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My New Tool – The Carboy Cleaner

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Carboy Cleaner LLC has made life better by building a better carboy brush. Unlike a better mouse trap (which nobody cares about), the Carboy Cleaner really is a time saver and does a better job than my old ‘L’ shaped brush. Thank you capitalism.

You know, I didn’t have a good relationship with old ‘L’ anyway. ‘L’ was always spraying me in the face. I was on my second ‘L’, as the first one rusted. Now I can say goodbye and good riddance to ‘L’.

carboy brush L shaped

The Carboy Cleaner is a metal rod attached to two padded brushes at one end. It has a rubber gromet that fits in the neck of a carboy. Once you see how it works, it is a no brainer. You need a cordless drill to make it work. If you don’t own a cordless drill, buy the Carboy Cleaner first, then you have an excuse to buy a cordless drill. The product website has a great video demonstration. Ryan is an enthusastic presenter.

carboy brush

The Carboy Cleaner can also be used to sanitize a carboy. Just soak the brushes in sanitizer solution, and add some of the sanitizer solution to the carboy, then go for it with the drill for minute or so.

carboy cleaner

Practicallity aside, it’s a great excuse to get out a power tool and fire it full throttle! I hooked up my 18V cordless drill and let it rip. Here’s how it went:

carboy cleaner

Start it off in the bottom slowly.

carboy cleaner

Spin it up to 100%.

carboy cleaner

Raise and lower the brush to cover the entire inside.

carboy cleaner

Nice and sudsy.

Brewer’sFriend received a complimentary Carboy Cleaner.

  1. 9 Responses to “My New Tool – The Carboy Cleaner”

  2. A good soak in PBW and hot water and not even an L brush is needed, just rinse and sanitize after soaking. Even easier than this contraption unless you don’t have time for about an hour of soaking.

    By Garry on May 2, 2011

  3. While I appreciate the input, and I’m sure that technique works for you, I will stick to thoroughly cleaning with the carboy cleaner. Soaking uses up a lot of water, not to mention additional cleaning agent. The carboy is pretty heavy when full. I much prefer to scrub it clean. With the drill mounted cleaner, it is a real breeze. I wouldn’t trust soaking to remove crusty yeast rings after fermentation.

    By Larry on May 4, 2011

  4. Oh I’m definitely ordering one of those.

    By Anthony on May 7, 2011

  5. How would the carboy cleaner work in a better bottle? I normally soak the better bottles with cleaner for a couple of days to get the gunk off. Would it scratch the plastic? How about the stopper, would that fall in the better bottle’s large opening or allow liquid to come shooting out the top?

    By Chris on May 12, 2011

  6. With a better bottle being square I think this tool would have difficulty getting into the corners. The opening to the better bottle is also larger, but fitting a stopper would be easy.

    By Larry on May 17, 2011

  7. Chris,
    Excellent question! Better Bottles do come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The Carboy Cleaner would work best on the round versions. Thousands have been sold and work very well on these PET type bottles. We have larger bungs/stoppers available for Better Bottles. These bungs are not necessary if a consistent / even speed is used. Please feel free to contact us is you have any further questions. We are 100% committed to customer service and our valued customers!

    Ryan Karasek

    By Ryan Karasek on May 19, 2011

  8. Hi Larry,

    I wanted to post a comment about your excellent carboy cleaning tool. It is a great idea and I have no doubt that it cleans the inside of a carboy extremely well, but I am going to have to agree with Garry and say that PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash) is one of the best things anyone could use. I have been using PBW for a very long time and even though it is not a sanitizer (Star San is my favorite product for that) I can assure you that as long as it is diluted in hot water according to the directions even the most caked on trub, dried krausen and hop particles are no match for this great product.

    By Benedict on Sep 3, 2011

  9. Hi Benedict,
    Absolutely, each brewer has their own approach, that’s what makes brewing so fun, because nobody can tell you the one true way. However for this issue, which is really pretty minor in the grand scheme of life, it is not an either/or proposition. I’ve used the Carboy Cleaner with PBW to scrub, and also with Star San to sanitize. I can’t stand using those L shaped brushes anymore. Aside from PBW, oxiclean, and even dish soap does the trick. Some people are against scrubbing at all, but that requires a lot of water and additional detergent. Personally, I don’t think something can be 100% clean unless it has been scrubbed. What I do is mix a splash of PBW or oxiclean into a half gallon of warm water in the bottom of the carbon, then use the Carboy Cleaner. I think this approach is more environmentally friendly and faster. From a safety standpoint, detergent makes the carboy slippery. A filled carboy is very heavy. I don’t like the idea of dropping the darn thing or pulling a muscle.

    For the record, I don’t make this tool. See links to the company’s website above for that. I just wanted to share the product with other brewers since I had a good experience.

    By Larry on Sep 3, 2011

  10. I have to agree with Larry here. I use Sanke kegs for fermenting and I put them upside down on my keg cleaner with PBW. I used to think they were getting clean, but now when I look into them, I can see that high up where the krausen hits, there is what looks like rust, but is really dried krausen that won’t come off. Super strong PBW washes haven’t taken care of it. I just ordered this brush after a fellow brewer had the same issues and went this route. Problem solved!

    By JonW on Jan 16, 2012

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