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Old 12-26-2008, 01:19 AM   #1
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Default March Pump Alternatives?

Finally getting my single teir completely done and I've realized that the pumps I was going to use aren't going to work. I was able to get a few potable water circulators for free and was told they would have no problem with the gallons per minutes that I was looking for. Unfortunately, they don't put out anywhere near the GPM I need and just bearly trickle water.

I am running a shiron chill plate between my HLT and mash tun and was planning on having one pump continuously curculate my mash (which I think the standard March pump would be perfect for) and then have another PID controlled pump that circulates hot water from the HLT through the plate chiller to add heat to the MT. For that pump, I would like to find something that has a lot higher GPM than the March.

Anyone know of any alternatives that have been used successfully?
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:20 AM   #2
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Are you sure that you want to run mash water through a plate chiller?

Husks, grains, debris moving through that chiller?

Why control the shirron pump with a PID? Why not control the temp of the water going through the plate chiller (heater) with a PID or something similar and run the pump continuously?

Id have to say there is nothing like a March pump... food safe, high temp, magnetic impeller. I have not seen anyone find anything with the required properties for circulating hot water/wort other than the March pump.

Why are you opposed to the March pump?
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:44 AM   #3
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I was going to say, the only real alternative to the march pump is gravity.
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:07 AM   #4
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Gravity, yep... forgot that one. Though on your single tier, that will be a problem
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:29 PM   #5
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A friend of mine uses Shurflo RV pumps. They have a decent GPM, although not as much as a March and they are self priming. The problem is they are 12VDC pumps and require 7-10A so it's not like you're going to run them off of a PC power supply. He uses a high-end high-current starter/charger that he has.
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:24 PM   #6
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I'm not really opposed to the March pump, I'm just thinking that if I could find another pump that has a higher GPM, I might want to grab one.

I'm not really worried about running my mash through a chiller. I have a false bottom on top of a manifold wrapped in a paint strainer bag. I can't imagine getting a lot of husks, etc. stuck in the pump or chiller.

My main reason for wanting more GPM is the way I'm planning on operating the whole thing (and how the damn thing is already plumbed and set up). I want to bring my HLT up to my dough-in temp and then pump the hot water into the MT, dough-in and then jack my HLT up a bit higher so that it's able to raise the MT temp when needed via a PID controlled pump and the plate chiller.

I'm nervous about the March pump taking 15 minutes to move 15-20 gallons from the HLT to the MT. Once in, I don't need (actually don't WANT) a lot of GPM when circulating the mash so I'm not worried about the March being a problem for that.
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Old 12-26-2008, 06:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I'm not really worried about running my mash through a chiller. I have a false bottom on top of a manifold wrapped in a paint strainer bag. I can't imagine getting a lot of husks, etc. stuck in the pump or chiller.
Sounds good in theory, but from experience, a plate chiller acts like a filter and catches everything. It's fine for post boil (when using hop bags), but I tried it as a heat exchanged for mashes and gave up bcs it would clog fairly quickly, even when using a SS braid. You may get lucky, but it really really sucks to have it clog halfway through chilling bcs some husks and stuff were in there from the mash.
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Old 12-26-2008, 06:27 PM   #8
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Pump manufacture spec sheets show ideal high GPM/GPH numbers as they are running the pump with in and out lines or tubing short as possible plus as large in diameter as the pump inlet and outlet connection points to prevent any restrictions and lower GPM/GPH numbers without any head pressure. High as possible numbers sell pumps vs going to a different manufacture or a larger pump by same manufacture. In your case your adding the chiller a rather large restriction by design, longer tubing that adds up in flow resistance as the longer they are the more resistance. The number of bends and fittings, plus your pump location on the brewing rig. By this with the pump down low as I have seen them placed on a leg near the ground you've added more head preasure on the pump that will reduce your GPM/GPH numbers. Notice many pump manufactures and brewing systems rate their flows at GPH, wow big numbers vs GPM, GPS or literes per minute. I would have the pump mounted as high as you can but below the lowest keggle or pot bottom to reduce the head pressure on the pump hence the maximum GPM/GPH flow that pump will put out by its design.
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakins View Post
Sounds good in theory, but from experience, a plate chiller acts like a filter and catches everything. It's fine for post boil (when using hop bags), but I tried it as a heat exchanged for mashes and gave up bcs it would clog fairly quickly, even when using a SS braid. You may get lucky, but it really really sucks to have it clog halfway through chilling bcs some husks and stuff were in there from the mash.
Good to know... Thanks. Wish I had known that before building what I have already. Just because I already have the rig 99.5% built at this point (I literally just have to swap out the pumps and I'm done), I'm going to give it shot and see what happens. I'll be bummed out of the chill plate ends up clogging. Worst case scenario maybe I'll put some sort of countrer flow chiller in it's place as the heat exchanger and use the shiron for something else (although I have a 30 plate chiller to use as an actual chiller at the back-end of the rig).
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:36 AM   #10
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Other than March pumps the only real choice for pumping volume under pressure is a perlastic(sp?) pump. They can be expensive but offer advantages over the march pump such as pressure and self priming. One adequate for our purposes would cost double what a March 809 does. hmmm...... 1 perlastic, or 2 march? Easy choice for this single tier brewer.
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