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Old 08-19-2011, 02:28 AM   #11
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I gotta buddy that has a single tier stand with one pump and he batch sparges. You can't fly sparge with one pump without a two tier.

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbus View Post
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.
Ugh - sorry about the first attempt - totally missed the "MLT to BK". Sheesh - watching a football game, a baseball game, and reading the forum at the same time obviously causes things to be missed

Anyway...I watch the end of the sparge so the pump screaming is kept to a minimum, but yeah, sometimes I get a few seconds of "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" before I hit the switch....

Also, regarding what I said earlier: "practical" to me means not having to deal with hot leaking hoses that have to be quickly swapped between brew phases. If you had asked "is it possible" to do a single tier, single pump system, I'd say "yes - but it's not practical"...

Cheers!

[edit: damn - I need to read slower]
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Old 08-19-2011, 02:43 AM   #13
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Oh I agree with having more sparge water than necessary to avoid that situation, but my post said "when you finish pumping your sparge (I meant sparged wort) from the MLT to BK"...wouldn't want to waste any beer and leave it behind in the MLT!

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Old 08-19-2011, 03:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
He said he wants to batch sparge and you are describing fly sparging.

Missed the batch sparge bit.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:53 AM   #15
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There's no reason you can't use one pump on a single tier system if you're batch sparging. No matter what set up you have, if you are using a pump you're going to have to run the pump dry to get all the liquid out - just stay close and keep your ears peeled, when the pump noise changes from a quiet whirr to a slight rumble just shut it off. If you are using quick connects it's a piece of cake.

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Old 08-19-2011, 01:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbus View Post
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.
IMO, it's best to set up your pump so that it is very easy to prime. I installed a bleeder valve on the output side of my pump and I can prime it in a matter of seconds each and every time. Running most pumps dry for a few seconds won't do any harm. Priming my pump is so simple and easy that I don't worry at all about losing the prime. The re-priming routine is now mostly automatic for me.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:53 PM   #17
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I ran a single tier, single pump batch sparging rig for at least a year. It's possible but it's a pain. The one thing that would make it easier is to have a bottom drain on the MLT rather than a side bulkhead that relies on the siphon being kept (this only applies to converted Keg style MLTs).

If you do it, my first advice is to not try to double batch sparge. Stick to a slightly thinner mash so that the first runnings and the single batch sparge runnings are about the same volume.

Also, as you begin pumping out your MLT, you can start out at about half throttle but as you near the last gallon of runnings, you want to slow down to a near trickle to allow excess wort to continue dripping out of the grainbed. If the pump runs too fast, you suck air and lose prime. 5 minutes later, you've got an excess 3-4 quarts of wort sitting in the MLT that isn't getting pumped out. It effectively acts like dead space that you wouldn't have measured as deadspace by doing a water fill and drain test.

Bottom line, it's easier and more efficient to fly sparge if you're pumping out of the mash. If I ever get around to it, my rig is going to be a 2-tier where the HLT is up higher for gravity sparge, pump drain.

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Old 08-19-2011, 02:01 PM   #18
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You shouldn't run March pumps dry.

They can tolerate running empty for a couple seconds after flow stops, though....they are all "wet" on the inside still, and as soon as air hits them and they lose prime, they stop pumping, (but there's still liquid in the pump cavity...it just swirls around with the air).

Just don't let the thing whir away for 10 minutes after air hits it. If you shut it off within a couple seconds of the pitch change indicating air hit it, it'll be fine. (The concern is that, without liquid, it will overheat from friction....this can happen quickly if it's truly DRY in there, but you were just pumping liquid a second ago...it's still wet and lubricated, and there's still wort in that pump cavity...)

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