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Fluid transfer hose sizing

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When it comes to sizing hosing for fluid transfer, I haven't been able to find much info on choosing a production hose diameter. Is there a rule of thumb for distillery hose sizing? We are a smallish distillery that will likely not process any quantities of spirits over 350 gallons at a time. We are not mashing in-house, so basically only liquids transfers from vessel to vessel. 

While I was originally looking at 2" hosing, 1" and 1.5" seems quite a bit cheaper and I'm wondering if it will support our needs. Our EP pump supports 15 Gal/Min with 3/4" NTP connections, but what about gravity fed flow rates from tank to tank? 

On this same note, any recommended hose vendors and manufacturers that I should look into? 

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As a ballpark estimate I suggest a 1" hose because of your 3/4" pump connections.

Correct sizing depends a lot on the length of hose you need, the type of pump (positive displacement or centrifugal) and also how quickly you need to transfer the liquid. 3/4" hose would be OK if the hose is short and you are not in a hurry.

Gravity fill hoses are definitely better with larger diameter because of less pressure difference between the vessels. I assume you will lift one tank on a forklift. Same applies as above, if you are not in a hurry a small diameter is OK.

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For most small production facilities, 3/4"–1.5" hose will work fine. 1" hose as suggested by @PeteB is usually a good middle ground between flow rate, weight, and flexibility. You usually want your hose to be at least as big as your pump's true ID*. You definitely don't want the hose to be smaller if you can avoid it. It could lead to pump cavitation issues; particularly if you are running a centrifugal pump.

If you are transferring high proof spirits, we normally recommend hose that's rated for ethanol transfer. GlideTech Distillery is a really popular choice, and purpose-built for distillery transfers.

PVC hoses like Kanaflex and Kanaline are relatively inexpensive, but ethanol is usually rated "Fair" or "Good" compatibility with PVC, so it may lead to leaching or discoloration. It will certainly have a shorter usable lifespan, and we recommend reserving their use for water/drainage, etc.

* NB: The true ID of the pump's manifolds may be different than the tri-clamp or NPT size. It may be best to verify this with your pump vendor. As an example, we sell the SimpleSpirits 43 with 1.5" Tri Clamp inlet and outlet. The true ID of the pump's internal manifolds, however, are 1". You could use a 1" or 1.5" hose, and would be unlikely to see any difference in performance.

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