked for alternatives:

I'm starting to see other interesting pumps coming on the market at cheap prices. Such as https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Electric-Oil ... whIZc8qEi. Note these are NOT suitable for water, but possibly indicate the way things are going? 40L/min, self-priming, they look like normal "impeller" types (like the above March-May, or Chugger pumps) but are direct drive eccentric "impellers" with retracting wipers that forcibly push the fluid along, not just "persuade" the water along. Pumps like these won't be suitable for "normal" brewing activities.

These are good for water (built from plastic) https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Micro-Electr ... 0005.m1851 but require a separate drill to drive them. 40L/minute, self-priming, they probably are the same mobile "wiper" design (note eccentrically placed drive shaft).

Finally, getting away from dodgy spinning CIP balls I considered the likes of these: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/360-Rotating ... tupt=true. They'll need some hacking about but should be driven by fairly "ordinary" pumps.

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

Post by Haydnexport » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:35 pm

I have an rg550 pump that has these specs http://www.stuart-turner.co.uk/media/11 ... G550-2.pdf . And that doesn't run my cip ball , neither does my march may 815. I have a makita submersible pump doing the business atm , but this is far from hygenic, but it does get dried crud off cornies and fermenters. Reading this earlier i saw central heating pumps mentioned , there was concern about the cast head on them , you can get bronzed headed ones , and i used one in a saltwater live bait setup for a few years with no issues , so if i decide to improve my cip cleaner i will be trying a bronze head pump next .

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

Post by IPA » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:41 am

Haydnexport wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:35 pm
I have an rg550 pump that has these specs http://www.stuart-turner.co.uk/media/11 ... G550-2.pdf . And that doesn't run my cip ball , neither does my march may 815. I have a makita submersible pump doing the business atm , but this is far from hygenic, but it does get dried crud off cornies and fermenters. Reading this earlier i saw central heating pumps mentioned , there was concern about the cast head on them , you can get bronzed headed ones , and i used one in a saltwater live bait setup for a few years with no issues , so if i decide to improve my cip cleaner i will be trying a bronze head pump next .
Try using a fixed head sprayball they work fine. Forget about central heating pumps. They are designed for high volume and low pressure.
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Re: Clean-in-place Spray Ball - ANY Fermenter/Keg

Post by Kev888 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:53 am

Fixed head sprayballs do stand a better chance of working, as they just need to spray rather than also power their own rotation. But there are a wide range of both types available, and they can both give either good or poor results unless suited to the pump being used. The RG550 is quite a beefy pump by homebrew standards, so if that won't run it then I agree with IPA that a domestic central heating pump would probably also struggle, it sounds like this sprayball (like many) is intended for pretty industrial situations.
Kev

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