Hands On Review: Mark’s Keg and Carboy Washer

Review Marks Keg and Carboy Washer

Here’s a Hands on Look at Mark’s Keg and Carboy Washer, including a couple of videos with it in action.

Mark's Keg and Carboy WasherThe front of the box.  “Clean and Sanitize Carboys, Corny Kegs, Brew Pails and Hoses” and “1 Year Guarantee”

Mark's Keg and Carboy WasherSide of the box.  It says: •Clean and Sanitize Carboys. No need for a bottle brush. Clean every square inch of the inside of a carboy in minutes. •Clean and sanitize Corny Kegs. No need to disassemble the keg. Clean the inside of the keg and the dip tube. •Clean and Sanitize Brew Pails and Hoses. •Spend your time brewing beer, not cleaning your equipment.

Mark's Keg and Carboy WasherOther side of the box.  It recaps features and then let’s you know what’s in the box: 1.25 gallon high density polyethylene basin, center holding rack with powerful jet nozzle, 520 gallon-per-hour pump with three adapters, instruction manual and warranty.

cln_img_4168The Keg and Carboy Washer unboxed.

Mark's Keg and Carboy WasherA look at the individual components.

Mark's Keg and Carboy Washer1.25 gallon basin.

Mark's Keg and Carboy Washer NozzlesA look at the four included nozzles/adapters.  From left to right: 1. T for use with cleaning Corny kegs.  The barb goes to tubing that feeds you keg’s dip tube, 2.  Barb for cleaning 3/8″ ID tubing, 3.  Jet nozzle for both carboys and kegs.  For carboys it goes directly on the vertical pipe, for kegs the T goes on first followed by the jet nozzle, 4.  Barb for cleaning 1/4″ ID tubing.

Mark's Keg and Carboy Washer PumpTop of the Pump

Mark's Keg and Carboy Washer PumpThis is the back side of the pump.  It has an adjustable louvre for regulating intake.  You’re probably going to want to just always have this wide open.  If you’re having flow issues, double check this to make sure it’s open.

Mark's Keg and Carboy WasherFully assembled and rigged to clean a carboy.  The bottom part of the basin holds about 1 gallon of water, cleaning solution or sanitizer.

cln_img_1033Fully assembled and rigged up to clean a ball lock keg.  You provide the Ball Lock or Pin Lock QD along with tubing.  When I originally got this, I thought that the barbed piece went at the top – like this.   It should go at the bottom as pictured.  This makes it easier to hook up the keg and allows you to have a shorter piece of tubing.  Shorter tubing – higher flow rate.

cln_img_1031Barb installed for keg cleaning

cln_img_4246The Keg and Carboy Cleaner, cleaning a… Carboy

Keg and Carboy Cleaner BucketIt also works with buckets

Keg and Carboy Cleaner Ball Lock Kegand of course… kegscln_img_1040Adventures in Homebrewing’s 5 gallon ball lock keg on the keg and carboy cleaner

cln_img_4401and it can clean and sanitize tubing

cln_img_1043cln_img_4255and… it works with Speidel Fermenters.  This is the 7.9 Gallon Size – Review.  Originally I washed Speidels with the collar installed – photo.  Since the openings on my 5.3 and 7.9 gallon size Speidels are about the same size as the collar, it required close attention to ensure that the fermenters did not move out of position.  Someone pointed out that removing the keg/carboy collar makes this work a whole lot better.  That’s the way to go.  That causes the top of the fermenter to sit directly on the base and provides a lot more stability.

B2CAGkiIYAA1PBAand… some kettles and keggles!  Thanks to Twitter Follower Christian for this tip and photo!

cln_img_9654and… as a draft line cleaning pump!  A single fitting converts this to a recirculating draft line cleaning up.  [See: Mark II Keg & Carboy Cleaner… As a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump]

Mark's Keg and Carboy Washer Keg LidOne of the great things about this washer is that you do not need to disassemble your kegs to clean and sanitize them.  I ran through 5 kegs the first night I used it.  All were clean and sanitized when all was said and done.  Of course, you do have to take the lid off.  That, along with other small parts, can be tossed in the basin for cleaning and sanitizing.


This video shows the kind of flow rate you’re getting to the keg QD.   Looks good to me.

Mark's Keg and Carboy Washer Ball Lock KegFor keg cleaning, the instructions say to run with the QD connected for about 15 minutes and then disconnect the QD.  “This will maximize the pressure for cleaning the keg’s interior”.

One issue that I had with it when I first started using the washer for kegs was… the QD was a bit difficult to get on.  There isn’t a lot of spare tubing (and you don’t want a lot for pressure purposes) and requirement to exert pressure up on the QD while trying to hold the keg down is an awkward set of motions.  There isn’t a lot of leverage.  This problem ended up being a poppet issue.  I use universal poppets on nearly every keg.  Those work great, but can be on the tight side with some kegs.  I know that can be an issue.  The fix for that is and has been… simply trim a bit of the spring with a wire cutter.  I just hadn’t noticed it as a problem when trying to use the kegs in question in the typical orientation.  Using a wire cutter to trim a bit off the poppet spring fixed the issue making it a lot easier to hook up to the carboy washer.


Here’s a video of the Keg and Carboy Cleaner cleaning a 6 Gallon PET Carboy from MoreBeer – Reviewcln_img_2973Stainless Steel Spray Ball Modification – This Stainless CIP Spray Ball threads on to the top of the PVC pipe for a more vigorous spray pattern.  See: Mark II Keg and Carboy Washer Mod – SS CIP Spray Ball for more information and a video of the spray ball in action.

