Category Archives: Top Posts

Stainless Steel Spray Balls for Sparging and CIP Cleaning

8c3c93a1-b53a-4be0-b96b-30f2ecf67a80Thanks to HBF Reader Sam for this photo!  [8 Ways to Connect with HBF]

CIP (Clean in Place) Spray Balls are generally used for vessels that are too large to move.  Since they’re too large to move you… clean them in place.  If you have a larger setup, you could incorporate these into your system or routine to help clean your vessels more easily.

Seller QM Stainless on Amazon offers a variety of spray balls including stationary and rotary.

A couple of specific models to consider:

Seller QM Stainless on Amazon offers a variety of spray balls including stationary and rotary.

HBF Reader Sam is using – 0.5″ SUS304 Female 360 Degree Fix Spray Ball Stainless Tank Cleaning Ball – for sparging.  See photo above.

Sam Says…

“Funny timing – I recently purchased a fixed spray ball from QM Stainless on eBay – my original intent was to use it for a keg / carboy cleaner but have been playing with it in my mash re-circulation set-up. I screwed a spare male quick disconnect into the spray ball and held it in position over the tun. It worked so well that I am considering drilling a hole in the lid of my cooler and using it there permanently. Here’s a picture of it in action last Saturday.”

Update: from HBF Reader Chris…

By the way, I bought the rotating version of this spray ball with the idea of mounting it on my Mark II keg cleaner [HBF Review]. It works great! It can’t fit inside my glass carboys, but it fits inside my plastic carboys, buckets, kegs, etc, and it rotates around while spraying. I feel like this is a good upgrade for the Mark II keg cleaner because otherwise it just sprays up and sometimes doesn’t get all the nooks and crannies as efficiently as it could.

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

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Gluten Free and Gluten Reduced Homebrewing Resources

15103Pictured: Clarity Ferm via MoreBeer

A notable percentage of people have some motivation to reduce or completely eliminate gluten intake.  Reasons vary from dietary choice to gluten sensitivity to auto-immune diseases like Celiac.  Gluten sensitive people may still want to enjoy a fermented beverage and possibly a homebrewed one.  This post aims to pull together some of the gluten free and gluten reduced homebrewing resources that are available.

If you’re gluten sensitive, but not a homebrewer, consider starting.  Your local choices may be limited or non-existent.  Homebrewing gives you the ability and freedom to make what you want.

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Tip: Use a Wallpaper Prep Tray for cleaning, sanitizing and storage

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I use a wallpaper try to clean and sanitize longer items like racking canes, auto-siphons, spoons, tubing and beverage out dip tubes.  It works great.

These also work well for storing longer items.  If you’re going to store things in these, I would recommend stacking a couple together to give them some extra strength.

Zinsser 98030 30-Inch Wallpaper Prep Tray

Note: You can often find these for a good price at your local hardware or home improvement center.

Recent Amazon Finds [view more]:

Four Easy Upgrades for Brew Day

Looking for some simple upgrades to make brew day go more smoothly?  Consider these three gear purchases.

#1 –  24″ Stainless Steel Whisk.  This whisk is great for: 1.  Stirring in extract.  It easily breaks up clumps, 2.  Stirring the mash 3.  Starting a whirlpool and 4. Helping chill more quickly (place in the middle of your wort chiller to agitate wort).  If you’re a homebrewer, I think you should consider owning one of these babies.  Hands on Review

Update International FW-24 Stainless Steel French Whip, 24-Inch

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Testing Star San Effectiveness

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Star San is my sanitizer of choice.  It’s food safe and no rinse.  Required contact time is one minute.  It has worked very well for me for quite some time and I’m convinced that it’s one of the most economical solutions available if you use the spray bottle method [See: Star San Tips, Tricks and Guidelines]

How long is Star San good for?
Star San (diluted sanitizing solution) needs to remain under pH 3 AND be crystal clear.  If your solution of Star San gets cloudy, according to Five Star, it may not be effective.  Hard water will make the solution go cloudy quickly.  If this is happening to you, use distilled water.

Some will say that the clear part is not important.  Here’s the information I’ve gotten from Five Star Chemicals on that:  “The cloudy solution could be okay, but it could be bad. The cloudiness is the surfactant coming out of solution. It has reacted, or is reacting with the metals in the water. I don’t know if it is still good, because I don’t know how much surfactant has reacted. I error on the side of caution and suggest that you don’t even mess with it. Use DI water.

Testing Star San effectiveness involves two things… Crystal clear solution and pH under 3.  The crystal clear part is straightforward.  The pH question involves using either a pH meter [pH tag] or strips.  I wanted to find pH strips that work well for this task.  I ended up trying a few different styles and manufacturers before finding strips that I think work well.

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Camlock Cam & Groove Disconnects for Your Homebrew Setup

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I’ve used ProFlow Dynamics Quick Disconnects on my kettles, mash tun, pumps and tubing for a long time.  They have worked great for me.  I put male connectors kettles, mash tuns and pumps and use female connectors for tubing.  Standardizing on this (or the opposite) means you can use tubing as jumpers and always have the availability to connect your gear.

These are made from Stainless Steel and are available in lots of configurations.  Those are classified by Type and Size.  Type may mean something in “commercial cam lock fitting circles”, but I was initially confused by this.  Types are akin to model numbers.  For example, Type A is Female NPT to Male Cam and Groove.

Since I have started using these ProFlow has added a number of new types including “Big” Variants.  Big C and Big E.  Those have much larger barbs when compared to the original C and E.

Camlock Disconnects at ProFlow – This link will save you 5% – Discount shows in the cart

flowsightcam-2TBrew Hardware also has an extensive selection of camlocks including some unique offerings like their (pictured) lightweight sightglass, tri-clover to camlock adapters, camlock to compression adapter and more.  Camlock Fittings at Brew Hardware

Recent Great Deals [more]: