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Thread: Self Priming Pump Recommendation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville FL
    Posts
    88

    Self Priming Pump Recommendation

    I'm looking for a self priming pump for racking from barrels and occasionally moving stuff like fruit puree from drums. We use a barrel bulldog knockoff now, but I'm ready to upgrade... I'm tired of worrying about blowing up a barrel and the thing is really no help for pumping out of a drum anyway. Looking for something capable of a 10-20 GPM flowrate and the ability to handle small solids like fruit pulp.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    290
    Quote Originally Posted by nickfl View Post
    I'm looking for a self priming pump for racking from barrels and occasionally moving stuff like fruit puree from drums. We use a barrel bulldog knockoff now, but I'm ready to upgrade... I'm tired of worrying about blowing up a barrel and the thing is really no help for pumping out of a drum anyway. Looking for something capable of a 10-20 GPM flowrate and the ability to handle small solids like fruit pulp.

    Thanks
    A Jabsco flexible impeller pump is commonly used for this in wineries, as are diaphragm pumps. I guess a moderate amount of pulp wouldn't bother a flexible impeller pump, but check with the seller if you're going to pump puree. Diaphragm pumps can pump slurry and puree easily, and are nice because you just close the discharge valve and they stop pumping. No fiddling with a pendant connected to a VFD. I've used them to pump lime slurry in a treatment plant. The flow pulsates with a diaphragm pump, which might be a problem when racking off lees. So maybe one pump for both jobs isn't enough.

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Moorhead, Minnesota
    Posts
    556
    Search masterflex B/t on ebay, you can load them up with 3/4 silicone hose. They dont come in contact with the beer and they also dont churn your beer like impeller pumps. They Pull a vacuum and pump air. I found a older model on ebay for cheap $700, they sell new for $6000, https://m.ebay.com/itm/MASTERFLEX-75...EAAOSwkNtaYnLb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    52
    I worked at a meadery for a couple years, we used flexible impeller pumps exclusively (borrowed our techniques more from winemaking than beermaking), they're beefy but they're also finicky.

    On the pro side, we could use them to pump undiluted honey (long as we warmed it up), you should be able to find one that can handle puree without breaking a sweat.

    On the con side, it seemed like the vanes of the impeller were constantly wearing/breaking, and if it wasn't the impeller, it was the bearing – now, maybe that's more down to a failure of proper assembly/maintenance on my part, but following a rigorous maintenance plan is just a different kind of PITA, compared to pumps where you almost never have to do anything with the moving parts. It also seemed a little microbiologically dodgy, there places where the impeller is always in contact with the housing (different from peristaltic, where the spot where the tube is squished flat moves, or centrifugal, where the impeller is just "swimming" in the pump head), I was never sure I was really getting enough sanitizer in there, brett cells are tiny and it only takes a few to ruin your day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Jacksonville FL
    Posts
    88
    I ended up buying a double diaphragm pump from GW Kent, I'm testing it out today. I figure this is definitely not a sanitary enough design to be sanitized with chemical contact, but it is rated to something like 200F so I will just pasteurize it with the HLT.

    I am a little worried about oxygen pickup with this sort of pump, does anyone with experience with these want to chime in on that? I am going to use it tomorrow to pump fruit puree out of a drum into a fermenter for a beer that we are brewing tomorrow, so O2 pickup isn't a worry there, but I am wondering if I should consider powering the pump with CO2 instead of the air compressor when I try using it to rack out of barrels. What is the SOP there?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    290
    Quote Originally Posted by nickfl View Post
    I ended up buying a double diaphragm pump from GW Kent, I'm testing it out today. I figure this is definitely not a sanitary enough design to be sanitized with chemical contact, but it is rated to something like 200F so I will just pasteurize it with the HLT.

    I am a little worried about oxygen pickup with this sort of pump, does anyone with experience with these want to chime in on that? I am going to use it tomorrow to pump fruit puree out of a drum into a fermenter for a beer that we are brewing tomorrow, so O2 pickup isn't a worry there, but I am wondering if I should consider powering the pump with CO2 instead of the air compressor when I try using it to rack out of barrels. What is the SOP there?
    The air doesn't touch the product side of the diaphragm, and there's no mechanical seal like on a centrifugal pump, so there's really nothing to worry about, unless the diaphragm fails.

    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

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