Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: coastsidemike on February 26, 2012, 03:10:08 PM

Title: DIY pumps
Post by: coastsidemike on February 26, 2012, 03:10:08 PM
I'm moving back to a cooler/thermos mash tun and want to add a couple pumps to my setup.  With my brew-club, not everyone is thrilled with their march pumps and so I'm looking for options, in particular any centrifugal pump that is low budget, can handle high temps, and ideally where I can supply the motor (drill or whatever, 1/2 hp).
 
Is there any reason to not use oil pumps meant for engines?  Small block Chevy oil pumps are a starting point because they are cast iron and under $20 (re: Melling M55).  I get that I'd have to put some effort in on the fittings and a mount, but it seems like cast iron is cast iron.  I've not found info like 'does it has lead' or other toxic elements that I should be concerned about.  They're made for 1k+ rpm, I'm guessing once primed they should be more than sufficient.

I'm asking for a sanity check - anyone have a take on using engine parts for brew setups?
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: tschmidlin on February 26, 2012, 05:22:44 PM
i wouldn't use a pump where the cast iron touches the beer/wort.  Too much risk of it picking up off flavors.
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: dcbc on February 26, 2012, 06:25:15 PM
What is the grip with the march pump?  I just added the high flow impeller to mine.  Haven't had a chance to test it yet, but I'm hoping for more flow and less cavitation as advertised.  For $22, it was worth a shot.
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: evandy on February 26, 2012, 06:53:38 PM
I personally use a Little Giant 3-MD-HC pump.  You can buy their pump-heads sans motor if you like.  They retail for about the same price as the March pumps, but have a higher flow-rate and are MUCH quieter.  The head is also made for easy disassembly, if that's something that matters to you (comes with wing-nuts).

The inlet is a 3/4" FNPT thread straight in to the middle of the impeller, and you can rotate the pump head to align the output in 90-degree increments.
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: richardt on February 26, 2012, 08:49:18 PM
i wouldn't use a pump where the cast iron touches the beer/wort.  Too much risk of it picking up off flavors. 

Looks like there is no iron.  Glass-infused Ryton is in contact with the wort.

http://www.franklin-electric.com/media/documents/995777.pdf (http://www.franklin-electric.com/media/documents/995777.pdf)

http://www.cpchem.com/bl/rytonpps/en-us/Documents/Safety_Engineering_Guide.pdf (http://www.cpchem.com/bl/rytonpps/en-us/Documents/Safety_Engineering_Guide.pdf)
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: coastsidemike on February 26, 2012, 10:04:39 PM
Thanks for the feedback; off flavors would be the problem with this.

The Little Giant, especially with the detail on manufacturing, seems ideal but beyond my budget.

The March seems like the way to go.  I did not know they were available sans motor, I'll give it a try.  The gripe has come from guys who've built HERMS systems - I don't know exactly other than it's been a weakspot in their setup.

Cheers!

Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: tschmidlin on February 26, 2012, 10:15:00 PM
i wouldn't use a pump where the cast iron touches the beer/wort.  Too much risk of it picking up off flavors. 

Looks like there is no iron.  Glass-infused Ryton is in contact with the wort.

http://www.franklin-electric.com/media/documents/995777.pdf (http://www.franklin-electric.com/media/documents/995777.pdf)

http://www.cpchem.com/bl/rytonpps/en-us/Documents/Safety_Engineering_Guide.pdf (http://www.cpchem.com/bl/rytonpps/en-us/Documents/Safety_Engineering_Guide.pdf)
Well, that's good, thanks for finding that.  Still, these specs can cause some problems:

Specific Gravity to 1.1
Fluid Temperature to 200 Degrees F
Ambient Air Temperature to 77 Degrees F

Even here in the PNW it gets over 77 sometimes.  And you might want to pump liquid hotter than 200 or thicker than 1.100 SG.
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: euge on February 27, 2012, 12:55:54 AM
You might want to to look into a food-grade peristaltic pump.
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: phillamb168 on February 27, 2012, 01:35:13 AM
http://www.manoloblahnik.com/ ? Dunno how easy it would be to DIY...

 :o 8) ::) ;D
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: tschmidlin on February 27, 2012, 01:43:50 AM
http://www.manoloblahnik.com/ ? Dunno how easy it would be to DIY...

 :o 8) ::) ;D
;D  Took me way too long to catch on to that one, I need to go to sleep :)
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: jeffy on February 27, 2012, 04:16:17 AM
http://www.manoloblahnik.com/ ? Dunno how easy it would be to DIY...

 :o 8) ::) ;D
;D  Took me way too long to catch on to that one, I need to go to sleep :)

Ha!  Phil made a joke!  Nice one.
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: phillamb168 on February 27, 2012, 04:57:51 AM
http://www.manoloblahnik.com/ ? Dunno how easy it would be to DIY...

