While the majority of home brewers have chosen either a March 809/815 variant or the Chugger CPSS-IN-1 for their brew house needs. For the purpose of recirculation, these pumps have proven to be more powerful than most users will ever need.
In fact, without an inline ball valve to reduce pump output, both of these pump types posses enough suction to over-compact the grain bed and immediately cause a stuck sparge. Since they are magnetic drives, they can be easily throttled to meet the needs for recirculation, and are great options for all-around brewery pumps, yet there are some other options that users could consider.
The downside to both of these pumps is they can be relatively noisy, sometimes overheat, and are indeed overkill for this specific purpose. Furthermore, other less powerful options are also more cost effective. Especially for users that already own one of these pumps but don't want to tie it up exclusively for recirculation.
Any pump that could be considered for recirculation needs should be food safe, heat safe up to roughly 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit, and should also utilize 1/2" intake and supply headers.
One such option that users could consider is a Topsflo TS5 5PV (SS-BSP) 12V brushless pump, which is available on Amazon and features stainless steel interconnects.
We have found that nearly all 12v solar pumps meet our basic criteria and can range in price from as little at $20-$70. Just keep in mind that if the pump your considering doesn't include one, you could need to purchase a DC power supply, which could range anywhere between $7-$15. Components are readily and easily purchased from retailers such as Amazon or eBay.
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