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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Automated HERMS system
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:12 AM   #391
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Hello, so how do you sanitize your Herms coil that was just filled with unboilded wort prior to chilling, are you running a boiling wort loop prior? Thanks for the advice.---- sorry this was answered above.

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Old 02-19-2013, 05:57 PM   #392
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While boiling we recirculate through the HERMS in the exact same way that we plan on chilling. Right before reentering the kettle the wort can be diverted to a hose connected to the fermentor. We circulate to reduce trub and create a whirlpool and maintain constant temp a few times. When the boil is finished we add ice and cold water to drop the temp. When the temp is low enough we stop recirculating and open up a sealed port next to the kettle inlet. We sanitize the opening and connect a clean hose to it. Now when we recirculate the chilled wort is diverted into the fermentor.

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Old 09-12-2013, 01:40 AM   #393
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What electric solenoids did you decide on? where from and how much, please. I'm working on a build inspired/based on your wonderful years long build notes. I have given credit where credit is due also!
She's gonna be a beauty! http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hibi...-build-431437/
Thanks, Jim

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Old 10-10-2013, 05:32 AM   #394
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hi blackheart, im just a rookie brewer yet to brew his first beer, but am already looking into the future by researching herms systems. First off let me say I am very impressed with your system and build log. I really enjoyed reading through all 40 pages in under 12 hours. (what can I say , when i'm interested, I am interested ^_^) I am considering building the same system in the future, except for having the gas be propane fed from a tank. Having a part list together with the schematics would make doing so a lot easier. Could you help me out with the links to the schematics and a part list for your fully finished hermes 2.0 system? That way I can start playing around with designing the frame and calculate the costs of the whole thing so I have a goal to shoot for using profits from what I will be producing from the starting kit I am going to get soon.

thanks,
master_haze

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Old 10-10-2013, 03:52 PM   #395
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Most if not all of the info you need to build the exact same brew system is in this thread. I know of a few people who have built a near exact clone of the system. The take away from my brewery project should be to make an improved or enhanced version, not just a parts list to shop with. Almost everything was parts ordered from standard brewing suppliers like Northern Brewer, Midwest brewing supplies, Brewers Hardware, and BrewTroller.

As I've said before much of my systems design is based on the idea that I had no year round access to running water and a drain. Therefore reusing the HERMS coil as a cooling device, and hence my plumbing designs, are all predicated on that.

I used a number of other parts, like compression fittings, tank level tubes, kegs as kettles, etc that I would not use again if I were building it new.

If I were building it from scratch I would do the electronics and most of the frame the same but use a higher quality SS strait walled kettle with a bottom drain if possible and all welded fittings. I would also use a standard counter flow chiller and might even look into rims or a mini kettle to do the HERMS heat control for the mash instead of an entire kettle.

I also looked into using a tankless water heater for a house as a hot water source that I could then fine tune with a RIMS system to brew faster.

The point is, much of the info I have is up here, and even still I would try to do what works best for you. On Google Sketcup 3d Warehouse their is an accurate 3D model of the brew system with all the dimensions you would need to build the frame.

I am considering selling my entire setup as I may soon not have the space to brew. Currently I do not have the time or cash to do so.


Here is a picture I am working on that I took of the brew system a few weeks ago.

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Old 12-30-2013, 01:55 AM   #396
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Blackheart Brewery, thank you so much for posting all of this info on your build here. You did an amazing job. I have learned so much from your threads, and have made so many changes to my build from what I have learned on your posts.

I am currently trying out the 30 day free trial with Adobe Illustrator to create a panel cover to to send to Ponoko. I am having a lot of trouble with Illustrator and can't figure out to change the drawings. I am trying to change the plumbing and valves, but Illustrator seems to be hard to use for a noob. Going to have to dig into some how to guides.

Thanks again for passing on the info on your build. Helped me a lot!

Jamie

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Old 12-30-2013, 02:35 PM   #397
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Not sure if I actually merged the lines together or if they are just grouped. You might be able to right click and ungroup them. If not just delete what you want to change and redraw it. I spent all of a few hours drawing that with zero illustrator skills.

