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-   -   Herms (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/herms-50283/)

Gabe 01-07-2008 03:57 AM

I have been brewing with a three tier gravity setup for a year and a half and want to create a HERMS system out of my existing setup. I have my layout and my design down but I still have a few remaining ?'s. Those of you that run a HOME BUILT HERMS system speak out.

#1 What is the purpose of using a HERMS coil bypass valve when recirculating?

#2 When using a pump to move wort from MLT through an immersed coil and back to the top of the MLT, and youve reached your desired temp or your ready for sparge, how do you get that wort that's still in your coil back to the top of the tun when youve shut off the bottom of your MLT? That's 50' of coil that would hold some wort and a loss if it didn't all get back in.

#3 What advantages do I have with going HERMS over my now proven method of gravity feed?

#4 I have all the necessary keggles to do this along with burners and propane tanks and I love brew toy's just as much as the next guy, but this is going to cost some serious mula$$$$. ( pump, quick connects, 50' copper coil, misc fittings) is this cost and time that my brewery is down going to be worth it in the end?

billtzk 01-07-2008 04:31 AM

herms is an acroynym. please capitalize... oops, I meant HERMS. All caps. else some may think you misspelled the name of the messenger/war god. What facet of your being do YOU present to the panoply on Mt. Olympus? Hint... if it ain't malted barley and hops and if his name ain't Demeter, Dionysus or Bacchus, then it better be Priapus or you are BBQ, or worse yet, just burnt offerings, when it comes to the feast of the King, dude. Hippy Ambrosia.

#1 - dunno. never heard of that. maybe to eliminate heat exchange when the mash is at setpoint? guessing.

#2 - you have 50 foot long deep thoughts. I too would like to know.

#3 - Can you recirculate your wort gravitationally? How do you maintain mash temp during a 90 minute mash gravitationally without a Ferris wheel?

#4 - only you can answer this, Kemo Sabe *.

* Kemo Sabe - According to Rob Malouf, a grad student in linguistics at Stanford, there's another possibility: "According to John Nichols' Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe, the Ojibwe word `giimoozaabi' means `to peek' (it could also mean `he peeks' or `he who peeks'). Rob continued: "There are several words with the same prefix ["giimooj," secretly] meaning things like `to sneak up on someone'.... It is quite plausible that `giimoozaabi' means something like `scout'.... `Giimoozaabi' is pronounced pretty much the same as `kemosabe' and would have been spelled `Kee Moh Sah Bee' at the turn of the century."

Gabe 01-07-2008 02:28 PM

????? AAAH OK Thanks-----I guess?

Bellybuster 01-07-2008 03:40 PM

hey gabe....HERMS systems are kind of a natural progression for AG brewers that like toys. Some of the advantages are ....ability to maintain mash temps, able to do step mashes without water additions, the list goes on.
Will you make better beer??? probly not, will you create an endless pit into which you throw money...yes. As soon as you start the gagateering it will never end and home brewing will take on a whole new meaning. It now becomes a sport.
Some good reading for you specific to HERMS...

this link was the main inspiration for my own system

Lil' Sparky 01-07-2008 03:41 PM

Alibi - I don't have a HERMS

1) Don't know. Maybe so you can continue to recirculate without continuing to heat the mash?

2) Unless you can gravity feed it out of the HERMS coil (which you will be able to if you design it right) you just count it as a loss. But do you really need 50' of copper? It seems like a smaller coil would work fine.

3) Easier temp changes during step mashes. More consistent/stable mash temps. Clearer wort into kettle.

4) A lot of things I've done to my brewery aren't necessary and don't necessarily result in a better end product, but this is a hobby, and I'm a "tinkering" kind of guy. Some things have made brewing easier, though. Like my brew stand (do I really need another one), pump, hop sack, etc.

Bellybuster 01-07-2008 03:46 PM

oh...and to actually answer your questions...
1, bypass has a couple reasons first being the ability to bypass the coil especially in hard piped systems where lines have multiple purposes and paths
2, if your wort flow runs down thru the coil to your pump there is no remaining wort in the coil , the only losses are the uphill travel from pump to kettle, minimal losses, do the math for 50" of 1/2 pipe and see what the volume is
3. depends on what "you" consider an advantage, my system gives me near perfect repeatability as long as measuring is exact....not. also I have mash temp +- 1 degree
4. my opinion??? worth it. I love the toys and my rig itself is half the fun for me in home brewing...beer is a byproduct

billtzk 01-08-2008 12:54 AM


Originally Posted by gabe
????? AAAH OK Thanks-----I guess?

sorry man. it made more sense when I posted it, but I was druck at the time. :drunk:

Gabe 01-08-2008 03:50 AM

No worry's billtzk, if I was drunk when I read it I probably would have understood what you were saying. Cheers!

Bellybuster, my wort actually is flowing out of the MLT and to the pump then through the coil and back to the top of the MLT. Correct my design if I'm wrong. So in my case there would be residule wort left in my HERMS coil after I shut my pump off. Now how to get it out?

The only reason to mess with a good thing is:

#1 I'm tired of lugging water up to my HLT by ladder.

#2 I like the idea of using a pump to recirculate to clear the wort. Right now I vorlouf into my empty water jug and then reintroduce by spoon.

#3 I like the idea that repeatability is a little more attainable, as I have about 6 diff beers I do on a regular basis.

Bsquared 01-08-2008 05:03 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I use 20 feet of 3/8 ID coil in my heat exchanger, and I find it works well. I have been finding that my wort clarity has greatly improved since I built my HERMS. Also if you put a drain below your coil it will pull all the wort out of the coil when you drain it, but I also recirculate sparge water through the coil for a few minutes to do a Mash-out before I drain the MLT, so what is left in the coil , if any thing is low gravity wort.
Attachment 4005

Bellybuster 01-08-2008 03:18 PM

actually come to think of it, all my sparge water also runs thru the coil and my Heat exchanger can then mantain perfect temp for the sparge water as well so I have absolutely no wort left in my coil at all and as an added bonus the coil gets cleaned by hot sparge water every brew

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