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Old 06-09-2009, 03:38 AM   #1
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Default Single tier build and pump question

So like most of my hobbies, my brewing equipment has quickly blown out of control.

I recently picked up a 15G pot and started doing all-grain recipes. While having the spigot on the pot is an enormous improvement over lifting the 5G of wort and pouring it into a funnel on my fermenter (read: my last brew day), I still have to lift large quantities of liquid around to gravity feed everything.

So after scratching a plan to make a teeter-tottering brew rig to lift various things (but it would have been EPIC) I'm considering picking up a March pump.

I'd like to do a single-tier build, as I already have some heavy-duty racks that would be ideal for it. The thing is, I only have one big kettle. I do have a smaller, 7G kettle.

What I do now is:

Heat strike water in either BK. Mash in.
Heat the sparge water in 15G BK during the mash.
Drain first runnings into 7G BK.
Drain sparge water into MLT.
Put first runnings into 15G BK.
Drain second runnings into 15G BK.
Boil.

So I'm trying to work out how this will go with the pump. The only real question I guess is lautering. I'm using a s/s braid to lauter. Can a pump be used on the output of this, or does it not run fast enough to keep up?

Am I missing some simple thing that would make this all easier?

Thanks,

-Joe

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Old 06-09-2009, 03:56 AM   #2
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Not really an answer to your question, but here's how I've been doing it. (FYI I have a march pump but rarely use it before I cool the wort after boiling)

I have a 15g kettle & a 13.2g kettle and 2 burners.

- Heat mash water in 15g BK on one burner
- Use a large pot to scoop water into MLT cooler until I can comfortably lift & pour the rest
- Heat sparge water in 13.2g kettle on other burner during mash
- Drain directly into 15g kettle with burner on low for mashout temp
- Use the large pot again to scoop water from 13.2g sparge kettle to MTL for each batch sparge
- Drain each running directly into 15g kettle

There have been times where I've set up the march pump to fly sparge after the 1st batch sparge.

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Old 06-11-2009, 02:48 AM   #3
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Hey,
just add 2 kegs and add not one march pump but two and you will have a Brutus. All of your problems will be solved and it will be in keeping with your out of control brewing problem.
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:35 AM   #4
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hhahaa thanks for the suggestion I'm trying to keep things under control for the time being. I just spent $279 on a kettle, so buying more kettles would not be conducive to a happy home.

I think I'll go with a 3-tier for now. All I need to buy is one more burner for the HLT, and as my plumber brother pointed out: you can always depend on gravity.

-Joe

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Old 06-11-2009, 03:03 PM   #5
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You could turn a large rectangular cooler into your HLT. You would heat the strike water in your BK, pump into mash tun. When you're about 1/2 way through the mash, get your sparge water to proper temp, then pump into the HLT, freeing up the BK.

*midpost edit* Yeah this is a two tier setup

Then either pump the sparge water into the MLT, or pump the wort into the BK, depending on how you see a two tier setup in your head. Gravity does one transfer and the pump does the other. And you have a single burner, single kettle, two tier, easily upgraded system.

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Old 06-12-2009, 03:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerapinChef View Post
You could turn a large rectangular cooler into your HLT. You would heat the strike water in your BK, pump into mash tun. When you're about 1/2 way through the mash, get your sparge water to proper temp, then pump into the HLT, freeing up the BK.

*midpost edit* Yeah this is a two tier setup

Then either pump the sparge water into the MLT, or pump the wort into the BK, depending on how you see a two tier setup in your head. Gravity does one transfer and the pump does the other. And you have a single burner, single kettle, two tier, easily upgraded system.
This is the rig I am going to be going with. I just got my keggle built out and am going to be using my 8 gallon kettle for my HLT. From there I will pump the water into the MLT. Gravity will drain the wort into the keggle for the brewing of the wort, then the wort will get pumped through the CFC I built into the fermentor.

I am pretty certain that this will work nicely. I do need to add a thermometer to the MLT however...this will be a small project for the end of the month along with building my brew rig.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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Ok, I'm sold on a pump. I talked with a homebrewing friend last night and he says the pump is the best bit of brewing hardware he's bought so far. I'm sure I could cook up a way to use it to whirlpool and speed up chilling to help justify my expenditure

I like the idea of using the HLT as a storage tank and not directly firing it. I had never thought of that.

So I can either have a two tier system or a 3-tier system where I don't need to climb a ladder to fill the HLT.

I guess the advantage of the 3-tier system is twofold. I can still use it if my pump explodes because everything is gravity fed, and I only have to pump water from one place (BK) to one place (HLT), requiring less plumbing.

-Joe

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