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Old 11-06-2009, 03:26 PM   #1
Dr Malt
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Default Pump Recommendations

I am looking at upgrading my brew process and adding a pump for various tasks. I brew 5 gallon all mash batches. I need some advice from brewers who use a pump in their system. What size, make, model etc would you recommend? What tasks do you use it for and how do you clean it?

Thanks in advanced.

Dr Malt

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Old 11-06-2009, 03:29 PM   #2
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I know the biggest recommended one is the March pump. Food grade. As far as flow rate..I've seen different ones. I'm sure someone will be along to give us the right answer.

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Old 11-06-2009, 03:30 PM   #3
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March 809 is pretty much it for homebrewers.

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Old 11-06-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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March 809. It's expensive, but it's the cheapest one that you would want touching your hot wort.

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Old 11-06-2009, 03:46 PM   #5
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The most popular mag drive pump for home brewing is the March 809. I went another direction an bought a Little Giant pump like this one:

http://www.drillspot.com/products/72...tic_Drive_Pump

The price for the Little Giant is somewhat higher, but IMO it is also of somewhat higher quality. It runs more quietly than the March, the motor runs on ball bearings and the specs say it can run dry for up to eight hours without damage.

I use mine for a variety of tasks including:

-recirculation on my RIMS, pumping sparge water up to my HLT
-pumping the runoff to the kettle
-recirculating from the kettle through my chiller and back to the kettle for rapid whirlpool chiiling
-and finally pumping from the kettle through the chiller to the fermenter at the end.

My procedure for cleaning the pump, hoses and chiller is to connect all the hoses together with the chiller inline and circulate heated Oxyclean, PBW or automatic dishwasher detergent through a continuous loop with a plastic tub as a reservoir. Usually I will let the cleaning solution circulate for at least an hour and sometimes much longer. I then circulate hot water through the loop to rinse. I've had good luck with this cleaning procedure and haven't had any infection problems at all. I have the pump mounted on its own stand for portability which makes the cleaning routine much easier IMO.

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Old 11-06-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt22 View Post
The most popular mag drive pump for home brewing is the March 809. I went another direction an bought a Little Giant pump like this one:

http://www.drillspot.com/products/72...tic_Drive_Pump

The price for the Little Giant is somewhat higher, but IMO it is also of somewhat higher quality. It runs more quietly than the March, the motor runs on ball bearings and the specs say it can run dry for up to eight hours without damage.

I use mine for a variety of tasks including:

-recirculation on my RIMS, pumping sparge water up to my HLT
-pumping the runoff to the kettle
-recirculating from the kettle through my chiller and back to the kettle for rapid whirlpool chiiling
-and finally pumping from the kettle through the chiller to the fermenter at the end.

My procedure for cleaning the pump, hoses and chiller is to connect all the hoses together with the chiller inline and circulate heated Oxyclean, PBW or automatic dishwasher detergent through a continuous loop with a plastic tub as a reservoir. Usually I will let the cleaning solution circulate for at least an hour and sometimes much longer. I then circulate hot water through the loop to rinse. I've had good luck with this cleaning procedure and haven't had any infection problems at all. I have the pump mounted on its own stand for portability which makes the cleaning routine much easier IMO.
Catt,

The March 809 is really a Hydronic or Circulator Pump designed to be in a closed system with air bled from the system. Thats why lots of guys have trouble. The pump needs to be primed in order to work. Is the Little Giant the same type of pump? It looks as if it is. Since you are a user of the pump I just thought I would ask.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:49 PM   #7
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I use a peristaltic pump as well as my march pump.

The peristaltic pump is nearly 100% sanitary since it is one long 20 foot tube (without quick disconnects or other items on the ends) from end to end. It is self-priming and works fine with air in the hose. It has much better head pressure than the march pump... I can pump from my basement to my second floor with great flow rate [if I wanted].

The pump mechanism sits outside of the actual tubing. This means that I can very easily clean it using oxyclean/pbw and be absolutely sure there is no residue in it; running starsan through it makes contact with 100% of the inside.

There are disadvantages... it does not handle restricted flow on the inlet or the outlet in either direction and it is expensive. So for post boil it is great but for pre-boil (where sanitation is not as critical) I use my march pump.

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Old 11-06-2009, 04:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawdustguy View Post
Catt,

The March 809 is really a Hydronic or Circulator Pump designed to be in a closed system with air bled from the system. Thats why lots of guys have trouble. The pump needs to be primed in order to work. Is the Little Giant the same type of pump? It looks as if it is. Since you are a user of the pump I just thought I would ask.
Yes, actually they are nearly identical with the exception of slight differences in the motor such as the ball bearings vs bushings and the thrust bearings on the impeller are of a different design. Operationally, they are pretty much the same and you still need to maintain positive suction head and bleed air from the system. I have no trouble at all priming mine. Priming is easy if you have a basic understanding of how they operate and observe a few basic principles of pump systems. I bought mine through W W Grainger about five years ago and it has performed flawlessly with zero maintenance other than keeping it clean. It's a work horse and never complains.
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:09 PM   #9
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I tried using the stainless housed pump from Harbor Freight. They're only around $35 if I remember but they're 12VDC, not 110VAC. My plan though was to build a nice speed controller and be able to literally dial in the speed or have the flow adjust via an Arduino
Seemed like a great idea.

Problem was that little sucker was so loud and obnoxious it was like having a leaf blower in the brewery the whole time. I took it back and just stuck with my March 809.

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Old 11-06-2009, 05:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrin View Post
I tried using the stainless housed pump from Harbor Freight. They're only around $35 if I remember but they're 12VDC, not 110VAC. My plan though was to build a nice speed controller and be able to literally dial in the speed or have the flow adjust via an Arduino
Seemed like a great idea.

Problem was that little sucker was so loud and obnoxious it was like having a leaf blower in the brewery the whole time. I took it back and just stuck with my March 809.
I bought one of those HB pumps. I use it for a portable shower when camping and not for brewing. It's not a mag drive so there is no way to keep it sanitary. It's also only designed for intermittent operation. On the positive side, it is self priming and puts out a lot of pressure for its size. That little sucker does scream like a banshee.
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