I recently installed a new SS chugger pump and dudadiesel plate chiller on my system. I used both of these for the first time (with wort, not water) yesterday. I’ve read a number of tips on various sites about the proper use & operation of these devices, but I still have some questions:
1. How long can the pump be run without liquid before an issue develops?
As I’m pumping wort/liquid out of the kettle, it eventually drops below the dip tube. I can hear the change in the pump sound, and turn it off within about 5 seconds. I figure this is no big deal, but while I’ve read to never let it run “dry”, there has to be some tolerance for that, though I’ve never read any discussion on what that tolerance is.
2. How much wort is generally left in the lines from the kettle to pump to chiller to carboy?
I didn’t measure it, but it seemed like it could be half a gallon. Is there any decent/safe way to collect this, or should I just assume it’s “deadspace” and adjust my batches going forward?
3. How do you clean the pump head? CIP, remove & soak, or disassemble all attached ball valves & connectors?
I cycled the same 4 gallons of a warmish (~80F) PBW-like solution through the ball valve 6-8 times; I collected and discarded the first runnings, which appeared to contain the leftover wort in the line as well as other junk.
After cycling this, I cycled with 5 gallons of starsan, twice, discarding the first half-gallon or so of “first runnings” (i.e., PBW / starsan mix).
I then left the ball valve in the “open” position" and left the pump head in place on the pump.
4. Same cleaning question, for the plate chiller
Everything that was cycled through the pump was also cycled through the chiller. I then detached the chiller, tipped it to try to get as much to drain as possible, and then left positioned with the ports upside down for additional draining.
After the first bit of PBW was discarded, the PBW solution appeared pretty clean even after running it through 6-8 cycles. Same with the starsan. That said, I have no idea how to tell if its still dirty… it’s like trying to prove a negative! :?
5. Most importantly: when using pumps and plate chillers (especially with QDs), how do you avoid spilling water on the ground?
I spill a bit every time I disconnect a hose (during the clean-up and cleaning phase). When it’s winter, I’d prefer not to spill for obvious reasons.