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-   -   Therminator set up (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/therminator-set-up-175481/)

tfrost12 04-28-2010 09:48 PM

Therminator set up
I just got the Therminator, (figured it was worth it in the long run) and I have heard mixed feelings of having it gravity fed, or pumped through. I also saw that someone pumped it back into the kettle, and was unsure if that was the standard or if you pumped it out cool into the primary. (I have a weld less ball ball valve to put on my kettle for a gravity feed, and I have cold water pumped in from an ice bath for the therminator, but dont have a wort pump now.)

Also I saw some people had issues with it getting clogged, should i screen it? I still have some extract recipes waiting in the aisles, they have a partial mash, but I suspect those wouldn't need to be strained, maybe just all grain batches. Anyone with their 2 cents on a therminator set up

GilaMinumBeer 04-29-2010 04:11 AM

If you don;t screen it, it will clog with hops be it AG or extract. Lest you use the pre-hopped crude.

Gravity can happen but it's s l o w ! You'll want a pump or atleast figure a way to make th one you got more usefull.

tfrost12 04-29-2010 04:23 AM

I put my hops in muslin bags just out of habit, so I wasn't including them as a potential clogger. However I soon want to get a screen so I can just toss in my hops and get some more AA% from them.

What kind of pump do you have, do you like it or dislike it?

GilaMinumBeer 04-29-2010 04:24 AM

March 809. Love it!

Oh! The therminator. Yeah, it's okay too. Only mine came as a chill-wizard.

tfrost12 04-29-2010 07:24 PM

Has anyone else used the therminator without a pump, WITH success?
I think im going to gravity feed it with about 6 vertical feet. Test some water through it first of course.

GilaMinumBeer 04-29-2010 07:28 PM

I do use my Therminator without the pump WITH success every time.

Like I said it can be done but it is slow and you MUST ensure that the Therminator is lower than your kettle out and that you fermenter is lower than your Therminator for best results.

On my system, I always shut off the pump for the last gallon to two gallons or the wort swirls from suction and the pump loses prime. By cutting off to gravity for the last couple gallons I ensure minimal wort gets left behind in the kettle.

lschiavo 04-29-2010 07:43 PM

No success without a pump here. I only had about a foot of drop to work with though. For 6 feet you should get about 3psi. That is not much. You would have to test and I found the lack of pressure/flow tends to allow break material to clog things up much easier.

I found a cheap magnetic pump at Grainger that I use on the chilled side of the therminator.

A note on cleaning too: I bring the chiller to the sink and run water through from a hose. When full, I blow out with my compressor. I do this several times in both directions and am quite supprised the amount of break that comes out that rinsing doesnt get.

zymurgy101 06-07-2010 02:24 AM

Pump before or after Therminator?
Which way is better, having the pump BEFORE the Therminator or AFTER? I've seen and heard both ways, but am not certain of the pros and cons.

lschiavo 06-07-2010 02:47 AM

I'd say after. Not many pumps rated for boiling wort temps.

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