DIY Carboy Scrubber

Face it, cleaning fermentation messes isn't the most fun part of this hobby. I ferment in 20L Bisleri carboys and they are notorious for having really complicated internal contours. Usually a hot soak with PBW or Oxyclean would get even the most stubborn messes clean but sometimes there is no alternative to scrubbing. Of course with the carboy that's easier said than done and that's where a quick and dirty DIY like a drill powered carboy scrubber would make everyone's life easier. A hand held drill is probably one of the most indispensable tools in homebrewing. If you've been a regular reader of this blog and have motorized your grain mill, then you probably are already aware of how much time and energy they can save you. 

Quick Note on Hand Drills:
If you're in the market for a drill then there are a couple of things you should consider before putting your money down. I would recommend getting a Variable Speed Drill which lets you control the speed depending on the application. Some of the cheaper local brands available on Flipkart and Amazon, or at your local hardware shop are fixed speed drills and probably not as versatile. Having a reversible drill is also a good feature to have and doesn't cost all that much. As far as the drill chucks go, the size of the chuck indicates the size of the widest drill bit it can grip. A 10mm chuck is fairly common and should be good for most applications, although I would recommend getting a 13mm chuck since the price is just a tad bit more. Black and Decker drills are good value for money and here's a link to the one I use.

Parts List:
We'll be using a 10mm thread for all the fittings, unless otherwise stated. Make sure everything is stainless steel since it is going to come in contact with water.

1m SS Threaded Rod x 1
10mm Carriage Bolt at least 40mm in length x 1
10mm Large Washers x 3
10mm Small Washers x 3
10mm Nuts x 4, ideally you want long nuts but I wasn't able to find any so had to make do with regular ones.
Dishwashing cloth, or Scotch Brite scrubbers, or Chamois cloth

HSS Blade, a regular carbon steel blade would have trouble cutting through stainless steel

Step 1
Use your carboy to measure and cut the length of the threaded rod. You wan't only a couple inches of it protruding out of the carboy when full inserted, too long and handling it becomes unwieldy. I cut mine at about 21". As always, measure twice and cut once.

Step 2
Lay the chamois cloth or whatever you are using, on the floor. Make sure you cut it into pieces longer than 7" to get a good contact with the walls for an efficient scrubbing action. Here's where you can get a little creative and experiment with different shapes.

Step 3
Cut holes in to the ends as shown above and push them through the carriage bolt as shown below making sure you spread the strips around evenly.

Step 3
Next pop a washer on (or two) and thread the nut in place. Depending on the space you have, you can thread a second nut on as a lock nut to keep the first one in place or just use a couple more washers to make everything snug.

Step 4
Use a second nut to join one end of the threaded rod to the carriage bolt as shown below. This is where ideally you would use a long nut since it has a longer length of thread to grip the two ends firmly. I was unable to find one so had to make do with a regular nut.

Step 5
Use another lock nut on the threaded rod to hold the joining nut in place. Tighten all nuts with pliers or wrenches and you're good to go.

Step 6
Attach the drill to the other end, slowly operate the drill to make sure everything is spinning and in place. You might have to adjust and redo the joint if it comes loose and it might take a couple of attempts. Again, this is only because the joining nut we used doesn't have enough length of thread to grip both the ends of the bolt and the threaded rod. A long nut is the solution to this.



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