Category Archives: My Kegerator

Update: Building a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump

Update: The elbow I use in this build has been out of stock for a long time.  It’s back in stock today.  I sourced everything for this build, other than the pump, from Midwest Supplies.
 
 
The directions on most line cleaners call for recirculating the cleaner for some period of time.  Most cleaning kits that are out there include a hand pump operating one of these for 15 to 30 minutes, for each faucet, doesn’t sound fun.
 
To really clean your draft lines, you need to keep solution flowing for a length of time, not just fill and wait.  Initially I tried to clean my system by pushing line cleaner out of a keg.  This was a waste of CO2.  I also found it tough to keep solution running slowly enough to get enough contact time.  It’s easy to quickly push a cleaning or sanitizing solution through your system under CO2 pressure, but I found it to be a pain to try to do so slowly.  This also requires quite a bit of cleaning solution versus a recirculating pump.
 
I decided to put together a recirculating draft line cleaning pump setup.
 
First I needed a pump.  I have a utility pump that I use for various tasks around brewery.  I decided that that pump was too powerful.  I didn’t want to deal with foaming issues that I thought may be caused by the high flow this pump would produce.  I wanted something with less power that could slowly circulate liquid through draft lines.
 
After looking around, I settled on the EcoPlus-132 fountain pump.
It’s variable speed, submersible and it has a number of included barb sizes including a 3/8″.
 
Note that the current picture shows a slightly different pump.  My guess is that that this is a stock image issue and that the current pump looks just like my pump.  Either way it doesn’t really matter as long as it functions the same way and has the same specs.
 

I picked up the rest of the fittings from Midwest Supplies.

Liquid Post
Standard liquid post to attach the pump to your draft line quick disconnects.  You may already have an extra one of these around.


Cornelius Plug Adapter – 1/4″ MPT
The liquid post screws into this.

3/8″ Barbed to 1/4″ FPT Elbow

Put some teflon tape on the MPT side of the Cornelius plug adapter and attach this FPT elbow to it.  Note the design has changed on this just slightly since I put mine together.  Just a slightly different look.

This basically gives you a Corny keg quick disconnect post to 3/8″ barb converter.  

Now you’ll attach a length of 3/8″ ID tubing to this followed by the included 3/8″ pump adapter.  As far as sizing the length of 3/8″, use enough tubing to allow your draft lines to reach the bottom of a bucket you will use for reservoir liquid.


Assembled


The only thing that’s left is routing the faucet discharge back to the recirculation bucket. I’ve found 1/2″ ID Silicone tubing works great for this. The size is perfect and the silicone is stretchy enough to easily fit on the faucet. It is a bit pricey, but you really only need a few feet of it, just enough to get from the faucet down to the reservoir bucket. I’m guessing any 1/2″ ID tubing would also work for this, but I can’t attest to it from experience.


This design cleans your whole draft system:
This design cleans the faucet, the shank, the quick disconnect and the tubing.  Some designs that I’ve seen have you removing the beer nut and placing the hand pump apparatus directly on the shank.  That’s some work disassembling and reassembling and it also skips the line and quick disconnect.

Additional Pictures:

 BLC solution after cleaning all of my faucets.  Umm… they needed cleaned I guess.  I recirculated for 15 to 20 minutes per faucet.

 

 Recirculating rinse water

 

Recirculating Star San

 

Pump and connection assembly

Flow Rate:
As I stated I wanted a slow, steady flow of solution.  Here’s a video illustrating what kind of flow I’m getting with 7′ of draft line.  The 132 gallon per hour pump is working great for me.


If you want a higher flow rate, I suggest moving up to next largest pump in this line.

According to the specs on that pump, that pump also has an included 3/8″ barb.
 
Also consider picking up some Beer Line Cleaner (BLC)….

Hands On: Eva Dry E-500 with Kegerator Condensation Trial

 
I have a converted chest freezer kegerator that (years ago) was building up with condensation.  Literally, standing water.  At that point, I had not added a collar, so it’s not like it was a major air leak.  The seal was factory tight. 
 
I looked for solutions and finally settled on the  Eva-dry E-500.  This uses a renewable desiccant material.

