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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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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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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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZQyVUTcpM4

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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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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by Meatymc » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:39 pm

WalesAles wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:09 am
Meaty,
Don`t you dare `lose the faith`! [-X [-X
WA
I know - got to keep with it just frustrating when you think you've finally nailed something only to find you've done anything but and can'#t actually find the reason why. Have 1 final pre-jollies brew to bottle and then handing my brew fridge over for the festivities.

Deep clean everything early January, get new stock ordered and away we go again [-o<

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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by Meatymc » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:47 pm

Hi Phil
PhilB wrote:
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?
Previous posts and resulting advice that being unable to rapid chill is the likely root cause of being unable to produce a satisfactory lager/pilsner
PhilB wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:49 am
... 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
Already posted on that basis - as above.

Would be more than happy if someone can counter what I've already been told

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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by PhilB » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:21 pm

Hi Meaty
Meatymc wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:47 pm
Already posted on that basis - as above.
...
Would be more than happy if someone can counter what I've already been told
... have a look there (link) ... the "nay-sayers", just about ALWAYS those who've never done no-chill (or who think just about anything that doesn't use the expensive counter-flow-chiller they bought (and are still trying to justify) is unacceptable :roll: ) will tell you that you can't ... you and the beers you make, says otherwise :wink:

Cheers, PhilB

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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by Meatymc » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:30 pm

Cheers PhilB

To be honest, it's not my go-to style but as SWMBO puts up with me banging my brewing costs through the joint account I think it's only fair to give something she likes a go - only every now and again obviously.

Had a look at the link (thanks) plus I'm sure I've seen others in a similar vein from more predominantly no-chill parts of the world

Once this latest brew is in I'm having a break until early New Year so will start again with the research.

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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by McMullan » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:53 am

PhilB wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:21 pm
Hi Meaty
Meatymc wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:47 pm
Already posted on that basis - as above.
...
Would be more than happy if someone can counter what I've already been told
... have a look there (link) ... the "nay-sayers", just about ALWAYS those who've never done no-chill (or who think just about anything that doesn't use the expensive counter-flow-chiller they bought (and are still trying to justify) is unacceptable :roll: ) will tell you that you can't ... you and the beers you make, says otherwise :wink:

Cheers, PhilB
It was established by brewing scientists - over 80 years ago - that rapidly chilling boiled wort promotes a better fermentation. Perhaps that's why it's a standard procedure these days. As home brewers we can brew how ever we like, of course. Some on the fringes don't even bother boiling wort, I heard. And a coil of copper tube isn't very expensive, especially now the value of the £ has jumped up.

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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by Jocky » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:37 am

McMullan wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:53 am
It was established by brewing scientists - over 80 years ago - that rapidly chilling boiled wort promotes a better fermentation. Perhaps that's why it's a standard procedure these days. As home brewers we can brew how ever we like, of course. Some on the fringes don't even bother boiling wort, I heard. And a coil of copper tube isn't very expensive, especially now the value of the £ has jumped up.
If you're going to invoke the name of science then you need to be a bit more definite. In this case, what did they define as 'rapid'?

Most published research is focused around commercial practices and the challenges/issues encountered at that scale, not home brewing scale.

When you are talking about 1000s of litres of wort, 'rapid' could still mean hours, which is about the same length of time as 20 litres of wort in a jerry can left outside.
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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by McMullan » Wed Dec 11, 2019 2:11 pm

Jocky wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:37 am

If you're going to invoke the name of science then you need to be a bit more definite. In this case, what did they define as 'rapid'?

Most published research is focused around commercial practices and the challenges/issues encountered at that scale, not home brewing scale.

When you are talking about 1000s of litres of wort, 'rapid' could still mean hours, which is about the same length of time as 20 litres of wort in a jerry can left outside.
'Rapid' as in relative to slowly cooled worts, using apparatus not unlike ICs and PCs. The quicker the better too. It promotes a better cold break - produces clearer worts, which attenuate better and produce more yeast. Mainly due to something I know you are familiar with, Jocky. Nucleation sites. Particles in turbid worts form CO2 nucleation sites in fermenting worts. As they rise, yeast in the sediment and in suspension end up on top of the wort, producing a ridiculous yeast head. We want them in the wort, fermenting sugars, right? It's important not to stand back and admire it proudly, let alone post a pic of it on the internet. What often appears to be vigorously fermenting wort is not entirely due to fermentation but a physical process that actually slows fermentation, ironically.

Scientists test or confirm ideas in labs, at bench scale, which is often smaller than home-brew scale, before they're let anywhere near a brewery, or even a pilot plant. It's true things don't always scale up in a linear fashion, especially in brewing, but if it's been confirmed by the scientific method at bench scale and works for me I'll adopt the procedure over the claims of a home brewer from Australia.

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Re: Cheap (is possible) Pump

Post by Kev888 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 4:20 pm

I always think it useful to appreciate what is best or ideal, even if one ends up choosing to do something else. At least then it is an informed decision to do so, with the pros and cons weighed according to ones own circumstances and requirements.

I do prefer forced cooling of the wort and am lucky enough these days that it is the most practical answer in my situation. But it hasn't always been so - I used the no-chill method for quite a while (for ales, I never tried it with lagers). It took a while to get it working smoothly so initially I was somewhat dissatisfied, but subsequently differences 'in the finished beer' were really hard to distinguish and I would say insignificant compared to so many other factors in brewing good beer.

As with many things, in practice they aren't entirely black and white. It does take longer for the wort to cool, but there is then the leisure to store the settling wort for quite some time before racking to the FV. So I'd put it up against at least some methods of forced cooling in terms of what break and other sediment can be kept out of the fermenter.

It probably wouldn't count as no-chilling, but having taken that approach the room-temperature cube can additionally be stuck in a fridge if one is available, to create incredibly clear, break-free wort for almost zero extra effort. So if circumstances make a normal wort chiller impractical, as I'm beginning to suspect from the OP that they might, all in all it isn't something I would personally lose any sleep over, even if not my first choice.
Kev

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