Author Topic: Pump technique and cleaning  (Read 807 times)

Offline galapagos jim

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Pump technique and cleaning
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:21:52 PM »
Finally got to use my new March pump on Sunday. It was (pick one: Useful | Fun | Everything I Ever Hoped It Would Be | A Religious Experience). I used it for transferring strike and sparge water from the kettle to my gravity-fed cooler tuns, and for recirculating the wort during chilling.

As this was my first experience using a pump in brewing, there was an unexpected but not inappropriate learning curve, and there are a couple of issues I'd like to ask about.

First, is there a prescribed order for opening/closing valves and powering on the pump?

What I settled on was: close pump outlet, open kettle outlet, open tun inlet, power on pump, quickly open pump outlet to desired level. After transfer is complete, close tun inlet, quickly power off pump, close kettle outlet.

This worked well except for pumping the strike water, where I completely forgot to close the valves, 2 gallons of liquid flowed back into the kettle, and I lost 5°F in the mash tun. Otherwise, sometimes I had problems getting the flow started, and it seemed like it worked better if I kept the pump outlet valve closed to start, but I wonder if that's bad for the pump.

Second, what cleaning routine do you use? I flushed the pump with cold water at the end of the brew day, and when I cleaned the kettle last night I ran 180°F water through it to kill nasties, then added PBW, then rinsed with hot tap water. That's not the most efficient cleaning routine, so I'm wondering what y'all do.

Offline tygo

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Re: Pump technique and cleaning
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 07:12:24 PM »
I use mine both for recirculating and pumping the wort from the tun to the kettle.  And also for recirculating during chilling.  I open both the valve on the tun/kettle and outlet valve off the pump to flush wort through the system before I turn on the pump.  Sometimes it takes a little playing with the outlet valve to get things flowing properly.

I clean the kettle and the pump at the same time.  I fill up the kettle with hot water, add oxyclean, and then once it's sat long enough I pump the oxy out.  Then I rinse the kettle well with hot water and add more hot water which I pump out. 
Clint
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Pump technique and cleaning
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 07:56:27 PM »
Pretty much the same for me. Pump from HLT to Mash tun, recirculate wort in tun to vorlauf, pump from mash tun to boil kettle, pump to recirculate wort over immersion chiller in the kettle, then pump out to the fermenter once chilled.

I have quik connects on my lines. I open the valve for whatever is going into the pump and drop the pump out line to below the pump head until the line fills, then I close the pump out valve. Once this syphon has been established and the pump head has liquid in it I go ahead and switch on the pump. You can run the pump with nothing actually pumping as long as you keep back pressure by keeping the pump out valve closed.  This keeps liquid in the pump even though it's not flowing and causes no harm to the pump. If you plan what you're doing, you should not have to do this again during the brew day as you now have liquid in the pump head and incoming line.

I clean debris out of my boil kettle at the end of the day, partially fill with an Oxi or PBW solution and let
it recirculate through the pump. I rinse, recirculate, run my bucket of sanitizer through and then remove the hoses and blow a little air through the pump.
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Offline Pi

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Re: Pump technique and cleaning
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 12:06:13 PM »
I clean debris out of my boil kettle at the end of the day, partially fill with an Oxi or PBW solution and let
it recirculate through the pump. I rinse, recirculate, run my bucket of sanitizer through and then remove the hoses and blow a little air through the pump.
Is Oxi better/worse than PBW for cleaning copper CFWC?
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