Pump and Fittings

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beerd

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I am going to take the plunge get a pump. Would like to buy once, cry once. Looking for insights on the pump itself and the particulars of the fittings.

Currently, I do 5 gallon batches. Propane tank. BIAB in a 10 gallon kettle, single port. Immersion chiller. Hoist the kettle and gravity drain into an SS brewtech fermenter. Looking to move to the pump to save my aging back for the transfer to the fermenter, but also faster cooling by whirlpooling alongside my immersion chiller. No desire to move to a plate or counterflow just now.

The Riptides look sold out until ~August. Deciding whether to do the Chugger X Dry now or wait. In any case:

Sounds like triclamp fittings are easier to clean. Does it then make sense to try to use camlocks for the connections - or is that silly? Seems like the camlock fittings I see are all NPT.
Can I use regular 1/2" silicon tubing?
If I get 1/2 barbs on the camlock (or whatever fitting I end up with) will 1/2" silicon hold on there? Do i need 5/8"? Do I need hose clamps no matter what?
Sounds like I absolutely need a ball/butterfly valve for the output (in not getting a riptide). If I go with something beside the riptide, can I get away with no vent on the inlet - just using gravity to prime?
I guess I just get a whirlpool arm to go up, over, and into the kettle for the whirlpool chilling?

Lots of questions - I know. Appreciate any insights or pointers to good research. Googling a lot, but haven't found anything all encompassing.

Thanks!
 

day_trippr

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- camlock vs tri-clamp: dealer's choice, they're both going to be threaded, I went with camlocks.
- 1/2" silicone tubing should be 3/4" OD - ie, 1/8" thick. I guess that would be "regular".
- check out brewhardware.com's camlock line. Go with the "full flow" versions which do stretch 1/2" tubing over the barbs (a good thing vs non-full-flow).
- yes, unless it's integrated (riptide) or DC-controllable (solar pumps et al) you do need an output throttle valve for practical pump applications. An unthrottled pump would be more of a nightmare than a brew day assistant :)
- No need for an inlet vent regardless of pump or valve combination as long as the pump head is below the kettle drains.
- lots of choices for a whirlpool solution - the draped arm (or even draped tubing) is one, a bulkhead return is another, a bulkhead return with an autosparge is yet another option,

Cheers!
 
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beerd

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Thank you!

Center inlet vs inline? Any major pros or cons?

So, if I get a chugger or riptide that has the triclamp fittings, those are threaded on to the pump? I thought they would be 'welded' or some sort of seamless connection. Then I was thinking I would do tri-clamp to 1/2 barbs on the inlet and outlet of the pump to hook it up to the tubing. Then camlocks/barbs to kettle port and whatever over the top solution I go with.

Looks like the brew hardware kits are for pumps with NPT connection. Might have to piece it together then.

I'm not sure what you meant by the 'camlock line' or 'full flow versions' from brew hardward.
 

day_trippr

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- center inlet pumps have incrementally higher max throughput, but frankly I don't think I'd know the difference between 7 gpm and 7.5.
- @Bobby_M carries certain camlock fittings that are "Big" with oversize barbs. Camlock Quick Disconnects
- I suppose it is possible someone carries pump heads that have welded triclamp fittings.
- I have male camlocks on pumps, plate chiller wort ports and all kettle valves, then use females on my hoses, most with a barbed street elbow, others just the straight camlock fitting (the two pump inputs are straight up vertical hence straight fittings).

Cheers!
 

Golddiggie

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Chugger has pumps with TC fittings as well as replacement heads for their pumps ($69), as well as March 809/815 pumps (same motor). I actually have those replacement heads for my pumps now. These are the center inlet since I'd rather have more flow than not enough (even if it's not anything you can notice).

I was using the camlock fittings, but they really annoyed the piss out of me. I had trouble getting them to close (both ears). Plus, the sumbitches get HOT (so do the QDs, but you handle the QDs for shorter time frames to remove). I switched back to the ball-lock type QD's a few months back.

All my spike kettles are TC and they have the fittings to go to the ball-lock style QDs. So it was an even better choice for me. With TC fittings everywhere you also have the option of getting some connections that use oversized barbs for maximum flow. All the male QDs I'm using have an opening size of just over 1/2", so not a restriction there. I have the female fittings with the oversized barbs, so also 1/2" ID. I put the female fittings on all my tubing with the male fittings getting attached to kettles, pumps, etc.

