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Old 08-19-2011, 01:03 AM   #1
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Default My First Pump - Mash Tun to BK Transfer Question

Decided to finally get a brew pump and went with the new ss chugger. I think I understand the method for say, pumping H2O from HLT to MT...but I'd also like pump from my MT to BK (I batch sparge). My question is, how does one go about performing this transfer? I know you don't want to run these pumps dry and I'm having a hard time seeing how you would handle pumping the first runnings and keeping the prime after the mash tun drains completely. Do you just shut of the pump when the wort clears the pump, and then reestablish a prime for the sparge runnings? Or would you just shut the valve off after the pump before the first runnings finish draining to keep fluid in the pump and maintain the prime?

Not sure if that is a confusing question or not...any help appreciated. Cheers.

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Old 08-19-2011, 01:30 AM   #2
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You don't want to run the wort all the way down. Usually I'll start my sparge water coming in about the time the liquid level drops to about 1/2" over the grain bed. Then I try to maintain 1 inch over the grain bed until my sparge water runs out. The whole process usually takes 3-4 minutes

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:30 AM   #3
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That makes sense. My only concern with that is sacrificing efficiency due to a hurried sparge. I usually like to stir my sparge for a good 5-10 minutes to rinse out as much of the sugars as possible. Also, now that I think of it...your method seems like it would require 2 pumps unless you are manually dumping your sparge water into the mash tun. I'm only going to be running one pump...any other suggestions?

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:41 AM   #4
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Back the brew truck up...

Implied is you used to handle sparging using gravity alone, so what problem are you trying to solve with the pump?

Cheers!

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wired247 View Post
You don't want to run the wort all the way down. Usually I'll start my sparge water coming in about the time the liquid level drops to about 1/2" over the grain bed. Then I try to maintain 1 inch over the grain bed until my sparge water runs out. The whole process usually takes 3-4 minutes
He said he wants to batch sparge and you are describing fly sparging.
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:52 AM   #6
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It's impossible to anticipate when the hose between the MLT and pump is about to run dry/suck air so shutting it off just in time would be a miracle. You'll be pumping another batch of sparge directly after that so it's not too hard to establish a prime again. Frankly, once you depart from the old bucket dump transfer method, it's sort of a snowball effect. You will find that it's either better to get another pump and fly sparge or add a new tier for one new flow via gravity.

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:52 AM   #7
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Correct - I used to sparge via gravity. Also used to heat strike/sparge water on a stove and dump into my cooler mash tun...but I'm sick of doing that. So I just added a keggle HLT to replace stovetop heating and make brew day more consolidated and efficient. Ultimately I will have a single tier rig and use the single pump for all fluid transfers.

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:56 AM   #8
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@Bobby

so you are suggesting either using either (1) a single tier, fly sparge, two pump system or (2) a two tiered, batch sparge, single pump system?

Single tier, batch sparge, single pump is impractical?

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Old 08-19-2011, 03:07 AM   #9
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[...]Single tier, batch sparge, single pump is impractical?
Yes, it's impractical, and that's why I asked what you're trying to solve.

Either you need gravity working for you for at least one of the transfers (HLT->MLT, or MLT->BK) or you need two pumps.

[edit] And it doesn't matter whether you fly or batch sparge, the same truism holds...

Cheers!
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Old 08-19-2011, 03:26 AM   #10
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Gotcha, guess I'll think about a two tiered system. And not to beat a dead horse, but even with two pumps...when you finish pumping your sparge from the MLT to BK, theres going to be a few seconds after it finishes draining that your pump is going to run "dry" before you shut it off, right? I can't imagine a few seconds is going to kill your pump.

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