Here’s a Hands on Look at Mark’s Keg and Carboy Washer, including a couple of videos with it in action.
Side 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.
Other 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.
A 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.
This 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.
Fully assembled and rigged up to clean a ball lock keg. You provide the Ball Lock or Pin Lock QD along with tubing.
and… it works with Speidel Fermenters. This is the 5.3 Gallon Size – Review. The 7.9 Gallon Size has the same size opening and also works. I will say that with a bucket, carboy or keg I feel pretty comfortable walking away for a bit while it’s working. Not so with the 5.3 and 7.9 Gallon Speidels. The opening is about the same size as the top of the carboy washer. That means it sits on top instead of inside (like a carboy) or outside (like a bucket). If you use this for your 5.3 and 7.9 gallon Speidels, you’re going to want to keep your hand on it to keep the fermenter in place. I’m guessing, but do not know first hand, that larger Speidels, with their larger openings, work well with the Keg and Carboy Washer without such support, much like a bucket.
Update: and… some kettles and keggles! Thanks to Twitter Follower Christian for this tip and photo!
One 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.
For 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.
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.
Update: A single fitting purchase converts this to a recirculating draft line cleaning up. [See: Mark II Keg & Carboy Cleaner… As a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump]
I purchased my unit at More Beer. As of this writing, it’s selling for $99.99 Shipped – Here
Mark’s Keg & Carboy Washer can be found at…
- MoreBeer – $99.99 + Free Shipping
- Adventures in Homebrewing
- Midwest Supplies – Northern Brewer
- Great Fermentations + Flat Rate Shipping
Review: Expandable CO2 Manifold System
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