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Old 09-07-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
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Default One pump HERMS, Single Tier

Is it the consensus around here that this can't be done? I've seen all sorts of fancy ideas for it involving 3 way valves, and having multiple extra pots to store stuff etc but I just don't see why. If you're going to be putzing around with changing the 3-way valves for different flows, then why not just put some sort of camlock fittings on the pump and just switch around where you're pumping?

For example, during mash the pump is hooked from the ball valve on the mash tun, to the input part of the HERMS coil. When you're done there you simple move to "outflow" side of the pump to the boil kettle and pump your wort into there. Then batch sparge by pumping the sparge water into the mash-tun, then hook it up to the sparge arm and MLT ball valve for a quick vorlauf (or fly sparge if you want), and back into the boil kettle. Heck, you could even hook it up to your plate chiller if you want.

Seems to me that if you're willing to take 5 minutes to hook the pump up to different ports (which takes basically no effort with camlock fittings) then you could easily save $150 on a second pump.

Am I missing something here?

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Old 09-07-2012, 10:34 PM   #2
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My HERMS is a single tier with only one pump. I also don't have any complicated plumbing, just a couple hoses and camlock fittings. It works great for batch sparging. If you want to fly sparge you'll need to put the BK or some other vessel on the ground to collect the runnings during the sparge, and then lift it up before starting the boil.

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Old 09-07-2012, 11:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
If you want to fly sparge you'll need to put the BK or some other vessel on the ground to collect the runnings during the sparge, and then lift it up before starting the boil.
That's pretty much the setup I have. BK goes on the ground during the sparge. Not a problem as long as you're planning on doing 5 gallon batches. My burner is elevated above the rest of the stand but just because I'm kind of tall so I wanted it to be close to the same height as my mash tun. BTW, I use a standalone heat exchanger (the blue cooler).
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by microbusbrewery

That's pretty much the setup I have. BK goes on the ground during the sparge. Not a problem as long as you're planning on doing 5 gallon batches. My burner is elevated above the rest of the stand but just because I'm kind of tall so I wanted it to be close to the same height as my mash tun. BTW, I use a standalone heat exchanger (the blue cooler).
Care to share the details of your standalone heat exchanger? Looks nice and simple!!
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:36 AM   #5
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Well I'm planning on doing 15 gallon batches but I still don't see why I would need two pumps. Why does the BK have to be on the ground when I have a pump.

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:38 AM   #6
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I was thinking if you had some way to seal the lid on the cooler air tight and you had tubing from the hlt going into the lid to sparge, couldn't you just pump the wort out of the mash tun and the vacuum created would draw the same amount of water back in? That seems too easy and would only use one pump.

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:18 AM   #7
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Yeah but why not just skip all that absurdity and pump your MLT dry, and then pump your sparge water in from the HLT for a batch sparge? What's the point in complicating things with a vacuum drawn HLT (which wouldn't work with a magnetic drive pump anyways, btw)?

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudzAndSudz
Well I'm planning on doing 15 gallon batches but I still don't see why I would need two pumps. Why does the BK have to be on the ground when I have a pump.
Maybe I wasn't clear earlier. The BK wouldn't need to be moved if you batch sparge, only if you fly sparge. When fly sparging you need to simultaneously transfer water from the HLT into the MLT, and wort from the MLT to the BK. This requires either two pumps, or one pump and one of the vessels at a different height, or zero pumps and three different heights. I batch sparge, which is why I made my rig single tier.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:05 AM   #9
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Ok yeah. I've always batch sparged and from what I've read you can achieve the same efficiency with either method so I'm going to stick to that.

So the consensus is that a single pump will work as long as I don't mind disconnecting and reconnecting hoses on my system?

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Old 09-08-2012, 02:10 AM   #10
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So the consensus is that a single pump will work as long as I don't mind disconnecting and reconnecting hoses on my system?
Yes.
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