Remember somewhere I posted that I liked shiny things? I do, very much, but I also like being lazy and letting PBW and Sani-Clean do most of the work for me. I have spent a lot of afternoons at the local brewery drooling as they did a simple CIP of a fermenter or bright.
I hate taking apart the system to clean it… it should be easier. I have finally modded the system to allow for a basic CIP system. I headed over to Brewer’s Hardware and picked up a 1/2″ CIP head (female), a 1/2″ MPT to 1/2″ TC adapter and a 1/2″ ball valve. I took the stainless steel lid that comes with the Brew Magic and knocked out the center – and drilled it just so that the adapter would thread tightly into the hole – careful so not to bend the lid. I cut a thin slice of 1/2″ silicon tubing to make a gasket. I screwed on (teflon taped) the CIP head underneath. My TC adapter had a shoulder, but the pictures look like one might need a nut and washer to ensure some stability with the lid.
Now after mash out and sparge, I can wet/dry vac the mash out. Pull the false bottom and dip tube and give them a scrub. Scrubby the inside down with PBW wash and reassemble. Then fill with hot PBW wash and CIP while or after boiling. I may need to do something to protect the wort since the valve sticks over the boil kettle. Don’t want PBW or Star-San dripping into that.
The ball head really needs 15 psi to spin – and the Chill Wizard pump is not up to the task. I tried without the plate chiller in line – still nothing. I put my spare march pump in line with the Chill Wizard pump and it brings enough pressure to spin the head with both pumps running! Shortening the hose would also help and I will build dedicated CIP hoses. While the spray is not intense, it is more than enough to cover all of the surfaces of the kettles, and convenient to isolate the MLT or the BK. You will need to CIP kettles individually. I filled the MLT pumping from the BK faster than the MLT could drain back – so CIP one kettle at a time. One other note – the valve is necessary behind the output of the pumps to prevent them from running dry – and makes a nice handle and the added weight holds the lid down. This is when I wish the system was 1 1/2″ rather than 1/2″ ported.
I plan to run a CIP this Sunday when I brew, preparing for a Monday brew session right after. Will be able to troubleshoot any quirks with it. FYI don’t forget to turn off the valve on the lid – otherwise you will get a shower! The only question now is WHY DIDN’T I DO THIS SOONER?!?!