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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > recirculating mash woes
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:44 PM   #1
strat_thru_marshall
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Default recirculating mash woes

damn this march pump & blichmann false bottom combo.

Every time I try to step mash with this setup a microscopic piece of husk or something gets through the false bottom during the ramp up from protein rest to sacc rest. I have to kill the recirc, disassemble the pump head, and wash said microscopic speck out before I can get the pump to work properly again.

what a beating. there has to be a better way.


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Old 07-31-2011, 03:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by strat_thru_marshall View Post
damn this march pump & blichmann false bottom combo.

Every time I try to step mash with this setup a microscopic piece of husk or something gets through the false bottom during the ramp up from protein rest to sacc rest. I have to kill the recirc, disassemble the pump head, and wash said microscopic speck out before I can get the pump to work properly again.

what a beating. there has to be a better way.
Sorry to hear of your trouble. I wonder if your pump is functioning properly? I have seen all sorts of bits of husks be returned to the mash tun when I first start recirculation before the grain bed filters them. My old 809 and more recent LG 3-MD-HC pumps pushed them through without incident.

Maybe letting gravity drain the first 1/2 gallon or so of wort through the pump input hose into a clean bucket might be worth a try. When the wort starts to run a bit more clear you connect the tubing to your recirculation path, start the pump and gently empty the bucket of wort back into the mash tun.


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Old 07-31-2011, 04:05 PM   #3
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I've had fairly large chunks go through my 809 as well. When I fly sparge they will sometimes stick in the ball valve and stop flow, but if I open it up a sec and let the pump blow them out, all is well. When you disassemble the pump how big is the chunk that's stuck and where is it stuck?




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Originally Posted by strat_thru_marshall View Post
damn this march pump & blichmann false bottom combo.

Every time I try to step mash with this setup a microscopic piece of husk or something gets through the false bottom during the ramp up from protein rest to sacc rest. I have to kill the recirc, disassemble the pump head, and wash said microscopic speck out before I can get the pump to work properly again.

what a beating. there has to be a better way.
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:24 PM   #4
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Could you be getting air in the line? One of my buddies had that problem. He couldn't see any air bubbles, but ended up clamping the hoses at the pump since he kept having to re-prime. No more re-priming but I think he's moving to quick connect.

I have had a lot of grain go through my pump due to a bad false bottom. Only problem I've had is with hops, the grain wasn't an issue.

Sounds like a really frustrating problem. Hope you get it solved soon.
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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Could you be getting air in the line? One of my buddies had that problem. He couldn't see any air bubbles, but ended up clamping the hoses at the pump since he kept having to re-prime. No more re-priming but I think he's moving to quick connect.

I have had a lot of grain go through my pump due to a bad false bottom. Only problem I've had is with hops, the grain wasn't an issue.

Sounds like a really frustrating problem. Hope you get it solved soon.
I guess that could be a problem, but it's strange...as soon as I stop the pump, rinse out the inside of the pump head, and re assemble, it works like a champ.

I may try some clamps or quick disconnects to see if it helps in the future. This is the one part of my system that remains frustrating...maybe it's a good excuse to order some tri-clover fittings...
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:09 PM   #6
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Default Air leak

+1 for an air leak.

My guess is that the bubble causing the stuck recirc clears when you go through the disassembly process.

The march pump will blast through the chaff and husks you might pick up at the beginning of the recirc.

Q./. What volume of grain are you using? IMO recirc process works best with 20lbs or more of grain. Much less in a MT and sometimes you don't get the volume you need for the whole system to fill. Factor in the fluid in the transfer lines and make sure you have enough to "let it flow". I run a thinner mash...more water just to make things a little easier.

Brew on!
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:28 PM   #7
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when the pump is operating make sure that the "out" side is pointed up so any trapped air will just exit with the fluid flow. a small piece of chaff even many ounces of pellet hops will not clog this pump (in my experience atleast).

the only problems i have ever had with it would be priming or air entrapment issues, which are very common.


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