Slow Pumping

Experiencing technical problems? Look here for help!

Slow Pumping

Unread postby HLA91 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:11 pm

Hi All,

I did a brew on Sunday using 4.7kg of grain, and I noticed that the run-off on the BM didn't seem as rapid as it normally is. Its the same grain batch as I ave used in my past 2 brews, and under the 6kg Max for the 20L BM.
The BM probably wasn't perfectly level, but if anything this would make the flow faster in the one direction but it was the slowest trickle over the edge so quiet I couldn't hear it which I normally can. I had to actually look at the ripple in the wort outside the grain basket to see that it was pumping.
I'm realising its most likely the grain crush combined with the age of the grain (9 months) hence why I didn't notice last time I brewed (last October). I still have 12kg of crushed grain left, anyone have any idea how to help the pump along?

Cheers

HLA91
HLA91
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 2:30 pm

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby dinnerstick » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:39 pm

To confirm that it was the flow through the mash that was the problem, rather than the pump: Did you open the malt pipe and stir the mash at any point? If so, did it flow better at least in the short term after mixing? As you point out it's highly unlikely that the malt pipe was overloaded, but was all of the malt pushed up and sticking at the top screen, impeding flow? When you lifted the malt pipe did it drain normally?
On the other hand, could it be the pump; does the pump run normally with no malt pipe in? Did it sound weird, as if it had air in it? If it's not running correctly you can take it apart and inspect the impeller.
If it's definitely not the pump, it would also help to know: what sort of grain bill, how fine is the crush, and what mash temps are you using?
Good luck!
User avatar
dinnerstick
 
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:51 am
Location: Utrecht NL
Model: 20 litres

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby Lylo » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:26 pm

Have you noticed a drop in efficiency? I have found it hard to gauge the amount of flow as it can be gentle and still be very effective.
I wasn't planning on going for a run today but those cops came from nowhere!
Lylo
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:35 am
Location: Alberta, Canada
Model: 20 litres

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby HLA91 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:11 pm

Thanks for the replies, I didn't notice any odd noise from the pump, the malt pipe seemed to drain fine. As for efficiency I'm afraid I was in a bit of a flap at the time and didn't take proper notes, but from memory I had a reading of 1.057 during the boil and I topped up to 23 L post boil so working on a worst case scenario I got 1050 thats still in the region of the 1047 I was expecting. I've never been very good with hydrometer readings, I really should start taking proper notes. I'm hopefully going to start another brew the weekend after next so I will watch everything very closely, although lylo's reply makes me feel better "gentle but effective" so maybe I shouldn't worry if its not Niagara falls.
HLA91
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 2:30 pm

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby Lylo » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:33 pm

You seem to be getting a descent efficiency if your og was higher than expected. Carry on and by all means start taking notes and hydro readings. The quality of help you get here will depend on the quality of your records. Have fun.
I wasn't planning on going for a run today but those cops came from nowhere!
Lylo
 
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:35 am
Location: Alberta, Canada
Model: 20 litres

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby Nesto » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:12 pm

Certainly report back, but I would definitely check your pump as dinnerstick suggested. Take it apart and make sure it's clean and nothing out of sorts with the impeller - it's an easy thing to do. Also, next brew, make sure the wing nut is fully tightened on the hold down bow. If that is loose, your flow will be poor, but you won't necessarily lose much efficiency.
___________________________
Check out my brewing blog... http://www.sycamorecreekbrewing.com/
User avatar
Nesto
 
Posts: 790
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:03 pm
Location: Northern California
Model: 20 litres

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby Dicko » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:22 pm

Taking all above comments into the solution, you may also want to try a short rest at 40 deg c, say around 10 minutes.

This rest reportedly increases the fluidity (flow) of the wort and can help slightly with MASH efficiency.

:cheers:
The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it
User avatar
Dicko
 
Posts: 1179
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:25 pm
Location: Port Lincoln South Oz
Model: 20 litres

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby Nesto » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:45 pm

Dicko wrote:Taking all above comments into the solution, you may also want to try a short rest at 40 deg c, say around 10 minutes.

This rest reportedly increases the fluidity (flow) of the wort and can help slightly with MASH efficiency.

:cheers:

+1. A lot of good stuff happens at 40C!
___________________________
Check out my brewing blog... http://www.sycamorecreekbrewing.com/
User avatar
Nesto
 
Posts: 790
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:03 pm
Location: Northern California
Model: 20 litres

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby HLA91 » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:54 pm

Wow lots of replies, the pump looked fine before the brew, and I also checked the pump after the session, as I always do and ensure its perfectly clean before storing the BM away till next time. I tried tightening the wing nut until my hand hurt but that did nothing for the flow (my fingers ached like a bitch).

I'll try a 20 min 40C rest next time at the start just to see if that helps things along.

I did think of stirring the mash but I didn't know how to pause the program, can someone let me know please?
HLA91
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 2:30 pm

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby cpa4ny » Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:52 pm

Couple of thoughts:

a.) What is the percentage of grains other than malted barley that are you using? Could it be high % of wheat malt? that without rice hulls would surely slow things down.

b.) I know there are a couple of different pump types that Speidel uses in BMs. Mine is adjustable and maybe yours is as well. Try setting the pump speed higher.

:beer:
_______________________
20L BM user from Singapore
User avatar
cpa4ny
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:54 am
Location: Singapore
Model: 20 litres

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby HLA91 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:25 am

The grain bill was roughly 4.2kg MO, 100g Choc, 160g Crystal. I checked the pump thinking maybe I had an adjustable one but no such luck.
HLA91
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 2:30 pm

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby niels » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:38 am

HLA91 wrote:I'll try a 20 min 40C rest next time at the start just to see if that helps things along.

I would go for 10 minutes.

HLA91 wrote:The grain bill was roughly 4.2kg MO, 100g Choc, 160g Crystal. I checked the pump thinking maybe I had an adjustable one but no such luck.

The models with an adjustable pump are more previous ones. Speidel switched to "fixed" pumps at a certain point.

A bit OT: There are 3 models of pumps I'm aware of: A Vortex branded and two Xylem branded. One of the Xylem pumps is adjustable by means of a pot meter.

- Niels
User avatar
niels
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:08 pm
Location: Belgium
Model: 50 litres

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby cpa4ny » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:59 pm

Hmm... that sounds like a fairly low amount of grist for the pump to circulate through.

My BM dates back to early 2011 and my pump looks like this:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/speidel ... ex108.html

I have it set at the maximum pumping speed and it still works pretty well.

To pause the BM, you need to press the "Up" and the "Down" arrows simultaneously.
_______________________
20L BM user from Singapore
User avatar
cpa4ny
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:54 am
Location: Singapore
Model: 20 litres

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby HLA91 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:25 pm

I have just checked the BM, and after screwing down the malt pipe I slowly poured water into the centre from a height of around 3cm and found a leak. No patter how hard I turn the nut I cant get the leak to stop I have tried repositioning the seal but no luck.

I have only used the BM 3 times, it hasn't been dropped, knocked, what are my options?
I do think having a straight bar holding the pipe down is a bit of a risk though, surely a plus shape (+) hold down bar would distribute the push down pressure more efficiently?
HLA91
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 2:30 pm

Re: Slow Pumping

Unread postby dinnerstick » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:50 pm

that's troubling. can you see why it's leaking? a dent in the bottom rim of the pipe, or in the bottom of the kettle? i would contact the dealer or speidel directly straight away!
User avatar
dinnerstick
 
Posts: 1015
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:51 am
Location: Utrecht NL
Model: 20 litres

Next

Return to Technical Support

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests