All-in-One Wine Pump Review By Mike Little
A few months ago I realized that hefting 45 carboys to the top of my racking table was going to require just a little more effort than I wanted to undertake this year. I had been searching for something that would make transfers just a little bit easier, and along came the All-In-One Wine Pump.
The reviews were all favorable and spoke of its reliability, speed, and ease of use. The home page for this little unit (www.allinonewinepump.com) claims that the pump will rack, degas, filter, and bottle, and you never break a sweat. I’ve searched for other options and everything that is offered has one primary function. Pumps will fill bottles, transfer wine, or filter it, but nothing else on the market offers all three conveniences. Home winemakers are very inventive and have come up with a lot of home style tools but nothing commercially available gives this many options without a lot of investment.
After nearly dropping one full carboy in December, I decided that the small investment of $220 was worth the trouble. Placing an order requires a phone call to Steve Helsper, the inventor and manufacturer. He prefers this to just allowing orders placed.
I felt as though I was being interviewed as a potential parent. Steve wanted to make sure that I would be able to use the pump properly and explained every nuance, potential problem, and fix. He wanted to make sure that I was properly prepared, and it was possible that we discussed the prevention of global thermonuclear war through proper use of the system, but I could have been mistaken. At the very least, I felt confident that I could hook the little gadget together and perhaps even do a transfer in just a few minutes.
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All-in-One Wine Pump, continued from page 2…
From the very beginning, this pump has been an absolute miracle. First, assembly was simple. Steve marks everything in the package with tape, permanent markers, and so forth, so that there is no way of putting any-thing together incorrectly. I had the pump assembled and started my first transfer from carboy to carboy in about five minutes.
After one try, I ran the pump like an expert. He has created bottle fillers, barrel fillers and carboy fillers of every sort. The simplest attachment is a carboy filler that degasses your first transfer as it fills the carboy. It works well enough that kits can probably be transferred and degassed without that 30 minute stir that is usually required. Two transfers, which take about ten minutes each for a six gallon carboy, are all that is needed. The amazing thing is that you can’t overfill even a carboy or a barrel. The pump comes with an overflow and release valve that take care of the prob-lem.
There is very little mess. I’ve tried plate filters and wound up with about a third of the wine on the table and floor. The first time I used the filter attachment, which has to be purchased from other sources and is actually just a home cylinder filter, I clarified a white wine to sparkling. It took just the time required to fill a carboy, with no waste. Bottle filling is a breeze. It takes seconds to fill the bottle and the adjustable filler allows for exact amounts with no overflow. That took a little bit of practice but now I can do a case of wine in about four minutes.
All in all, this is exactly what I needed. Home winemaking is all about small batches but there’s a lot of work to be done each time. Lifting car-boys is always risky but this is no longer the case. Everything stays on the ground and nothing is ever wasted.
Are there issues? Yes, on occasion. For instance, racking off of lees or sedi-ment is tough if you use just the racking cane. You can use the cane with the auto siphon if it seals well inside the tube. Otherwise, you do have to hold the cane just above the lees or they’ll transfer into the new carboy. It is a pretty small complaint, really. Overall, this is the best investment I have yet made in managing and moving wine. My only other complaint is that I think that it should have been included in my first wine equipment package. This is one powerful little home winemaking tool!