If you have friends with brewing system(s) with either, go check out how things go during a brewing session. IME, the ball-lock type are easier and faster to use. The fact that I was easily able to get fittings that had at least 1/2" ID for liquids to flow through should also help.
 
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beerd

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Thanks again!

On the chugger replacement head's with TC fittings that you have - are both TC fittings welded or permanently attached to the head, or are one or both threaded? I'm looking at the x dry and I can't tell if the head is one solid unit. In some pictures it looks like a seam on at least one of the connections.
 

Golddiggie

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The TC fittings are welded to the heads. Not threaded on.

Of course, I've been trying to sell the NPT heads I was using (also stainless) with the upgraded impellers (making them 815 heads) but no one seems to want them. At some point I'll have had enough of moving them around, or storing them, and will rip the guts from the heads and toss the rest out. It's a shame since they are perfectly working heads, just not the connection type I've moved to.
 

catalanotte

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I started with a pump kit for Northern Brewer that was a good deal and all the QDs, a flow control ball valve, hoses and clamps. Was everything needed for a set up that includes a chiller. If you’re not using a CFC or plate chiller you might save a few bucks if you just buy what you need (don’t need 3rd hose and 2 sets of fittings. I’m getting too old to lift and pour everything, pump was a real back saver on brew days, you won’t regret it. Just be sure to add a flow control valve on the pump outlet.
 

Golddiggie

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Something else for the chiller front. I never got even close to the chill speeds I see with my plate chiller with any immersion chiller I had. 50 foot coil of copper couldn't even hope to come close. Didn't matter what the ground water temperature was (mid-40's to mid 50's depending on time of year). IMO, any attempts to get an IC to chill 'faster' is either going to frustrate you with how little speed you gain, or cause your back MORE stress. Trying to pre-chill the water going through the IC (ice bath or pumping iced water through it) is just more "bandaid on a sucking chest wound" tasks.

I'm not sure where I found the info, might have been the Duda Diesel site (who I got my plate chiller from), but it's beyond easy to get FAST chill times with a plate chiller.

When you're ready to make that shift (not if, but when), check out the prices on the Duda Diesel site for brewing chillers. Get the largest one you can (both plate count and width) and you won't be disappointed.
 
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beerd

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All super helpful info and real world experience and really appreciated. For now, just had one of those tweaks in the back lugging the kettle last brew day and decided I need to have a pump for the kettle transfer before my next one.

Now that I will have the capability, I'm sure the next upgrade cycle will debate plate vs counterflow vs one of the ICs with multiple coils. For now, just can't get my head around wort being inside a thing that I can't visually inspect. I know people do it and love it and don't get infections, not trying to start a religious debate :) just not quite there.

Another dumb question. Do you attach your tubing to the fermenter for the transfer or just drop/clamp the hose over the edge? Picturing myself just throwing the tubing over the edge hitting the pump and having it spray wort around like a cartoon hose. I have a 1.5" T.C port on top of the fermenter, wondering if I should get a T.C to camlock male fitting for that so I can connect the hose.
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, I have a Duda Diesel 30 plate 12" PC, and a 50' 1/2" SS IC. Over the last three years of the neipa craze I have used the PC exactly zero times :)
They plug too easily in the face of epic whirlpool hop loads (and having used a 400 micron 6 x 20" SS spider for years I know they're not a good solution, either).
If all I was doing was lightly hopped pilsners and kolsches and weizens and belgians and the like the PC would see a lot more use...

Cheers!
 

Golddiggie

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I put a Brewers Hardware wort filter/strainer (3" OD body model) between the pump and plate chiller. Zero issues with 12oz of hops free swimming in the kettle and using the whirlpool method (10 minute whirlpool, 10 minute rest). It captured between 3oz and 4oz of hop matter. Which prevented any issue in the plate chiller. That was for a 12 gallon (to keg) batch. It was also my first batch in the new Spike ekettle.

In the past, I've just hung the tubing going from the plate chiller out assembly (I was using a couple of ball valves to direct it for recirc, but not doing that anymore) and let it just splash into the fermenter. That tubing had no fitting on the end going into fermenter.
Moving forward, I'll be filling from the bottom valve in the conical fermenter. The fermenter will be purged with CO2, so a nice blanket will be on opt. I'll also be oxygenating the wort as it leaves the plate chiller. After the yeast gets pitched, I'll do another CO2 purge cycle and probably hit it with a couple PSI (thinking 2-3psi at the start). Spunding valve is going to be set in the 10-13psi range (at least that's the plan right now).
 
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