I love homebrewing, but I hate washing kegs. My arm isn't long enough to reach down into the keg, cleaning the dip tubes requires filling it with water, pressurizing it with CO2, and then finding a place I can turn it into a makeshift water gun by connecting a ball lock disconnect - All told, it's a miserable process.
So while I was chilling my wort one day, I got to thinking. Surely there must be a better way, right? And it dawned on me -- The same process I was using to chill wort using cold water could be used to very quickly rinse kegs using hot.
And thus was born my Simple Homebrew Keg Washer.
Step 1: Gather Materials
Seriously - this thing is simple. At a minimum you need the following:
- A gas and beer quick disconnect of your preferred type (ball lock, pin lock, or sanke)
- 2-3 feet of 3/8" (I.D.) vinyl tubing
- A 3/8" barb "tee" (3/8" barb x 3/8" barb x 3/8" barb)
- Additional vinyl tubing to reach your source of hot water
- 3/8" barb to garden hose thread (or other suitable adapter to connect 3/8" tubing to your hot water supply)
- Hose clamps
You also need a source of hot water. Are you like me, live in an apartment, and don't have a dedicated hot water connection? Perfect! This linked instructable was designed for hooking up wort chillers, but if you attach it to the hot water line instead, you're set. I have both hot and cold hooked up this way and switch between them based on what I am doing.
Alternatively, if your kitchen faucet supports it (and gives good pressure) you can use a trusty faucet adapter. Use whatever works for you!
Step 2: Assemble the Adapter
The adapter is simple. Attach your gas disconnect to one foot of 3/8" vinyl tubing. Attach the other end of the tubing to the 3/8" tee. On the other side of the tee, attach another foot of vinyl tubing, and to the end of that attach the ball lock disconnect.
Finally, attach the remaining tubing to the third leg of the "tee". On the other end of this tube attach the 3/8" barb to Garden Hose adapter (or similar alternative). Use clamps to hold the tubing in place against the barbs (as necessary) and you're set!
Step 3: Use the Adapter
To use the adapter, just remove the lid of the keg, attach the gas & beer disconnects, invert the (open!) keg in your sink, and turn on the water.
The keg is now being washed from the inside out.
Congratulations! You now have built an incredibly simple, incredibly useful keg washer!
Just remember - Hot water can burn, and stainless heats up quickly. Be safe!