Quantcast

March Pump and Fly Sparging?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,024
Reaction score
152
Location
Twin Cities, MN
Just got my March Pump and QD's. I searched and searched and didn't find an answer on fly sparging and using a pump (learned a bunch of other stuff though). My rig is still 3-tier for now but I was trying to figure out if people fly sparge via a pump? I like the thought of recirculating with a pump but rigging up HLT-pump-MLT and letting it run for 60-90 minutes doesn't sound like it's good for the pump.

Before trying to convince me to switch to a batch sparge ;) I'd like to hear from others. I see all the single tiers but are you all batch spargers? What would I do with my phil's arm? Water the lawn? :D
 

kickflip_mj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
120
i had the same question i think a week ago or so and i was told you can only batch sparge with a single tier set up. but with your three tier couldnt you just let the sparge water just run through your grains and pump that water into your boil kettle??
 

HarvInSTL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
721
Reaction score
6
Location
Saint Louis, MO
You can fly sparge with a pump, but it really depends on your fly sparging equipment.

For example a Phils sparge arm might not work the best depending on what type of valve you have controling the pump output flow.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
7,763
Reaction score
172
Location
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
If you have a 3-tier setup, I don't see an advantage to using the pump for sparging. But pumps do work great for single, or double tier sparging. If you have a single-tier you need 2 pumps to fly sparge (like the BRUTUS 10). 1 to pump sparge water, and 1 to empty the MLT. This works exactly the same as your current setup, just pumps instead of gravity. Its no big deal.
 

jdoiv

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
8
Location
Nashville, TN
I use a pump to fly sparge. You do have to keep an eye on it as the pump will cavitate and stop pumping if air gets in the line (which it will). I plug mine into a surge protector and will just kill the switch on the protector to stop the pump. The air will bubble out and I'll restart it. You also have to keep an eye on the flow as you can either end up draining too fast and dry out your grain bed or too slow and overflow your MLT. But it isn't really a big deal. I'll usually measure out my hops additions while fly sparging and get my fermenters ready.

You don't really need a rotating sparge arm. Just get a couple of inches of water over the top of the grain and you'll be fine.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,827
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Whitehouse Station
You could cut your stand down to 2-tier at the very least, HLT up high, MLT and BK on the bottom. This brings the MLT down to a more workable level for doughing in etc. Pump runnings from the MLT to the BK while letting the sparge gravity drain. You might want to use a grant on the output of the MLT/input of the pump but others should be able to chime in that use one.

I did a short write up in the wiki about this stuff..

For anyone else who didn't see it, I'd like some feedback/critique on it (or feel free to augment it yourself) https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Brewing_Sculpture
 

The Pol

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
11,398
Reaction score
116
I dont have QDs... I built a couple manifolds and set them up with valves to control the flow of fluids. I can fly sparge with my march pump on my single tier. It is easy to control flow with the ball valves.
 

Desert_Sky

Since 1998
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
4,241
Reaction score
195
Location
Boulder
Im going to build a copper ring with alot of really small holes for my fly sparge setup. The pumps work great, just throttle back the output ball valve to adjust the flow

the pump could care less if it runs for 90 minutes, it's magnetic so you wont hurt it. Just keep those coils dry and you should be A-Ok
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,827
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Whitehouse Station
The Pol said:
I dont have QDs... I built a couple manifolds and set them up with valves to control the flow of fluids. I can fly sparge with my march pump on my single tier. It is easy to control flow with the ball valves.
Surely you mean by collecting the sparge runoff into an aux bucket that is lower than the 3 tiers right?
 

The Pol

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
11,398
Reaction score
116
My kettle sits just low enough to afford for gravity filling of the kettle while I am sparging, there is no aux. bucket so to speak. Then there would be lifting involved, which I have done away with completely.
 

WortMonger

United States Mashtronaut
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 27, 2006
Messages
3,116
Reaction score
37
Location
Edmond, OK
Brew-tree works for me. I love having everything above the other and allowing gravity to do all my work for me. I use my pump very infrequently until I get to the wort chilling and transfer to fermenter. I use it to re-add the wort to the mash for mash-out after I heat it up in the kettle also (liquid only decoction for mash-out). I like the fact my brewery doesn't take up a lot of foot print either due to everything going up as opposed to out.
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,827
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Whitehouse Station
The Pol said:
My kettle sits just low enough to afford for gravity filling of the kettle while I am sparging, there is no aux. bucket so to speak. Then there would be lifting involved, which I have done away with completely.
If I'm splitting hairs, this really isn't a true single tier. It's dual since you're able to use gravity for one of the transfers.
 
