Monday, October 29, 2012

Magnetic Doughnut

I have emerged on the other side unscathed.

Well, mostly.

I still have my sanity and my health (sort of). My wife hasn't left me. But it's been a long few weeks. I'm not the only one suffering at work, these are just one of those tough times. Could be worse though. I suppose I could be mooching of the government for 70+ weeks (I only mooched for 6 months).

Better crazy busy than crazy unemployed.

But free time has been scarce like hair stylists to Donald Trump's haircut. I haven't gamed in weeks, I'm falling behind on The Walking Dead, and the deadline for me to brew is coming closer and closer. The brew off is December 14th. I have to have a Belgian Dubbel brewed next weekend before I leave for Vegas. Or I'm late like a high school cheerleader's period. Thankfully, a lot of progress has been made into the past 2 weeks.

Controls are all wired up, and this weekend I troubleshooted and cleaned metal shavings from the inside of my kegs. Figured those would work themselves through the G.I. so well. I'm calling R2-DBREW 99% complete right now. All she needs is a few cosmetic zip ties and we're good to go.

Troubleshooting went better than expected. A few things were wired backwards. Two connections had slipped. Two copper joints leaked badly. One valve was installed backwards. Finally, I learned something about my pump.

So pumps have impellers right? Impellers are these rotating things that look like a squished spider from the top down. They take (in this case) water and fling it out the other side. The whole point of these March beer pumps is that they're food safe. The actual motor, with all its' oilyness and bearings are separate from the impeller housing. How does the motor spin the impeller? Effectively with a magnetic doughnut. Doughnut, connected to the motor, spins the impeller using magnetism. They're separated by a thin sheet of metal. Well apparently that magnetic doughnut is exposed to the outside. Once you mount it on your brewing rig, call it a day, then proceed to drill holes in metal above it... bad things happen. By showering little (hot) metal shavings over the motor like fireworks ashes on the 4th of July, that magnetic doughnut sucks those shavings in like a Dyson with a mission. Those metal shavings bind that motor up quick, causing you to have to take the entire thing apart.

Thankfully the pump was probably the hardest part of my troubleshooting. I should be good for next weekend. If not, I'm screwed. I need a beer bubbling next weekend.

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