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Mash Pump Needed for Juniper Berries


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Any recommendations on a pump, (mash) (screw) to remove juniper berries and botanicals? I currently have 1"1/2 mash pump and it gets clogged every time. 


Thank you in advance. 


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Sounds like you're looking for a must pump rather than a mash pump. Must pumps are large enough to handle whole fruit. We sell a heck of a lot of must pumps to move grapes in wineries: crushed, destemmed, and even whole grape clusters. Although juniper berries are a bit smaller than grapes, the same principles should apply, so I'll give the same advice I give to folks looking to move grapes.

If the berries and botanicals are whole—that is, not mashed and minced to a smoothie-like consistency—you will need to consider how you'll feed material to the pump. Often I speak with people looking for more of a "must vacuum" rather than a pump. Unfortunately there is no such animal. Most must pumps have an auger hopper that moves material directly to the inlet of the pump. So, you will need to ask yourself how you get the berries into the hopper where they can be consistently fed into the pump's inlet.

If you can take advantage of gravity—like if the berries are in a tank above ground level, and you can rely on the berries draining out a bottom port—and you use a very short length of hose to the pump inlet, you may be able to forego the hopper. You may still occasionally clog somewhere in the run-up to the pump inlet.

A screw pump may work. You don't want to run screw pumps dry, though, so you'd definitely want to monitor the inlet to make sure it isn't clogging if you're not using a hopper to feed the berries.

I wrote a whole article about this. It's targeted to wineries, but the same concepts will apply to any solid/semi-solid pump applications. In short, the best solutions are typically large peristaltics or RPD pumps. Less expensive pumps are definitely available, but will have some trade-off: they can't run dry without catastropic failure, they can't reach very high pressures or pump long distances, they are not particularly gentle (if that's a concern), etc.

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