Author Topic: First time to use my own March pump and Therminator.  (Read 1560 times)

Offline Hydro

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First time to use my own March pump and Therminator.
« on: December 25, 2010, 12:07:52 AM »
Brewed a 5 gal batch of Robust Porter this afternoon.   Partial grain, LME, DME and 3 1/2 oz of pelatized hops.   ( OG 1.070 ) Used the March pump and Therminator for the first time.  Have not built the brew stands for holding my 15 and 13 gallon pots yet.  So I am still working in my wife's kitchen in the 9 gallon classic.  It went about the way I though it would probably go.  Nice...but kind of a pain in the brew pot.

Recirculated boiling hot water for about 10 minutes to help clean and sanitize the internals.  Then recirculated boiling wart for 10 minutes to help sanitize and prime the equipment for cooling the wart and moving it into my carboy for pitching yeast. 
I cooled about 3 1/2 to 4 gallons of wart by the time that the March pump clogged at the intake and the Therminator clogged internally.  Reverted to moving the rest of the wart with my auto siphon.   Let wart cool down in the carboy for 1.5 hours before pitching yeast.

I did not have a prefilter or anything covering the intake of the March pump to prevent the pelatized hops from clogging the pump / chiller setup.  In my big pots I have false bottoms and plan on using whole hops, hoping that this will not happen.   I could use a  hop bag to hold the whole hops although I am not sure that it will hold pelatized hops very well at all.

What is the best method to prevent the March pump and Therminator from clogging again?

I have back flushed the Therminator, although I am not sure that the unit is completely purged of sediment. 

What is the best way to prepare the Therminator for storage and future use to hopefully avoid contamination problems?
For the Love of Beer,
Hydro

On Tap Now:
1. Irish Red Ale
2. American Amber Ale
3. Kolsch
4. Scotch Ale
5. Strong Scotch Ale
6. Key Lime Pie (11%) Chilled to 29 deg. F. you can not even taste the alcohol.

It is time to start brewing again.

Offline narvin

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Re: First time to use my own March pump and Therminator.
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2010, 12:42:56 AM »
Please do not reply if your an evil alien!
Thanks
Chris S.

Offline Hydro

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Re: First time to use my own March pump and Therminator.
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2010, 09:44:00 PM »
You can bag your hops, or make a hop stopper:
http://www.homebrewchatter.com/board/f18/diy-hop-stopper-kettle-screen-pickup-t2550/

Narvin thanks for the tip.

I have reviewed the hop stopper and it looks like it will help with keeping the hops and trub under control.  I have ordered the 12 x 24 screen mesh and plan on building a hop stopper before I brew again.

So far this afternoon I have forward and reverse flushed theTherminator several times with extreamely hot water and used PBW in both directions also.  It looks like when I use the PBW, that it tends to dislodge the blockage.  It is amazing that the hop flakes keep on comming out.  So I decided to leave a solution of PBW inside the Therminator over night and will flush several more times tomorrow.  Hopefully this will clean out the plates.  Once that is completed I plan on flushing with Star San and then flushing with fresh water.   I will place the Therminator in my fermintation cabinet to help dry it out internally.  This has been a pain in the brew pot.

Again, Thanks for the Tip.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2010, 06:04:22 PM by robertwoodson »
For the Love of Beer,
Hydro

On Tap Now:
1. Irish Red Ale
2. American Amber Ale
3. Kolsch
4. Scotch Ale
5. Strong Scotch Ale
6. Key Lime Pie (11%) Chilled to 29 deg. F. you can not even taste the alcohol.

It is time to start brewing again.

Offline tom

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Re: First time to use my own March pump and Therminator.
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2010, 10:12:31 AM »
I use a Bazooka screen along the inside of the BK and I whirlpool and let the trub settle into the center for 15 minutes after the boil.
Brew on

Online tygo

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Re: First time to use my own March pump and Therminator.
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2010, 10:25:07 AM »
I use a Bazooka screen along the inside of the BK and I whirlpool and let the trub settle into the center for 15 minutes after the boil.

How do you have that set up?  My screen currently just goes straight out to the middle of the kettle which doesn't allow me to whirlpool.  I've been thinking about how I could modify it to have it run along the side.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline tom

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Re: First time to use my own March pump and Therminator.
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2010, 07:23:02 AM »
I have a full-coupling welded in the side of the keg/kettle. Then a 90 degree elbow, then the Bazooka. It bends a little because of the curve of the side, but this keeps it out there so it won't interfere with the whirlpool.
Brew on

Offline narvin

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Re: First time to use my own March pump and Therminator.
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2010, 09:20:06 AM »
You can bag your hops, or make a hop stopper:
http://www.homebrewchatter.com/board/f18/diy-hop-stopper-kettle-screen-pickup-t2550/

Narvin thanks for the tip.

I have reviewed the hop stopper and it looks like it will help with keeping the hops and trub under control.  I have ordered the 12 x 24 screen mesh and plan on building a hop stopper before I brew again.

So far this afternoon I have forward and reverse flushed the Therminator several times with extreamely hot water and used PBW in both directions also.  It looks like when I use the PBW, that it tends to dislodge the blockage.  It is amazing that the hop flakes keep on comming out.  So I decided to leave a solution of PBW inside the Therminator over night and will flush several more times tomorrow.  Hopefully this will clean out the plates.  Once that is completed I plan on flushing with Star San and then flushing with fresh water.   I will place the Therminator in my fermintation cabinet to help dry it out internally.  This has been a pain in the brew pot.

Again, Thanks for the Tip.

Hmm... looks like my link is dead.  You may have seen it before it disappeared, but for anyone else interested, the 12x24 screen I ordered was this:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#9230t625/=8czd0o

I folded it in half, dog eared two of the corners outward where they came together to leave an opening for a dip tube, and then folded the remaining edges over twice and tapped them with a hammer to seal them. Other people have used stainless thread to seal it, but that seems like a major pain in the ass and completely unnecessary.  A ss worm gear clamp keeps the mesh on the dip tube.

The reason I like the hop stopper is that it has a large surface area, so you can use a finer mesh than a bazooka tube.  I personally have had little luck with pellet hops and the bazooka... a whirlpool helps, but once the liquid level gets low the trub becomes unsettled and ends up going right through the mesh.  I have heard that cold break can clog the hop stopper, but with a therminator you shouldn't need to recirc anyway.  Just send the output straight to your fermenter... the point of the plate chiller is to get to within 2-4 degrees of your ground water in one pass.

Another tip: If you still have debris in your therminator and don't feel comfortable with its level of cleanliness, you can bake it in the oven for an hour or so to kill any bacteria in there.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 09:21:49 AM by narvin »
Please do not reply if your an evil alien!
Thanks
Chris S.