 :o 8) ::) ;D
;D  Took me way too long to catch on to that one, I need to go to sleep :)

Ha!  Phil made a joke!  Nice one.

Ithankyou
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: evandy on February 27, 2012, 06:24:31 AM
Well, that's good, thanks for finding that.  Still, these specs can cause some problems:

Specific Gravity to 1.1
Fluid Temperature to 200 Degrees F
Ambient Air Temperature to 77 Degrees F

Even here in the PNW it gets over 77 sometimes.  And you might want to pump liquid hotter than 200 or thicker than 1.100 SG.

Personally, I had the same concern over the 200F fluid temperature, but given how short a time anything hotter than that is in the pump, it doesn't seem to be a huge issue.  There are a bunch of 3-MD-HC users on homebrewtalk, and they also haven't reported a problem so far.

The air temp can be taken care of with a fan, if needed, but if you are in texas or something that might be more of an issue as an everyday thing.

SG is definitely not a problem... your flow rate would just drop down a little bit.  Not a huge deal, given that it's 750GPH (12.5GPM).
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: mabrungard on February 27, 2012, 09:48:05 AM
For many brewers, they are not likely to be pumping liquids at over 200F.  Boiled wort and water cools off pretty rapidly for the first degrees since the temperature differential with the environment is greater.  But for brewers that whirlpool their wort by pumping, they will be dealing with wort that is just below boiling.  Brewers with boil kettles that are too large to swirl with a spoon probably need to keep the heat durability of their whirlpooling pump in mind.

I haven't thought about an oil pump before, but its not a bad idea if the materials of construction are compatible with our brewing needs.  I'm not sure an automotive unit would be compatible.  Either a gear pump or trochoid pump could be suitable.  I'm not sure that they would be any more self-priming than the typical centrifugal pump like March.  For best self-priming performance, you would likely have to go to peristaltic, piston, or diaphragm pump types. 

Jeffy would know a thing or two about automotive oil pumps.
 
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: Jimmy K on February 27, 2012, 09:53:42 AM
i wouldn't use a pump where the cast iron touches the beer/wort.  Too much risk of it picking up off flavors.

Cast iron + acidic liquid (wort) = rust
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: morticaixavier on February 27, 2012, 09:59:04 AM
I read a piece on another forum about a guy who was building a DIY peristaltic pump from some silicon tubeing, a couple of skateboard wheels and an axle/motor thing. basically, if I remember correctly, the skateboard wheel pressed the tube between itself and the inner wall of a cylinder so when the axle rotated it would continuously squeeze the tube as it goes around. a couple of wheels keeps the action going constantly.

well that's about as clear as mud, but perhaps some of you engineer types can make something of it.
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: Jimmy K on February 27, 2012, 10:02:22 AM
I read a piece on another forum about a guy who was building a DIY peristaltic pump from some silicon tubeing, a couple of skateboard wheels and an axle/motor thing. basically, if I remember correctly, the skateboard wheel pressed the tube between itself and the inner wall of a cylinder so when the axle rotated it would continuously squeeze the tube as it goes around. a couple of wheels keeps the action going constantly.

well that's about as clear as mud, but perhaps some of you engineer types can make something of it.

I always thought peristaltic pumps would make good brewing pumps since the liquid never leaves the tubing. Real ones are expensive though, but homemade would be great.
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: jeffy on February 27, 2012, 10:07:29 AM
Most of the water and oil pumps I see on cars are aluminum and need to be belt driven.  I'm not sure there would be much of an advantage to making this fit into a homebrew system.  On the other hand, a heater core or an a/c evaporator makes a nice pre chiller for water to a wort chiller.
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: morticaixavier on February 27, 2012, 10:08:11 AM
I read a piece on another forum about a guy who was building a DIY peristaltic pump from some silicon tubeing, a couple of skateboard wheels and an axle/motor thing. basically, if I remember correctly, the skateboard wheel pressed the tube between itself and the inner wall of a cylinder so when the axle rotated it would continuously squeeze the tube as it goes around. a couple of wheels keeps the action going constantly.

well that's about as clear as mud, but perhaps some of you engineer types can make something of it.

I always thought peristaltic pumps would make good brewing pumps since the liquid never leaves the tubing. Real ones are expensive though, but homemade would be great.

alright here is the link (sorry to cross post from another forum) http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/cake-pan-skateboard-wheel-bike-brakes-homemade-peristaltic-pump-279120/ (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/cake-pan-skateboard-wheel-bike-brakes-homemade-peristaltic-pump-279120/)
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: euge on February 27, 2012, 12:39:25 PM
Damn that looks pretty awesome. And doable for the DIY'er!
Title: Re: DIY pumps
Post by: coastsidemike on February 27, 2012, 05:27:09 PM
afaik, the peristaltic/tube pump thing is perfect DIY material.  The cake pan implementation - very nice.