Questions about pump setup

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hezagenius

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I’m wanting to add a pump to my brewing routine to help with wort recirculation and chilling. I have a 15 gal kettle with 2 horizontal couplers about an inch or so above the bottom. I do 5 gal batches so the wort depth is probably about 7-8 inches give or take. I’m leaning toward the SS Chugger with center inlet for my pump. My plan is to build a brew stand where the pump is more or less at the same level as the couplers on the kettle, maybe slightly below to improve the head on the inlet side of the pump. I’ll have valves and camlock fittings on both couplers on the kettle. The lines to and from the kettle will be 12-18” of 1/2” silicone. The line out of the pump will go back to the kettle through the 2nd coupler so the outlet from and inlet to the kettle will be at the same elevation. On the inside of the kettle on the return side, I’ll have a 90 elbow angled up about 45 degrees to help the cooled wort get higher in the kettle to make cooling more efficient. If the pump creates too much head, I’ll angle the elbow further down to keep the recirculation flow from shooting above the wort level.

So my questions are:
1) Will this configuration cause any problems with flow?

2) Will hops clog up the pump? Do I need a hop spider? I’ll be making mostly IPAs with large hop additions at flameout and during the whirlpool. I typically use pellet hops.

3) When you turn off the pump, do I just leave the wort that remains in the lines and the pump? Or do I drain them out somewhere to collect?
 

acidrain

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1) The lower the pump, the better it will work. Even 6 or 8 inches below the bottom of the kettle may not enough.

2} Yes, hops will clog a pump.

3) After you transfer, drain the lines into a container and add them.
 
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hezagenius

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Will pellet hops be enough to clog the pump? I'll probably use 4-6oz during the post-boil hopstand/whirlpool.

Another option I've been toying with is using a stainless hop spider cylinder. I'd add the post boil hops into the cylinder that sits in the middle of the kettle. Then draw wort from the bottom of the kettle and pump it back through the hop spider in the middle. It would require more engineering to make the return line stable enough to get the wort back up that high (just silicone tubing might not be strong enough) but I would think I'd get decent hop utilization. But I think I'd get even better utilization just letting the hops float freely during the whirlpool.
 

IslandLizard

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I use roomy fine mesh hop bags to contain all hops and a (small) filter over the diptube in case any (leaf) hops make it outside the bag.

That way I keep all hop trub out of my pump and plate chiller.
 

Prezioso85

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I just added a chugger pump and recirculating arm to my set up and used it this weekend. Once I added my last addition of hops it seemed to slow the flow down. When I was pumping from the kettle to the carboy ( using a funnel with a screen in it) the pump and screen in the funnel started getting clogged with trub. More so the funnel than pump. So I too am looking into either using bags or hop spider to fight the clogging issue.
 

normonster

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I just added a chugger pump and recirculating arm to my set up and used it this weekend. Once I added my last addition of hops it seemed to slow the flow down. When I was pumping from the kettle to the carboy ( using a funnel with a screen in it) the pump and screen in the funnel started getting clogged with trub. More so the funnel than pump. So I too am looking into either using bags or hop spider to fight the clogging issue.

I use a false bottom and bazooka screen on my BK and it works well but like you I see some slowdown toward cold break. Haven't been stuck yet though. Adding hop bags will likely be the last step for me in terms of trub control.

Cheers!
 
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