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I'm getting a Chugger pump for Christmas. I have never used a pump in my brewing and I haven't yet bought the hardware and tubing so I have some questions. I do know that I need a ball valve on the pump outlet to control the flow.

1 - I would like to use hose barbs (without clamps) to quickly change the hoses that are connected to the pump. Will half-inch hose barbs and half-inch silicone tubing create enough of a seal to prevent leaks when the pump is creating pressure or do I need to get quick disconnects?

2 - If I do use quick disconnects, is there a preferred way to arrange the male and female connectors? Male on the pump and female on the hoses or female on the pump and male on the hoses or some other combination? I just wonder if there is any advantage to a particular arrangement.

3 - Since the pump inlet has to be below the liquid and the outlet will also be below the container I'll be pumping into, I assume that when the inflow runs out the hose on the outlet side will be full of liquid that can no longer be pushed along. Is that correct? If so, how do you handle disconnecting the hose without spilling the liquid?

4 - If I want to pump into a container that has a ball valve on it, is there any reason I can't attach the pump outlet hose to that ball valve and open it to pump the liquid in through the ball valve?

5 - Any other tips or recommendations?

  • I have these exact questions. Regarding #3 in particular. I have to say I am very unsatisfied with the answer given here. (no offence) There must be a better way. I am planning my system right now and There has to be a way with cam locks to make it work..... I guess putting a valve at one end of every hose is an option. But Jeez that'll be costly. :( – user12263 Jun 4 '15 at 5:28
  • You absolutely don't need to put valves at the end of every line if you just have a container to drain the lines into. Commercial breweries have floor drains in part for this purpose. There's a couple of configurations where it might be nice to have integrated valves, but it'll depend on your system, procedure, and how much re-connected you do, and when. For me, for instance, it'd be nice to have a valve at the end of the line I use to fill carboys, and I have a step where I re-connect the plate chiller for backflow where it doesn't make sense to drain everything. – jsled Jun 4 '15 at 15:01
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1/ No. You can either use hose that's going to be frustratingly difficult to swap off the barbs because it's 1/16" or 1/4" too small, or hose that's easy to remove but needs clamps to keep a seal. Get quick disconnects. If you get brass, make sure it's lead-free. Stainless camlocks are often considered a good cost/benefit tradeoff, but ymmv. The stainless sheath disconnects might work for you, too.

I haven't done a proper cost comparison between these options, so I can't advise. I use the brass QDs.

2/ Female on hose ends, male on connectors made and continues to make sense for me. Both from an operational and cost standpoint. You generally manipulate the female connector, and usually you're connecting hoses to things, not things to hoses. :)

3/ You don't, you catch it either with a bucket or floor drain. I have a couple of bus tubs for catching drips and liquid left in the lines. You can find QDs with integrated valves (when disconnected, there's no flow), but the cost goes up a lot.

4/ No, I do this all the time, both pumping from HLT -> mashtun, mashtun -> kettle.

5a/ (As you said,) put a ball valve on the outflow of your pump, to control flow rate, but also consider building a purge/priming valve, too. Getting those pump-heads air-free can be a bit of a dance of disconnecting lines, opening/closing valves, checking flow, &c.

5b/ When doing things like re-circulating for chilling or filling the FV, post-chilling, I have a piece of tubing with a male QD at one end, and just cut off on the other end. With an 90-angle female QD, I can drape the connector over the lip of my kettle and dangle the free end into the bottom of the kettle to keep from splashing during recirc. Similarly, that tubing is long enough to reach the bottom of my carboys to fill from the bottom w/o much splashing.

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  • jsled.smugmug.com/Beer/Misc/i-g77WXRG/A is an older pic of my setup, which is more or less the same as recently, while recirculating for chilling: BK -> pump in -> pump out -> plate in -> plate out -> oxygenation rig -> filling tube. – jsled Dec 9 '14 at 23:09

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