Been brewing on my top tier system from Blichmann for just about a month now (in fact I brewed every weekend on it in March) and LOVE it. I got myself a March pump and a therminator along with the necessary mounting brackets.
I'm sitting here reading the instructions, and looking at my setup, trying to figure out how I'm going to mount this and get it all setup. I think I need some help.
Here's the current setup. I have it 2 burner tiers. 1 on top for the HLT, a shelf in the middle for the MLT and the 2nd burner tier at the very bottom for the kettle. It's all gravity fed currently.
I'd like to lower the MLT to perhaps the same level as the BK and use the pump to recirculate the wort (vorlauf) as well as transfer it to the kettle. This would have the added advantage of lowering the shelf tier so I can easily stand over it and dough-in and mix at standing height. Then I could lower the HLT burner and remove my need for a stool which I use to stand on while filling the HLT from the hose. It's also less height for a 10 gallon pot of boiling water to fall (if that should ever happen).
Now if I do that...I'm not sure where to mount the pump and therminator or how that's going to work. The therminator instruction manual says it has to be below the brew kettle and at the same level (or lower) than the lowest point of the fermentor. Really? I've seen a few demos of the top tier in videos even by John Blichmann and the therminator is mounted to the brew stand midway up (
) Granted this is just a demo showing you the various options, brackets etc...but does the therminator really need to be at the same level or lower than the lowest point of the fermentor as described in the manual? It seems like if that's the case, that would defeat the purpose of having it mountable to the stand since some people might want to use a conical which obviously cannot be moved very easily, or lifted to different heights like a better bottle can.
With that said, I'm thinking of placing the pump under the brew kettle with the "out" facing up, and the therminator somewhere next to it or slightly above it.
What do you guys think? I've been trying to find videos/pics of similar setups but falling short. I'm not exactly sure how to do this...
Additionally, do I need to worry about the fact I pumped hot wort through the pump to the kettle, then after boil sending it back through the pump to the therminator? Is this considered OK? or is there some intermediary pump cleaning step involved? I'm thinking since it's going through the pump at boiling, there should be no issues but just wanted to double check.
Thanks in advance for your help!