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Old 06-19-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
Dec 2011
Kingston, Ontario
Posts: 243
Liked 9 Times on 8 Posts

Hey all,

Earlier in the year I missed out on the Chugger deal and ended up buying a pump from GreatBrewEh. I'm starting to regret my purchase, and wondered if anyone else has some suggestions.

1) This thing is a pain to clean. Maybe this is all pumps (only one I've ever owned), but no matter what I do I've got to take it apart to clean the whole thing out every time. The last two times I've used it (total three brews) I've cycled hot water for 10 minutes, oxiclean for 10 minutes and then starsan for 10 minutes to make sure it's clean. However, when I opened it up before brewing this past weekend (just out of curiousity) I found a massive mold monster growing in the plastic section of the inlet -- it took me about 40 minutes with a tiny little bottle brush and anything else I could find to clean it out. Ran the same cleaning cycle this past brewday, and opened up just to be sure 24 hours later, and the same problem: a growth in that same section of the inlet (which I'm 100% sure I cleaned to high heaven beforehand).

2) The thing is a pain to prime. It's a crapshoot whether it's going to actually move any liquid any time I connect it. There's a lot of lifting and juggling hoses, moving the MLT up and down a foot or two and praying before the thing will prime. I've tried every trick I can find to prime it, still no consistency.

3) The power connector is terrible. My pump's power connector ended up being fault, causing it to power down randomly. GBE did offer to send a new one, but by that point I had already bought an inline switch and removed the piddly power connector entirely.

My current concern is that because the body is plastic, any hope I have of properly sanitizing this thing post-mold are out the window. Thoughts anyone?
Fermenting: American Stout
Kegged: Biere de Garde, Premium American Lager, "May Day" Belgian Pale Ale, "Witty Retort" Light RyePA, "Spring Break" Marzen
Bottled: "Sh!tshow" Schwarzbier, Maibock, Saison, Kolsch

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Old 06-19-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
Mar 2012
spokane, wa
Posts: 1,971
Liked 242 Times on 183 Posts

wait a minute while I put on my flameproof suit..
When you get to the point you need/want a pump,there is just nothing in the same league with a SS head March or Chugger pump. Its a critical piece of gear that needs to function. They are bloody expensive but not having a pump is better than one that lets you down.

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Old 06-19-2013, 10:14 PM   #3
Sep 2011
gladstone, mo
Posts: 142
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts

You get what you pay for

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Old 06-20-2013, 08:22 AM   #4
Nov 2010
ohmihachiman, Japan
Posts: 827
Liked 92 Times on 69 Posts

I've had to open it up twice on a brew day due to something stuck inside. Never had any problem with priming. For my system (two tier, whirlpool w/IP), it's perfect. I put an automotive style electrical quick connect near the body of the pump so I wouldn't have to drag the transformer around when cleaning.
"Beer, well respected and rightly consumed, can be a gift of God. It is one of his mysteries, which it was his delight to conceal and the glory of kings to search out."

The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield

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Old 06-21-2013, 11:54 PM   #5
daksin's Avatar
Aug 2011
San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,617
Liked 358 Times on 312 Posts

Apart from the power connector (no idea what yours is like) all of those things are just properties of any pump, so it's not (at least initially) the pump's problem.

You HAVE to take them apart to clean EVERY TIME, unless you buy a professional stainless sanitary pump (got 8 grand?), and you have to prime/purge them with gravity/valves. Do a search for "ball valves" and "pump priming" and you'll see the optimal setups.
I can't be arsed to keep up this list of what's in the fermenters, but hey, check out the cool brewery I own! .. ..

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