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MichaelAtTCW last won the day on June 23 2019

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About MichaelAtTCW

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  1. @ryanh You're right, but I prefer not to rely on this method because some users find it's more difficult to get a proper seal against the neck of the bottle. However, if it works for you, then it's by far the simplest solution. We're going to put the micro-adjust tray into production with the feedback from @Skaalvenn. We don't get the trays separately from Mori, so for now if you'd like us to modify one we'll need the original tray back in the shop. Ultimately I'm estimating we'll price it at $150-175 as an optional add-on, but through April 1st, 2020 we will do it for $75 + shipping, and it should take about a week to turn around once we receive it.
  2. @John Bassett: Most distilleries use an air diaphragm pump sized according to their needs. Probably the most popular one we sell is the SimpleSpirits 43. They can pull liquid from about 15 feet dry, and 30 feet wet. The 43 is large enough that bits of char up to about 1/8" won't have any adverse effect. You can use smaller AODD pumps, but might want to put an inline mesh gasket screen to prevent solids from getting caught in the check valves. You can use an electric pump, but we recommend keeping the VFD control outside of any areas designated for C1D2. In those cases, an SQN 20 is a nice little pump that can self-prime from about 10 feet dry and uses a C1D2 motor. You could go centrifugal, but priming from barrels could be a pain.
  3. Thanks for the write-up @Skaalvenn We're on v3 of the infinitely-adjustable tray prototype. I think this one's a winner in terms of being customizable and not too complicated to build (read: expensive) but feedback will be invaluable.
  4. It's not a bad idea, and quite often it's how wineries deal with the same issue, where lees and sediment collect at the bottom of the barrel. Our curved barrel racking wands allow you to angle into barrels already sitting on a rack without having to move them around, and they have an adjustable bolt at the bottom that allows you to keep the inlet of the wand off the very bottom where all the crud is.
  5. Yes, we have sold our pumpover carts for this very purpose. When we sell them as barrel dump sumps we don’t put on the handles for lifting the perforated screen in and out, but rather weld on a "V" to keep the barrel stable like a barrel rack.
  6. We sell a lot of cartridge filters in those sizes. The most popular ones we sell are Graver QMC from 0.6 to 10µ, and Graver GFC 1µ. Probably the next most common question I hear after "how long do filters last before they clog?" is "what size do I use to filter out particles without removing flavor?". For spirits it would be pretty challenging to remove flavor using normal dead-end filtration like the cartridges linked above. The things that add flavor to your spirit are almost certainly entirely dissolved in solution. That is to say, they are not particles that would be caught in a filter, but are liquids that will pass right through. Unless you are running your spirits through nanofiltration or ultrafiltration, you can rest assured that filters are just removing the large particles like bit of charcoal dust, bits of barrel char, etc., and not having any impact on flavor.
  7. Filters are filters. Not sure why there is any question about which one will work for the Enolmaster, but maybe there's something I'm missing. It's been many years since we stopped selling Tenco fillers so I don't recall completely, but I've been looking at pictures of the unit online and it's just a standalone filter housing with a hose barb inlet and outlet. The only odd thing about their unit is that it uses vacuum to pull through the filter, which means you'll get less life out of filters than you would if you were pushing through them with a positive displacement pump, which is the way we set up Mori Fillers with inline filter. Any filter housing should technically work. It's just a question of plumbing it inline with your Tenco filler: Polypropylene filter housing Stainless steel housing Professional-grade housing It looks like all you would need to do is get either a hose barb x thread or hose barb x tri clamp fitting to make one of those work just like the Tenco version.
  8. We're getting great feedback on another pump that's a slam dunk for hot mash. Ampco ZP1.They're designed to be completely parts-interchangeable with Waukesha Universal 1 pumps. The main benefit is the all-stainless head rather than the painted mild steel head that waukesha uses on U1 pumps. Like Waukeshas, they're not cheap, but they pump from -40°–300°F without any issues. For the budget-conscious the Jabsco flexible impeller pumps are still a solid choice as long as you keep in mind their limitations, but if you want to turn it on and forget it, these are a great option. Check 'em out: https://store.tcwequipment.com/products/ampco-zp1-30-sanitary-positive-displacement-pump
  9. I saw you reacted to a couple comments, and you've seemed very knowledgeable about equipment in the past. Thanks for saying so. Sure, I have some input. There's some good advice in the thread already. What @richard1 says is on the money. With regard to stainless vs plastic I see people fall into a filtration logic trap that goes something like this: Plastic is disposable. Stainless steel is not disposable. My filters are made of plastic and they are disposable. Therefore, a filter made out of stainless steel would not be disposable. It doesn't work that way. Filters have a finite lifespan. They last until they're clogged or until they become "spoiled" with mold, bacteria, etc. That's true no matter what material they're made of. That being the case, there isn't really a compelling reason to use stainless steel filters unless the material you're filtering is so aggressive/hot/cold that it is only compatible with stainless steel. If you want inexpensive filters you can go with melt-blown depth cartridges. That's the cheapest style of filter. Like the SS filters they are relatively inefficient, small surface area, low dirt holding capacity, etc. They're typically single-use and are not designed for cleaning/backflushing, but only cost $10-$15/filter. Spending more on a filter typically gets you greater efficiency, longevity, and dirt-holding capacity. We rep Graver filters, and they offer great US-made products at a reasonable price. I like QMC and GFC as bottling filters for spirits. Both will last you a while with proper cleaning and storage.
