Choosing a brewing pump

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Hiphop

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I’m looking to buy a brewing pump to transfer hot wort post boil between the boil kettle and the plate chiller and then into fermentation tank. I currently use a 15 gallon keggle with ball valves. This will be my first “real” brewing pump. After doing weeks of research I am struggling to find a good brewing pump that will last a long time. My biggest fear is getting a brewing pump that breaks after the 2-3 time in use or fails mid wort transfer. I was looking for a pump under $200 (obviously cheaper the better) and wanted to know what your guys experienced have been. Most pumps on amazon have reviews about the pump over heating after 10 min of boiling water usage.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, my well-used pair of March 815PL pumps (polysulfone heads) are well over a decade in service and still going strong.
Aside from a respectable post-brew rinse and a recirculated hot PBW wash every three or four brews all I ever have to do is hit them with a few drops of oil a couple of times each year and replace the teflon thrust washers about that often.

I've been waiting for a broken head all these years to replace them with stainless heads. Hasn't happened yet...

Cheers!
 

mongoose33

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I have a Blichmann Riptide. It'll move boiling wort or water, which was important to me: I want to sanitize the pump and hoses that way.

It's incredibly quiet; if my fermentation fridge is running, I can't hear the pump working.

It has a switch on the unit itself, and comes with a valve integral to the unit; no buying an additional ball-valve to throttle the output. When you price out all the parts, you'll find that an equivalent with another brand isn't much different in price, including the additional stuff you need to buy.

I'm hoping for enough Christmas money that I can buy a second one.
 

Konadog

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I have the Chugger pump with the SS head. Been using now for 20+ brews without issue. Like day_tripper said "all I ever have to do is hit them with a few drops of oil a couple of times each year". The only thing with these pumps is that they have open winding's and are not splash proof. Pumps like the MKII High Temp Magnetic Drive Pump are sealed, and are splash proof. Just something to think about.

Here's a video that compares a few pumps
 

d3track

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I have a Chugger and a "little tan pump" on my system. They have both served their purpose well. However, I would like to sway out my Chugger for a TD5 - the ability to mount it directly to the kettle is a feature I really like about the tan pump.
 
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Hiphop

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I have a Chugger and a "little tan pump" on my system. They have both served their purpose well. However, I would like to sway out my Chugger for a TD5 - the ability to mount it directly to the kettle is a feature I really like about the tan pump.

I have two of the little tan pumps that I got off amazon. I made it through one of the mashes but during the last ten min of recirculating the boiling wort to “sanitize the pump/tubing/plate chiller it shut off and wouldn’t start again. I had to switch to old SS immersion chiller to chill a 15 gallon batch. After 2 1/2 hours of ice water recirculating it was finally at a pitchable temp. During that time I was able to clean everything else and disassemble the small tan pump. From what I could find the propeller had gotten some grains shells or something lodge in it (despite a screen in mash tun) and caused the pump to stall. I email the amazon seller and they send me a new one. I got the old one working so now I got two but they clog and seize often, this the reason why the upgrade.
 
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Hiphop

Hiphop

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fwiw, my well-used pair of March 815PL pumps (polysulfone heads) are well over a decade in service and still going strong.
Aside from a respectable post-brew rinse and a recirculated hot PBW wash every three or four brews all I ever have to do is hit them with a few drops of oil a couple of times each year and replace the teflon thrust washers about that often.

I've been waiting for a broken head all these years to replace them with stainless heads. Hasn't happened yet...

Cheers!


So I think I have narrowed into down between the March 815PL pump and the riptide pump. The question I have for you is do you use your pumps to recirculate boiling wort? If so have how long have you ran while running boiling/hot water. Watching the video that Konadog posted above I see that the other pumps tend to clog with grains during mash recirculating. Have you ever had that happen to you with the March 815PL? What type of oil do you use on the pump parts? I was going to upgrade to stainless head but if you say the poly head is good enough maybe I start there. Thank you for your info
 
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Hiphop

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I have a Blichmann Riptide. It'll move boiling wort or water, which was important to me: I want to sanitize the pump and hoses that way.

It's incredibly quiet; if my fermentation fridge is running, I can't hear the pump working.