OP
DesertBrew
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,024
Reaction score
152
Location
Twin Cities, MN
Thanks for the info all. Before I get to hacking down my 3-tier (below) I think I'll just use gravity for the HLT to fly sparge for now and will use the pump to vorlauf, move from the MLT to the kettle and to push thru the CFC. After using the pump for a while I'll figure out my long term plan. I know I want to cut it down to go single tier eventually but now see why you'd need two pumps to fly. Maybe next xmas wish list I can get another pump or just say feck it and give batch sparging a try ;).

A bit OT but I think it was one of Bobby's pump threads I saw comments regarding pumping wort into the BK from the bottom valve. Someone said maybe the weight of the headspace could be problematic to move wort thu the bottom. I did 10g H2O as a test from my MLT to the BK No probs. I've seen some pics where people got connectors both on top & bottom. Discuss?



And remember DB, orient the in to the pump downward right Bobby? ;)
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,827
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Whitehouse Station
Well, the key is having the output of the pump "UP" but yeah, that's just another way of saying the inlet goes down.

I love that diamond plate by the way. I make regular trips to the scrap yard and always ask the guy if he got any in. No luck so I used galvanized sheet for a not-as-sexy look.

Since you've got your BK down at floor height and pump to your fermenter, your 3-tier isn't as crazy as most. I don't mean that as an insult or anything but your HLT and MLT are actually at reletively managable heights as compared to the ones that put the BK up high enough to gravity drain.
 
OP
DesertBrew
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
6,024
Reaction score
152
Location
Twin Cities, MN
Yea, I designed it as low as it could go and still be structurally sound. The HLT level is the only "requires ladder" level. I was using a wort wizard before getting the pump.

Lucky for me we have diamond board at work and that was just scrap pieces. I added more bling to it. I'll take a pic one of these days as it currently stands with all the kettles etc. Only problem with it is it's so friggen shiny I get blinding reflections from the sun!

I may have mixed in one question I had into too much other yip-yap so I'll axe again. Is pumping into the BK from the bottom spigot a problem? I don't think so but....
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,827
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Whitehouse Station
I never actually tried pumping into a vessel through the bottom. I'm sure you'd lose some flow though even if it doesn't stop. I drew that picture and mistakenly connected the pump output to the vessel outlet.
 

Desert_Sky

Since 1998
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
4,241
Reaction score
195
Location
Boulder
Bobby_M said:
I never actually tried pumping into a vessel through the bottom. I'm sure you'd lose some flow though even if it doesn't stop. I drew that picture and mistakenly connected the pump output to the vessel outlet.

it works. I pumped through the inlet to fill up the mashtun last time I brewed. Pretty much did it just to see if it would work
 

Bobby_M

Vendor and Brewer
HBT Sponsor
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
24,827
Reaction score
3,502
Location
Whitehouse Station
I don't doubt you Chimone, but I'd be curious to see what the flow rate difference is in that arrangement. Though thinking about it more, it shouldn't matter at all. Head pressure is the same regardless of how WIDE the column is right?

Science + my brain = ouch.
 

Desert_Sky

Since 1998
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
4,241
Reaction score
195
Location
Boulder
Bobby_M said:
I don't doubt you Chimone, but I'd be curious to see what the flow rate difference is in that arrangement. Though thinking about it more, it shouldn't matter at all. Head pressure is the same regardless of how WIDE the column is right?

Science + my brain = ouch.

well if we didn't have one too many pints during the brew session I could give you a more definitive answer. It sure seemed like it was quite a bit slower, thats for sure. I wanted to see if it worked because now I want to try and be able to add the grain first and see how well I can hit my target temp by pumping water up into the grain bed from underneath.

It may work, it may not. Trial and error but I will let you know once I give it a shot. It just seems like it might be a bit easier to just crush the grains directly into the MT and pump water up into the grain bed instead of adding grains to the water
 

Desert_Sky

Since 1998
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
4,241
Reaction score
195
Location
Boulder
Bobby_M said:
Sounds like a great idea. Why not just get the water in there with a +1F temp and go ahead and mill into it on top of the water?

Yea, might do that too, Im just going to try and give a few different methods a go and see which one works best for the brutus setup
 

Tonedef131

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Messages
1,891
Reaction score
34
Location
Fort Wayne
This thread is great. I had my single burner three tier setup all designed and was about to start building it when I realized I wouldn't be able to fly sparge because the MLT was on the bottom. So after trying to figure out a way to make it work for about 2 weeks I was getting frustrated. I have limited space, basically one small corner and the only way I could figure out a way to do it was the way I originally had it. Great to know that all I have to do is add a pump!
 

Latest posts

Top