Category Archives: Projects

Building a Simple Ball Lock Draft Line Flushing Setup – all new v2!

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.

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

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

Build a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump – New Updates!

The directions on most line cleaners call for recirculating the cleaner for some period of time.  Most affordable cleaning setups that are out there include a hand pump.  Operating one of those 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 the required amount of 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.

Building a Recirculating Draft Line Cleaning Pump

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Spunding Valve Build: “Cheapest” Option

Thank you to /u/workaccount32 on reddit for this photo

A Spunding Valve allows you to maintain a set pressure.  If pressure in the vessel exceeds the set point, it is expelled.  It generally consists of an adjustable PRV valve, a tee, a gauge and a way to connect to your keg.  Read lots and lots more about Spunding Valves, ways to use them and different build options on our Spunding Valve Resource Post

Cheapest Option:  Generally speaking, the brass variations of the fittings featured in our various Spunding Valve builds are probably going to be the most economical route to go.  This is a general statement and may not always be the case.  Check product pages for current prices and availability.

Product pages may display other size variations of the fittings used here.  If a particular size is out of stock, sometimes suppliers link to another size.  All thread sizes for this build, both NPT and barbs, are 1/4″.

Brass Combo –  This package gets you two brass tees and two brass barbs: WYNNsky Metals Brass Pipe Fitting Barstock Tee 2 PCS 1/4″ x 1/4″ x 1/4″ NPT Female Pipe 2 PCS 1/4″ NPT X 1/4″ Hose ID Brass Hose Barb Fittings – this combo would replace the two Anderson Metals Fittings above – (* sizing note)

This write-up is part of my Spunding Valve Resource Post – Jump To This Section

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Building a Stainless Steel Spunding Valve

stainless steel spunding

A Spunding Valve allows you to maintain a set pressure.  If pressure in the vessel exceeds the set point, it is expelled.  It generally consists of an adjustable PRV valve, a tee, a gauge and a way to connect to your keg.  Read lots and lots more about Spunding Valves, ways to use them and different build options on our Spunding Valve Resource Post


Well… mostly stainless.  It’s going to be tough to get a stainless steel pressure gauge, Beyond, that, mostly stainless steel components are available.

Style 1: To connect the tee to an MFL QD, a swivel JIC to NPT fitting is required. Those are tough to find in stainless steel and usually… very expensive.  A solution to this piece of the puzzle is a very innovative ball lock QD that MoreBeer offers.  Instead of the typical flare threading, this one features MPT threads.  That means you don’t need a transitional fitting to get to the tee!

Torpedo Ball Lock Disconnect Gas In (Stainless) – 1/4 in. MPT KEG735

Ready Made Option – Ball Lock Spunding Valve (w/ Pressure Gauge) FIL42AS

This write-up is part of my Spunding Valve Resource Post – Jump To This Section

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Build a Spunding Valve! – How and Why – Loads Of Updates & New Build Options

A Spunding Valve allows you to maintain a set pressure.  If pressure in the vessel exceeds the set point, it is expelled.  It generally consists of an adjustable PRV valve, a tee, a gauge and a way to connect to your keg.

Homebrewing Applications of a Spunding Valve

  • Pressurized fermentation.  Ferment in a 5 or 10 gallon corny keg and use your Spunding Valve instead of an airlock.  This allows you to ferment at your desired pressure.
  • Dry hop under pressure.  This allows you to dry hop earlier while reducing oxygenation.  Active yeast are more likely to metabolize oxygen that’s introduced during dry hopping during active fermentation.  Since CO2 is not exiting beer as vigorously under pressure, wanted compounds, flavors and aromas are more likely to stay in your beer under pressure.
  • Naturally and accurately carbonate beer right in the keg.
  • An airlock replacement.  Keep the valve wide open for non-pressurized fermentations.  Only do this if you have plenty of head space.  This wouldn’t make a great blow off tube.
  • Keg to keg transfers.  Use the Spunding Valve to allow excess gas to exit the receiving keg as you transfer under pressure.  Helps you achieve a slow, controlled and pressurized transfer.
  • Fix over-carbonated beers.
  • Test for keg leaks.  Pressurize your keg to serving pressure.  Put the Spunding Valve on (with the pressure set well above your serving PSI) and note the reading.  The gauge should remain steady.  If pressure drops, you know you have a keg leak.  The digital build, see below, is especially helpful for this task,  The digital gauge reads with .1 PSI resolution making pressure changes easy to spot.  It’s worth noting that this checks the entire keg including gas body o-ring.  That spot is hard to check and other way as it’s only in function when the gas QD is on.  When the gas QD is on… it’s difficult to spray and check for bubbles underneath the gas QD.  Thanks to Scott Janish for this tip!
  • As an airlock for long term aging of beers.  Airlocks can run dry over time.  A Spunding Valve will not.
  • Utilize CO2 from fermentation for flushing kegs and fermenters.