The beads inside this unit absorb moisture.  As they do that they change color.  When they have gone from blue to pink, you know it’s time to “renew” the unit.  This is done by removing it from the kegerator and plugging it into an outlet.  The integrated heating element drives off any built up moisture.  When the beads turn blue (overnight), you’re ready to go.  I don’t have to do this often, usually every couple months.


Back of the Eva Dry E-500
 
Absorbs Excess Moisture.  No batteries or wires required.  Easily regenerated.  No messy spills or refills.  Environmentally safe.  100% renewable.  Ultra space saving.
 
CE and UL Listed
 
Bottom of the unit.  This flips out when it’s time to recharge.  It lays flat during normal operation.
 
Close up on the freshly recharged desiccant beads
Stock photo
 
Trial:
I recharged this unit on June 22.  I’ve known that this works, but I wanted to put some numbers to it.  Pictures and testing were completed in my collared deep freezer based kegerator.
 
I checked this around once per week.  Here is a picture of what I would call the first significant signs of moisture build up.  This was taken on August 10th.  That’s 49 days into the test.
 
Here’s what the beads looked like on August 10th.  The beads are what I would call and translucent pink-ish.  I left the unit in place for another week to see what would happen with moisture content.  It predictability… continued to get worse.  On the 18th, I recharged the unit and wiped down the inside of my kegerator to test conditions without the Eva Dry in place.
 
This picture was taken 8 days later at my first weekly test.  This is what I would call a similar level of moisture after only 8 days vs 49 days with the Eva Dry.  I have no doubt that water would end up pooling in the bottom of my kegerator, in relatively short order, without the Eva Dry in place.
 
I took the final weight of these on 8-17.  My Escali Primo has it coming in at 876 grams.
 
And again the next day after recharging.  It came in at 772 grams.  A full 104 grams of water was driven off during recharging.
 
Using my Top Find Fast Weigh MS-500-BLK I measured out right at 104 grams.  I used the tare feature so this is actually 104 grams of water.  It nearly fills a taster glass.  This represents what the Eva Dry absorbed.  


I’ve had this same unit since October of 2008.  This trial took place around August of 2013.  This unit is around 58 months or nearly 5 years old.  Other than a slightly curling label, this looks like new and it certainly works like new.


The Eva-Dry E-500 has kept my kegerator dry for years.  It is a Top Find and I’m glad to have it!

 

Full Details and Current Price: Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Wireless Mini Dehumidifer

This is a Top Find!

Pinned: Super Brewer Sale · 30 Gal Kettle · Temp Controlled Conicals · littleBits?

Ends Tonight: Free Refractometer with Pump Purchase

Recent Finds:

Building a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Setup

 
The directions on most line cleaners call for recirculating the cleaner for some period of time.  Most cleaning kits that are out there include a hand pump operating one of these for 15 to 30 minutes, for each faucet, doesn’t sound fun.
 
To really clean your draft lines, you need to keep solution flowing for a length of time, not just fill and wait.  Initially I tried to clean my system by pushing line cleaner out of a keg.  This was a waste of CO2.  I also found it tough to keep solution running slowly enough to get enough contact time.  It’s easy to quickly push a cleaning or sanitizing solution through your system under CO2 pressure, but I found it to be a pain to try to do so slowly.  This also requires quite a bit of cleaning solution versus a recirculating pump.
 
I decided to put together a recirculating draft line cleaning pump setup.
 
First I needed a pump.  I have a utility pump that I use for various tasks around brewery.  I decided that that pump was too powerful.  I didn’t want to deal with foaming issues that I thought may be caused by the high flow this pump would produce.  I wanted something with less power that could slowly circulate liquid through draft lines.
 
After looking around, I settled on the EcoPlus-132 fountain pump.
It’s variable speed, submersible and it has a number of included barb sizes including a 3/8″.
 
Note that the current picture shows a slightly different pump.  My guess is that that this is a stock image issue and that the current pump looks just like my pump.  Either way it doesn’t really matter as long as it functions the same way and has the same specs.
 

I picked up the rest of the fittings from Midwest Supplies.

Liquid Post
Standard liquid post to attach the pump to your draft line quick disconnects.  You may already have an extra one of these around.


Cornelius Plug Adapter – 1/4″ MPT
The liquid post screws into this.