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Old 02-07-2014, 05:52 AM   #398
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Black heart. First, thank you for this amazing thread. While I attempt to build my "second brew stand first" I looked at your last post mentioning a few things you would do differently such as not cool the through the herms, and use kegs... Could you please explain your reasoning? I'm currently looking for the perfect build, but after much research, I do not want to build something only to want to start another project, or try to adjust the system I just finished. I would rather build my " second system first" once again thank you for everything posted. What a great source of information. I've learned south just from this single thread.


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Old 02-07-2014, 03:14 PM   #399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROUNDS View Post
Black heart. First, thank you for this amazing thread. While I attempt to build my "second brew stand first" I looked at your last post mentioning a few things you would do differently such as not cool the through the herms, and use kegs... Could you please explain your reasoning? I'm currently looking for the perfect build, but after much research, I do not want to build something only to want to start another project, or try to adjust the system I just finished. I would rather build my " second system first" once again thank you for everything posted. What a great source of information. I've learned south just from this single thread.


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
You have multiple options for almost every component, brass or stainless steel, 1/2" or 3/4", etc etc. I would over-build everything you can afford to. It took us weeks of tinkering to address flow issues, stuck sparges, bad valves, leaking fittings etc.

Using TC fittings or a similar universal fitting is a must IMO. This means at the cost of some tubing I can re-plumb my entire system and connect anything to anything else, regardless of input or output. This is what we ended up doing when we used the kettle to heat water and pump 2 as a keg washer. We just connected an extra hose to the pump output. I could easily add another valve and make a permanent connection in the future.

The weldless keg fittings and using kegs seemed like a good idea at the time. Yes they work but they require a ton of fiddling with everything from the exact diameter of the hole you need to cut (plus de-burring and filing) to the arraignment and placement of the seals and parts. Since the valves and connectors are heavy they tend to want to rotate the connections loose. Because the connection is not welded you have to decide how often you want to disassemble and clean that area, which means not only removing a single valve buy a cluster of valves and the corresponding hoses, then remove all parts, clean and sanitize, then finally re-tape with teflon and assemble and test the whole thing over again.

This takes HOURS of time spent bending, twisting, and smacking your limbs agains stainless steel and potentially cutting your self on sharp edges that you missed when de-burring or on a part you put on backwards this time. If I were building it again, I would build in a cleaning cycle. We have a manual one now but it does not account for removing grain, hop residue etc and of course the fittings on the valves.

If possible I would also go for a bottom drain valve on the kettles which makes for easy pump priming. This is only possible with electric however.

1/2" tubing/pipe etc I would say is the minimum needed and in reality 3/4" or 1" is much more practical. Our HERMS coil is 1/2" and that really slowed the system down. As did our pumps... I kept upgrading the pump heads and parts to get more flow out of them. I was at 1/2-3/4 their rated output but they still struggled all the time. What we found out was the issue was seals that were not vacuum tight. Like, bump something and its not a perfect seal, all of a sudden the flow stops....

Hops and grain getting into the lines was a huge issue at various points. Eventually they work their way into seals and TC fittings and you dont find this out until you disassemble and find them wedged in there. Again, we made everything modular and quick dissconnectable so that the system could be easily torn down and cleaned. This was still not an easy task.


If you dont mind spending 8 hours brewing a batch of beer from prep through cleaning up time then really you can go with whatever options you want. If you want to walk up to your brew system, flip some switches, and hang out for 3-4 hours while your system brews the beer with minimal input, work, annoyance, and cleanup, then I would try to plan out a system that requires little maintenance or is easy to maintain. Weldless fittings, threaded fittings, teflon, and the other inferior options I mentioned will just add more time to your brew day or (if you are lazy) ruin your beer, either by contamination or inefficacy.
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:33 PM   #400
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Thanks for the quick reply. I will take everything you said into consideration. Take care!


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