Category Archives: Cleaning

Building a Simple Ball Lock Draft Line Flushing Setup + Related, Limited Time Deal

I use a recirculating draft line pump for cleaning my draft lines. That’s worked well for me (and many others) for years. See: Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump

The issue I ran into was the desire to periodically do a quick flush to rinse, clean or sanitize lines.

When a keg kicks, there’s residual beer in the line. The beer at the end of a keg is also more likely to contain gunk – hop and yeast trub. Rather than leave that sitting in the line, shank and faucet, I like to flush is out.  Also, when putting on a new beer I wanted to be able to easily sanitize.


Limited Time Deal, How-To Continues Below:

Carbonation Ball Lock Cap Tee Fitting KG501


Of course, I could get out my complete keg line cleaning pump, but setting that up and cleaning afterwards is a bit of work. What I wanted was an easy solution for a quick rinse or flush.

v1 of this build dates back to 2013. A little about that, for comedic and nostalgia reasons, at the end of this post. This write-up walks through a much improved v2.

This build is super easy, works great and can be made from a few items you probably already have around or can easily obtain.

The components – a 2 Liter PET bottle, a carbonation cap and a short length of tubing. My build uses a Kegland DuoTight Compatible Cap and EVABarrier tubing.  DuoTights and EVABarrier are outstanding [Hands on Review], but I want to stress that these exact components are not required. Any suitable carbonator cap and a length of compatible tubing should do the trick.


Carbonation Caps:


Step 1 – take off the label. Or… leave it on. 🙂 Whatever you want.Step 2 – attach tubing to carbonator cap. I like the idea of using EVABarrier because it’s stiff and I thought it would work well.Step 3 – Trim the tubing to fit. That’s it… you’re ready to change the world by quickly and easily flushing ball lock lines!

Flushing Lines

This photo shows pretty much all the players. The left side is the gas line that I use for charging the cleaner assembly. The right line is liquid line with ball lock QD. You can also see the other side of the liquid line terminating in the right-most shank. My setup is all DuoTight/EVABarrier and you’ll see DuoTight Compatible Locking Clips used throughout. If you are a DuoTight user, the locking clips are something I recommend as they provide a more secure connection.

This is powered by CO2 pressure. It’s important to underfill the bottle to leave some head space for CO2 pressure. I found that about half full, or 1 liter works well.  I used about 30 PSI of pressure. Make sure to choose a pressure that’s compatible with all components in your setup.

In Action!

This works really well. 1 liter (half full) along with a 30 PSI initial charge would be enough to briefly flush all four of my tap lines. Alternatively, less than 1 liter could be used to minimize chemical use.  A “quick clean” could also be accomplished by filling lines with PBW and letting them sit, followed by a round of water and finally Star San.

The pitcher I’m using for collection is a 2 Quart Rubbermaid Commercial Pitcher. This is a smaller version of the one gallon pitcher I’ve used and recommended for years. Although I got this half gallon size for the kitchen, it’s worked it’s way to my brewing area and is the perfect size for this task.

But Will it Flush Two Lines??

Here’s the key piece of hardware to clean two ball lock lines at the same time. It’s a ball lock  jumper from Valuebrew. There are only a couple similar offerings out there, to my knowledge. This one is unique because it uses their custom color, food grade post o-rings AND… it works with both liquid and ball lock jumpers.Here it is installed. This is connecting two 10′ EVABarrier tubing runs.If you look on the right you’ll see my Intertap faucet is equipped with a ball lock nozzle. This would work the exact same way with a NukaTap faucet. If you have another brand, you’d just make a jumper that fits over the spout of your faucet.Complete Setup for Two Line Test

The plumbing for my test is as follows

  • Flushing Assembly – 2 L bottle/carbonation cap/dip tube (on left) >
  • Ball Lock Line Jumper – 2 ball lock QDs with a short length of EVABarrier tubing >
  • Intertap ball lock spout on right faucet >
  • 10′ EVABarrier tubing with ball lock QD >
  • Ball Lock Jumper Fitting >
  • 10′ EVABarrier tubing with ball lock QD >
  • Intertap faucet (second from right) >
  • 2 Quart collection pitcher

In Action – 2 Lines!

I was actually quite surprised at how well this worked. It’s over 20′ of tubing, four QDs and a jumper.  All being driven by the head pressure in half of a 2L bottle.

