Author Topic: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?  (Read 2395 times)

Offline fistfullofhops

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All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« on: December 12, 2013, 08:55:18 PM »
Sorry if this is a redundant subject. I started out brewing using gravity, then switched to a pump. I'm switching back to gravity because I just find it easier and the pump noise drove me mad.

Just curious to see the feedback from both sides.
steve

Offline milligan101

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 09:05:56 PM »
I plan to use a pump for the first time this weekend.  Brewing about 18 years now by gravity.  A few thing I want to do easier, like not climbing a ladder using a pump.  I also hope my cfc and shower head sparge will work better with a pump.

Offline thebigbaker

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 09:13:29 PM »
I use a pump but I currently only use it to whirlpool when I'm cooling w/ my IC.  I batch sparge and transfer strike/ mash water with a pitcher and wort transfers with a ball valve into the fermenter.  However, all that fancy-shiny brewing equipment is tempting, so we'll see how long I keep using the easy system I've got going.  :)
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Offline sparkleberry

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 11:10:30 PM »
i've been using my pump exclusively to move strike and sparge water up to my cooler. its been great so far. i was originally going to use it to recirculate wort whilst cooling, but then it's just another piece of gear to clean and sanitize and worry about not being clean enough. i figure moving hot water around for me is well worth it's price.
cheers.

rpl
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 11:15:18 PM »
A pump. It saves my back, increases my mash efficiency and reduces my cooling time.

It also takes longer to set up and tear down and makes more stuff to clean. (more hoses, trub filter and chiller)

Does it help me make better beer? Doubtful. It does save a fair amount of lifting, but if you don't like ditzing with it, ditch it. We mostly brew because we enjoy it. I say get rid of anything that interferes with that enjoyment.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 04:16:45 AM »
With a single tier system, pumps are needed to save my old back.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline FlipMasterFlash

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 07:26:45 AM »
I really enjoy the simplicity of gravity but I use a pump now so that I can have my boil kettle and mash tun at more comfortable heights.

Offline dbarber

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 08:14:22 AM »
I've been brewing for 15 years and have always used gravity, but plan to incorporate a pump into my system next year....easier on the back.
Dave Barber
Orwigsburg, PA
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Offline majorvices

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2013, 09:53:55 AM »
Pumps are awesome. I would brew without one if I had to, but I'll put up with the pump whine no problem. Check out this:

http://www.mrmalty.com/chiller.php

Can't do that without a pump!
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline fistfullofhops

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 01:25:44 PM »
Brew day went well today. The only thing I had to lift was the boiling kettle after the chill. There were two of us so it wasn't a big deal.

My buddy had a rig years ago that was three tier, all gravity fed. There was a crane that the boiling kettle hooked on to and you cranked it up to the second tier, then slid a steel shelf in place to rest it on. It worked really well; all the simplicity of gravity without breaking your back.
steve

Offline fistfullofhops

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Offline euge

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 01:41:24 PM »
I think if you are using gravity all the way there is no need to have a pump. Only a hose to fill the HLT at the top.

In my case I use a hybrid gravity single-tier batch-sparge system.

The point is that I used to use a pump but found it kinda troublesome and messy. I can cool my wort just as well without a recirc or whirlpool. Less equipment and fittings to buy, clean, maintain and keep track of. To get all the connects, fittings and silicon hose I wanted was going to run me over $100!

I've pretty much eliminated everything from my brewery as non-essential and have streamlined my process. I use a minimum of equipment and do large boils (12+) on my kitchen stove. No tricked out system. Just a kettle with a ball-valve, a 70qt cooler, several large buckets, one piece of vinyl tubing and a single long handled spoon. A copper IC and frozen bottles to cool it all.

So I'd say one would have to consider the expense and impact a pump will have on the process, the system and the learning curve. Mistakes will be made. A flailing hose pumping hot wort is no walk in the park... And like many things in homebrewing just because everyone is doing it and it seems like a natural evolution to the process doesn't make buying a pump necessary.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Online morticaixavier

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2013, 02:17:38 PM »
I think if you are using gravity all the way there is no need to have a pump. Only a hose to fill the HLT at the top.

In my case I use a hybrid gravity single-tier batch-sparge system.

The point is that I used to use a pump but found it kinda troublesome and messy. I can cool my wort just as well without a recirc or whirlpool. Less equipment and fittings to buy, clean, maintain and keep track of. To get all the connects, fittings and silicon hose I wanted was going to run me over $100!

I've pretty much eliminated everything from my brewery as non-essential and have streamlined my process. I use a minimum of equipment and do large boils (12+) on my kitchen stove. No tricked out system. Just a kettle with a ball-valve, a 70qt cooler, several large buckets, one piece of vinyl tubing and a single long handled spoon. A copper IC and frozen bottles to cool it all.

So I'd say one would have to consider the expense and impact a pump will have on the process, the system and the learning curve. Mistakes will be made. A flailing hose pumping hot wort is no walk in the park... And like many things in homebrewing just because everyone is doing it and it seems like a natural evolution to the process doesn't make buying a pump necessary.

euge, I keep meaning to try your frozen water bottle techinique. My IC works well enough and I can drop the temp the rest of the way with the fridge but I would love to save some water. I go through probably 20-30 gallons chilling a 10 gallon batch.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2013, 03:30:23 PM »
I soldered up my Jamil Whirlpool type arm last weekend and it is going into service tomorrow.  I have had a March pump and high temp hoses with QCD's sitting idle for a couple years now, as I just didn't see the need.  Jamil's points are well taken and I am going to try to cram two 10 gallon batches in tomorrow with the time savings.  Hopefully, the time will be cut down to a third or so on the chill, allowing me to sync the mash of the second batch to allow for kettle cleaning and then back to boiling.
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Offline drb1215

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Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2013, 11:46:24 AM »
I'm currently doing all gravity, but will soon add a pump for moving water from my BK up to my HLT cooler.  My back is starting to not appreciate lifting gallons of water!