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Is this the perfect distillery pump?


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Double diaphragm, air operated, decent flow rate, solid handling up to 6.35mm, PTFE seals, atex (ce) rated.

So as well as moving high abv spirits, it looks as though it can move mash, hot wort, all with solids such as ground wheat mash or yeast slurry (provided it's agitated during pumping)

Its also quite cost effective

 

https://tfpumps.com/product/dm25-75-htt-dellmeco-1-polished-hygienic-316l-stainless-steel-diaphragm-pump-with-virgin-ptfe-centre-section-and-polished-hygienic-316l-stainless-steel-body-n-a-ptfe-tfm-ptfe-fda-approved/

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Looks nice. I have used air diaphragm pumps in the past and really like them. Adequate air supply is, of course, required. As I remember the volume of air required equals the volume of liquid moved, at a fairly high pressure.

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Thanks for the article shoutout! I have a few nits to pick on this pump.

I don't love clamped-body AODD pumps. They are easier to dismantle, but also fussier. More prone to leaks or mystery vacuum problems. Bolted bodies tend to be more reliable than clamped bodies. Manufacturers that make bolted body pumps usually tout the bolted body as an advantage over clamped bodies.

PTFE (Teflon) diaphragms are a strange choice. As anyone who's used it knows, PTFE has poor elastomer memory. It's extremely chemical resistant, but if you've used teflon tri clamp gaskets you know it can be tougher to get a good seal than EPDM or Buna. Once PTFE has been nicked, it stays nicked, and a leak path forms very easily.

PTFE is also more difficult to flex/deform, so you lose a lot of power and flow rate when you use it as a diaphragm material. On the pumps we sell, for example, choosing a PTFE diaphragm vs. a standard thermoplastic elastomer loses you about 10-12 GPM of flow rate, given the same inlet CFM/PSI. So your air efficiency decreases commensurately, and you end up requiring more kWhr for less flow rate. Not a big deal if you're only running one AODD pump now and again, but as you scale up you can easily save thousands of dollars a year with more efficient pumps.

And speaking of air efficiency, the pump is really inefficient. Doing the conversions, it requires about 15 CFM @ 110 psi to get about 17.83 GPM and a potential head pressure of 21 psi. 110 psi in and only 21 psi out. That's a huge efficiency loss. You'll be running your air compressor all-out to get this pump to run at full speed. It's a very inexpensive pump (not counting the cost of shipping from the UK, of course), but depending on how often you use it, the cost to run it would likely make up the difference in short order.

The equivalent pump that we sell—which is also often used for mash/high proof transfer—is the SimpleSpirits 43, which uses a 1" body. On our pump, 15 CFM @ only 40 psi gets you about 27 GPM and the same 21 psi of head pressure. 40 psi in, 21 psi out. Much better. And you still have the rest of the pump curve's worth of headroom to get up to 49 GPM.

The inlet/outlet are not tri clamp, but BSP: British Standard Pipe. Good if you're in the UK. Not so good anywhere else.

I'll say two things that I do like about this pump to make up for all the trash talking: 6.35 mm is a pretty large solid for a 1" pump to pass. It might be a website typo because the linked manual says it will only do up to 5 mm. Not a huge difference, but anyway…

I do also like that this pump is easily flippable for draining. We actually just started making an "easy flip" stand for AODD pumps that lets users flip the pump over for draining. Here's a pic:

easy-flip-cart.thumb.jpg.1c32b0be6e3ba7d4138ead623ccb5750.jpg

 

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Thanks for the math Michael, it does seem like an inefficient pump for sure. I take your point on PTFE, I have some TC gaskets and they don't give at all. I can't comment on body construction but do take you experience in mind for sure.

I try to take a long term view on costs but have a budget for the pump and it isn't more than this one. The only other option is a less specified atex rated one for moving high abv and another for moving mash.

Tanks for your candid feedback, I'll be sure to consider aftermarket support and spares strongly iny decision making process.

My vessels are 300l, so high throughput isn't a need.

 

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So generally speaking the AODD pumps seem to be a good choice for a distillery provided it has solids handling.

I do think my choice has largely been driven by solids handling and that ATEX pumps for moving alcohol can be had much cheaper, so one might consider an even cheaper AODD pump and a general purpose flexible impeller for moving mash.

