How do I size a pump for my brewery, winery or distillery?
Kent Clark | May 18, 2020
So you need a new brewery pump, but you don’t know what size, speed and horsepower. Pick a pump that’s too small, and you’re not going to have the pressure you need (maybe even not enough to overcome the hydraulic resistance - aka your system head). Pick one that’s too big can result in cavitation, damaging your pump, lines, and your beer.
Next, add together your back pressure and discharge head to get your total head. You may need to convert back pressure from PSI to feet/head (which you can do by multiplying it by 2.3). Finally, on your pump curve locate the point corresponding to your flow rate and total head.
In the old day you'd plot that on a pump curve, then choose a pump that suits it (or change/trim the impeller on a pump to suit it). Fortunately, today most of the pumps used are connected to Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs). These curves have one impeller size and multiple speeds.
This curve shows a 6" impeller pump at various speeds.
You can see, you would get the good performance with a full 6" impeller but at 1350 rpm.
Or you could do the same application with a 4" pump at 2200 rpm
In my opinion, variable frequency drives are the best thing since sliced bread, especially for pumps. If you want we can generate these multiple speed curves for you and find just the right pump for any application.