Well I got her up and running! The 1.5" pipe actually seems to have worked out pretty well in the end. I took a few liberties on Oscar's design, but all in all it's pretty much the same setup.
This morning I dumped 3.5 cups of EWC, 1/2 Alfalfa meal, 4 oz of liquid sea kelp and 2 oz of unsulfured black strap molasses -all in 12 gallons of captured rainwater. The thing is cycloning like a champ and my garden is currently awaiting this delicious concoction of goodness. Can't wait to learn more about tea brewing to create some custom blends. Just picked up a copy of Teaming w/Microbes for bed time reading.
Here's some pictures of the final result:
Installed on cinder blocks. I mounted the pump on a pedestal attached to the tank stand - this caused the whole thing to be a bit tipsy when the tank was empty, so I bolted the tank down. This fixed the issue.
So clean and ready for some biology to begin!
I can't help but stare at it while it's in action - like the vortex is somehow trying to suck me in!
Thanks to all for the help in laying out a design for a simple and durable brewer. Peace.