Super Size It

Kegland makes a 2.5 Liter PET Growler Bottle Growler that gives you some additional capacity.

Alternative for Pin Lock Systems

The setup outlined here is for ball lock systems.  I know of no similar Pin Lock carbonator caps or fittings.  You could build as outlined and make a small jumper to go from Lock to Pin Lock

Related: What’s the Difference Between Ball Lock Kegs and Pin Lock Kegs?

Related Resources & Gear

Related Reviews:

Keg Deals!

keg deals

Rebuild Your Kegs!

For Fun, Here’s More about V1…

This setup also uses a PET bottle to store solution, but gets more complicated and… harder to use from there.The cap was modified by installing a Shrader valveInside of the converted capFrom there, I put together a bunch of relatively expensive parts to form the ball lock connector

To make it harder to use… there’s no dip tube. The bottle had to be oriented so the top faces down.

More Homebrew Finds!

Recent Deals!

10 Most Recent Homebrew Resource Posts & How-To’s!

We are Homebrew Review HQ!  Our 10 Most Recent Reviews

Also: Kegerator Tips & Gear | Keg Repair Part #s | Recent Keg Finds

Our Top Draft Resources!


Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions. toppost:lineflush tag:tpru tag:watch

1/2″ Stainless Steel CIP Spray Ball by QiiMii – $12.99 + free prime ship & Mark Keg & Carboy Washer Mod

QiiMii Fixed Spray Ball Stainless Steel 304 Tank Cleaning Ball 1/2" NPT Threaded (1/2" INCH)

QiiMii Fixed Spray Ball Stainless Steel 304 Tank Cleaning Ball 1/2″ NPT Threaded (1/2″ INCH)

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Connection: 1/2″ NPT Female Thread
  • Wetting Radius: Max. 2.5m
  • Impact cleaning radius: Max. effective 0.6m
  • Working pressure: 1-3Bar
  • Recommended pressure: 2.5Bar

From HBF: Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

 

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.

Other possible homebrew applications: A CIP ball could be as part of a recirculating or sparging setup or as part of a keg or carboy cleaning setup.  I use this rotary spray ball with my Mark II Keg and Carboy Cleaner.  See: Mark II Keg and Carboy Washer Mod – SS CIP Spray Ball

What are others saying?  Search this product’s Amazon reviews for “homebrew” – “brew” and “washer” – may include reviews for other sizes or variations

1/6 4 PM: These are selling for just $12.99. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying order. Prices and availability can change quickly Check product page for current info – More About Prices

QiiMii Fixed Spray Ball Stainless Steel 304 Tank Cleaning Ball 1/2″ NPT Threaded (1/2″ INCH)note that multiple versions or sizes of this fitting may be available, as such a different product may appear at this link

Mark II Keg and Carboy Washer Mod - Adding a Stainless Steel CIP Spray Ball

Also: Stainless Steel CIP Spray Balls for Sparging and Cleaning

Ends Soon: 5 lbs Easy Clean – No Rinse, One Step Cleaner & Sanitizer – from $15.11… $3.02 per lb

Easy Clean Cleanser 5 LB

Easy Clean Cleanser 5 LB from Adventures in Homebrewing

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

5 Lb tub of Easy Clean Cleanser (use one tablespoon per gallon of water)

Oxygen based with a favorable cleaning power and sanitizes on contact. No rinsing required.

 

  • As of this posting, AIH has this for just $16.79.  That’s a bargain in and of itself.
  • Save Another 10%: Adventures in Homebrewing is taking 10% off most orders of $55 or more with some exclusions when you use coupon code WINTER
  • Get Free Shipping!  Adventures in Homebrewing is offering free shipping on most orders of $55 or more to addresses in the contiguous US.
  • Get Free Shipping: Adventures in Homebrewing is offering free shipping on most orders of $55 or more with a few exclusions. Deals to Help you Qualify: PBW | 20% Off Seasonal All Grain Kits | 20% Off Seasonal Extract Kits | Sale Items < Cheapest First

Buy 4 tubs or otherwise put together a qualify $55 order and use coupon code WINTER and this will be just $3.02 per lb

Easy Clean Cleanser 5 LB – remember promo code WINTER with a qualifying order

homebrewing.org sale

More: Recent AIH Finds

Prices, shipping and availability can change quickly. Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. prod:aihec5 tag:aihperoff

Goo Gone, 2 Ounce + See it In Action in My Keg Rebuild Post – $4.65 + free prime ship

Goo Gone Original - 2 Ounce - Surface Safe Adhesive Remover Safely Removes Stickers Labels Decals Residue Tape Chewing Gum Grease Tar

Goo Gone Original – 2 Ounce – Surface Safe Adhesive Remover Safely Removes Stickers Labels Decals Residue Tape

Helps with Reconditioning Kegs!

