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Closed loop gravity assisted transfer

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jerrylotto

jerrylotto

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Is there one that you would recommend? I see that they range in price from $15 to a couple of thousand!
 

Qhrumphf

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That's the first small one that comes to mind but certainly not the only option. The pump Blichmann puts on their Quick Carb. I recall a thread on here where someone piecemealed the parts via AliExpress or AliBaba and the pump (or equivalent) could be found likely a lot cheaper, but that'd take a good bit of digging.
 

RM-MN

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Is there one that you would recommend? I see that they range in price from $15 to a couple of thousand!
I'd recommend the one for a couple thousand. After all, there must be something special good about that pump to be worth a couple thousand.:cool:
 

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I got an identical pump to this one, rebranded, from Northern Brewer about a year or so ago for $20 less, shipping included. I’ve used the pump to transfer wine exclusively from fermenter to settling to aging tanks and it works beautifully. It never occurred to me that I could use it for beer. Wait…WHAT?

There are two possible difficulties I see. Since I spund in a unitank, attempting to transfer carbonated beer might cause the dissolved gasses to evolve, er, energetically (?). I’ve found I don’t need to degas my wines for clarification after transferring with the diaphragm pump so it appears the act of pumping itself is liberating trapped CO2. And secondly you risk serious clogging and damage to the pump if you don’t filter for trub or hops from the fermenter. I’ve had great success using a small open ended cylindrical screen wrapped in Swiss voile as a filter to trap grape seeds and gunk from fouling the pump. It pumps 5-6 gallons “uphill” in well under ten minutes easily from floor level up to bench level, virtually oxygen-free.

I may have to try it on beer. CO2 transfers are getting expensive with all the CO2 tank refills I’ve been doing lately.
 

Qhrumphf

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The Blichmann pump in particular is part of an inline recirculating carbonator. Handling carbonated beer is part of its nature. A diaphragm pump is far more gentle than, say, a centrifugal pump. They're also self priming and can run dry.
 

Brooothru

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The Blichmann pump in particular is part of an inline recirculating carbonator. Handling carbonated beer is part of its nature. A diaphragm pump is far more gentle than, say, a centrifugal pump. They're also self priming and can run dry.
Now that's good information. I'll definitely use it for my next closed transfer and report back. I've got an American lager finishing up, chilled and carbed, just looking to get transferred and lagered for a month or two.
 

ba-brewer

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Purged keg and lines with CO2 in advance. Hooked up a round robin loop with the liquid running down into the keg and headspace pressure equalizing through the gas line. Not the fastest transfer in the world but until I get a spunding valve this works out.
Looks a bit funny you have air in your transfer line, that could of slowed your transfer. You can temporarily pinch the hose close to the spigot to help push that air out(sorry cant put into better words just something I do to help push the CO2 out of the line).

I use the same the approach to transfer my beer. If you slightly elevate the keg on the liquid side so the gas post is lower then you will not have beer over the gas in dip tube when have the keg level.
 

Off Balance Brewing

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How can you do this without a fermenter with a spigot? Thought I read an old post that started the siphon with pressure difference then grav6 trashed over
 
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I guess that you could rig up a lid with two holes to pass a spigot and a gas return line through. The spigot would reach the bottom (maybe a J hook) and the gas return would just enter the head space . The gas return line would need to have a T in it that could be connected to a CO2 tank and you would need a way to shut off the gas return below the T. Assuming you could hook all of this up without introducing oxygen into the fermenter, you would start by pressurizing the fermentation tank until liquid started to move through the siphon, then immediately open the gas return and shut off the CO2. You might need to bleed some of the excess pressure out of the system (keg pressure relief?) but once it is all hooked up and flowing the gas return should equalize whatever pressure you have. The biggest problem I see is connecting it all up. You would probably need to assemble it all before you ferment and figure out a way to use the CO2 blow off to purge the whole system or put a second shutoff ABOVE the T and use your gas tank to purge the lines.
 
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jerrylotto

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Looks a bit funny you have air in your transfer line, that could of slowed your transfer. You can temporarily pinch the hose close to the spigot to help push that air out(sorry cant put into better words just something I do to help push the CO2 out of the line).

I use the same the approach to transfer my beer. If you slightly elevate the keg on the liquid side so the gas post is lower then you will not have beer over the gas in dip tube when have the keg level.
Second try was with my bourbon stout and worked a lot better. Took all of 2 min to transfer the whole thing. Getting the CO2 bubble out of the liquid line was the key.
 

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I was hoping to use it to transfer carbed beer from pressure fermentation. The serving keg could be purged at a lower psi to start the transfer without the T. Would the beer foam up in the serving keg if you vent back to the fermenter? I think you could have a sounding valve on the serving keg instead. Just looking for an idea that doesn't need to push co2 the whole time. I don't mind lifting a fermenter.
 
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jerrylotto

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The return line transfers gas only. It is used to equalize the pressure from the (higher) fermenter to the (lower) keg or reception vessel. See the picture I posted to start this thread. If you want to do this under pressure, a flat bottom fermenter with o-ring sealed plastic tubes is not going to hold a lot. Better to get something that has proper gas and liquid connectors.
 
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