It has a switch on the unit itself, and comes with a valve integral to the unit; no buying an additional ball-valve to throttle the output. When you price out all the parts, you'll find that an equivalent with another brand isn't much different in price, including the additional stuff you need to buy.

I'm hoping for enough Christmas money that I can buy a second one.


I was really really close to ordering the riptide but after reading some reviews I wanted to get some brewers opinions. I definitely would use it to recirculate the boiling wort to “sanitize” the pump, chiller, hoses so knowing that it works well for 10+ min running boiling water. When you say it’s quite have you ever ran it dry on accident due to the pump being too quite? I see that voids the warranty if that’s the cause of the break. I’m not worried about the extra valves, hookups or what now because I have all that.
 

mongoose33

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I was really really close to ordering the riptide but after reading some reviews I wanted to get some brewers opinions. I definitely would use it to recirculate the boiling wort to “sanitize” the pump, chiller, hoses so knowing that it works well for 10+ min running boiling water. When you say it’s quite have you ever ran it dry on accident due to the pump being too quite? I see that voids the warranty if that’s the cause of the break. I’m not worried about the extra valves, hookups or what now because I have all that.

If it "runs dry" it makes a noise that tells me turn it off. I'm always watching anyway because once it goes dry I try to simultaneously turn it off and clamp the hose so i don't get drainback and/or can empty that hose into the vessel into which I'm pumping.
 
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If it "runs dry" it makes a noise that tells me turn it off. I'm always watching anyway because once it goes dry I try to simultaneously turn it off and clamp the hose so i don't get drainback and/or can empty that hose into the vessel into which I'm pumping.


I’m watching “unbiased” reviews about the riptide on you tube right now, and some of them are hilarious. Like some of the complaints are almost common since. “Don’t pull the air release because it’s a burn hazard”. I will have to look into drain back with this pump
 

d3track

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I have two of the little tan pumps that I got off amazon. I made it through one of the mashes but during the last ten min of recirculating the boiling wort to “sanitize the pump/tubing/plate chiller it shut off and wouldn’t start again. I had to switch to old SS immersion chiller to chill a 15 gallon batch. After 2 1/2 hours of ice water recirculating it was finally at a pitchable temp. During that time I was able to clean everything else and disassemble the small tan pump. From what I could find the propeller had gotten some grains shells or something lodge in it (despite a screen in mash tun) and caused the pump to stall. I email the amazon seller and they send me a new one. I got the old one working so now I got two but they clog and seize often, this the reason why the upgrade.

I haven't had much for clogging issues, but I did break one of the pump heads. That is part of one of the advantages I see in the TD5 - the head is close to the size of the March/Chugger - and you can still mount it like the tan pumps.

Although I have brewed with someone who has a Riptide - that is a nice pump! I really like the ease of removing the pump head with the tri-clamp for cleaning.
 
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Hiphop

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I haven't had much for clogging issues, but I did break one of the pump heads. That is part of one of the advantages I see in the TD5 - the head is close to the size of the March/Chugger - and you can still mount it like the tan pumps.

Although I have brewed with someone who has a Riptide - that is a nice pump! I really like the ease of removing the pump head with the tri-clamp for cleaning.

Can you upload a picture of your pump attached to the kettle. I can’t picture it attached or the reason why you would want to attach it. How would you prime it? Would you attach with metal bolts? Wouldn’t that b one more surface for junk to grow?
 

brewmasterorr

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Chugger just came out with a run dry pump. I have used the stainless center inlet for 5+ years now with no issues. I recirculate through mash through a RIMS and boil through my counterflow chiller to sanitize.
 

mongoose33

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I’m watching “unbiased” reviews about the riptide on you tube right now, and some of them are hilarious. Like some of the complaints are almost common since. “Don’t pull the air release because it’s a burn hazard”. I will have to look into drain back with this pump

I haven't used every pump there is, but I have to believe there's drain back with most if not all of them.

Here's a pic showing my setup, more or less. Still working on optimal hose lengths and positioning and such.

newsetup10.jpg

The pump has to be below the level of the kettle, mash tun, whatever, so that is filled with liquid. The Riptide has the pressure release to assist in priming the pump; if the liquid is boiling, you need to be careful of that. The alternative is having to futz around w/ the hoses.