  10. Thanks @captnKB. I've deposited 500 rubles into your account. We've made air spargers for years. Typically they're for displacing air in the bottles and introducing inert gas to minimize dissolved oxygen in the final product. More for beer & wine than for spirits, but some users have used them to blast out dust too. What we've learned over the years is that compressed air doesn't work very well. Besides the potential for introducing more crud itself, compressed air mostly just kicks dust around. That's particularly true of bottles that are not shaped like a "standard" wine bottle. Compressed air just isn't very effective at dislodging particles. Some stuff is forced out, but most stays inside. Rinsing works much better. The rinser we make and sell is the MiniMax.
  11. MichaelAtTCW


    Any of the above I mention are good choices. Each has their own drawbacks, but on the whole they will, indeed, do it all. I'd say consider your situation, desires, and budget and make a selection that meets your needs. I'll go over each option briefly. RPD The Waukesha & Ampco pumps we sell are rated for -40° to 300 °F and 1,000,000 cP of viscosity, or about the viscosity of Crisco. Without a doubt they're the most popular pump in the wine industry. Pretty much every mid-sized and up commercial winery uses these pumps for bottling, filtration, and even solids transfer. They'll start at around $7-8k for a fairly small pump, and go up from there. There are a few downsides to this style of pump: If a hard solid gets into one you're toast. It'll get caught between the rotors and score them up at best, or seize the pump and damage the gearbox at worst. I've heard of people accidentally dropping in TC gaskets, staples, etc. They are self-priming, but because the rotors are hard, they won't pull quite as strong suction as a flexible impeller pump or some of the other pumps I'll discuss below. Lord help you if you have a problem in the gearbox (the rear section of the pump). Unless you're adept at rebuilding planetary transmissions you'll probably want to send it direct to the manufacturer for repair/rebuilding. They are self-priming by virtue of the fact that the rotors baaaaaaarely make contact and form a seal inside the head. After time, the metal-on-metal contact wears away and the head has to be machined out and oversized rotors put in if you want to keep getting a seal and self-priming. If you've ever worked on cars and had to bore out a cylinder and use oversize piston rings/pistons, it's the same concept. You can remanufacture the head a couple of times before a new head is required. Piston Pumps We sell Ragazzini Piston Pumps. Ragazzini calls them the "fifty year pump" because, on average, they last 40-50 years with simple regular maintenance. They'll self-prime from 30 feet, pump boiling mash, and are used by large commercial distilleries all over Europe for pretty much anything and everything. Expect to spend north of $12k. Downsides are: They're big and heavy. No rolling over hose. They're expensive. They're not as common in the US. Like the RPD pumps mentioned above, they're fairly complicated, but not so complicated that repairs can't be done by the end user if necessary. And again, with regular maintenance it's unlikely you'll need to carry out in-depth repairs for a few decades. If I sell someone a piston pump, I don't anticipate talking to them about that pump for many, many years. Peristaltic Pumps Ragazzini also makes the peristaltic pumps we sell. They're one of the more interesting pump types, in my opinion. They can pull a nearly perfect vacuum and pump huge, abrasive solids. They're extremely versatile. On the one hand peristaltic pumps are used for moving blood during open-heart surgery because they're so gentle. On the other hand they're used for pumping rock slurries in mining operations because they're so powerful. You can get a pretty small 20 GPM peristaltic for about the same price as a similarly-sized RPD pump: $8-9k. The only downside is that they have about the same temperature limitations as flexible impeller pumps, so no boiling liquids. The upsides are pretty compelling: there's only one wear part—the peristaltic tube. That's it. Period, end of story. Change the tube and you have an essentially new pump. There are no check valves or other obstructions in the pump. I've heard of users accidentally dropping whole tri clamp fittings into the pump and having them come out the other side with neither the pump not the clamp damaged. They're very good at self-priming, and they can pump hundreds of meters without breaking a sweat.
