Author Topic: Transfer to secondary with March pump  (Read 1412 times)

Offline trentmark

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Transfer to secondary with March pump
« on: September 27, 2012, 02:45:00 PM »
I recently upgraded from 5 to 10 gallon capacity. I quickly found out a pump was a necessary part of that upgrade. I selected a March pump and have had great success. One issue arose when transferring to the bright tank; The beer became very cloudy with a lot of foam. I transferred near the end of fermentation (1.008). The beer was clear by the next day and I bottled 3 weeks later at a final gravity of 1.006. The end results was a good beer with no apparent effect from the transfer. The only noticeable difference was a bit lower carbonation than expected.   

Questions: 1) Are there others out there transferring near finished beer with a March (centrifugal) pump? 2) What caused the beer to be so cloudy and foam? 3) Are there possible effects I haven't noticed? and 3)Any advise on how to reduce the foam (I tried restricting the flow with no apparent effect)?


Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Transfer to secondary with March pump
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 02:55:42 PM »
I would think that transfering fermented beer with a march pump might cause significant oxidation unless you somehow purge the whole pump and line with co2 first. foamy says to be that the pump is cavitating which can be improved, IIRC, by changing the orientation of the pump. But I don't remember the details.

Have you thought about transfering under presure? depending on what your primary vessel is you can push the beer out with a little co2, like 1 or 2 psi.
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Offline gsandel

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Re: Transfer to secondary with March pump
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 03:23:53 PM »
I have been interested in this for a while, as don't most breweries transfer their finished beer via same type of pump (albeit bigger)?

it seems to me that if your pump is below the fermenter, and you prime the pumphead with beer before activating, you only have to worry about air if splashing in the new vessel and if your fermenter (and pump head) runs dry.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Transfer to secondary with March pump
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 03:30:55 PM »
I have been interested in this for a while, as don't most breweries transfer their finished beer via same type of pump (albeit bigger)?

it seems to me that if your pump is below the fermenter, and you prime the pumphead with beer before activating, you only have to worry about air if splashing in the new vessel and if your fermenter (and pump head) runs dry.

I would think that would be true but I have no idea. However if the beer is coming out of the pump foamy then I would worry.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Transfer to secondary with March pump
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 03:43:18 PM »
The beer comes out foamy b/c it is super saturated with CO2 and because the pump is creating suction that lowers the CO2 pressure and allows CO2 to escape. I think this is normal and there is not much you can do about this.

I have to check what kind of pumps are used in the brewing industry, but the abuse of the beer by a march pump is likely less than what the beer experiences in a centrifuge.

O2 should not be a problem if the pump is completely filled with beer before it is turned on.

Be careful with CO2 pressure and glass carboys. They are not built to withstand pressure, morticaixavier alluded to that.

Kai

Offline majorvices

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Re: Transfer to secondary with March pump
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 02:14:27 AM »
It is preferable to transfer beer without a pump if possible because you don'tr want to knock the co2 out of the beer - foaming like that can erase some volatile aromas. But I do use a pump for beer transfer out of my non pressurizable tanks out of necessity. The preferred methos is to transfer via co2 pressure on the tank to be racked.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Transfer to secondary with March pump
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 07:00:53 AM »
What type of primary fermenter are you using?

Sounds like a conical, since you probably can't prime a march pump from a carboy/bucket.

In that case, CO2 is your best bet, IF your conical is rated for pressure (I know Blichmann conicals are, but not sure about other make/models).

Foaming might not be bad for the beer, but its definitely bad for a centrifugal (March) pump. Its just like sucking air into the pump.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Transfer to secondary with March pump
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2012, 07:47:04 AM »
the lowest pressure in a system is at the eye of the impeller.  the way of preventing  cavitation or co2 from coming out of solution is to increase the NPSH (net positive suction head ;D always makes me giggle) you may try lowering the pump in relation to the fermenter but i don't know if you can get enough impact. the other thing is i would let the beer finish out and not pump nearly finished beer, and let it sit and vent excess co2 for a few days before pumping
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Offline trentmark

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Re: Transfer to secondary with March pump
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2012, 09:00:10 AM »
Thanks for all the informative replies. morticaixavier is correct, foam was my biggest worry. I think Kaiser is right in that CO2 escaping from solution caused the foam and also explains the lower than expected carbonation. Perhaps majorvices is on to something with the possibility of losing volatile aromas along with CO2. In addition, the loss of CO2 makes fine tuning carbonation a shot in the dark. This turned out to be a pretty good beer but I am into brewing great beers. This recipe won first place in Catagory 18D at both the 2012 World Cup of Beer in San Francisco and 2012 Peak-to-Peak ProAm in Colorado. I have entered this batch in the Dixie Cup in Houston and will be interested in seeing the scored sheets. Since I am not set up to transfer with CO2, I am going back to transferring by siphon.