I’ve owned this keg and carboy washer for quite a while now.  I had been using a DIY cleaning pump setup and that worked pretty well.  The purpose built Mark’s Keg and Carboy Washer works markedly (did you see what I did there :), better.  It uses less cleaning and sanitizing solution, it’s more versatile, takes up less space and… I don’t have to take apart my kegs to clean and sanitize them.

I’ve heard great things about this unit for some time now.  I’m happy to confirm that it works really well.  If you want to clean kegs, carboys, tubing, draft lines and more… I can confidently recommend this to you.

Mark’s Keg & Carboy Washer can be found at…

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review:markiikegandcarboywasherMark's Keg and Carboy Washer Speidel Fermenter

17 thoughts on “Hands On Review: Mark’s Keg and Carboy Washer

  1. EchoTony

    I had an issue with my pump. Impeller blade broke off and it would work after some tweaking, but not always. I contacted Mark once about it shortly after the issue stared and never got a reply. I kept using it, but it was always an issue to get it started. And at one point, I was struggling to get it up and running and ended up tipping and breaking a 6.5 gallon carboy. So I stopped using it.

    A year later, I was sick of scrubbing kegs and carboys again, so I contacted Mark once again. This time he responded immediately, discussed the issue and sent me a new pump at no charge. It has been going strong ever since.

    While I was unhappy with the customer service the first time, I’m a happy camper now. I will give Mark the benefit of the doubt and say that my first efforts were lost to a technical error, as he stepped up right away and sent a replacement pump without hesitation when I contacted him again.

    I use unscented Oxy cleaner. Maybe 1/2 a tablespoon. I run that until clean. Normally under 15 minutes. I make the water as hot as possible, and that helps a lot. If it looks like it will be really bad, I add a bit of TSP and that normally does the trick. No issues with foaming. After that, I run a rinse with clean water and then hit whatever I’m cleaning with a few sprays of Star San. Clean and ready for brew day.

    Reply
  2. Chris

    Sooooooo many issues with the pump included in this thing… The impeller broke once, now it comes loose every run and I have to take the thing apart to make it work the next time I turn it on…

    Reply
      1. Chris

        I bothered mark the first time when the impeller broke, now it just gets loose every time I use it. He did mention that happens sometimes and you just take the grill off and re-tighten it. Unfortunately, with how many times you have to turn it on and off to clean/rinse/sanitize, it increases the amount of time spent cleaning a keg by at least double if not triple.

        Reply
        1. Jeremiah

          Amazon has great replacement pumps for about $20-30. I’ve gone through 3 impellers which just broke down with repeated use. I attempted to contact Mark a few times with no resolve on the pumps as well as the top molded plastic portion which cracked on me. I do have 3 of these to expedite the cleaning process. PBW, Rinse, Starsan then done. I like the foam from star san but I run it in the driveway. I also have the SS Ball modification. Overall, I’m happy with the cleaner and recommend them for anyone who doesn’t want to DIY with the sump pump (I’ve done that too, bigger pump = greater pressure for sure).

          Reply
          1. WI Brewer

            Jeremiah, do you have a link to the Amazon replacement pumps? I would love to have additional pumps to do exactly as you mention: expedite the cleaning process. Don’t want to pay an additional $200, though, to do that.

  3. grant

    Easily the best addition I’ve made in months. I used it for the 1st time a few weekends ago and it’s great.

    Reply
  4. Jim

    When I’m cleNing a Speidel fermenter, I remove the plastic keg stand thingy and just place the fermenter on the basin itself. Nice and stable. Great site, thanks for running it!

    Reply
  5. PhillyHomebrew

    The 15.5 Speidel fits; just barely, but it does fit. And it’s definitely stable enough to walk away.

    Also, we remove the gas in connector to let solution flow through. Alternately, you could swap the hose to each connector.

    Reply
  6. Dustin

    You’re suppose to put the T connection on the output of the pump and then put the pipe on that, not at the top of the pipe. That will help with your lack of hose issue since it won’t be half way up the keg

    Reply
  7. Richard Eidle

    I love my washer. I’ve also had great experience with the company. Within a few months my motor stopped working for no reason. I contacted them and with a few facts, they shipped me a new one right away.

    Great product. Makes brewing clean up a ton easier.

    Reply
  8. Geoff

    Protip, when cleaning kegs, put the adapter underneath the long length of pipe instead of on top, makes it so much easier to reach the keg post and doesn’t really affect flow, plus makes it easier to set the keg on and less likely to accidentally snap the barb on the adapter off. Additionally, you can get threaded PVC caps at home improvement stores to make your own nozzles and direct flow better. I have some trouble cleaning the krausen ring on carboys, sometimes they need a presoak, but otherwise mine has been great.

    Reply
  9. clint

    what concentrations/types/etc of cleaner do you use with this washer? I’ve been using a home-built washer myself (including the corney QD’s so I can clean kegs without teardown) for a while now with, Oxy, BPW, and Starsan but I always get an obscene amount of foaming. is there anything special this washer does to combat that?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      I use 6 mL of Star San per gallon. It does foam in the washer, but not overly. Also, I don’t run Star San for long, maybe a minute. I had no foaming issues at all with PBW. I don’t think there is anything specific to this that stops it from foaming. I’d take a look at your concentrations to make sure you’re using the right amount. Also, there is no need to run Star San for an extended length of time. The keg or carboy is already clean, you’re just coating it with sanitizer.

      Reply

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