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Old 03-14-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
chs9
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Default Pumping Cold Water in an IC via March Pump?

I've been feeding my 3/8" (I think, but it's for sure smaller than 1/2") Copper IC via gravity from a bucket perched on a stool. I've recently built a frame for my brewery and this is no longer as simple as it once was.

I'm considering using my keggle HLT to hold cold water and ice. This cold water will be pumped through the IC via a march pump. Is the march pump too powerful for this? Too weak? I've done some searching and only see the pond pump/ice bucket method and nothing about using a march pump directly connected to an IC.

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Old 03-14-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
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I've been feeding my 3/8" (I think, but it's for sure smaller than 1/2") Copper IC via gravity from a bucket perched on a stool. I've recently built a frame for my brewery and this is no longer as simple as it once was.

I'm considering using my keggle HLT to hold cold water and ice. This cold water will be pumped through the IC via a march pump. Is the march pump too powerful for this? Too weak? I've done some searching and only see the pond pump/ice bucket method and nothing about using a march pump directly connected to an IC.
It should work fine. I do suggest taking the first large chunk of temp off with ground water and then switch over to ice-water, and just recirculate the output back into your ice water tank.

I think the reason you see people using pond pumps is because they are quite a bit cheaper than march pumps or other food grade pumps.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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Why not build a counterflow? Built one two weeks ago and cost less than $75. Using tap water, I can cool my wort from boiling to about 55 in under 5 minutes. I throttle back the cooling water to achieve 70 degree wort into the fermenter.

I previously used an IC with a bucket of ice water and an aquarium pump, but after using the counterflow, will never go back.

There are plans in the DIY forum for a solderless counterflow. Incredibly easy to build.

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Old 03-14-2011, 05:47 PM   #4
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why are you feeding an immersion chiller with gravity? Do you not have a hose?

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Old 03-14-2011, 05:50 PM   #5
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I guess the biggest thing I'll have to check is what kind of pressure the hose will encounter, as that pipe will bottle neck flow.

Walker, I get the same impression about why people use the pond pumps. That being said, obviously march pumps are super common and I'm surprised I couldn't find anyone even saying, "I use a march on my IC and it's awesome/garbage/exploded". I guess that's what worried me.

O4, counterflow = ~$75. My IC = $0 because it's already built. I'm not unhappy with the chiller, just unhappy with having to move my full BK to get it low enough to gravity feed the chiller. Other than that, my biggest reason not to get an IC is that I don't have a hose spigot outside, I connect it to my kitchen sink and run it out the door. Pain in the ass.

edit: Bruin, I guess it's mostly for historical reasons - when I built the chiller, we didn't have a hose spigot. Then, we had one for a little while, and now we don't again. Long and uninteresting story. Also, here in NM the cold water tap gets pretty warm in the summer so I wouldn't want to use it between April -> October anyway.

So, does anyone use a march to pump into an IC - especially a smaller diameter IC? Any issues?

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Old 03-14-2011, 05:53 PM   #6
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I don't foresee a problem, unless pressure is too great. This could be mitigated with a ball valve.

If you have the pump already, give it a try sometime (before brewing, of course). Nothing much to lose.

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Old 03-14-2011, 05:54 PM   #7
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I guess the biggest thing I'll have to check is what kind of pressure the hose will encounter, as that pipe will bottle neck flow.

Walk, I get the same impression about why people use the pond pumps. That being said, obviously march pumps are super common and I'm surprised I couldn't find anyone even saying, "I use a march on my IC and it's awesome/garbage/exploded". I guess that's what worried me.

O4, counterflow = ~$75. My IC = $0 because it's already built. I'm not unhappy with the chiller, just unhappy with having to move my full BK to get it low enough to gravity feed the chiller. Other than that, my biggest reason not to get an IC is that I don't have a hose spigot outside, I connect it to my kitchen sink and run it out the door. Pain in the ass.

So, does anyone use a march to pump into an IC - especially a smaller diameter IC? Any issues?
This isn't the exact answer you're looking for, but I use a Little Giant pump in my brewery, and my coil is smaller than 1/2". I don't pump the ice water through the coil, though... I pump the wort through it and have the coil sitting in a kettle full of ice water.

Still... same principle, I suppose. I am able to pump liquid through a small coil with my wort pump and don't have any issues.
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