I use Goo Gone for a lot of thing including removing residual adhesive when I’m reconditioning a keg. The picture above is from my post on rebuilding kegsJump To: Section on Goo Gone – If you look through the post you’ll see just how good the keg looks at the end.

1/16 1:30 AM Central: This is selling for $4.65. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

Goo Gone Original – 2 Ounce – Surface Safe Adhesive Remover Safely Removes Stickers Labels Decals Residue Tape Chewing Gum Grease Tar – note, multiple quantity options may be available, a different version may show up at this product link


Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

The Carboy Cleaner – $23.99 + Free Ship Eligible, Limited Availability

the carboy cleaner

The Carboy Cleaner via MoreBeer

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

Quick and easy! Less time spent cleaning! Save yourself some elbow grease and time with The Carboy Cleaner!

The Carboy Cleaner is a stainless steel rod with two super absorbent, lint free, soft cleaning pads. High-strength, yet flexible plastic inserts inside the pads help keep the pads rigid during use. The expanding sponge at the end of the cleaning pad assists in the centrifugal cleaning force for tough soils. Attach to a cordless drill for high rpm use, insert into your carboy, and move up and down to let the Carboy Cleaner do the rest!

Works with any size carboy between 3 and 6 gallons. Equally safe and effective on glass and PET Carboys. Comes with small size bung for glass carboys. Medium size bung for PET carboys can be purchased separately (FE470). Also works great for 5 gallon kegs!

Compatible with carboys up to 32 cm / 12.6 inches in diameter.


 

Limited Availability Deal of the Day: As of this posting, this is marked down to $23.99 as a MoreBeer Deal of the DayShipping is also free to addresses in the contiguous US with most $59 Orders. Availability: This is available today only, while supplies last. Quantities are limited. Check the MoreBeer’s Deal of the Day to check today’s offering.

Product Description – Here – Use coupon code BEERDEAL to get this discount.

The Carboy Cleaner CE80

Hands on Review: Ferroday Stainless Steel Carbonation Cap for PET Bottles & Draft Line Cleaning Builds

This is a hands on look at a Stainless Steel Carbonation Cap by Ferroday along with some information about what these are used for and some related build projects.

What are stainless steel carbonation caps used for?

  • PET Bottles as Growlers: These are generally intended to convert 1L and 2L bottles to growlers.  Fill up a 1L or 2L PET bottle with your favorite homebrew.  Put one of these on (purge the headspace by squeezing if you want to) and then pressurize for transport.  This should help to reduce oxygen pickup and maintain carbonation levels.
  • Fine tune or rapidly carbonate beer: You can also use this cap to rapidly carbonate beer.  Same process as for transport, just set your regulator to the proper pressure and shake or agitate the PET bottle to help introduce CO2.  Or hook it up to CO2 and let it sit in you kegerator.
  • Draft Line Cleaning Projects:  I have developed three draft line cleaning projects using similar SS Caps – Build A Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump | Mark II Keg and Carboy Cleaner Draft Line Cleaning Pump ConversionBuilding a Simple Ball Lock Draft Line Flushing Setup

Universal Liquid and Gas Carbonation Caps

The really big question that needs to be answered, if you want to build a draft line cleaning setup using one of these, is whether or not it is universal.  Ball Lock Kegs have gas and liquid posts along with corresponding QDs.  Black goes on liquid, grey or white goes on gas.  They ARE NOT interchangeable.  The beauty of some stainless steel carbonation caps is that they are universal, meaning they can accept both gas and liquid QDs.  That’s very important for draft line cleaning builds because we want to connect a liquid QD to this.  The problem is, not all stainless steel carbonation caps are universal.

