Northern Brewer - Steelhead Pump - First Use - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:


Well-Known Member
Apr 10, 2013
Reaction score
This weekend I used my Northern Brewer Steelhead pump for the first time, it is also the first time I have whirlpooled my wort. I initially bought the pump to do whirlpool chilling with my immersion chiller, but in the near future I plan on also using it for transferring liquid, mash recirculation, and fly sparging.

For my setup, I unscrewed and rotated the pump head so that the outlet is pointing up and the inlet is pointing down. I haven't made a mount for my pump just yet, so it rested on a stepstool around two feet below the brew kettle ballvale. I attached tee to the outlet port and a ballvalve on each side of the tee; one to go to my whirlpool return port, and the other down into the carboy. All connected with high-temp 1/2" tubing using the high-flow camlocks from Brewhardware. BTW I think these camlocks rock! I am glad I went with them over quick disconnects.

A day before brewing I hooked everything up and just played with it to make sure I could prime the pump properly. I opened the ballvalve on my output tee that is going to my whirlpool return port. I opened the ballvalve on my kettle and let it flood the pumphead. I plugged in the pump, closed the ball valve on my output tee halfway, and let it rip. The Steelhead pump worked beautifully.

Even after testing it the day before I was still worried that it may clog because of hop sludge, even though I had read many posts on this forum saying it is not a problem. I have no hop filter of any kind before the pump inlet on my system. On brewday the Steelhead worked just as beautifully, not a single issue just humming along circulating my wort. I got a great whirlpool going, chilled my wort, and ended up having a mass of hop sludge in the center. The hop sludge was slightly disturbed as the brew kettle was getting close to empty. I assume that is because of suction and is something I can play with. FYI My diptube in my brew kettle is a stainless steel high-flow elbow barb, so it is resting close to the wall of my brew kettle.

I was brewing an IPA so in total there was 5 oz worth of hops in the brew kettle.

It was my first brew using the pump so I am sure I can learn and do things better, but I just wanted to provide some feedback on the Norther Brewer Steelhead pump. I know before I bought it I was searching for reviews and opinions on the forum too.