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Which pump to buy?

With the Holidays right around the corner, family members are asking for gift ideas so I thought a pump would be in order to step up up my game. I’m leaning towards the Blichmann Riptide but would like to hear what others use. I have all the fittings and tubing in my cart on and just need to figure out which pump I want.

I have two. Both are March pumps. I think they are model 809 with the impeller upgraded to an 815. The impeller upgrade makes them not lose their prime.

March use to be about the only option but now there seem to be more choices. Many appear to be re-branded March.

I bought a chugger pump on Amazon. The price was tough to beat (including a deal I found, I got the pump and a ball valve for the outlet for about $90).

It works great for what I want to use it for (vorlaufing) and I would either buy another or create a new setup to use it for more purposes.

I have a chugger pump with the stainless head and upgraded impeller. Only issue I’ve ever had is running through a few of the little teflon washers behind the impeller. When it wears out the pump squeals loudly. Now the most recent one has lasted almost 2 years. Love the pump!

That blichmann looks nice and if someone else is buying…

I upgraded the pump head on one of my old March pumps to the Riptide pump head. I was hoping Blichmann’s “linear flow” valve would give me better control during sparging; I suppose it’s a little easier than trying to find the sweet spot with a ball valve?

The PRV on the pump head for priming is convenient, but is a bit messy if you aren’t careful. A three way valve on the outlet of a March or Chugger will accomplish the same thing and would probably be less of a mess (assuming a bucket or catch pan are being used in both applications).

IMO, the biggest thing the Riptide has going for it is the tri-clamp pump head. Definitely makes the occasional cleaning a bit easier.

Good time for me to tell you about my brew day on Sunday…
First thing I do and last thing to do on brew day is clean… Clean, and clean some more… maybe… :confused:
I hooked up all my hoses… Put about 3 gallons of water in and turn the element on to about 50%… Time to finalize my grainbill then turn on the pump… NOTHING… the motor was spinning… but no pumping… Well, some screw drivers and putzing about, I got it apart… It appeared to be like a huge chicken of the woods mushroom grew in there… It was really gross/horrible!! Well needless to say, last time I brewed I must not have gone through my routine… Did I mention it was very gross?
Yes my pump has worked well… I will need to replace my pump someday and I will get the riptide… It appears to be very easy to tear down… Should I forget to clean it up and the mushrooms decide to grow!! Sneezles61

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That’s sounds pretty disgusting @sneezles. I’m definitely going to do my research and shop for a deal but my mind is set on the Blichmann at this point. I have a cart full of cam locks, valves and high temp tubing from that comes to nearly $100 so this upgrade isn’t going to be cheap. After 7 years in the obsession I think it’s time, though. Appreciate all the feedback.


NASTY!!! haha

My clean up at the end of each brew day includes boiling a gallon or two of water in the HLT and pumping it in both directions through my plate chiller. With my pump mounted with the input/output vertical no water stays in there after I drain everything. I have a tree way valve after it to bleed air for priming but seldom need it since the pump is lower than the kettles.

Every half dozen batches or so I’ll include some PBW in the clean up followed by a good rinse. Whenever I’ve taken my pump apart it’s been spotless inside. I have had a “growth” or two on ball valves but I just make sure to open and close them as I’m pumping the clean up water through so they get cleaned all around the ball.

Cam locks are expensive but you only buy them once. I have QDs and a few are starting to get sticky. I’ve considered taking them all apart and soaking them in PBW but at that point I may just upgrade to cam locks for the one handed convenience on brew day.

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And as I understand it’s a worldwide standard… Cam locks that is… QD ball locks aren’t…

I have the riptide and it seems to work great but I really have no clue what I am doing with it so I put it away for a while until I have time to think more about it. Tried to use it for sparge but I think my hoses were too long and I was dropping way too much heat along the way to the mash. I also needed to add a small ball valve at the sparge arm to more effectively regulate the flow. I don’t think my riptide was super good at the low end of the flow. I like to sparge pretty slowly. Soon I will get it figured out and set up in a more permanent way rather than strewn across the basement floor. Had to temporarily clear out my brew stuff as I have some masons coming in another week to “re-parge” my old cellar stone foundation. Else I would prob be brewing a lime-mortar lager for the winter.

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