  12. MichaelAtTCW


    I'd add AODD pumps to the mix. They seem to be the most popular pumps we sell for transferring liquids, particularly high-proof. Mash is another story unless you get a very large AODD. Centrifugal pumps are much cheaper in terms of dollars per GPM. Take something like our Dynahead 114, a centrifugal pump with a 1.5 HP motor and a maximum potential flow rate of 130 GPM. A similarly-specced flexible impeller pump in terms of size, motor HP, and price has a maximum flow rate of about 20 GPM. To get to 100 GPM with a flexible impeller pump you'll be spending at least twice the cost of the Dynahead 114 and have a motor about 3 times as powerful. That said, centrifugal pumps are not a total slam dunk. You have to work around them. They need to be primed, or to have liquid already running to their inlet in order to work properly. Manufacturers recommend against moving solids with centrifugal pumps, as the fast-spinning impellers will be damaged by abrasive solids (and at 3500 rpm, solids can be very abrasive). Additionally, if the inlet becomes clogged or the product you are trying to move is very viscous, you run the risk of cavitation. Cavitation is where there isn't enough material making it to the inlet of the pump fast enough. It causes vapor bubbles to form and it ultimately destroys the stainless steel impeller. The best way to be sure you're getting the right centrifugal pump is to understand the pumping conditions. Questions like: Will it have a flooded inlet? If not, how will you prime it? What is the tallest run you will have to pump? What kind of backpressure will it face as the result of any process valves, filters, 90° elbows, etc.? Will it have any pressure at the inlet? With those answers in mind, work with your centrifugal pump salesperson to spec the pump for a given duty point. That, or just overspec the hell out of it and buy more pump than you need to ensure your bases are covered and you are operating within the pump curve. Cavitation and viscous materials like mash are not such a big deal for flexible impeller pumps because they are a type of positive displacement pump, and the above-noted conditions don't make as much difference to positive displacement pumps. High temps are not good for flexible impeller pumps. At higher temperatures the impellers will swell. Since there's already a lot of friction in the pump head, the swelling increases the friction, and ultimately prematurely destroys the impeller. Sometimes very rapidly. Jabsco makes shortened impellers that are designed to swell to fit the head, however they're not as efficient at low temperatures, so you kind of have to choose one or the other: all high-temp or all low-temp (or swap impellers based on what you're pumping, but that'd be a pain). Centrifugal pumps are not great for high temperatures either, but for different reasons. A typical centrifugal pump uses a "Type D" that seals off the head from the shaft. At high temperatures the seal is more prone to fail or crack prematurely, and cause leaking behind the head. There are other seal styles that are better for high temp transfer, though. Some have a separate inlet to allow you to introduce water or other cooling agents to the head to keep the seal cool. Again, you'll want to work with your sales rep to go over which seal choice makes the most sense. There are a few "do-it-all" pumps we sell that can move hot, cold, thick, thin, near or far: Rotary Lobe, Piston Pumps, and Peristaltics. All are great, but none are cheap.
  13. For those considering ozone, just remember to keep it away from ozone-sensitive materials like Buna, Neoprene, & Nylon. It will destroy them pretty quickly. Other than that I know many folks like ozone for sanitation.
  14. Sounds like a few people in this thread have had issues burning through impellers with Jabsco pumps, US-FIP pumps, and the Italian FIP pumps that MoreWine sells. Flexible impeller pumps have well-known shortcomings. You don't have to baby them, but you do have to know about those shortcomings and take precautions to mitigate them. I'm attaching a troubleshooting guide that shows illustrations of what impeller failure looks like under different conditions. It's made by Jabsco, but should apply to other brands as well. There's a lot to unpack in this thread, but I'm happy to answer any questions about Jabsco pumps. We've been selling them for decades in wine, beer and spirits, and I truly believe that in this price range there's no better pump. If you want to spend more you can pretty much have it all—dry running, forward/reverse, self priming, solids handling—but in the sub-$5,000 range your options are more limited. If you need to move viscous solids, you're either looking at air diaphragm pumps or flexible impeller pumps. I've certainly seen people burn through impellers, but there's always a reason. Likewise, I know folks who've gone years without changing impellers. If you're losing blades on the impeller—particularly at startup—then all signs point running dry. @captnKB is right on the money: use a sight glass at the inlet to keep an eye on things. As far as reversing you can definitely do it, but there are some things to consider: Don't do it right at start-up. Impellers are made of elastomers. Elastomers have a memory. If it's been sitting for a long time with the blades in one direction then reversing it is going to be hard on the blades An old impeller is less flexible than a fresh impeller, and will be more prone to tearing As far as lubricating the pump on start-up with some food-grade silicone spray or the like: it never hurts, and will certainly extend the life of the impeller. Starting up "wet" will allow you to pull better suction as well. FIP_TROUBLE_SHOOTING_GUIDE.PDF
  15. Clever little bracket @Patio29Dadio That's the Flojet G70 in the picture. It's a nice little groundable pump for ~5 GPM. You'll find all kinds of uses for it in your distillery.
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