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Building a Digital Spunding Valve

A Spunding Valve allows you to maintain a set pressure.  If pressure in the vessel exceeds the set point, it is expelled.  It generally consists of an adjustable PRV valve, a tee, a gauge and a way to connect to your keg.  Read lots and lots more about Spunding Valves, ways to use them and different build options on our Spunding Valve Resource Post

Digital Option. Read on for details on building a Digital Spunding Valve

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1/4-Inch MFL by 1/4-Inch MPT Fitting – $9.99 + Spunding Build – How & Why

1/4" MFL to 1/4" MPT

1/4″ MFL to 1/4″ MPT Fitting

This fitting could be used for a lot of things.  One potential use would be as part of a Spunding Valve Build.   A Spunding Valve allows you to ferment under pressure, naturally and precisely carbonate in the keg, fix over-carbonated beers and more.  This fitting would be part of a style 2 build.

11/11 1 AM Central: This is selling for $9.99. Prices and availability can change quickly.  Check product page for current info – More About Prices

1/4″ MFL to 1/4″ MPT – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this 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.

Primefit CR1401G Replacement Air Regulator – $9.09 + Spunding Valve Build

Primefit CR1401G Replacement Air Regulator with steel-Protected Gauge, 1/4" Npt

Primefit CR1401G Replacement Air Regulator with steel-Protected Gauge, 1/4″ Npt

More Info

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

  • Air regulator for precisely regulating and maintaining constant air pressure
  • Accurate downstream air pressure regulation between 1 and 160-psi
  • High impact composite regulator knob and steel protected gauge
  • 60-Scfm at 100-PSI with 1/4-inch NPT ports

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.

 

A potential homebrew application for this is to use it as part of a Spunding Valve Build.   A Spunding Valve allows you to ferment under pressure, naturally and precisely carbonate in the keg, fix over-carbonated beers and lots more. See: Build a Spunding Valve for more on Spunding Valves.

Most of the builds detailed in our Spunding Resource Post consist of a PRV Valve + tee + gauge + connection option.  Generally four parts in total.  The CR1401G replaces two parts, both the tee and gauge.  See: Spunding Valve Build: Using Primefit CR1401G Replacement Air Regulator for more details

11/7 7 AM Central: This is selling for $9.09. Prices and availability can change quickly. Check product page for current info – More About Prices

Primefit CR1401G Replacement Air Regulator with steel-Protected Gauge, 1/4″ Npt – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Related Resources!

Homebrew Finds is Spunding Central!  Check our related resources and more detailed builds

Pentek #5 Filter Housing [Hop Randall, Water or Beer Filter Projects]

Pentek 158110 3/8" #5 Slim Line Clear Filter Housing

Pentek 158110 3/8″ #5 Slim Line Clear Filter Housing

More Info

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

  • Slim filter housing for low-flow applications with space restrictions
  • Clear styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) for on-site viewing of flow and cartridge condition
  • Use with a 5″ x 2-1/2″ sediment or carbon filter cartridge (sold separately)
  • Initial pressure drop of 2 psi at a flow rate of 5 gpm
  • Maximum temperature of 125 degrees F (51.7 degrees C)

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.

 

Possible homebrewing uses for this:  Hop Randall for infusing hops and spices at serving time [See: Use a Hop Randall for Increased Hop Flavor and Aroma], Water filter for brewing water or beer and wine filter.  Note this would all be projects and require additional materials to complete.  Make sure this meets the specifications for any intended application.

Pentek 158110 3/8″ #5 Slim Line Clear Filter Housing – note that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link

Measureman Digital Pressure Gauge… $10.97 + Spunding Valve Build

MEASUREMAN 2-1/2" Dial Size Digital Air Pressure Gauge with 1/4'' NPT Bottom Connector and Protective Boot, 0-200psi, Accuracy 1%, Battery Powered with LED Light

MEASUREMAN 2-1/2″ Dial Size Digital Air Pressure Gauge with 1/4” NPT Bottom Connector and Protective Boot, 0-200psi, Accuracy 1%, Battery Powered with LED Light

More Info

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

  • For pneumatic, air pressure measuring, typical for tire gauge, tire inflator, air pressure system etc.
  • Dial size: 2-1/2″, green backlight
  • Plastic case and protective boot,
  • Solid brass connection, 1/4″NPT male
  • 0-200psi, bar, kg/cm2, kpa, Accuracy:1%

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.

 

A possible homebrew application for this is to use it as part of a Spunding Valve Build.   A Spunding Valve allows you to ferment under pressure, naturally and precisely carbonate in the keg, fix over-carbonated beers and lots more. See: [Build a Spunding Valve].

Note that this has a maximum capacity of 200 PSI. That’s going to exceed the capacity for most homebrewing components. Make sure all of your equipment is rated for your desired pressure.

11/2 5:30 PM Central: This is on sale for $10.97. 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

MEASUREMAN 2-1/2″ Dial Size Digital Air Pressure Gauge with 1/4” NPT Bottom Connector and Protective Boot, 0-200psi, Accuracy 1%, Battery Powered with LED Lightnote that multiple variations of this product may be available, as such a different version may appear at this link