March Pumps and converted Sanke MLT

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Desert_Sky

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Hey gang, got a few questions for those of you using a converted Sanke keg as a MLT along with March pumps for wort transfer.


1. Does it matter what you use for a false bottom when using a keg? I have a SS false bottom and instead of using a bazooka tube setup I'd like to go this route and save a bit of cash. But as we all know sometimes some grain can slip under the false bottom and leave the keg. Will the occasional grains that make it past the false bottom mess up the pump? It's magnetic drive so it should be ok right?

2. Pumping directly out of the MLT.....will this compact the grain bed too much? I have seen some use a grant to collect the runnings, then pump out of that. Then I have seen quite a few just pump directly from the MLT. Any thoughts?


Thanks
 

CodeRage

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This is from my research, no personal experience.

If you pump slowly you should be able to transfer without compacting the grain bed.

To throttle the pump you can put a valve on the output side of the pump and restrict the flow, since it is magnetic drive you wont hurt anything. If you put the valve on the inlet to the pump you will cause cavitation which will eventually damage the pump head.

If and when I ever get my setup going, I am going to try to pulse the March pump with an SSR and see how that works for speed control. Cant make any recomendations on it.
 

AllHoppedUp

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I have the exact set up you've described. I know for a fact that grain particles are running through my pump and it hasn't hurt anything yet.

As far as compacting the grain bed this hasn't been a problem. I recirculate my mash using the pump at full throttle and have no probs. As far as lautering, my boil kettle is lower than my MLT so gravity did the work for that step.
 
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Desert_Sky

Desert_Sky

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AllHoppedUp said:
I recirculate my mash using the pump at full throttle and have no probs.
wow, that is exactly what I wanted to hear. I really cant wait.

thanks!!
 

Lil' Sparky

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If you're going FB, I think the bigger the better. I have a 9" or 10" FB in my keg MLT and if I mill the grain fine enough, it will compact/stick. It may also be a function of water/grain ratio, but I haven't experimented enough to know for sure. I get some grain through as well, but I don't think it hurts the pump any.

Short answer - it'll work, but you may have to tinker with it a little, regardless of your filtering medium.


FYI - A trick I learned with the FB is to use a hose clamp on the pickup tube to keep the FB pressed tight against the bottom so you don't get too much grain by the sides.
 
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Desert_Sky

Desert_Sky

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I have the 12" SS FB I was using in my 10 gallon cooler. I did a test fit and it looks like it will fit nicely in the bottom of the keg. The only time I really get grains passing through is when I get some from my initial dough in. Once I get the bed set, it's smooth sailing. Also I will be switching from batch sparging to fly sparging so once the grain bed is set I shouldn't have anymore issues.

I am still deciding on whether or not I should plumb the connection from the ball valve to the FB with copper or let it stay flexible and use tubing. Most likely copper I think......
 

keiths

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Here is my setup and I havent had any problems with stuck mashes & I use a March Pump.








 

SuperiorBrew

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AllHoppedUp said:
I have the exact set up you've described. I know for a fact that grain particles are running through my pump and it hasn't hurt anything yet.

As far as compacting the grain bed this hasn't been a problem. I recirculate my mash using the pump at full throttle and have no probs. As far as lautering, my boil kettle is lower than my MLT so gravity did the work for that step.
+1

Mine sits tight to the bottom, I dont believe any ever gets under it. A little bit des get thru it on occasion. I also recirculate with a march pump at full steam and have never even had a slow mash.

 

pedalbiker

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Nice job with the window motor..

keiths said:
Here is my setup and I havent had any problems with stuck mashes & I use a March Pump.








 

pieper

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Hello --

What about using a copper manifold? I was thinking of making an 'H' "frame" from copper tubing and cutting slits on the bottom of the tubing. I too will be using a March pump -- Do you think this method will pick up too much grain and allow it to flow through the pump?

Thanks in advance,

cmp...
 

FSR402

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pieper said:
Hello --

What about using a copper manifold? I was thinking of making an 'H' "frame" from copper tubing and cutting slits on the bottom of the tubing. I too will be using a March pump -- Do you think this method will pick up too much grain and allow it to flow through the pump?

Thanks in advance,

cmp...
I think the problem would be the sape of the bottom. It's not flat so you will have a large deadzone.

What I don't get is why not add another side to the false bottom? kind of like the Hop Stopper. Then it would not matter if a little grain got under it.
 

B-Dub

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I use the same setup with a false bottom and march pump. Before transferring the grain into the lauter tun from the mash tun I fill the lauter bottom with water to cover the screen.

This is a practice I have used in every brewery I have every worked in. It might be voodoo, but so much of brewing is.

I like to hear guys using a march at full speed for recirc. I have had one stuck run off with a heavy grain bill with oats before. So now I take it easy. I recirc for 15 min and transfer for 25.

Have fun.
 
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