3/8″ Barbed to 1/4″ FPT Elbow

Put some teflon tape on the MPT side of the Cornelius plug adapter and attach this FPT elbow to it.

This basically gives you a Corny keg quick disconnect post to 3/8″ barb converter.  

Now you’ll attach a length of 3/8″ ID tubing to this followed by the included 3/8″ pump adapter.  As far as sizing the length of 3/8″, use enough tubing to allow your draft lines to reach the bottom of a bucket you will use for reservoir liquid.


Assembled


The only thing that’s left is routing the faucet discharge back to the recirculation bucket. I’ve found 1/2″ ID Silicone tubing works great for this. The size is perfect and the silicone is stretchy enough to easily fit on the faucet. It is a bit pricey, but you really only need a few feet of it, just enough to get from the faucet down to the reservoir bucket. I’m guessing any 1/2″ ID tubing would also work for this, but I can’t attest to it from experience.


This design cleans your whole draft system:

This design cleans the faucet, the shank, the quick disconnect and the tubing.  Some designs that I’ve seen have you removing the beer nut and placing the hand pump apparatus directly on the shank.  That’s some work disassembling and reassembling and it also skips the line and quick disconnect.

Additional Pictures:

 BLC solution after cleaning all of my faucets.  Umm… they needed cleaned I guess.  I recirculated for 15 to 20 minutes per faucet.

 

 Recirculating rinse water

 

Recirculating Star San

 

Pump and connection assembly

Flow Rate:
As I stated I wanted a slow, steady flow of solution.  Here’s a video illustrating what kind of flow I’m getting with 7′ of draft line.  The 132 gallon per hour pump is working great in my opinion.


If you want a higher flow rate, the next larger pump in this line may do the trick.

According to the specs on that pump, that pump also has an included 3/8″ barb.
 
Also consider picking up some Beer Line Cleaner (BLC)….

Building a Simple Draft Line Flushing Setup

 

I use a recirculating draft line pump for cleaning my draft lines.  More information on that build - Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump.  That setup has worked great for me for periodic deep cleaning.

 
The issue I ran into was the desire to periodically do a quick flush to clean or sanitize lines.  Two occasions in particular, first when a keg kicks.  Unless you sit there and run CO2, while beer and yeast splat out of your faucet, you’re left with some residual beer and possibly yeast and trub sitting in the line.  The second occasion is the desire to sanitize when putting a new keg on.  Although the recirculating pump works great, it is a bit of work to set it up and clean it after use.  I wanted something that I could use to quickly flush and/or sanitize lines.
 
I decided to come up with an easy quick line flushing setup to use in these occasions.
 
A 1 liter bottle acts as a liquid containment vessel.  For the cap interface, Initially I thought about using a Carbonator Cap or More Beer’s Kent Soda Bottle Cap, but eventually, I decided to go with a tire valve.
 
I just went to a local auto parts store to find a clamp-in style tire valve.  Similar to this.
Note: I’m not suggesting this exact part.  It may work, but I’m not sure if it will fit in a 1 or 2 L bottle cap.  I’d suggest gathering the other parts first.  Then take your cap and a small length of tubing to your local auto parts store to find something suitable.
 
The first thing you’re going to want to do is drill a hole in the cap so that the tire stem fits through it snugly   The tire stem should contain a rubbing oring to produce and airtight seal.  I happened to have a food safe Buna N oring around that worked well.  The clamp in tire valve will have a nut that goes on the other end of the cap to lock everything together.
 
You should have something like this:
 
The inside of the cap should look something like this:
 
Next you’re going to want to use a valve core removal/installation tool to remove the tire valve core.  That core functions as a one way check valve.  We’re not making a tire, so we don’t need or want that.
 
At this point we have a completed cap.  Next we need tubing and a mechanism to connect to draft lines.  For tubing, I found that 1/4″ ID tubing fit on my tire valve nicely.
 
The remainder of the parts can be seen in this photo:
 
All parts are via Midwest Supplies:

Liquid Post – Cornelius-Spartan, Super Champion & R Kegs 5200

 

Cornelius Plug Adapter-1/4″ FFL x 19/32″ 5203

 

1/4″ MFL to 1/4″ Barb S6017

Note: As you can see from the pictures, these parts are for a ball lock setup.  You can use the same concept for your pin lock setup.  If you do, let us know what parts you used and we’ll update this post.

