Pond Pump Wort Chiller Connection Instructions - Home Brew Forums
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:31 PM   #1
BrewThruYou
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I had a hard time figuring out how to connect a pond pump to my wort chiller for a quick swap, so I thought I'd provide this basic rundown. I was impatient and bought the pond pump from Lowe's, but Harbor Freight has some much cheaper options.

Parts List I Used:
Submersible Pond Pump 330gph - $39.99 - Lowe's Item #206234 I used a 330gph Lowe's pond pump, but recommend checking out slightly more powerful options like the 640gph Harbor Freight one.
Metal Quick Disconnect Set (Male + Female) - $6.28 - Lowe's Item #228724
Metal Female Quick Disconnect - $3.27 - Lowe's Item #37759
Male Metal Hose Repair w/ Clamp - $3.48 - Lowe's Item #93156
2' Vinyl Tubing 5/8" ID, 3/4" OD - maybe $1.00 for 2 feet

1st Step - Assembling Pond Pump Output



Picture above is the pump with the included plastic barb attached to the tubing I bought at Lowe's. The other end of the tubing attaches to the barb of the metal male hose repair piece. Then you'll want to screw that piece to one of the female quick disconnects. In the picture, it's unscrewed.

2nd Step - Assembling Wort Chiller Input



Pretty simple step. Since I have a wort chiller with the garden hose adaptor and not garden hose fittings, I just screw the male disconnect into the garden hose fitting.

Basically, you have two female quick disconnects - one on your faucet (it screws right onto your faucet adaptor) and then another one at the pump. The lone male quick disconnect is the wort chiller input. This allows you to swap the input from the faucet tap water to the pond pump very quickly. So after tap water takes my wort down under 100, I swap the wort chiller input from the faucet to the pond pump and then move my tubing into the MLT to recirculate ice water.

I used my 10G Rubbermaid MLT to hold the ice water for recirculation, but any kind of tub or bucket should work.



 
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:27 PM   #2
Navy_Chief
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Dec 2010
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Great write up. One quick question, how is the flow and cooling with that pump? I have been looking at significantly larger pumps and this build would be much easier.



 
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:37 PM   #3
scone
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Oct 2009
Austin, TX
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I forwent (forgoed?) the quick disconnects and use a small piece of tubing attached to the outlet barb of the pump (my outlet barb is made of plastic, screws into pump) and I attach the output of the chiller to the small piece of tubing using a 3/8 to 3/8 brass hose barb. Then the water simply flows into the chiller from the other direction and out of the hose threaded end of the chiller line (which of course is disconnected from the hose and pointing back into the holding tank with ice at this point).

 
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:18 PM   #4
BrewThruYou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navy_Chief View Post
Great write up. One quick question, how is the flow and cooling with that pump? I have been looking at significantly larger pumps and this build would be much easier.
Cooling was vastly improved over my previous setup - 50' IC and 25' prechiller in icewater. The prechiller was just another barrier to heat transfer and it was wasting water.

The flow wasn't overly impressive, but I had a few things I will tweak next time:
- Didn't adjust the water intake adjuster (knob on the side).
- Might try shortening the 2' 5/8" ID hose going from the pump to the female disconnect. My IC is only 3/8", so I'm not sure if that's hurting the flow or not.

I'll make those tweaks and see what happens. If I were to do it again, I would probably grab the 620gph $49.99 pump at Harbor Freight. They have a bunch of coupons flying around.

 
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:35 PM   #5
DeafSmith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewThruYou View Post
Cooling was vastly improved over my previous setup - 50' IC and 25' prechiller in icewater. The prechiller was just another barrier to heat transfer and it was wasting water.

The flow wasn't overly impressive, but I had a few things I will tweak next time:
- Didn't adjust the water intake adjuster (knob on the side).
- Might try shortening the 2' 5/8" ID hose going from the pump to the female disconnect. My IC is only 3/8", so I'm not sure if that's hurting the flow or not.