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Keg Connection Beer Line Cleaning Kit – $23.70 for HBF Readers + Our Draft Line Cleaning Pump Builds

beer line cleaning kit

Beer Line Cleaning Kit from Keg Connection

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

Premium Pressurized Line Cleaning Kit for use with Beer Couplers or home brew lines.

The Beer Line Cleaning Kit, Gravity Feed is just what you need to clean your lines. With our easy to follow instructions you will no longer dread cleaning day. Only taking 30 min from start to finish and only about 10 min of that is you working!

General Info:

  • Detailed, illustrated , easy to use instructions included!
  • Featuring 8 oz. bag of “Brew Clean” – a safe, and easy powered form cleaner, Made in the USA!
  • Assembled in the USA from Domestic and foreign components.
  • Metal Faucet Wrench, Made in the USA!
  • Bottle is marked in both ounces and ML and is Made in the USA.
  • Ball Lifter for holding check valve ball on beer coupler (also called tap) open so liquid can pass through beer coupler (no need to remove like some cleaning kits!)
  • Plastic connection for connecting the cleaning line directly to the tower or standard shank
    High quality faucet brush is included.

 

Beer Line Cleaning Kit

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Kegland Carbonation Ball Lock Cap Tee Fitting – on sale for $3.59 + Related Reviews

Carbonation Ball Lock Cap Tee Fitting KG501

Carbonation Ball Lock Cap Tee Fitting via MoreBeer

More Info

From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

This simple tee fitting allows you to turn a PET growler or repurposed soda bottle into a portable, pressurizable growler. PCO 1881 threading on all ends—the most common threading for plastic soda bottles. One end is female threaded to attach to your vessel, and the other ends are male threaded in order to accept two Carbonation Cap Ball Lock Adapters. A small length of 3/16″ ID tubing can be attached to your bev-out cap to function as the dip tube. If you’re using EVABarrier tubing, simply connect using a Duotight reducer.

Tee fitting only. Does not include Carbonation Caps or PET growler.

KegLand Part Number: KL14830


 

Carbonation Ball Lock Cap Tee Fitting KG501

Note that the pictured bottle and caps are not included.  You’ll need two of these… Carbonation and Line Cleaning Ball Lock Cap – Plastic FE133

Related…

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability.

PBW Tips & Tricks + Limited Time Deal on PBW

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts! This is a Top Post! See: All Top Posts


Limited Time Deal on PBW (and more)

Shipping is free or reasonably priced flat rate to addresses in the lower 48 states depending on your order size for most items.


I love PBW!

Five Star Chemicals PBW – Powder Brewery Wash – is my go-to brewery cleaner. It is a non-hazardous buffered alkaline brewery cleaner and it… works great.

This post used to contain prices, but in the interest of keeping information as up to date as possible, it now contains links to some top sources of PBW along with some thoughts about shipping and suppliers.  Historical pricing has been preserved and can be found toward the end of this post.

PBW Guidelines and Suggestions

Why shop around?  Using the Spray Bottle Method for Star San means that I use so little Star San that it’s really not even worth price comparing.  Not so with PBW.  This is something that I go through relatively quickly.  Since we use this in bulk, why not save money and buy it in bulk.  Buy things in bulk that you use in bulk.

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2 x Long, 32″ Cleaning Brushes – dip tubes, tubing & more – $6.95 + free prime ship

Highlighted Features
  • Super Long: 3 inch brush and 29 inch handle, totally 32 inch length makes it perfect for cleaning feeding tubes, racking lines, or your kettle sight glass have a 3/8 inch inside diameter
  • Soft Brush: Nylon bristles head is durable and scratch free, it can softly scrub away buildup and avoid to damage the tubing
  • Protection: End of brush have conservatory design, Protect you from hurting yourself and scratching the items, Works on any surface
  • Flexibility: This wire tube brush is flexible to even work for curved tubing that angled less than 90 degrees; Easy to feed the brush end first into the tubing and back out

1/10 5 AM Central: These are on sale for $6.95. Shipping is also free to many US addresses with Prime Membership [Try Prime for Free] or a qualifying orderPrices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

2 Pcs Cleaning Brush Bristle Tip 3/8” by 32” Inch Long – Flexible Cleaner Tool for Clean Keg, Feeding Tube, Line Tube Hose – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link