Counterflow chiller pump

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Buffers brewery

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Not suitable for potable water. You can get stainless steel versions I believe but expensive.
 

LeeH

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Looks like an iron central heating pump so no.
How much does it cost?
 

Ashman

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Looks like an iron central heating pump so no.
How much does it cost?
Just plump your chiller into the heating system? I expect someone in the world has done it for their mash tun rather than chilling.
 

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I have a couple of these on my set up, one for circulating wort during the mash (HERMS), the other for circulating strike water in the kettle during heating and also to whirlpool after the boil.

I have no experience of counterflow chillers, but I know someone who does. Where’s @The-Engineer-That-Brews when you need him?
 

peebee

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... I’d go for the first option.
So would I! I've just purged a little 12V one from my system because it failed (the positive lead came adrift). I already knew not to use it making wort because it has an "enclosed" impeller which makes them very efficient but they bung up with debris as quick as look at them:
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I used it only to transfer clear beer into kegs. But once it was broke I dismantled it … and "sanitary" it certainly isn't! It's now only for use with clean water and I'm experimenting with food-safe diaphragm pumps for beer transfer (no debris; it wrecks them).

I don't believe any small 12V centrifugal pump is really food-safe (and I do mean magnetically coupled), but believe the cheapo Chinese sites if you must!asad.
 

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I agree with @peebee small 12 volt pumps are easily blocked by "bits" in the wort so you need to take precautions. Also, and it probably applies to all pumps if there's a significant period between brews, I take my pumps apart after a brew and give them a good clean and sanitise leaving them to dry completely before putting them back together. I also store them in the house and not the shed.
 

peebee

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I agree with @peebee small 12 volt pumps are easily blocked by "bits" in the wort so you need to take precautions. Also, and it probably applies to all pumps if there's a significant period between brews, I take my pumps apart after a brew and give them a good clean and sanitise leaving them to dry completely before putting them back together. I also store them in the house and not the shed.
Those little brown (usually) "solar" pumps are not so bad, having an open impeller design (don't bung up so easily) and being direct drive (don't have the same unsanitary magnet coupling). But they do have (on the ones I have) a free disc between impeller and body. Sort of semi-open? The disc probably prevents debris jamming the impeller from turning (disastrous for direct-drive) but didn't strike me as very sanitary.

But as you dismantle yours for cleaning; no bother.
 

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But as you dismantle yours for cleaning;
Yes, I discovered early on, like second use, after giving them a good flush through this black gunky bits appeared in the water. Took the pumps apart to discover they had grown a nice crop of black mould since my last brewday! As the pump mouldings are held together with self tapping screws I decided to drill out the mouldings so I could fit M3 nuts and bolts. Makes it a bit easier to get them apart and back together again.
 

LeeH

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Those solar pumps are 20 quids worth of bother in my experience.

I bought one from solar project back I the day. It didn’t last long on my rig.
 

peebee

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thanks gents, i like the idea of diaphragm pumps use to use a lot of wilden pumps when i was working
Don't get carried away! I did say such pumps were for finished beer. Two issues: The cheap ones (Chinese) will not use food-safe materials and can have very dodgy designed innards (that you don't see); and secondly any muck in the liquid being pumped will trash the diaphragm. I'm using Seaflo models to have some confidence in them being built out of what they say they're built out of.

They must also pump on the forward stroke and back stroke to keep a continuous flow (but I think they all generally do now). The flow isn't very great, they're all power and less shifting stuff (which is way they go like crazy so as to get half-decent flow out of them).
 

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I use a counterflow chiller pumped with a magnetically linked pump on the hot side. Works fine but agree with comments about hop debris easily blocking pump. I use a hop bag & a hop filter which pretty well eliminates the problem. When cleaning after the brew I run PBW cleaner through the pump & chiller, then folloed by clean water. I finally blow back through the chiller & pump with compressed air.
With the pump starting clean as described I run hot wort through the pump & chiller with control tap fully open for at least 10 minutes to sanitise the set up.
I wouldn't bother trying to save money on the pump, just buy a decent one intended for the job. It will last a good while and with care will work trouble free.
If cost is a driver stick to an immersion chiller. Whilst I use a counterflow chiller, the advantages are small, probably more trouble than it's worth to be frank.
 
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