Now, imagine I'm racking strike water from the kettle on the right to the mash tun on the left. I have to feed that from the kettle into the pump, and from the pump into the mash tun. The pump has to be lower; once the kettle runs dry and no more water is feeding the pump, then what?

The pressure from 10 gallons of mash in the mash tun will try to push that liquid back through the pump and back up into the boil kettle, which obviously I don't want.

I can deal with this in two ways; when the pump runs dry, I can close the ball valve to the mash tun, but that still leaves me with liquid in the hose. I'll clamp the pump-side of the hose, disconnect from the ball valve, then dump that into the top of the mash tun. I know it's not a lot, but I'm working to limit losses as I go through this, and with a pumping system, there are losses.

So that's all I'm doing there.

The other way is to find a way to push that last liquid into the mash tun. I've been experimenting w/ using CO2 hooked up to the inlet hose into the pump to drive the remainder of that liquid through and into the mash tun, where I then close the ball valve.

That's a work in progress; if I'm not careful, or have too much CO2 pressure, I can get an interesting result in the mash tun. :)

********

There isn't a pump here that people haven't had success using. I like the Riptide because it has the integral valve, pressure release, it's very quiet, long cord, on/off switch on the unit, splash-proof, but you pay for that, though by the time you add things to the cheaper pumps, the price difference isn't as apparent.

As I watch you try to resolve this problem, I think you're overthinking it. All of these work; it's only a matter of features and price that should be guiding you, and only you can decide which matter most.

Anyway, good luck.
 
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I have a Blichmann Riptide. It'll move boiling wort or water, which was important to me: I want to sanitize the pump and hoses that way.

It's incredibly quiet; if my fermentation fridge is running, I can't hear the pump working.

It has a switch on the unit itself, and comes with a valve integral to the unit; no buying an additional ball-valve to throttle the output. When you price out all the parts, you'll find that an equivalent with another brand isn't much different in price, including the additional stuff you need to buy.

I'm hoping for enough Christmas money that I can buy a second one.

^^^This one. Plus the entire front assembly comes off just by removing the tri-clover clamp for very easy cleaning. Also, the pump motor is sealed. Be sure to wear a glove when using the included vent as hot liquid can be expelled.
I have had a March pump as well for 5+ years and it has always performed well.
 

day_trippr

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[...]The question I have for you is do you use your pumps to recirculate boiling wort? If so have how long have you ran while running boiling/hot water.

One pump is dedicated to recirculating the HLT bath while the other recirculates mash wort. That pump also moves wort from MLT to BK, then recirculates the wort in the BK until it comes up to a boil, at which point I shut that pump down until it's time to start cooling.

Watching the video that Konadog posted above I see that the other pumps tend to clog with grains during mash recirculating. Have you ever had that happen to you with the March 815PL?

Never had a pump clog, which I attribute to the excellent Blichmann false bottom. Nothing gets around it and only tiny grain crumbs can get through it.

What type of oil do you use on the pump parts? I was going to upgrade to stainless head but if you say the poly head is good enough maybe I start there.[...]

"3 in 1" light machine oil, same stuff used to lubricate sewing machines and the like.

While I've had no issues with the poly heads if you have the funds I would recommend going with the stainless heads simply for the durability. Poly heads can break or suffer thread strippage...

Cheers!
 

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d3track

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Can you upload a picture of your pump attached to the kettle. I can’t picture it attached or the reason why you would want to attach it. How would you prime it? Would you attach with metal bolts? Wouldn’t that b one more surface for junk to grow?

Youd want to do it to reduce complexity, tubing, cost and priming issues.

https://www.brewhardware.com/v/vspfiles/photos/System_3V_E_HERMS_15g-2.gif

Bobby beat me to it - but that's exactly why I want to switch from the Chugger I have to the smaller DC pump.
IMG_0109.JPEG


To the left on this image you can see how I mounted the tan pump to mash tun for my "iRIMS" and then the Chugger was whirlpooling during the shot. If it was mounted to the kettle in this version, I would have only needed one section of tubing.

