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Vortex brewer issues  RSS feed

 
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I've recently finished building a vortex brewer with two outlets at the top. And the pipes gradually get bigger as the water travels along going from 11mm ex diameter flexi air hose up to 28mm pvc pipe at the end. The problem I seen to have is that water only comes out of one side, it's quite powerful and also creates some splash too which isn't a big problem. Any advice or suggestions on what could be the problem with it only working on one side? I've searched the net and YouTube but can't seem to find a definite answer. Any advice would be great, thanks. 
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Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
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My vortex brewer only has a single lift pipe, so I'm unsure that I'll be of any help.  Though I seem to recall something that could possibly remedy the situation.?

The air will take the path of least resistance.  If I were to guess I would imagine that most all of your tea is flowing through the lift pipe on the left side, "when looking at the picture of the bottom of the brewer".  All the vortex brewers I've seen with multiple lift pipes will have an airline attached to each individual lift pipe at the same height for each one.  I would confidently imagine that splitting your airline in two and injecting the air at the bottom of the lift pipes, "on the vertical section", would get both lift pipes to function equally.
 
Mathew Davies
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Thanks for the advice, I'll see if we can change it. I'm guessing that your brewer is a bit smaller than this one? I think we have too much liquid for one outlet as it only creates a vortex sometimes. Do you think that the sizing of the pipe will matter much?
 
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Nice set up! Bummer it doesn't work. I got a single lift pipe too, does the other one start flowing when you squeeze the hole tight of the one pipe that has a flow of water, just with your hand? If so put a reduction on the end piece, if not maybe the airpump is not strong enough. Might be something, worth checking out before changing the air inlet..Good luck
 
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I have to agree with Joshua's assessment,
you will need air on both lifts for it to function properly, you might then not get the excessive agitation indicated by the splashing.
I don't think the increasing size of the pipes is an issue but most double outlet rigs have piping that is the same size throughout. As I said though, I don't think that would be problematic.

Redhawk
 
Joshua Parke
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I had this typed out but it looks like I deleted it for some reason.  If splitting your airline to each lift pipe doesn't make a difference then your air pump could be a bit small for that volume of water and the height it needs to be lifted.  I have a 15 gallon cone bottom tank with a single lift pipe, and I use an AP 100 air pump that puts out, 2375 gallons of air per hour, or 9150 cubic inches of air per minute, or 150 liters per minute, or 2.5 liters per second, and the lift pipe is as short as I could make it while still lifting it to the top of the brewer.  I posted a few pictures with a couple details about my setup in this topic New to Composting Tea  If you scroll through the topic you'll see that the OP Dennis, had to get a bigger pump for his 55 gallon vortex brewer to work.  I seem to recall that some people were using multiple airpumps, one for each lift pipe, for their larger brewers.

The size of your airlift pipe makes a difference too.  I built mine with 2" pipe because I dump everything into the brewer instead of putting it into a filter bag, so I wanted to ensure that all the particles could flow through the pipe and not create a plugged pipe.  I've put fungus covered woodchips in it, the smaller chips, not the ones that are 2-4" in length.  Also speaking of plugged up lift pipes, that is potentially an issue as well which is easy to verify one way or another, by running water only first to see if the vortex forms.  With a smaller pump to a larger volume brewer, it may take a few minutes or more before you notice a vortex forming  And if it is forming a vortex with water only, then dump in your ingredients slowly instead of all at once so as not to create a plugged up pipe.

I should get some video of mine, I had some at one point I just can't find it, the setup I'm using creates a vortex so strong that it reaches the bottom of the tank....or at least very close to the bottom from what I recall.  I'm about to run it again here in a couple weeks, maybe I'll get some video.

A few things to ponder and play around with to help you create a nice vortex.  The diameter of the lift pipe as well as the height of it plays a role in how well it works.  The volume of your brewer is important to consider.  And the size of your air pump is also an important factor.  If you play around with those things you'll find a nice medium ground where you get a good vortex.
 
Mathew Davies
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:I have to agree with Joshua's assessment,
you will need air on both lifts for it to function properly, you might then not get the excessive agitation indicated by the splashing.
I don't think the increasing size of the pipes is an issue but most double outlet rigs have piping that is the same size throughout. As I said though, I don't think that would be problematic.

Redhawk



That's good to know thanks. I didn't think that the air would need to be split before it entered the water pipes, but hopefully I can split them and plug them into the bottom of each lift pipe now that it's all glued up.
 
Mathew Davies
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Joshua Parke wrote:I had this typed out but it looks like I deleted it for some reason.  If splitting your airline to each lift pipe doesn't make a difference then your air pump could be a bit small for that volume of water and the height it needs to be lifted.  I have a 15 gallon cone bottom tank with a single lift pipe, and I use an AP 100 air pump that puts out, 2375 gallons of air per hour, or 9150 cubic inches of air per minute, or 150 liters per minute, or 2.5 liters per second, and the lift pipe is as short as I could make it while still lifting it to the top of the brewer.  I posted a few pictures with a couple details about my setup in this topic New to Composting Tea  If you scroll through the topic you'll see that the OP Dennis, had to get a bigger pump for his 55 gallon vortex brewer to work.  I seem to recall that some people were using multiple airpumps, one for each lift pipe, for their larger brewers.

The size of your airlift pipe makes a difference too.  I built mine with 2" pipe because I dump everything into the brewer instead of putting it into a filter bag, so I wanted to ensure that all the particles could flow through the pipe and not create a plugged pipe.  I've put fungus covered woodchips in it, the smaller chips, not the ones that are 2-4" in length.  Also speaking of plugged up lift pipes, that is potentially an issue as well which is easy to verify one way or another, by running water only first to see if the vortex forms.  With a smaller pump to a larger volume brewer, it may take a few minutes or more before you notice a vortex forming  And if it is forming a vortex with water only, then dump in your ingredients slowly instead of all at once so as not to create a plugged up pipe.

I should get some video of mine, I had some at one point I just can't find it, the setup I'm using creates a vortex so strong that it reaches the bottom of the tank....or at least very close to the bottom from what I recall.  I'm about to run it again here in a couple weeks, maybe I'll get some video.

A few things to ponder and play around with to help you create a nice vortex.  The diameter of the lift pipe as well as the height of it plays a role in how well it works.  The volume of your brewer is important to consider.  And the size of your air pump is also an important factor.  If you play around with those things you'll find a nice medium ground where you get a good vortex.



Apparently ours pumps 200lts a min and only has water in it at the moment. Seeing your video would be great whenever you get it filmed. I'd be interested to see it.
 
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