Author Topic: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?  (Read 1047 times)

Offline philm63

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Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« on: November 04, 2013, 04:56:21 AM »
Wasn't sure how to search this one, so I figured I'd just toss it out there - how much beer can one expect to lose in the pump and lines?

I ask because I am adding a pump to my system (5-gallon batches, 10-gallon cooler for the tun, 10-gallon BK) and my initial use will be to circulate the wort during chilling (using an IC) and introducing my new Hop Rocket to the mix as a filter at first - just to get used to working with a pump.

I'm adding a ball-valve near the top of my BK for a return. A hose will go from the bottom of the BK to the pump, then to the Hop Rocket, then back up to the BK. My total line length will be about 12 feet.

Is there a "standard" procedure to get that wort out of the lines and into the kettle once the pump is turned off? Or is anything left in the lines considered "waste" and just dumped during the cleaning process? If so, I can note how much is lost and add it to my batch size to compensate - just wondering what other folks are doing.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 06:19:18 AM »
IF you are still boiling you could probably just blow the wort back in, otherwise i just use gravity when im done to get the wort out of the pump/lines
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Offline factory

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 08:08:04 AM »
I find that the losses are minimal.  I usually only loose about a quart in all my lines.  My line from the Mash Tun to the BK is less than 6' of 1/2" ID tubing, and that loss is maybe between a cup and a pint, so I don't even bother with blowing it through.

Offline weithman5

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 08:42:15 AM »
about 3/4 x ID squared  times the length.   8)
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Offline svejk

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 08:49:36 AM »
I hate losing wort, so once the wort is out of the kettle but before the last drops reach the pump, I shut off the valve and put ~1/2 gallon of boiling water in the kettle.  I then push the last of the wort out of the lines and into the fermenter and shut off the pump once the water arrives.  I'm not sure how that would work with your setup, but it also serves a dual purpose for me in that the chiller, lines and pump are all soaking in water rather than wort while I'm oxygenating, pitching yeast, etc.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 12:05:42 PM »
Is there a "standard" procedure to get that wort out of the lines and into the kettle once the pump is turned off? Or is anything left in the lines considered "waste" and just dumped during the cleaning process?

Neither, at least not for me. The near-boiling wort that you're circulating isn't going to become less sanitary from sitting in the lines for a few minutes - unless your lines are filthy, that is. Just pump it over to the fermenter with the rest of the wort.

FWIW, 12 ft of 3/8" ID tubing would hold 0.07 gal. 1/2" would hold 0.12 gal.
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Offline philm63

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 01:05:56 PM »
Reckon I didn't even think of using the pump to run off to the fermenter - tons of uses for a pump, no? Just got the last of my cam-lock fittings and will start setting up the pump system this week.

I think what I'm hearing (reading) is that I can recirc until chilling is done, shut the pump off, pull the line from the BK and put it in the fermenter, turn the pump back on, and pump the wort from the BK to the fermenter - nice and neat!
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 02:53:40 PM »
I think what I'm hearing (reading) is that I can recirc until chilling is done, shut the pump off, pull the line from the BK and put it in the fermenter, turn the pump back on, and pump the wort from the BK to the fermenter - nice and neat!

I would add a 10-20 minute rest after whirlpooling, to let the trub settle out.
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Offline djsanta

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2013, 04:46:44 PM »
I think what I'm hearing (reading) is that I can recirc until chilling is done, shut the pump off, pull the line from the BK and put it in the fermenter, turn the pump back on, and pump the wort from the BK to the fermenter - nice and neat!

I would add a 10-20 minute rest after whirlpooling, to let the trub settle out.

+1 to the post-whirlpool rest.  When pumping to your fermenter don't pump too fast or you'll disturb that nice trub cone you developed during the whirlpool.

The other thing I did was calculate the dead space in my BK.  Adding that to the volume of my recipe lets me get everything out without having to tilt the kettle, which obviously dumps the trub too.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2013, 12:45:56 PM »
You don't need a ball valve for recirc. Just flop the hose over the top and secure it with your lid or a clamp.

I don't understand why you'd recirc with a hop rocket. Kind of defeats the point, eh?
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Offline thetooth

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2013, 03:43:05 PM »
You lose a lot less than you'd think.  I was concerned when I first got my pump, but I quickly discovered that it wasn't enough to bother with.

Offline arustyt

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2013, 06:37:22 PM »
I use 1/2" silicone tubing in my system which works out to about 1.3 oz. per foot of line.

At the end I usually "milk" what I can from the lines into a hydrometer jar for my OG reading.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 07:26:12 PM by arustyt »
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Offline philm63

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Re: Adding a pump - how much beer will I lose in the lines?
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2013, 08:41:11 AM »
...I don't understand why you'd recirc with a hop rocket. Kind of defeats the point, eh?

I'm using an immersion chiller presently, and in the interest in getting used to working with a pump during my brew day, I thought a good place to start would be simply circulating the wort while I'm chilling it, and I also thought I'd get a two-fer by implementing the new Hop Rocket as well - not for hop infusion this first run - but as a filter (I'll just stuff a couple of hop-socks in there instead of 3 or 4 ounces of whole-leaf hops).

My hope this first time is to get chilled and modestly filtered wort to run to my fermenter, all with the pump.

This is all just to get the basics down like when to open what valve and by how much, priming the pump, dealing with leaks, what does it look like when it's working, etc. First time pump user - should be, er um... fun?
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