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Old 06-10-2011, 04:54 PM   #1
ceejengine
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Default Airlift pump for hot wort

I've been thinking about the cheapest way to get a whirlpool going on my IC (to enable something like Jamil's chiller), and I think an airlift pump might be the ticket; it's simple, I can make it out of just a few heat-safe & sterilizable parts, and most importantly, will be cheap!

What I'm thinking of doing is taking a bent length of 1.5" or so copper piping, attaching a heat-safe air line, and attaching it my IC. I was wondering if anyone had every done something like this before? I'm planning on putting together a test run soon, but wanted to see if this was just a good way to ruin a batch of beer, or frustrate myself.

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Old 06-10-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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Make sure you use an inline air filter and give it a shot. Who knows?

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Old 06-10-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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That's absolutely my thoughts, just wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts I found perfect air-line tubing (god bless US Plastics), and if the calculations are to be believed a normal aquarium pump will give me 2 gallons a minute flow with a 1.5" pipe (only needs something silly like 0.3psi & 1.6 cubic feet/min).

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Old 06-10-2011, 05:20 PM   #4
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I'm curious as to how well it work, but my guess is not very well. You usually need to have the pump submerged in the fluid as deep as the height you wish to raise it. This means that even with a very efficient design you'll be leaving a huge portion of fluid behind. I don't think 2 gpm is enough for a good whirlpool, but I'm sure you can find a higher output airflow than the aquarium air pump. The plus side is that it won't be hard or expensive to build a prototype and test it with some water. Make sure to take lots of pics and post them here.

Also, even though I think the issues of hot side aeration are way overblown, we're talking about a massive amount of aeration occurring with this type of pump, so it might be something to take into consideration.

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Old 06-10-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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HSA was one thing in particular I was wondering about- assuming I get a working proof of concept, I'm not sure how I'd go about testing for HSA impacts. But first, a working prototype- I'm planning on throwing something together in the next few weeks, and will report back with the results.

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