It’s ready for a test drive. The conical fermenter is assembled and in place, ready to make some delicious beer with the convenience of a commercial brewery. The last part needed was a clean-in-place system. Since my fermenter is so challenging to get in and out of its mounted position in my cabinet, I need a way to clean and sanitize it without taking it out for scrubbing or shaking. The solution is a system that vigorously sprays the inside of the fermenter. I fiddled around with a homemade apparatus, but quickly abandoned it for something more reliable. I got my hands on a rotating spray ball from Brewer’s Hardware. This fitting has a ball with biased slots. The slots spray fluid from the ball and are configured so the flowing fluid rotates the ball, cleaning the tank wall.I tried attaching the spray ball to a few small pumps including my Chugger pump, but the flow rate wasn’t sufficient. The ball barely sprayed and didn’t spin at all. I had to get a high volume, intermediate pressure sump pump from Harbor Freight. I mounted the spray ball in the lid of my fermenter along with a check valve to prevent negative gauge pressure in the tank during draining, and I gave it a test. Watching it from the outside is important and useful, but it’s a little dull. I decided to get a better view of the action with my GoPro – if only for entertainment purposes.
Once it was working, I realized that I have no planned additions to the fermenter for a few years. Thus, it was time to mount it in the cabinet! It was tricky, but once I figured out how to slip the collar in place it was a piece of cake.