 
Assemble those together and you’ll get this:
 
Connect the ball lock assembly with the cap assembly using 1/4″ ID tubing and some clamps to come up with the finished device.
 
 
I pressurized this unit and placed it on top of my kegerator, leaning up against my Bulldog Pegboard, because it’s amazing. :)
 
Here’s a video of this in action:
 
Some variations that I think would work:
  1. You could use a 2L bottle and skip the pressurization step, just squeeze to flush lines or sanitize.
  2. You could cut the bottom off of your bottle.  Hold this up in the air and pour rinsing, cleaning or sanitizing solution in.  The bottle is acting as a funnel and gravity feeds solution through your lines.
  3. You could also go with a 3L Bottle (available at a lot of dollar-type stores).  I went with a 1L size, for easy storage and also because I had it on hand.

Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Build

 
The directions on most line cleaners call for recirculating the cleaner for some period of time.  Most cleaning kits that are out there include a hand pump operating one of these for 15 to 30 minutes, for each faucet, doesn’t sound fun.
 
To really clean your draft lines, you need to keep solution flowing for a length of time, not just fill and wait.  Initially I tried to clean my system by pushing line cleaner out of a keg.  This was a waste of CO2.  I also found it tough to keep solution running slowly enough to get enough contact time.  It’s easy to quickly push a cleaning or sanitizing solution through your system under CO2 pressure, but I found it to be a pain to try to do so slowly.  This also requires quite a bit of cleaning solution versus a recirculating pump.
 
I decided to put together a recirculating draft line cleaning pump setup.
 
First I needed a pump.  I have a utility pump that I use for various tasks around brewery.  I decided that that pump was too powerful.  I didn’t want to deal with foaming issues that I thought may be caused by the high flow this pump would produce.  I wanted something with less power that could slowly circulate liquid through draft lines.
 
After looking around, I settled on the EcoPlus-132 fountain pump.
It’s variable speed, submersible and it has a number of included barb sizes including a 3/8″.
 
Note that the current picture shows a slightly different pump.  My guess is that that this is a stock image issue and that the current pump looks just like my pump.  Either way it doesn’t really matter as long as it functions the same way and has the same specs.
 

I picked up the rest of the fittings from Midwest Supplies.

Liquid Post
Standard liquid post to attach the pump to your draft line quick disconnects.  You may already have an extra one of these around.


Cornelius Plug Adapter – 1/4″ MPT
The liquid post screws into this.

3/8″ Barbed to 1/4″ FPT Elbow

Put some teflon tape on the MPT side of the Cornelius plug adapter and attach this FPT elbow to it.

This basically gives you a Corny keg quick disconnect post to 3/8″ barb converter.  

Now you’ll attach a length of 3/8″ ID tubing to this followed by the included 3/8″ pump adapter.  As far as sizing the length of 3/8″, use enough tubing to allow your draft lines to reach the bottom of a bucket you will use for reservoir liquid.


Assembled


The only thing that’s left is routing the faucet discharge back to the recirculation bucket. I’ve found 1/2″ ID Silicone tubing works great for this. The size is perfect and the silicone is stretchy enough to easily fit on the faucet. It is a bit pricey, but you really only need a few feet of it, just enough to get from the faucet down to the reservoir bucket. I’m guessing any 1/2″ ID tubing would also work for this, but I can’t attest to it from experience.


This design cleans your whole draft system:

This design cleans the faucet, the shank, the quick disconnect and the tubing.  Some designs that I’ve seen have you removing the beer nut and placing the hand pump apparatus directly on the shank.  That’s some work disassembling and reassembling and it also skips the line and quick disconnect.

Additional Pictures:

 BLC solution after cleaning all of my faucets.  Umm… they needed cleaned I guess.  I recirculated for 15 to 20 minutes per faucet.

 

 Recirculating rinse water

 

Recirculating Star San

 

Pump and connection assembly

Flow Rate:
As I stated I wanted a slow, steady flow of solution.  Here’s a video illustrating what kind of flow I’m getting with 7′ of draft line.  The 132 gallon per hour pump is working great in my opinion.


If you want a higher flow rate, the next larger pump in this line may do the trick.

According to the specs on that pump, that pump also has an included 3/8″ barb.
 
