Reliable performance despite consistency variance in grain
Metal stators do not degrade when spent grain flow is inconsistent.
Easy-to-clean components are low-wear with long lifetimes.
Smaller motors are needed to convey product long distances.
There are numerous spent grain pumps on the market, only one of which truly does the job.
Many brewers have tried and failed to use cheap or obvious methods, but each one either doesn’t work or quickly becomes more expensive than the proper method. A stainless cable or chain disk could conceivably be used, but cables wind up over time, chains can’t be cleaned in place, and both can cost over $100k at long distances. Stainless screw conveyors could be used if the distance was short and the shot was straight, but their bulkiness, large motors, and inflexibility make them impractical and expensive to operate and maintain.
No matter which way you go about it, the only solution is a progressive cavity pump, for with there are three main options.
Netzsch progressive cavity pumps were long the industry standard. The problem with them were the rubber stators, which cost about 1/5 the cost of the pump and would burn out when run dry. Brewers tried simply not running them dry, but with how inconsistently spent grain flows (or doesn’t) intermittent dry runs were inevitable, and costs were high. Netzsch tried fitting them with sensors to automatically stop when dry-running was detected, but because the sensors relied on temperature, damage was already done by the time the pump switched off. On the nightmarish end of the spectrum, one of our larger customers were spending over $100k/yr replacing stators before discovering the pump we use.
Already have a Netzsch pump? We can replace their stators with metal ones for the same price to escape this dilemma.
Ponndorf is a fine pump manufacturer, and we use both these companies for different equipment builds. The problem with Ponndorf’s solution in this application, although it’s relatively inexpensive and effective for spent grain, is that when the spent grain’s consistency varies too much the system falters. And when recipes and methods are prone to change, brewers can will find themselves spending too much time adjusting the flow of air into the system trying to get the grain to move. Ponndorf pumps also need wide-radius turns that don’t fit in many breweries and require more compressors than most breweries or distilleries have on-hand.
We source Xeric Pumps (for the same price end users get them direct) because they work. They can go long distances, make 90° turns on a 1.5′ radius, pump any water-to-spent grain ratio without a problem, and they can run dry without damaging the stator.
Xeric pumps can tolerate pressures of up to 300 psi and temperatures of up to 450°F. Their maximum capacities range between 48 gal/min – 196 gal/min capacities depending on the model. Pricing varies based on conveyance length and inlet/outlet configuration but generally lands between $60k and $100k. For more information, give us a call or send in the form below.