Author Topic: Cleaning 'large' boil kettles  (Read 811 times)

Offline zorch

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 56
    • View Profile
Cleaning 'large' boil kettles
« on: August 18, 2010, 10:34:10 AM »
I'm curious to know how you guys that brew larger (10+ gal) batches clean your kettles.    Do you drag it over to your utility sink and scrub it out?    Use some nifty CIP apparatus to recirculate PBW through it?   Or...?

I'm looking at upgrading my brewery to 10 gallon batches, and will probably go with a converted 15 gallon keg as my kettle.    I could just carry it over to my sink and clean it there, but if I can clean it easily without having to move it, I wouldn't need to worry about damaging the thermometer, dropping it on my foot, etc.


Offline wingnut

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 236
  • Plainwell MI
    • View Profile
Re: Cleaning 'large' boil kettles
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 10:41:01 AM »
My "Clean in place" is a stool, scrubbie and a hose.  If I burn anything on the bottom, I use some PBW overnight and then drain, scrub and rinse.   

Once you get large equipment, you almost have to put it somewhere with a floor drain, or in the garage to drain outside.  Having a drain is key to cleaning up messes and keeping the brewday simple. 

I thought about doing something fancy, with a CIP, but the time, cost and effort was just to much.  This being the boil kettle, close will do, so no need to be overly meticulus or fancy!

Don't be afraid of keeping it simple! 
-- Wingnut - Cheers!

Offline rupert

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Cleaning 'large' boil kettles
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 10:42:53 AM »
I use a 15.5 gallon converted keg as my kettle. To clean, I take it to the sink or clean it outside using a little bit of Barkeeper's Friend and some elbow grease. Haven't had any issues with damaging my thermometer or ball valve yet. Do you plan to have your kettle mounted on a stand?

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Cleaning 'large' boil kettles
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 11:14:54 AM »
I've got a converted keg too, but brew in my driveway. When I'm done I just hose it out and scrub it with a blue scrubbie.  When it looks grungy I fill it with pbw overnight.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6308
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Cleaning 'large' boil kettles
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 11:26:00 AM »
+1 - I do the same thing with my 55 gallon kettle too. Oh, and if you really want to make it easy pick up some acid #5 and heat to about 165.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8678
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Cleaning 'large' boil kettles
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 11:33:36 AM »
I wish I had a floor drain with a sediment trap but...I brew in my garage and clean out on a patio adjacent to the garage with a garden hose and a scrubby.  Not the most excithing part of the process but necessary nonetheless. 
Ron Price

Offline markaberrant

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 251
  • Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
    • View Profile
    • ALES Club
Re: Cleaning 'large' boil kettles
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 11:57:46 AM »
I wish I had a floor drain with a sediment trap but...

We moved into a new house last fall with a double attached garage, which included a floor drain.  Then I also added hot and cold taps out there (didn't both with a sink, but put a big one in the basement where I ferment, transfer, store, etc).

Needless to say, this setup friggin rocks!

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4535
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: Cleaning 'large' boil kettles
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2010, 02:07:03 PM »
Converted keg here, and I use a scrubbie, or for really baked on stuff a copper chore boy works great.  PBW once in while to remove beerstone.

I brew in the garage, and I had hot and cold water installed there when the house was built.  Very handy to have.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!