To mount, you can use the quick disconnects - I use cam-locks.
 

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If you haven't already made up your mind, I'd recommend you consider the Chugger center inlet mini-max. Bobby carries it (brewhardware.com) along with other vendors.

The biggest reason why I like this pump is the TEFC motor. I also have one of the 'standard' chugger center inlet with exposed motor with the oil ports. I've also had a march 809 inline a long time ago also with exposed motor and oiling ports.

The TEFC motor doesn't require oiling, is quieter, and feels just a tad easier to prime and a tad stronger with tubing resistance (it is rated the same as the exposed motor due to the head being the same though).
 

6Tap

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Buy a Chugger pump.
Also be shure to measure the height you need to pump and check the pumps head loss before purchase.
Cheers
 

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anvil pump is pretty affordable at $60 if you do 5-10 gal batches. It's not as nice as the riptide but it's what I settled with for now. Comes apart pretty easily, easy to clean. Does not self prime.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Home Brew mobile app
 

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I have about 8 of the little tan dc ones in both 24v and 12v (24v are better) I also have 2 of the better td5 pumps with the included speed control that are actually designed for brewing (also 24v dc) and a blichmann riptide (Made by march)... all these pumps work great and have different advantages. First off the tan $20 pumps are in fact very reliable but need prefiltering or plug easily. the td5 is great but pricey for a little 24v pump especially with real speed control to gently transfer beer without the whipping action of beating it with the impeller.(most nanao and pro breweries use pumps with VFD controllers to get this speed control to prevent oxidizing the beer when transfering to kegs or brite tanks but its not really discussed in the Home brewing world yet).

The blichmann is a bit more powerful than the td5 and has the nice feature of coming apart easily to clean But they also have this nice little washer that falls off the shaft and easily gets lost to ensure you keep giving blichmann more money even after you own the pump. (I found nylon replacements at the hardware store myself rather than paying the high fees and shipping for a washer.)

the anvil pump (made by mkII manufacturer) is the lower powered motor version of the mkII pumps avaliable for as little as $62 (lion brewing) so my advice is to just buy the full size mkII if this pump is for transfering.

none of the homebrewing pumps that I know of are self priming. slower diaphragm pumps are.
 

mongoose33

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the td5 is great but pricey for a little 24v pump especially with real speed control to gently transfer beer without the whipping action of beating it with the impeller.(most nanao and pro breweries use pumps with VFD controllers to get this speed control to prevent oxidizing the beer when transfering to kegs or brite tanks but its not really discussed in the Home brewing world yet).

Something about this I don't understand. If you have a system where the wort/beer is O2-free, how would a whipping action of the impeller oxidize the beer? Where is the O2 coming from?

The blichmann is a bit more powerful than the td5 and has the nice feature of coming apart easily to clean But they also have this nice little washer that falls off the shaft and easily gets lost to ensure you keep giving blichmann more money even after you own the pump. (I found nylon replacements at the hardware store myself rather than paying the high fees and shipping for a washer.)

I lost that little washer down the drain when cleaning the detachable head. Took apart the trap hoping to find it, no joy. I called Blichmann, they sent me a couple replacements gratis. No trying to make me pay, they just sent them.

I ended up buying a few more along with some other items like o-rings so I had spares. I've had one other customer service thing (not their fault) where they went above and beyond, correcting someone else's mistake to ensure I was a satisfied customer.

Blichmann fan? Yeah, I am.

BTW, guess how many times I've lost that little washer since I bought the extras? Yeah, none. :) It's been good insurance, I suppose.
 
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So after reading all these comments I am thinking with my current setup (simple three tier set up, HLT, 10 gallon mash cooler, keggle) the blichmann riptide is #1 choice which I will remember to get spare washer/remember to get the washer before cleaning. #2 choice being the match 815 pump and #3 choice being the td5. I also think I need to get a better false bottom for my mash cooler than the bazooka screen that I’m currently using. I am a super strong believer in you get what you pay for and based on comments above and other posts I feel that blichmann has the best after purchase care. I can’t thank you all enough for all the help!
 
