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I got a pump... now what?

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a10t2:
Just kidding, I've already brewed with my new March pump once and it was awesome. But I have a few questions:

1. I could use it to pump from the mash tun but I didn't because I was worried about either compacting the grain bed down so far it wouldn't drain, pulling bits of husk through, or both. Anyone have experience with this? I lauter through a slotted CPVC manifold FWIW.

2. When I started my whirlpool, using the pump to pull wort from the bottom of the kettle, through the CFC, and back in at the top, I had a lot of hop particles and break running through the system. By the time I was done it was running clear, but after all was said and done I started worrying. I don't think any of it is hard enough to actually do damage; I'm more worried about binding up the impeller and burning out the motor or something like that. Am I just obsessing?

3. Finally, I cleaned everything up by pumping hot Oxiclean through it, then running hot water through until it ran clear, then blowing through it to get as much water out as possible. Is there anything else I should be doing to clean it? I guess I could take the head off, but it seems like pretty soft plastic (I almost stripped one of the threads just putting the fittings on). Maybe I'll compromise and clean it every 3-4 brews. How well do the plastic heads hold up long-term?

skiwithg:
I pump from the MLT (with a SS braid) to BK.  If you have a valve on the output of your pump, throttle that way back to avoid stuck sparge.  I usually give the mash a few stirs during the drain (batch sparging).

For cleaning, I just recirculate boiling or near-boiling water from my HLT for 10 minutes after use, but I don't use the pump to whirlpool, so less of a concern for me since my use is all hot-side.  I remove the head (with valves & QD still attached) each time.  One recommendation:  throw the screws that hold plastic head on in the trash immediately and get stainless replacements.

Cheers,
Glenn

hopfenundmalz:
The pump can be throttled on the out put, and the flow even shut off.

I use mine throttled back to transfer from the mash/lauter tun to the boil kettle.  Go slow.

For the boil, I sanitize by running the pump to recirc. as the wort is coming to boil.  Then I pump for the last 15 min. of the boil.

Cleaning is just a water flush of all the hoses, CFC and pump.


Thirsty_Monk:
1) as other said put a ball valve on OUT post and control flow that way.

2) Pallet hops are fine. They do not get stuck in propeller unlike whole hops.
If using whole hops use a hop bag.

3) After using just clean it with nice warm water (flush out all the sugars) till clean and that would be it.
No need to take the pump head off.
If you are not going to brew for some time blowing water off is fine (less possibility to grow molds).
I make a loop with hose from in post to out post when I store my pump.

a10t2:
I do have a ball valve on it, so I'll throttle it back and try pumping from the tun next time. (Good to know it can be shut off that way too; I was doing a good impersonation of a chicken with its head cut off, running to and from the switch last time.) I'm pretty OCD about cleaning, so I'll probably end up taking the head off eventually, just to make sure nothing is growing. Per Glenn's suggestion, I'll be sure to replace the screws when I do.

Thanks for the help, guys.

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