Also consider picking up some Beer Line Cleaner (BLC)….

Hands On: OntarioBeerKeg’s Growler Filler – $11.99 Shipped


The OntarioBeerKegs growler filler is designed to work with Perlick 525 series faucets.  I’ve also heard that these will work with 575 series faucets, but I’d double check with the seller first on that.


The filler itself is made from stainless steel and looks and feels well built.



This is OntarioBeerKeg’s own design.  You can see OBK labeled right on the filler.  Also notice the double gasket design.


This fits easily on my faucets and came off easily.  


Having never used one of these before, one of my concerns was leaking between the faucet and the filler.  I tested this for leaks by putting the filler on one of my faucets and plugging the tubing by pressing on the end of it with my thumb and then opening the faucet.  Good news and bad news.


Good news: no drips or leaks at all from the filler.  It works great!


Bad news: I was left with a pressurized piece of tubing partially filled with beer.  Not great planning.  Fortunately I was able to direct this into my drip tray.


Bottom line… This is a straightforward and simple tool that is well built and does the job it was intended to do.


via Ebay.  The seller is OntarioBeerKegs, based in Ontario, Canada.  OntarioBeerKegs has a 100% positive rating and shipping is free to the US.


Growler Filler for Perlick 525SS Faucets – $11.99 Shipped


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Handling Kegerator Condensation with the Eva Dry E-500

I have a converted chest freezer kegerator that (years ago) was building up with condensation.  Literally, standing water.  At that point, I had not added a collar, so it’s not like it was a major air leak.  The seal was factory tight. 

I looked for solutions and finally settled on the  Eva-dry E-500.  This uses a renewable desiccant material.

The beads inside this unit absorb moisture.  As they do that they change color.  When they have gone from blue to pink, you know it’s time to “renew” the unit.  This is done by removing it from the kegerator and plugging it into an outlet.  The integrated heating element drives off any built up moisture.  When the beads turn blue (overnight), you’re ready to go.  I don’t have to do this often, usually every couple months.


Back of the Eva Dry E-500


Absorbs Excess Moisture.  No batteries or wires required.  Easily regenerated.  No messy spills or refills.  Environmentally safe.  100% renewable.  Ultra space saving.


CE and UL Listed


Bottom of the unit.  This flips out when it’s time to recharge.  It lays flat during normal operation.


Close up on the freshly recharged desiccant beads


Stock photo

Trial:
I recharged this unit on June 22.  I’ve known that this works, but I wanted to put some numbers to it.  Pictures and testing were completed in my collared deep freezer based kegerator.


I checked this around once per week.  Here is a picture of what I would call the first significant signs of moisture build up.  This was taken on August 10th.  That’s 49 days into the test.


Here’s what the beads looked like on August 10th.  The beads are what I would call and translucent pink-ish.  I left the unit in place for another week to see what would happen with moisture content.  It predictability… continued to get worse.  On the 18th, I recharged the unit and wiped down the inside of my kegerator to test conditions without the Eva Dry in place.


This picture was taken 8 days later at my first weekly test.  This is what I would call a similar level of moisture after only 8 days vs 49 days with the Eva Dry.  I have no doubt that water would end up pooling in the bottom of my kegerator, in relatively short order, without the Eva Dry in place.


I took the final weight of these on 8-17.  My Escali Primo has it coming in at 876 grams.


And again the next day after recharging.  It came in at 772 grams.  A full 104 grams of water was driven off during recharging.


Using my Top Find Fast Weigh MS-500-BLK I measured out right at 104 grams.  I used the tare feature so this is actually 104 grams of water.  It nearly fills a taster glass.  This represents what the Eva Dry absorbed.

I’ve had this same unit since October of 2008.  This trial took place around August of 2013.  This unit is around 58 months or nearly 5 years old.  Other than a slightly curling label, this looks like new and it certainly works like new.

The Eva-Dry E-500 has kept my kegerator dry for years.  It is a Top Find and I’m glad to have it!

Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Wireless Mini Dehumidifer
This is a Top Find!

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

Pinned: Super Brewer Sale · 30 Gal Kettle · Temp Controlled Conicals · littleBits?

Ends Tonight: Free Refractometer with Pump Purchase

Recent Finds: