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Installed New Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump Upgrades

 

I initially purchased my March home brewing pumps about 7 years ago, well before stainless steel homebrew pumps were really a thing. Once stainless pumps became more popular, I considered upgrading, but my existing pumps worked fine and I could not justify the cost.  Then Blichmann released their RipTide home brewing pumps which feature a tri-clamp attached head!!! In my opinion that is a big deal because it allows you to easily gain access to the pump cavity for easy cleaning.  As it stood, I had to rely on hot water and PBW to do all of the cleaning unless I wanted to spend an extra 30 minutes breaking down, clean and then reassembling each of my March pumps; which is really not something I wanted to do after a long day of beer brewing.  The one down side was that a new Blichmann Rip Tide home brewing pump will run you $199+. So I waited…..

Then, Blichmann release the RipTide Upgrade Kit! The Rip Tide Upgrade Kit allows you to upgrade some of the most common existing home brewing pumps to a Blichmann Rip Tide, for just $99. With this RipTide Kit, you can upgrade your March or Chugger pump with the Riptide’s Tri-Clamp housing.  The RipTide’s head is made from stainless steel and can rotate 365 degrees to fit almost any home brewing setup. The kit also comes with Blichmann’s  integral linear flow valve, which provides superior control and eliminates the need for an upper ball valve in must situations.

 

Blichmann Rip Tide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Kit

Blichmann Rip Tide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Kit

Here is a list of home brewing pumps that the Blichmann Riptide upgrade kit is compatible with.

More Beer Homebrewing Pumps:

H340, H331, H332, H315HF, H350 and H375

Chugger Homebrew Pumps:

CPSS-CI-1 (115V),CPSS-IN-1 (115V), CPSS-IN-2 (230V), CPSS-CI-2 (230V), CPPS-IN-1 (115V), TCPSS-IN (115/230V) and TCPSS-CI (115/230V)

March Home Brewing Pumps:

809-SS-HS, 809-BR-HS, 809-PL-HS, 809-BR-HS-C, 809-PL-HS-C, 809-SS-HS-C, 809-BR, 809-PL, 809-SS, 809-BR-C, 809-PL-C, 809-SS-C, 815-BR, 815-PL, 815-SS, 815-BR-C, 815-PL-C and 815-SS-C

The Blichmann Riptide Upgrade Kit Can Be Purchased Here for $99

 

After verifying that the Blichmann RipTide Upgrade Kit would work with my current March homebrew pumps, I place my order for two of them.  After placing my order, it took about 8 days for them to arrive. I purchased them from More Beer, but the pumps were shipped directly from Blichmann.

RipTide Homebrew Pump Upgrade Kit

RipTide Homebrew Pump Upgrade Kit

Blichmann RipTide Upgrade Kit Installation Instructions

Next step was to read the instructions (which were relatively simple), make sure I had everything needed (which was just a screwdriver, a couple of wrenches and some PTFE thread seal tape. The instructions from Blichmann came in black and white and unfortunately the contrast made it so that it was difficult to see where the washer was supposed to go, so I included some color photos here to help you out if needed. I began by breaking down my existing march pump per the instructions and removing my existing fittings.  It is important that you just remove the pump head and NOT the magnet collar! The pump head was held on by 4 stainless steel screws in my case.  Here is an image to help:

Blacihmann RipTide Upgrade Instructions

Blacihmann Rip Tide Upgrade Instructions

Next I mounted my home brewing pump on to the included stainless steel pump riser. This was not required in my situation but I like the idea of it because it raised my pump up a couple of inches, bringing it close to my kettles, reducing the amount of tubing that I needed and giving me a little more space to empty the pumps when I had to clear wort from them.  Everyone’s situation is a little different, but it works well on my home brewing rig.  After that you will want to mount the Tri-Clamp adapter bracket on to your pump.  Blichmann includes two sets of screws to use, so make sure that you select the appropriate screws for your pump. Be careful not to over tighten the screws; doing so could crack the bracket or damage the pump. Next, place the impeller housing and the impeller into the pump magnet as shown in the following images:

 

Blichmann Rip Tide Homebrewing Pump Upgrade Instructions

Blichmann Rip Tide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Instructions

Next is where I nearly had a problem.  Install the pump head o-ring and washer to the stainless steel RipTide pump head.  My first kit was missing the washer and the photo quality on the instructions that came with the kit were so bad, I could not tell if I was suppose to use one of the mounting washers.  Something did not seem right and I would have then been missing a mounting washer, so I checked my second pump kit and could see that there was a smaller washer that was intended for the pump head. It thankfully had two in that box, so all was good.  Here is an image to help you see where to place the o-ring and washer into the Blichmann RipTide pump head:

RipTide Upgrade Kit Installation Photos

RipTide Upgrade Kit Installation Photos

Lastly mount the Blichmann RipTide pump head on to your pump using the include stainless steel 3″ Tri-Clamp and attach any fittings that you may have. The entire process took me approximately 30 minutes per pump to upgrade an re-install onto my home brewing stand. Except for the issue with the washer, it was very painless.  Here are a couple of photos of the Blichmann RipTide homebrewing pumps after they were installed on to my homebrewing rig.

 

Finished Images Of The Blichmann RipTide Pump Upgrade Kit

Blichmann RipTide Home brewing Pumps On My Homebrewing Rig

Blichmann RipTide Home brewing Pumps On My Homebrewing Rig

Close up Image of the Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump

Close up Image of the Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump

After that I tested the RipTide home brewing pumps for leaks and checked to make sure all of the ball valve connections were free from leaks as well.  All was good and I also took a short video in case anyone was curious about the type of pressure or flow rate that you could expect from the RipTide upgrade kit.

Blichmann RipTide Pump Video

 

If you are looking to purchase a Blichmann RipTide Home Brewing Pump Upgrade Kit, they can be purchased here for $99

 

Home Brewing Stands and Home Brewery Rig Images

 

Home Beer Brewing Setups, Home Breweries, Homebrew Stands and Beer Brewing Rigs!

Home Brewing Stands, Beer Brewing Rigs and Home Brewer Racks

Home Brewing Stands, Beer Brewing Rigs and Home Brewer Racks

I am starting up a page to view your Home Beer Brewing Stands, Home Brew Rigs, Beer Brewing Racks and Brew Sculpture of West Coast Brewer viewers!  So if you have a photo or image of your home brewing setup, extract or all grain, big or small, please email them to me at joe@westcoastbrewer.com and I will get them posted!  It is always great to see the different home brewing setups to people have made to inspire others to build their own!

 

If you are looking to purchase a home brewing stand, I have compiled a list of available units here.

Home Brewing Stands and Beer Brewing Rigs for Sale

 

Here are a few of my favorites:

Some images taken from pinterest.com and homebrewingstand.com

 

Home Brewery

Home Brewery

Homebrewing Rig

Homebrewing Rig

Home Brewing Setup

Home Brewing Setup

Homebrewing Stand

Homebrewing Stand

Homebrew Stand

Homebrew Stand

 

 

Beer Brewing Configuration

Beer Brewing Configuration

beer brewing rigs

beer brewing rigs

home brewery

home brewery

brew rigs

brew rigs

 

 

Home Beer Brewing Setup

Home Beer Brewing Setup

Homebrewing Sculptures

Homebrewing Sculptures

Home Brewing System

Home Brewing System

Homebrewing Systems

Homebrewing Systems

homebrew rigs

homebrew rigs

Homebrew Setup

Homebrew Setup

 

 

How to wire a Ranco digital temperature controller – 120v

How to Wire a Ranco Digital Temperature Controller

How to Wire a Ranco Digital Temperature Controller

 

Ranco Digital Temperature Controllers and Accessories Available Here

 

Recently I decided that I would create a temperature controlled RIMS systems for my home brewery. I picked up a Ranco Digital Temperature Controller (model # ETC-111000-000) to manage the temperature regulation.  I have not quite completed the entire Recirculating Infusion Mash System, but I just wrapped up the Ranco wiring and thought that I would share what I learned in case it will help out anyone else.

 

The RIMS heating element that I am using is a stainless steel 120v heating bar, so I have configured the Ranco for 120, but the Ranco thermostat is also capable of handling 240v; it just requires a slight wiring modification. I would like to point out that I am not a professional electrician. Electricity can be extremely dangerous to work with and may result in death. You should always consult with a professional electrician when attempting a project such as this.  Manufacturer hardware designs sometimes change and you should refer to your instructions prior to beginning. Here is a wiring diagram that I used for my Ranco Temperature Controller.

 

Ranco Digital Temperature Controller Wiring Diagram

Ranco Digital Temperature Controller Wiring Diagram

 

