Discuss homebrewing equipment in this forum dedicated to the tools we use to make the booze.
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Location: Windsor, Ontario


Post #1 by Windsorbrew » 1 year ago

Good day all!

My brew day usually takes roughly 5hr to complete a 6 gallon batch, quite a lot going on in the kitchen from start to end. I'd like to try an optimize my brew day by adding a pump strictly to save time on the mash and sparge. As of now it takes me roughly 15-20 minutes of a manual vorlauf (until clear wort) with a 2 liter Rubbermaid juice container poured over the back of a spoon, so 30-40 minute time loss. Looking into what type of pump I could use to recirculate my mash/sparge and clear out my wort before pumping it out into my kettle.

Brief setup:

-Kettle used to heat liquor to mash temp req'd
-10 Galllon Igloo cooler with false bottom (from bayou classic kettle with old tubing wrapped to fill gaps on sides of false bottom), add grain stir 3 times over the 1:10 ***I brew on my gas stove***
-Vorlauf until clear / drain into kettle ---Another kettle heating liquid to 165 for sparge---
-Add liquor to sparge and stir 5 min / Vorlauf until clear
-Manually transfer to kettle with the Rubbermaid jug

Looked into single vessel brewing equipment but my issue would be size and trying to lift the basket from a kitchen counter (my with got the nut cutters out when I asked if could put a hoist in the kitchen, I quickly retracted my question and offered a foot rub)

Looking for pumps at the moment and trying to stay under $200, something in which I could restrict the flow at the output without burning the pump out as wells as something that isn't a pain in ass to prime or burns out the second it runs dry.

Trying to take advantage of my laundry room being 54 - 56F to stock pile lagers/pilsners for the summer so every weekend counts and time is of the essence!

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Favourite Beer: Irish Ale

Re: Pumps

Post #2 by Frank88 » 1 year ago

Pumps! I know pumps! =)

If you want something drill driven:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Draper-18937-D ... B0001K9QCW
Speed is directly controlled by the drill.

We use these for pumping coolant, it'll do about 3GPM. Believe they're centrifugal impeller but I could be wrong.
Upside is; to sterilize it you just leave it running in your sterilizer bath. And it primes itself, easier to use, AND you can throw a valve on the end to control flow (designed for that)
Downside; has to sit in your wort, contamination risk.
https://www.grainger.com/product/LITTLE ... ible-1P321

Bit more expensive, but I like this one the best. Little Giant "pony pump" series. Comes in stainless steel or brass pump bodies (great for pumping sanitizer!)
Nitrile impeller, good corrosion resistance. Easy to clean.
Problem is, it being a vane pump, you can't (or really shouldn't) valve the other end. You could control the speed using a VFD but that gets expensive.
https://www.amazon.ca/Little-Giant-5555 ... B005AI3A9A
Posts: 16
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Favourite Beer: Irish Ale

Re: Pumps

Post #3 by Frank88 » 1 year ago

After some more digging, the pony pump is a FIXED impeller, still not supposed to put a valve on it, but there's another way.
If you use a directional valve on the pressure side and loop one side back into a T-connector on the suction side, you can effectively make a flow control valve without damaging the pump.

The pony pumps also come in a marine version that runs off 12vdc. So you can run it off a battery or power supply and regulate speed via rheostat.
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Re: Pumps

Post #4 by brhenrio » 1 year ago

The chugger pumps can be throtteled but can be a pain in the ass to prime. They also will burn out if ran dry for too long of a time.
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Re: Pumps

Post #5 by kombat » 1 year ago

I've been happy with my Chuggers. I use one for recirculating during vorlauf, and another one during chilling (trying to avoid cross-contamination).
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Re: Pumps

Post #6 by Warthaug » 1 year ago

I have a pair of the cheap 12V "solar" pumps - they work fine, move wort reasonably fast, and cost ~$15/each, so no biggie if/when one dies. Don't know about throttling them though...I've never tried.

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