Vortex Brewer

Discussion in 'Organic Soil' started by djstiks, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. djstiks

    djstiks Active Farmer

    what happen to the DIY vortex brewer plans thread?
    Dz1PnK and RIVAL79 like this.
  2. leadsled

    leadsled Well-Known Farmer

    'Twas Deleted....
  3. tattoojim

    tattoojim disasterpiece

  4. djstiks

    djstiks Active Farmer

    hook a brother up....
    tattoojim likes this.
  5. GanjaAL

    GanjaAL Well-Known Farmer

    Boogi3Man and tattoojim like this.
  6. Seamaiden

    Seamaiden Moderator Staff Member

    Bump-a-lump for the brewers! I'm going to use a design modified from one I found through OSU (Oregon State). This is a Google docs document, I can't find my upload of the pdf.

    Simple 25gal Aerated Compost Tea Brewer
    In the near future, I will add the air-lift portion to the design. I am using a 45gal rolling trash can from Wallyworld for my brewer. The goal is surface area, turbulence, and contact time. While this won't be anything like a Vortex-style brewer, I believe I will still be able to achieve and maintain decent DO2 levels.
    ttystikk likes this.
  7. fishwhistle

    fishwhistle Well-Known Farmer

    I just read an interesting post,cant remember where but it advocated using a water pump instead of an air pump in brewers,the claim was that it oxygenates the water much better than air pumps do,the idea was to place the pump at the bottom and push the water up so that its creating a disturbance on top thereby oxygenating much more surface area than tiny bubbles ever could.
  8. Seamaiden

    Seamaiden Moderator Staff Member

    I would agree with that but for one issue--there is no pump (except perhaps a diaphragm pump) that won't eventually shred the microbes to pieces. This is why anyone rearing certain types of fish or invertebrates use air instead of pumps, because otherwise they shred the very food you're working so hard to feed them.

    As long as you've got good surface turbulence, it shouldn't matter in terms of gas exchange (CO2-O2) what's driving or causing that turbulence. It's the microbes I'm concerned with. Also, the pump may well heat the water column, and that's either a good or bad thing depending on the time of year and local conditions.
    ttystikk and pugliese63 like this.
  9. fishwhistle

    fishwhistle Well-Known Farmer

    Never even thought of that sea,that would mean that all those badass high dollar vortex brewers are actually killing the microlife?
    [​IMG]
    For a few grand you would think they would have thought of that!
  10. Seamaiden

    Seamaiden Moderator Staff Member

    Aren't they using giant air pumps?

    Do you know what a kriesel is? For rearing/keeping jellyfishes and similar pelagics.
  11. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer

    It's my understanding that high-end vortex brewers operate using pressure differentials and ultimately siphon power (i.e. no water pumps).

    The biggest benefit to vortex brewers in my mind is that they combat formation of bio-films which prevents anaerobic bacteria from getting a foothold.
  12. Seamaiden

    Seamaiden Moderator Staff Member

    The designs that I see are using an airlift. Single lift tube that comes out just above the water line, with the air line coming in near the bottom. Then, it blasts the fuck out of the water through the lift tube, thus creating circulation, turbulence, etc. The huge advantage of the Vortex brewer that I see is specifically and mostly in that cone shape, for two big reasons--cleaning, and possibly the vortex itself. I don't have a DO meter or a nearby Vortex to make any kind of comparisons with as far as being able to say one design is so vastly superior to another, but I believe that as long as you've got good movement from bottom-to-top and lots of surface turbulence, the design itself is secondary.
    ttystikk likes this.
  13. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer

    The vortex motion is what prevents bio films. It keeps flow moving across all surfaces equally--this is VERY IMPORTANT to discourage anaerobic bacteria growth. Adding oxygen is not enough to discourage these organisms. In a bucket brewer, you ARE growing anaerobics.

    That's why its important to apply your tea after a day or two brewing--any longer and you'll likely be adding some significant anaerobic populations to your garden.

    The excess of aerobic organisms will still likely win out--but it's not an optimized process in the bucket.

    I still use a bucket, though.
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  14. organicozarks

    organicozarks Well-Known Farmer

    The vortex brewer is a waste of money, period. Biofilm is not a concern with proper cleaning practices. Speaking of cleaning how are you suppose to clean the vortex brewer? Oh ye you can't. My brewer is dishwasher safe on the top rack if you are so inclined. The vortex brewer is over kill with to many parts that are to hard to clean. Simple is best when brewing tea. They can talk all they want about biofilm, but if you clean your brewer after each use it is just that, Talk. I honestly can not believe that people spend the kind of money that the vortex brewer is asking for. To each their own.
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  15. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer

    I agree that:

    1. Vortexes can be hard to clean.

    2. It's not worth buying most fancy models. (I only say most because I haven't seen them all).


    I disagree that:

    1. Biofilms don't matter. This information comes from university studies, which I trust innumerably more than hippy scientists without any analytical equipment or training.