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Personally I like my Dixon centrifugal pumps. They pump hot and room temp mash faster than the PD pumps we were recommended to use because of our mash thickness, they disassemble and clean easily, have a few on carts exclusively for different purposes. just my .02

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this is what I was thinking.. one for high abv, one or more for mash.. so i asked the local pump company for one or two pumps, thinking they might suggest one for mash and one for atex needs. This time they suggested this one.

https://tfpumps.com/product/compatible-sandpiper-t1fb1saswts6-with-stainless-steel-body-ptfe-santoprene-diaphragms-1-5-tri-clamp/

But at a discounted price of £1517 (£900 discount)

One of Enviroflex EFT1F01SWSST6 Diaphragm Pump

Max Free flow 170lpm (Water), wetted body section Stainless steel,

Centre section white epoxy coated aluminium / stainless steel hardware,

Thread 1.5” Tri Clamp, Air inlet ½”, Max solids 6.3mm, Seats stainless steel,

Balls PTFE, Diaphragms PTFE c/w santoprene backers, ATEX

 

and when looking at this pumps curve at a height of 3.5m and flow of 30 USGPM I only need 40 psi. seems better..

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Every distillery I've ever worked at uses separate pumps for wash/mash and spirits; the capabilities of the pump aside you are very likely to contaminate spirits through poor cleaning of the mash pump, and in production you'll likely need to move both mash & spirits everyday and possibly near the same time.

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17 minutes ago, JustAndy said:

Every distillery I've ever worked at uses separate pumps for wash/mash and spirits; the capabilities of the pump aside you are very likely to contaminate spirits through poor cleaning of the mash pump, and in production you'll likely need to move both mash & spirits everyday and possibly near the same time.

I'm starting to see this as a vey sensible path forwards.

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4 minutes ago, JustAndy said:

Every distillery I've ever worked at uses separate pumps for wash/mash and spirits; the capabilities of the pump aside you are very likely to contaminate spirits through poor cleaning of the mash pump, and in production you'll likely need to move both mash & spirits everyday and possibly near the same time.

Get a FIP pump for your mash and air diaphragm pump for your spirits.

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@needmorstuff Looks like that pump you link to is a regular old Sandpiper T1F. I'm guessing Enviroflex just imports and distributes them to the UK under their own moniker. Sandpiper makes good, efficient pumps. If that price works for you, it's a fine pump.

As @Golden Beaver Distillery notes, a flexible impeller pump can be a great choice if your mashes are transferred at < 180 °F.

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2 minutes ago, MichaelAtTCW said:

@needmorstuff Looks like that pump you link to is a regular old Sandpiper T1F. I'm guessing Enviroflex just imports and distributes them to the UK under their own moniker. Sandpiper makes good, efficient pumps. If that price works for you, it's a fine pump.

As @Golden Beaver Distillery notes, a flexible impeller pump can be a great choice if your mashes are transferred at < 180 °F.

mash will always be moved at less than 180f. The only temp above 180f will be hot water from my HLT to the mash vessel and I could use the air diaphragm pump for that.

I'll go back to the pump company and request 2 x pumps.. see what they reply with.

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they have offered me 2 of these at a discount https://tfpumps.com/product/aftermarket-sandpiper-dj-s1fb1agtabs600-with-aluminium-wetted-body-and-tfe-diaphragms-1-bsp - I'll try determine the efficiency etc. later. As I only work with 300l at a time the only concern I have is with pressure for filtering through 1 micron.

I have asked for a FIP alternative for mashing..

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21 minutes ago, MichaelAtTCW said:

You definitely don't want an aluminum body pump. Ethanol will quickly corrode it. Tell 'em to go back to the drawing board.

They knew my requirements and shouldn't have recommended that. Thanks @MichaelAtTCW. They do have polypropylene bodies for around the same money with santoprene diaphragm https://tfpumps.com/product/aftermarket-sandpiper-dj-s10b1p1ppas000-with-polypropylene-wetted-body-and-santoprene-diaphragms-1-ansi/

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On 4/26/2022 at 7:05 PM, MichaelAtTCW said:

l

steel one - this could be for everything apart from spirit transfer https://tfpumps.com/product/aftermarket-sandpiper-dj-s1fb1sgtabs600-with-stainless-steel-wetted-body-and-tfe-diaphragms-1-bsp/

I dont have the budget for 2 of those so thinking this one purely for transferring spirit - https://tfpumps.com/product/flojet-g70k162a-atex-air-driven-diaphragm-pump/

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