Cheap (is possible) Pump

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Meatymc
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Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by Meatymc » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:19 pm

If you trawl the entire forum - as I do, you may have seen mention of my set-up and desire to improve. Very quickly, I have power and gas bottle, single 30l pan, dunk sparge and no chill. As I no chill I can't produce decent lagers/pilsners etc so want to tackle that but also to make it part of my general routine.

I don't have a water supply where I brew nor would be happy using tap water without some means of saving the 'warmed' water so am looking to try and utilise water butts.

To do so means a major overhaul of the garage to be able to brew close to the source hence need to assess roughly what it would cost. Hoses and immersion chiller easy to work out - just the pump I need to look at.

Lift from the bottom of the water butt (coldest area) to top of the pan would be circa 2.2m - the inlet on the chiller being 1.2m horizontally from the source. Outflow from pan bottom to butt top only c0.4m. I'm cooling c25L probably making a coil from 10m x 10mm copper coil.

Any suggestions?

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vacant
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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by vacant » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:31 pm

I use RO water from a filter for brewing. The waste water drains into a couple of 80 ltr plastic storage containers. When I use that cool water through my I/C I have a 25 ltr fermenting bucket sitting higher than my boiler, which I keep topped up with a 5 ltr jug. Gravity isn't quite enough so I have a tiny £6 550 ltr/hr submersible fish tank pump to help it on its way. Warmed water gets collected in a spare container and used for cleaning up.

The head isn't 2.2m unless you're getting the last dregs out - I wouldn't pipe the warmed water back into the same butt as it won't do much cooling. Is that your plan?
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Kev888
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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by Kev888 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:29 pm

It is probably worth thinking about the design of immersion chiller at the same time as the pump. It is possible to make ICs with parallel coils which jointly provide much less restriction to the flow than one long coil; so facilitating pumps with a decent flow rate yet not masses of pressure - many of the cheaper submersible pond style pumps tend to be like that, which I'd think might be a good place to start. There are general purpose submersible ones with float switches too (so they don't pump dry), some of those have quite a bit of umph for the money.

The other thing I would suggest is checking that your butt is big enough! Particularly in summer when the water temperature won't be all that cool, if there isn't a big enough supply of it then it may well not be possible to extract enough heat from the wort - and ICs aren't the most efficient in the world unless run tediously slowly and/or with 'lots' of stirring.

My feeling is that either way you may struggle to get to fermenting temperatures in summer, certainly for lager yeast possibly even for ale yeast. I did dally with water butts in the distant past, based on that then unless they are really pretty big then I'd probably be thinking of them only to bring the wort down to temperatures that are manageable by something else - such as a maxi chiller or possibly a big ice bath for example.

In terms of ones conscience, well most ways of forced cooling use either energy or resources (or both), unfortunately. And many just pointless dump the heat to the environment, whereas at least with water you can save the warmer portions of it for subsequent cleaning. So I wouldn't imagine tap water to be one of the worst options (especially in this country), though it is easier to see and so appreciate. If your water supplier is anything like mine, who waste much of it before it gets to to the tap, a few cubic meters actually being used for a purpose could be considered quite positive already, if you can also save it for additional uses then even better.
Kev

Meatymc
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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by Meatymc » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:02 am

Cheers guys
vacant wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:31 pm
The head isn't 2.2m unless you're getting the last dregs out - I wouldn't pipe the warmed water back into the same butt as it won't do much cooling. Is that your plan?
Having made me think about this, I should be linking 2 butts together near the base. The inlet will be drawn from the top of Butt A (so as you say - nothing like 2.2m) with the outflow going into the top of Butt B so the warm water is 'isolated' from the cold as much as possible. I'm only really thinking of this over winter for lagers/pilsners to be honest.
Kev888 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:29 pm
In terms of ones conscience, well most ways of forced cooling use either energy or resources (or both), unfortunately. And many just pointless dump the heat to the environment, whereas at least with water you can save the warmer portions of it for subsequent cleaning. So I wouldn't imagine tap water to be one of the worst options (especially in this country), though it is easier to see and so appreciate. If your water supplier is anything like mine, who waste much of it before it gets to to the tap, a few cubic meters actually being used for a purpose could be considered quite positive already, if you can also save it for additional uses then even better.


I can't fault your reasoning - and with a (heavy clay based) back garden absolutely sodden for much of the past few weeks I guess I'm making more of this than I should. I just have a hang-up on wasting stuff I suppose.

To be totally honest, having had made some real progress this year - particularly with my IPA's, the last few brews have been a major dissapointment to the extent I don't think I'll be (willingly) offering them at Christmas. Just sampled my latest IPA and no improvement. Cash is tight hence I'm always looking to 'tinker' rather than taking the logical route but starting to lose the faith a bit.

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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by Jocky » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:21 pm

To Kev's point, I was also looking at cooling using water butts until I realised that my water company's rate was about £2 per 1000 litres, whereas a water butt pump was going to cost a reasonable amount.
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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by WalesAles » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:09 am

Meatymc wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:02 am
Cheers guys starting to lose the faith a bit.
Meaty,
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PhilB
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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by PhilB » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:49 am

Hi Meaty
Meatymc wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:19 pm
As I no chill I can't produce decent lagers/pilsners etc
... what makes you think that? Ralph de Vries doesn't appear to be a member on here anymore (his username was RdeV) and I can't find any of his historical posts any longer either :? ... but he'd won national (Aussie) homebrew contests with lagers made with maxi-BIABed and no chilled worts :?

If you want a chilling "project" to take on, then fine, go engineer yourself a chilling solution ... but if what you're REALLY wanting to do is make lager/pilsner using your current set up, then why isn't this thread about facing up to the challenges of that problem? :?

Cheers, PhilB

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