    2. Vortex brewers have to be expensive/difficult to clean--I've seen cheap DIY versions which come apart in a snap and wouldn't present any cleaning issues or break the bank.

    3. Biofilm isn't an issue in between brews--it matters DURING a brew. Biofilms are almost ubiquitously made up of anaerobic and harmful microbes. This goes beyond the level of plant health as you may be growing E. Coli, Salmonella, and fecal coliforms. That's plain unsafe.


    All that said vortex brewers are not the end-all-be-all of brewers. Most of them possess angles more acute than 120 degrees which is a well known risk factor for biofilms/biofouling.

    What I was suggesting is that the vortex action in the main body of the brewer is ideal for preventing this. Most of them really need a better design for the airlift to avoid biofilms.
    Boogi3Man likes this.
  16. organicozarks

    organicozarks Well-Known Farmer

    If you clean you brewer each use the little bit of film from 1 brew does not matter. Peroxide is your friend. If your brewer is working properly then you should get tiny particles of compost, and food going everywhere. That does not mean that all of the film that you see is anaerobic. Remember what happens when you assume.:)
  17. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer

    I feel like you read none of my post.

    I'm not assuming anything, I'm referencing academic peer-review material generated by scientists with fancy equipment.

    I will reiterate for you:

    1. Biofilms are almost ubiquitously made up of organisms which are harmful to plants and humans.

    2. Biofilms are a problem DURING A BREW. Not before. Not after. DURING. Which is to say that it doesn't matter how much you clean--unless you've found a way to sanitize the brewer whilst growing microbes in it (not possible without killing all of the microbes).

    I'm afraid I must inform you that you are, in fact, the person making assumptions--unless of course you've spent weeks of your life sampling from biofilms and examining/identifying them with microscopy and other analytical methods (gram stains/etc), or still further years of your life being properly trained to collect such data in a reliable and publishable fashion.

    Sorry dude, but you're hurling guesses in the face of empirical data--you'll lose every time. No offense, it's nothing personally directed at you; it is, however, reality.
  18. organicozarks

    organicozarks Well-Known Farmer

    I gotta touch on your "elitist hippie" scientist remark. Wow! Better than most are you? There are many "hippie scientist" that are doing ground breaking work with this plant that we all love. Things that most Universities have not even begun to think about. Remember when you are high up on a pedestal it is very easy to get knocked down flat on your ass. Formal education teaches you to only think one way. "Hippie Scientist" education teaches you to just think. :)
  19. organicozarks

    organicozarks Well-Known Farmer

    Without giving up who I am I can say that what you are copy and pasting is not always true. I do indeed have the research behind what I say. Although arguing on the interwebs is pointless. I will agree to disagree.
  20. squiggly

    squiggly Well-Known Farmer

    I copy/pasted nothing.

    Not a word or a letter.


    I don't have a problem with someone being a free thinker--but don't hazard a guess and call it science. That's not the same thing.

    As you said, hippy scientists have given us a lot of great advances--there's no denying that.

    Example, I grow with the scrog method. It wasn't some professor or grad student at MIT who came up with that--it was some hippy dude who wanted more bud.

    Necessity is the father of invention many times, and there's no denying that.

    HOWEVER:

    When there is CLEAR scientific data which demonstrates PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE of what you're saying (in a predictable fashion, the same way, every single time)--it's hard to take you seriously.

    I'm not saying hippy scientists are useless or bad, and thus my claim isn't an elitist one at all (that's simply how you've, erroneously, chosen to take it).


    All I'm saying is that I don't need a hippy to come tell me what's up with something we've already studied quite extensively and made solid conclusions about.

    If a hippy scientist comes up with a warp drive, then he's gonna be my new best friend.

    If he comes up to me and tells me that when an apple breaks from its branch--it floats upwards into space and beyond, I'm going to tell him there was a fella named Newton who came up with a different answer--and that millions of folks confirmed his view of things after him.

    There is room for everyone to make contributions--but they shouldn't hopelessly contradict each other when subjected to empiricism. In this case that's exactly what you're claiming is true.

    Here's what I want:

    Empirical evidence to back your claims--I don't believe for a second that you've got any.

    Sorry, it's nothing personal--but I'm not the type of person who readily accepts smoke being blown up his ass.
    Boogi3Man likes this.