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So, I bought myself a pump and a chillizilla-type chiller and a chugger pump for christmas...thanks for the christmas bonus, Boss...also, silicone tubing and stainless fittings and such to make it work.

After I had everything plumbed in the basement to make sure that things were where they needed to be, I could run the pump full bore and get LOTS of water coming thru the outlet tube back into the pot. All was well, I thought.

Yesterday, when I brewed with the new toys for the first time, I had to throttle the flow back to a trickle to keep from losing my prime coming out of the kettle.

After I got done, I cleaned the system and ran PBW thru it again and it was back to running full stream.

So is the problem the sugar water being thicker than water or the heat? Or is there something else I'm missing?

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While sugar solution is thicker than water, it's only by 4-10% for a typical brew, so I doubt that is your problem. It's more likely a partial blockage or a connection that is letting in air.

One other thing that can cause a reduced flow - it's important to get all air out of the tubes that run from the kettle into the pump. I have the pump placed below the kettles so that the liquid will naturally run down and fill up the pump, displacing the air. Rocking the pump a little can also dislodge any stuck air bubbles in the pump head, since they will naturally want to rise up and out of the outlet. For this reason, it's best to have the flow through the pump going continually upwards, so air bubbles can easily escape.

If you get any air bubbles, restrict flow on the out side of the pump, and gently squeeze the inlet hose, this is usually sufficient to coax them out into the hose. Then slowly open the valve again up to full flow.

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  • I did have all the air out at the start...the silicone tubing is translucent, so I can see where the fluid is. The pump is lower than the outlet of the kettle and is pushing up thru the chiller. I have pictures of the setup, but I'm not exactly sure how to post them here...as soon as I figure it out, I'll post them.
    – madman
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 18:01
  • Do you have the inlet at 6 oclock and the outlet at 12 oclock?
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Jan 6, 2013 at 20:59
  • yep....well, the outlet is at 12 o'clock...the inlet is a center port. And the chiller is completely above the outlet.
    – madman
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 2:11

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