I cut apart a heavy gauge extension cord to use for my wall power connection and for the wiring I used to connect to my output plug.  Inside the extension cord is a ground wire, common wire and hot wire.  In the diagram above I use the green wire to represent ground, the white wire to represent common and the dark red wire to represent hot.  Please be aware that different cables use different colored wire to represent different things, these colors are just meant to be an example.  I ran the grounding cable from my extension cord directly to my output plug ground connection and also grounded it to the metal case that I am using to house my Ranco temperature controller, plug and switches.  I spliced the white common cable from the extension cord and connected it to the “COM” port on my Ranco and ran an extension wire to the common connection point on my output plug. Since the RIMS heating element that I am using is 120v, I ran the hot wire from my extension cord to the Ranco “120” port.  I then connected a small length of heavy gauge wire from the “120” port on the Ranco to the “C” port on the Ranco Temperature Controller.  Lastly, I ran a segment of red wire from the Ranco “NO” port to the hot wire connection on my output plug. I reviewed my work to make sure that all of the wires were connected properly and there was no bare wire exposed.  I then connected the device to a GFCI outlet and tested the device with a voltage meter to make sure that everything was working as intended.  The Ranco is great because you can select whether you want the power to activate when the temperature drops below a certain point or rises above a certain point which means that it can be used for either a RIMS type device or to control the fermentation temperature in a freezer or refrigerator without having to rewire the device or modify the hardware.

 

Ranco Digital Thermostat

Ranco 120v Thermostat

 

If you are not comfortable doing electrical work or if you would prefer to avoid the hassle, you can purchase a wired Ranco Digital Temperature controller.  You can find several different options available here at a great price via the link below.  They also have spare temperature probes and mounting brackets for the Ranco available if needed.

Ranco Digital Temperature Controllers

 

Good luck with your project and happy brewing!

 

Ready-Made Home Brewing Stands, Beer Sculptures, and Home Breweries

There are a few options out there for turnkey/ready made home brewing stands, brewing sculptures, and home breweries. Depending on the style and materials they can be very expensive, so you will want to make sure that you are making the right choice when it comes time to buy. Here are a few things to consider when you are ready to make your purchase.

 

1) How much volume do you plan on brewing?
This is important because you can quickly outgrow your brewing rig if you choose brewing kettles that are too small. Some brewers opt to just purchase larger kettles in case they decide to brew larger batches down the road, but that creates problems as well. When you try to brew a 5 gallon batch in a kettle that is 20 gallons or larger, the built-in thermometers can be above the fluid line, which renders them useless. Additionally, some sparge arms are too short to properly sparge a smaller amount of grain, and you will need to find a workaround. So make sure you give careful thought to your brewing capacity before buying.

 

2) What is your budget?
I don’t know about you, but I have wasted a small fortune buying home brewing gear only to replace it down the road when it either broke, or I decided to upgrade to a superior product. Home brewing stands, home breweries, and brewing sculptures are no different. If you have the money to spend upfront, then purchase the best available home brewing equipment so that you do not end up wanting an upgrade, or worse, needing to replace it down the road. Technology is improving in home brewing, but items such as brewing kettles, pumps, and wort chillers are items that may last a lifetime if they are of high quality and properly maintained. Most quality brewing sculptures are modular in design and can be modified or upgraded if needed.

 

3) How much space do you have available for home brewing?
This was my most difficult decision when I designed and built my home brewing stand. I do not have a lot of free space available where I live, so for awhile I debated if I was going to go with a single tier beer brewing sculpture or with a multi-tier. Ultimately, I ended up going with a single tier brewing stand. I had to free up a good deal of space in my garage, but the benefits of a single tier design were important enough for me to make the tradeoffs.

 

Here are some examples of different home brewing stands, beer sculptures, and home breweries. The beer sculptures shown are all made by either MoreBeer or Blichmann and you can click on the image or link to view additional details and prices.

 

The MoreBeer Tippy Dump is a great sturdy and compact multi-tier home brewery.

 

 Click Here for pricing and details on the MoreBeer Tippy Dump Home Brewery

MoreBeer Tippy Dump Home Brewery Image

Home Brewery Image

 

 

This is my top pick:  The MoreBeer Single Tier Home Brewing Sculpture.  It is all stainless and has two pumps moving the hot liquor and wort.  All of the kettles are easily accessible, so you can work with them safely.

 

 

 Click Here for more information on the MoreBeer Single Tier Brew Sculpture

 

Single Tier Home Brewing Sculpture

MoreBeer Single Tier Home Brewing Sculpture Photo

 

 

The MoreBeer Gravity-Fed home Brewing Stand does not use pumps so it is lower cost than the other brewing stands, and easier to store if you have a limited amount of surface area but height is not an issue.

 

 Click Here for more information on the MoreBeer Gravity Home Brewing Stand

 

Home Brewing Stand

MoreBeer 3 Tier Gravity Home Brewing Stand picture

 

Blichmann is one of my favorite names in home brewing, and I use a variety of their products, including their kettles. They make a high quality and affordable multi-tier brewing stand that is very customizable.

 

 

 Click her for pricing and details on the Blichmann Multi Tier Home Brewing Stand

Blichmann Home Brewing Stand

Blichmann Home Brewing Stand available at MoreBeer image

 

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