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Pumps

I have a few questions for pump users.

How do you clean them?
Are they worth the cost?
What are their limitations?
Can you pump from the plastic cooler mash tuns or do you have to buy another big kettle?

I want to make my brewing as simple as possible and do very little lifting. Im going to be making a brew cart soon.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

To clean, you run sanitizer through after each use, drain on side and run sanitizer through before each use.

They are pricey but worth it, especially if you have a plate chiller.

They are not self priming! Also, if you have a strange configuration or too much head space, the pump will struggle.

What do you mean by a strange configuration?

Could the priming issue be fixed simply by having it lower than the unit feeding into the pump?

OH also I was thinking of getting a plate chiller. I assume they all operate the same so would the ones NB offers work?

The priming thing is not really a problem so much as something to be aware of. You need to open the valve and let liquid flow into the pump before turning it on or risk greatly shortening the life of the pump.

I only had one instance where the pump was uncooperative. I had a keggle flowing to the pump to the shirron plate chiller on its back (hose straight down into it and straight up out of it) and then into my carboy. It wouldn’t pump. I put the shirron back on its side and then opened the valve on my pumps output side more, just for a second, and it started flowing again.

Plate chillers are a great idea. Since you live in california, go big, our groundwater is not cold enough to effectively chill with a shirron. Either get therminator or check out the ones on dudadiesel.com.

To clean, I just flush mine with water immediately after use (while the whirlpool is settling) and allow to air dry with the valve open. It gets sanitized by running boiling water and wort through it during the brew day.

Oh very cool. So I wont need to take teh fittings off and clean like that?

Will I have a problem pumping from the orange plastic cooler with a false bottom?

[quote=“Adam20”]Will I have a problem pumping from the orange plastic cooler with a false bottom?[/quote]You will need to pay close attention to the flow rate to ensure that you don’t compact the grain bed by drawing off too fast.

They are priceless to me. I run two pumps with my setup and it makes life a whiole lot easier. I run hot PBW through my MT and pump at the same time cleaning them both while doing my boil.

+1, and I add the plate chiller into the loop too. Easy squeezy.

+1, and I add the plate chiller into the loop too. Easy squeezy.[/quote]

Thank you both. Helpful information.

Shadetree, would I accomplish that just by partially opening the valve and just keeping my eye on it?

+1, and I add the plate chiller into the loop too. Easy squeezy.[/quote]
Yep, forgot to mention my CFC. I connect it as well and clean it all at the same time.

[quote=“Adam20”]Shadetree, would I accomplish that just by partially opening the valve and just keeping my eye on it?[/quote]Yes, you’d prime the pump and get flow going, then dial back on the pump outlet valve to match the flow out to the flow through the grain bed.

Awesome thank you.

Before spending the money on a plate chiller, you will want to read this.

http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

I thought about buying one till I cut a few apart at work. There are a lot of tiny little hiding spots in them. I ended up following jamils advice and use an immersion chiller with a pump to circulate. Either way good luck!

[quote=“2me”]Before spending the money on a plate chiller, you will want to read this.

http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

I thought about buying one till I cut a few apart at work. There are a lot of tiny little hiding spots in them. I ended up following jamils advice and use an immersion chiller with a pump to circulate. Either way good luck![/quote]

I’m planning on going this route as well.

[quote=“2me”]Before spending the money on a plate chiller, you will want to read this.

http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

I thought about buying one till I cut a few apart at work. There are a lot of tiny little hiding spots in them. I ended up following jamils advice and use an immersion chiller with a pump to circulate. Either way good luck![/quote]
There are risks and benefits with either approach. I prefer plate chillers.

Do you have photos of the insides of the plate chillers? Any dirt that couldn’t be cleaned? Pro breweries use plate chilers and CIP all the time.

Plate chillers are designed that way for good turbulence during chilling. Plate chillers are more efficient (less water for cooling). They chill small parts of the wort at a time so the chilling is quicker (better cold break) and the remaining hot wort prevents bacterial contamination. Plate chillers can be sterilized in the oven so there is no worry about contamination.

The gradual immersion chilling leaves the wort between the 70F-140F bacterial contamination zone and exposes it to HSA (if you believe in it - I do).

Ever see a professional brewery use an immersion chiller? Wonder what Jamil uses at Heretic Brewing.

Heating a lye (drain cleaner) solution and pumping that through your plate chiller every 5-6 brews will clean all the junk out of it.

Between deep cleans, a PBW wash and just running boiling water to sanitize. The boiling water can then be used for mashout/sparge water.

Plate chillers excel at efficiency. They can chill wort to within a few degrees or the water supply temp and can be stingy about water consumption. But they require attention to detail to keep them clean and sanitary.

Immersions chillers excel at simplicity. They are easy to keep clean and to sanitize. But they can’t cool to within less than 10 degrees of the water supply temp with any efficiency, and they use a lot more water than plate chillers.

Professional breweries use plate chillers because plate chillers use significantly less water, and on a commercial scale, the cost of water is a factor in production.

IMO, when deciding between plate and immersion chillers on a homebrew scale, the most important factors are water supply temps and water availability. If your water supply is limited and/or warm, a plate chiller is a better solution. If your water supply is cold, plentiful and inexpensive, the simplicity of an immersion chiller is a strong and convincing reason to use an immersion chiller.

[quote=“TG”][quote=“2me”]Before spending the money on a plate chiller, you will want to read this.

http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

I thought about buying one till I cut a few apart at work. There are a lot of tiny little hiding spots in them. I ended up following jamils advice and use an immersion chiller with a pump to circulate. Either way good luck![/quote]
There are risks and benefits with either approach. I prefer plate chillers.

Do you have photos of the insides of the plate chillers? Any dirt that couldn’t be cleaned? Pro breweries use plate chilers and CIP all the time.

Plate chillers are designed that way for good turbulence during chilling. Plate chillers are more efficient (less water for cooling). They chill small parts of the wort at a time so the chilling is quicker (better cold break) and the remaining hot wort prevents bacterial contamination. Plate chillers can be sterilized in the oven so there is no worry about contamination.

The gradual immersion chilling leaves the wort between the 70F-140F bacterial contamination zone and exposes it to HSA (if you believe in it - I do).
did anyone read the http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php ?? because it does not agree.

Ever see a professional brewery use an immersion chiller? Wonder what Jamil uses at Heretic Brewing.[/quote]

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