I'll make those tweaks and see what happens. If I were to do it again, I would probably grab the 620gph $49.99 pump at Harbor Freight. They have a bunch of coupons flying around.
I've been using my March pump to pump ice water through my 50 foot 3/8 inch OD chiller - the flow is not much more than a trickle. I get good flow through 1/2 inch ID tubing with the March pump, so I think the IC is restricting the flow. I've been looking at pond pumps, but all the cheap ones I've seen have less lift (pressure) than the March pump - seems to me I need more lift - in fact, a lot more, to get really good flow. I'd like to know if anyone else is using a 50 foot, 3/8 chiller what kind of flow you get with a pond pump. Ideally, I'd like to have the same kind of flow I get from the tap. IIRC, tap water pressure is about 50 psi? Wouldn't that be equivalent to about 100 foot lift? I've even been thinking about filling a corny keg with ice water and putting the CO2 on it at 40 or 50 psi to force it through the chiller (but I really don't want to waste the gas).

 
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:36 PM   #6
BrewThruYou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafSmith View Post
I've been using my March pump to pump ice water through my 50 foot 3/8 inch OD chiller - the flow is not much more than a trickle. I get good flow through 1/2 inch ID tubing with the March pump, so I think the IC is restricting the flow. I've been looking at pond pumps, but all the cheap ones I've seen have less lift (pressure) than the March pump - seems to me I need more lift - in fact, a lot more, to get really good flow. I'd like to know if anyone else is using a 50 foot, 3/8 chiller what kind of flow you get with a pond pump. Ideally, I'd like to have the same kind of flow I get from the tap. IIRC, tap water pressure is about 50 psi? Wouldn't that be equivalent to about 100 foot lift? I've even been thinking about filling a corny keg with ice water and putting the CO2 on it at 40 or 50 psi to force it through the chiller (but I really don't want to waste the gas).
I don't think tap water pressure is necessary and I think you'd run out of ice water fairly quickly in that scenario since you are not recirculating back into the corny.

I'm using a 50 foot 3/8" IC as well with that 330gph. In a scale from 1 to 50 where 1 being the water barely getting out of the wort chiller and 50 being tap water pressure, I'd probably give it a 15. However, I think it's more about just keeping the water moving. That being said, I would probably recommend the 640gph Harbor Freight over my 330gph for a little more oomph.

 
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewThruYou View Post
I don't think tap water pressure is necessary and I think you'd run out of ice water fairly quickly in that scenario since you are not recirculating back into the corny.

I'm using a 50 foot 3/8" IC as well with that 330gph. In a scale from 1 to 50 where 1 being the water barely getting out of the wort chiller and 50 being tap water pressure, I'd probably give it a 15. However, I think it's more about just keeping the water moving. That being said, I would probably recommend the 640gph Harbor Freight over my 330gph for a little more oomph.
That sounds a little better than what I get with my March pump, but I think I'd like more than a 15, maybe 25 or greater on that scale. As for running out of water, what I was thinking about was running the output of the chiller back into the liquid out line of another keg, with the vent open on that keg - when the first one runs out, just move the gas line from the first keg to the second, close the vent on the second and open it on the first and reverse the flow. Probably not something I'll actually do, though, just because I don't want to waste the gas.

 
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
ozzy1038
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Another option is a marine bilge pump. A 500gph one can be had for around $15.00. It is run on 12volt so you can use a battery or attach it to a battery charger like I do. I use a 2/6 amp charger. Switching between 2/6 controls the flow. Basically like a low/high setting. All you need is a bilge, some 3/4" hose, adapter fittings for your IC and you are golden. I plan to upgrade to a plate chiller soon so my temp drops should be SUPER FAST!









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Old 10-05-2011, 04:58 PM   #9
Sardoman
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Just throwing something out there: What if you put your ice water tank up higher than your kettle and then had an output bucket on the floor? You would get one-way siphon action in addition to the flow from the pump. This would help the pump a great deal, but you would have to be pouring the output bucket back into the ice water tank periodically.

I did a chill once off of a siphon as I just described but without a pump and my flow was about what you are describing here for the pond pump's performance.

 
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:06 PM   #10
Gritsak
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I use a 1/6hp, 1100 GHP sump pump from menards. With my pump in a bucket on the ground and my pot 2-3 feet higher on the counter, it pumps at nearly the same velocity as my kitchen sink at full throttle (which is pretty fast).



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