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-   -   Peristaltic pumps (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/peristaltic-pumps-115334/)

silverbrewer 04-21-2009 07:00 PM

Peristaltic pumps
 
This is my first post, so a tiny bit of off topic history to set the scene....

I am about to re-commence brewing after "loosing my way". I went into my local pub in Birmingham UK and had to pay 3.05 ($4.46) for a pint of Fullers ESB, so now I have re-seen the light, and it is my vowed intent to make a Fullers ESB clone, if it kills me! I was using two 22 gallon stainless vessels, and intend using them again, plus a "keggle". Anyway, back to topic...

It seems to me, that given a bit of ingenuity, perastaltic pumps are easy to rig up without going to the great expense of a shop bought one, so this is hopefully the start of a peristaltic pump thread that should put these sanitary and powerful pumps within the grasp of everyone. I will post pictures as things progress. Constructive comments for and against would be welcome....

The reason I fancy building one is that the motor I have fitted on my grain mill is fully speed controlled and very powerful, so I can rotate at any speed from zero to 180 rpm, and it is sitting idle except for when the grain mill is doing it's duty...

All a peristaltic pump consists of is a length of decent silicone tube much like most of us use anyway, and some sort of device that lets 2 or 3 rollers gently squeeze the tube against an outer circular "fence" as the rollers get driven around by almost any motor with a suitable speed, or even better a motor with a speed controller. (Some pumps don't even bother with the outer fence, but as a consequence flex the tube rather alarmingly)The bigger you make the diameter of the surface the tube is squeezed against, the larger the flow rate is for a given tube size and motor RPM, assuming your motor speed is fixed.

I even built a very very tiny peristaltic pump to water cool the brush deck motor of my "Roomba" floor robot, and that has worked faultlessly for a couple of years now, but the water it is pumping is not boiling hot, just very warm!

My main question to the forum is, has anyone running a perastaltic pump had any failures of the tube due to the mechanical flexing of the tube at our elevated brewing temperatures? I doubt anyone has if they have chosen the proper silicone tube, and I reckon that looking at all it's other benefits it should appear more often in our breweries.

Pro's.
Self priming to several feet.
Very very exact flow control via control of RPM, by pulse width modulation or even a stepper motor. If you wanted to pump 1.003 gallons from one place to another, this will do it.
If the pump is turned off, it stops the flow as if it was a tube clamp.
Nothing but silicone tube in contact with our wort.
No violent turbulence imparted to the wort.
Cheap to own if you construct it yourself.
One motor can drive more than one pump

Cons.
If the tube fails you are snookered.
If the pump is turned off, it stops the flow as if it was a tube clamp.
The pump is capable of developing pressure, and suction, so a rims stuck mash could get sucked clean through the mesh bottom:mad:
If the motor fails, all your pumps are out, and so is the grain mill.

As an aside, (and a bit electronic) nowadays, almost any motor can be speed controlled, or any RC servo can be remotely driven to open valves etc. via extremely cheap "Picaxe" chips and a couple of relays (PIC means programmable interface controller) The ones I like to use are only a few $ and are designed to be programmed for free, on your own PC and by kids at school. Do not assume though that just cos kids use them at school that it will be easy to get your head round the programming bit though, even though the programming required is as simple as it gets! When you are as old as me, its all double dutch! It must be said that modern chips are very clever and give us the ability to fully automate at a fraction of the cost of industrial controllers.

Catt22 04-21-2009 08:35 PM

The peristaltic pumps that I have looked at have all been too slow for my needs. I suppose you could build one of any size desired, but I don't see the need. My mag drive pump does the job without problems and can move liquids fast when needed.

I'd like to know more about the the Picaxe or PIC chips. That sounds like it might be a useful as a speed control on a DIY stir plate. The price is right where it needs to be.

Ewalk02 04-21-2009 10:05 PM

This sounds like a great idea to get your sparge volumes in synch...I'll be checking in to see how your progress is going!

Boerderij_Kabouter 04-21-2009 10:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ewalk02 (Post 1275136)
This sounds like a great idea to get your sparge volumes in synch...I'll be checking in to see how your progress is going!

Exactly what I was thinking...

I am also very interested in these chips you are talking about. Do you have any links to an interwebs supplier?

Great first post and welcome to the forum! :mug:

michaelm 04-22-2009 02:47 AM

I have always wanted to build a perisaltic pump especially if someone could figure out how to build one semi reliable with basic handtools and it doesnt cost as much as a march pump or similiar!!

I mean really they are so simple and easy to clean its just stupid.. and probably the most steril way to transferr anything

pjj2ba 04-22-2009 03:15 PM

I too would be a bit concerned about too slow a flow. Of course the way around this is just to build it bigger with larger diameter tubing.

Ewalk02 04-22-2009 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pjj2ba (Post 1276409)
I too would be a bit concerned about too slow a flow. Of course the way around this is just to build it bigger with larger diameter tubing.

As painfully slow as I run my sparge I'm sure these would be perfect!

ClaudiusB 04-22-2009 03:30 PM

PIC software

Jameco sells PIC chips

You can find large volume peristaltic pumps used in the wine industry.


Cheers,
ClaudiusB

rtichota 04-22-2009 03:31 PM

off-topic, but always good to see other brewer's checking out the equipment forum at 9:25 in the morning...writing a thesis is way overrated

rtichota 04-22-2009 03:46 PM

...so there I was, writing away in a feeble attempt to graduate when I suddenly became deeply interested in peristaltic pumps...McMaster-Carr has an amazing variety of tubing with temp ratings, food and beverage use, and in a variety of durameters (hardness). Not sure if you've bought your tubing yet, but they seem to have a slight edge over the corner hardware store when it comes to options. Let us know what materials you ended up using


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