The Checklist You Need Before Buying Another Pump​

When buying a sanitary pump for your brewhouse, be it a sales engineer or someone else, there are a bunch of questions you should ask, said Market Garden‘s Andy Tveekrem.

“And there are a lot of the questions they’re gonna ask,” he added.

Tveekrem, the Brewmaster and co-founder of the Cleveland brewery, shared his perspective on pumps at the 2022 Craft Brewers Conference and shared many insights, including knowing the questions that are coming your way and he gave a checklist. Here are key pieces of info you should know before your next pump purchase.

Know what kind you need

Tveekrem touched on many kinds of pumps, including Liquid Ring, Centrifugal, Positive Displacement, Rotary Lobe, Progressing Cavity, Diaphragm, Peristaltic, Rotary Vane, Flexible Impeller, and more. Understanding what each does and its uses in your process can help you narrow down the need and get through some extra questions.

Info to have on hand

Tveekrem​ gave a checklist of info you should have on hand when talking to a salesperson. Some websites have this info listed out in a form as well, so before you even call the person you can fill it out, he said.

  • What’s your ‘​rise over run?​’​​: ​”​Basically ​[you are] ​determining ​how far are you going to pump, and how high are you going to pump, and we need to account for all the things you can put into that system​,” he explained, adding that you should account for tees, elbows and such in the length. ​”So, hopefully, you can just count them all out. Identify how many you have. But if it’s a situation where you’re buying this as a general purpose pump, and you’re gonna be moving stuff around, you plan to make a lot of configurations, just throw in 50% [more]. At that much, you’ll be okay.”
  • Frequency: “You’re going to need to know your gallons per minute and how much pressure you need,” he said. “[If you] need to go up 25 feet to get to the top of this tank to get to the spray ball, what kind of pressure environment does the spray ball itself have? There are quite a few that require 25 psi just to make the thing start spinning.”
  • Know the Numbers: If you’re looking for low shear RPMs on your pump, he said, you want to get to 1,750 or less. And know your voltage and phase. “Depending if it’s a European model pump, it might be 50 hertz. Here in the US, it’s mostly 60 Hertz. That’s important,” he said.
  • Make it Sanitary: “Make sure the sales engineer understands that, otherwise, you’re gonna get something that’s really unsanitary,” Tveekrem said. Check the washdown rate as well and make sure you can spray it down with a hose. Look for TEFC pumps, which are totally enclosed/fan-cooled systems. “That means basically, you can spray down and not blow the thing up, which is a good feature,” he added.
  • Viscosity? If you are asked by a pump salesperson about the viscosity, remember, you are making a delicious beverage. “It’s beer,” Tveekrem said. “So just say it’s water. That works, unless you are making some really strange beer.”

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