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So after reading all these comments I am thinking with my current setup (simple three tier set up, HLT, 10 gallon mash cooler, keggle) the blichmann riptide is #1 choice which I will remember to get spare washer/remember to get the washer before cleaning. #2 choice being the match 815 pump and #3 choice being the td5. I also think I need to get a better false bottom for my mash cooler than the bazooka screen that I’m currently using. I am a super strong believer in you get what you pay for and based on comments above and other posts I feel that blichmann has the best after purchase care. I can’t thank you all enough for all the help!

You might check out some threads on making yourself a copper manifold for your false bottom. I have a couple in the cooler mash runs I used to use and they are very reliable. You can drill plenty of holes for drainage and I put one hole at each corner on the opposite side to prevent creating a vacuum.
 

gnef

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If you want something cheaper and a bit easier to work with, you can also make a manifold out of CPVC. I did that, and cut slots on my bandsaw to make quick work of it.
 

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Something about this I don't understand. If you have a system where the wort/beer is O2-free, how would a whipping action of the impeller oxidize the beer? Where is the O2 coming from?
Yeah oxidize was the wrong term, Ive read on probrewer that centrifical pumps running at high speeds and throttled down with a valve is not ideal and can have a negative effect on beer depending on when and how its being used.. I honestly wish I remembered more about it but I know its one of the main reasons VFD pumps are more commonly used to slow pumps down when doing tranfers to brite tanks.

as far as the blichmann washer.. same case here I dropped it down the sink I remember you stating they sent you free ones but I also remember reading from someone else the shipping for a replacement was very high for what it was. Its a nice pump, blichmann definitely got it right when contracting march to make them for blichmann.
 

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I’m looking to buy a brewing pump to transfer hot wort post boil between the boil kettle and the plate chiller and then into fermentation tank. I currently use a 15 gallon keggle with ball valves. This will be my first “real” brewing pump. After doing weeks of research I am struggling to find a good brewing pump that will last a long time. My biggest fear is getting a brewing pump that breaks after the 2-3 time in use or fails mid wort transfer. I was looking for a pump under $200 (obviously cheaper the better) and wanted to know what your guys experienced have been. Most pumps on amazon have reviews about the pump over heating after 10 min of boiling water usage.
IMG_20180506_101149.jpg pump.inline carb
 

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I’m looking to buy a brewing pump to transfer hot wort post boil between the boil kettle and the plate chiller and then into fermentation tank. I currently use a 15 gallon keggle with ball valves. This will be my first “real” brewing pump. After doing weeks of research I am struggling to find a good brewing pump that will last a long time. My biggest fear is getting a brewing pump that breaks after the 2-3 time in use or fails mid wort transfer. I was looking for a pump under $200 (obviously cheaper the better) and wanted to know what your guys experienced have been. Most pumps on amazon have reviews about the pump over heating after 10 min of boiling water usage.
IMG_20180506_091222.jpg pump keg washing
 

4of7

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I’m looking to buy a brewing pump to transfer hot wort post boil between the boil kettle and the plate chiller and then into fermentation tank. I currently use a 15 gallon keggle with ball valves. This will be my first “real” brewing pump. After doing weeks of research I am struggling to find a good brewing pump that will last a long time. My biggest fear is getting a brewing pump that breaks after the 2-3 time in use or fails mid wort transfer. I was looking for a pump under $200 (obviously cheaper the better) and wanted to know what your guys experienced have been. Most pumps on amazon have reviews about the pump over heating after 10 min of boiling water usage.
IMG_20180311_163342.jpg pump during mash recirculation
 

4of7

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I’m looking to buy a brewing pump to transfer hot wort post boil between the boil kettle and the plate chiller and then into fermentation tank. I currently use a 15 gallon keggle with ball valves. This will be my first “real” brewing pump. After doing weeks of research I am struggling to find a good brewing pump that will last a long time. My biggest fear is getting a brewing pump that breaks after the 2-3 time in use or fails mid wort transfer. I was looking for a pump under $200 (obviously cheaper the better) and wanted to know what your guys experienced have been. Most pumps on amazon have reviews about the pump over heating after 10 min of boiling water usage.
IMG_20180617_103503.jpg pump with chiller plate
 
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