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Old 03-15-2011, 11:25 PM   #1
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Default How long is too long for a March Pump?

So I want to make some sour starter as outlined in the March/April 2011 zymurgy. I was thinking of using one of my cooler tuns and my RIMS unit to regulate the temp at 100 degrees F for a few days.

Anybody else think letting a March pump and RIMS unit run for 3-4 days is too much?

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Old 03-15-2011, 11:34 PM   #2
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March pumps are run 24/7 in a lot of installs. Recirculation in heating systems, etc. I'd only consider running a RIMS if you had built in safety, like float & temp sensors.

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Old 03-16-2011, 01:14 AM   #3
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Temp sensor is built in. As long as the pump doesn't lose it's prime the element should be good. Then again if the pump lost it's prime when I wasn't paying attention to it it would fry more than a $12 heating element. I might wait until this weekend where it can be monitored more closely.

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Old 03-16-2011, 01:28 AM   #4
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Is the starter unhopped? If so, use a lightbulb in a cooler...

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Old 03-16-2011, 01:35 AM   #5
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RIMS seems like overkill for maintaining 100º F. A carefully placed/maintained space heater, brew belt, heating pad, or light bulb (like TXCurtis mentions) would probably be better.

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Old 03-16-2011, 01:40 AM   #6
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Overkill yes, but it's what I have available at the moment. I could try the space heater idea, but I'd like to keep it at as constant a temp as I can, and I don't have another temp controller handy.

Anybody care to venture a guess as to what temp a 40-60 what bulb in a 70 qt cooler would hold?

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Old 03-16-2011, 03:16 AM   #7
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Well, I know that in 30* weather in a carport a 100 watt light bulb has no problem keeping a fridge at 60...

Wire a bulb to the controller...

A 60 watt bulb works just fine in an easy bake oven...

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Old 03-16-2011, 04:50 AM   #8
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I use a 75 watt infrared heat lamp mounted in a clamp-on reflector to warm my starters in my often very cold garage. It's fairly easy to regulate the temp by moving the lamp closer or further from the flask. I use a remote read infrared thermometer to check the starter temp and make adjustments. The temp of the flask changes fairly slowly which makes adjustments easy and you would be surprised how stable the temps are once you reach the target. The starter and flask are not in a cooler or otherwise enclosed. This works with a stir plate as well.

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