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Old 07-26-2011, 01:41 PM   #1
jeffdietzler
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Default Racking to carboy through CFC with no March pump

I've been brewing about a year now (~30 batches so far) and have been inspired by all the threads on this forum. I thought it was time I shared a little of my experiences to maybe help out my fellow brewers.

I started out with one pot, one burner, one carboy, and a pinlock keg in a mini fridge. Extract only, no chill brewing. It worked OK for the first few batches, but I'm a tinkerer and couldn't let it stay that simple.

My first project was a CFC. I followed the solder-less instructions on here and it went fairly well. My problem was, I couldn't get beer to flow through it. Maybe I kinked the copper tubing inside the chiller? With the BK on the burner, there should have been enough head for the beer to flow but no go. So I used to pick up the BK (full of 6 gallons of boiling hot wort) and set it on my portable workbench to get it to flow. Not the safest idea.

The CFC seemed to work fine as soon as all of the air bubbles were out of the copper tubing. Fluid in / fluid out. How to get the bubbles out? I tried storing the CFC with sanitizer but that didn't work. Air would always find a way in...

For a short while, I used a short piece of tubing to suck on the outlet of the CFC and when I got the wort through, I'd pull off that tube and attach my sterilized tube running into the carboy. Effective, but messy and I wasn't positive how sanitary...

Then inspiration struck! I have flowing water in the CFC. There's a kind of pump that uses flowing water to create a vacuum (we used them in chemistry class in high school) called a venturi pump. Combined with a carboy cap and a racking cane, I could pull enough vacuum on the carboy to suck the wort through the CFC. This is the best one I could find:



Made by Humboldt, it works by water flowing into the threaded side on top (3/8” tapered NPT) and out the barb on the bottom. The vacuum is pulled in the barb on the side and has a built in check valve. Cost shipped to my door - $35 through Amazon/Avagadro Lab Supply. I cobbled together an adapter to insert the pump into the water outlet side of my CFC and tested it out:


Works like a charm! Open the throttle on your chilling water wide open to get it started and then throttle it back to reach proper pitching temps – the vacuum created is proportional to the water flowing through the pump. As a side benefit, after the vacuum sucks all of your wort out of your BK through the CFC, it then aerates it for yeast pitching by sucking air through the whole system!


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Old 07-26-2011, 01:46 PM   #2
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Hah...attaboy. I use those damn Buchner funnels and suction flasks a few times a week.

Way to use your chemistry knowledge.....



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We make beer in buckets with toilet parts and coolers, this might not be the best place for you.

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Old 07-26-2011, 03:32 PM   #3
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nice.

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Old 07-26-2011, 03:50 PM   #4
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$35? You got ripped off lol...This product has been around for a few years now. It's called the Wort Wizard:

http://www.wortwizard.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=1 80

However, it's pretty cool that you thought of it on your own without knowledge of the existing product.

Seeing as you're a creative guy, can you figure out how to make this type of thing work for a difference fermenting vessel other than a carboy? Since you need the carboy cap for the vaccuum, the thing won't work on a corny keg or bucket. Maybe an adapter could be made to use the hole in a bucket lid? The lid would have to be completely airtight though.

Any ideas?

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Old 07-26-2011, 05:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMan View Post
Seeing as you're a creative guy, can you figure out how to make this type of thing work for a difference fermenting vessel other than a carboy? Since you need the carboy cap for the vaccuum, the thing won't work on a corny keg or bucket. Maybe an adapter could be made to use the hole in a bucket lid? The lid would have to be completely airtight though.
Corny: Hook up the vacuum side to the inlet post, hook up the wort to the outlet post (so it goes in from the bottom and doesn't foam up) and leave the lid latched. It's no guarantee that it'll work as the lids are made to be used under pressure, not vacuum.

Bucket: An airtight lid is needed of course. Use a 2-holed rubber stopper, and a piece of racking cane to bring in the wort from the bottom up (prevents foaming), and a short piece of racking cane to create the vacuum.

M_C
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:27 PM   #6
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If you dont get enough suction use your shop vac

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Old 07-26-2011, 06:54 PM   #7
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Corny: Hook up the vacuum side to the inlet post, hook up the wort to the outlet post (so it goes in from the bottom and doesn't foam up) and leave the lid latched. It's no guarantee that it'll work as the lids are made to be used under pressure, not vacuum.

Bucket: An airtight lid is needed of course. Use a 2-holed rubber stopper, and a piece of racking cane to bring in the wort from the bottom up (prevents foaming), and a short piece of racking cane to create the vacuum.

M_C
Solid idea for the corny Canuck! I am not sure if the lid will hold vaccuum, I might give it a try though.
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:27 PM   #8
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Solid idea for the corny Canuck! I am not sure if the lid will hold vaccuum, I might give it a try though.
Add a dime or two under each leg of the lid bail for extra leverage and more resistance to vacuum.

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Old 07-26-2011, 10:52 PM   #9
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I fill the CFC with sanitizer and plug the end. Connect to brew pot, start to drain the sanitizer, as soon as beer starts coming out move the tubing to fermenter.

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Old 07-27-2011, 03:58 PM   #10
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TheMan: Dammit! Here I thought I was pretty clever... At least mine is shiny chrome!

Misplaced Canuck: I have used the vacuum pump to rack over to a second carboy for dry hopping and oaking. It works just as well for that as filling the carboy originally. And you read my mind about racking into a carboy; I have a Scottish ale fermenting in my fermentation chamber right now. I'm going to try and "vacuum" it into the corny without lifting it out and see how well it works. For a tighter seal on the lid, I could just use 2 o-rings (it's worked before on a leaking pin-lock I have).



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