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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > New 10 Gallon Herms! Pics!
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:52 PM   #31
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I was thinking too, if you live in CT, I have some PT 2x10 from when I built my deck that you can have. Not sure what the diameter of your coolers are, but maybe that would work. That stuff lasts a LONG time.

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Old 08-19-2008, 03:59 PM   #32
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I live in IN... I could get some pressure treated lumber or something, but if I am going to make it better, I want to get what I WANT, which is the plastic sheeting.

As for the HLT "timer"... the heating element is actually connected to the JC A419 temp controller, so I just set it for 165F and then run to my LHBS and buy my ingredients after breakfast, when I get home, it is up to temp and the controller has the heating element off. Transfer 4.5 gallons to my MLT, dough in (drop a couple ice cubes in the HLT to get my HLT down to say 155F) and start the recirc. It should be pretty sweet... I am looking for more repeatability and more precise control of my mash environment.

I am glad that I have sparked an interest in some of you to go thise route too, it is pretty easy and I think will add more repeatability in my brewing.

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Old 08-19-2008, 06:47 PM   #33
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FOUND my solution for my water stirrer... it is not cheap, but it will work well. McMaster has an AC geared motor that turns at 100rpm... it is fan cooled, so it should hold up. The shaft DIA is .3125", I also found a mixing impeller that is 2.5" in dia, plenty long, and it has a .3125" shaft... I will attach the two with a shaft coupling that has a .3125" ID and JB weld them together. Hopefully it arrives tomorrow for installation!

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Old 08-19-2008, 09:45 PM   #34
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Here is my recent McMaster Carr order... this may be a little over the top for a stirrer, but after two failed attempts, I am tired of wasting time and money. This is a geared motor, 100RPM, plenty to mix water, an impeller on a shaft, and a SS coupler to marry up the motor shaft and the impeller shaft.

6142K49 Ac Gearmotor W/fan, Face Mnt, 100 Rpm, 7 In-lbs Torque, 115 Vac

34935K66 Polypropylene Propeller With Shaft U-shaped Blade, 2-1/2" DIA.

6099K22 Stainless Steel One-piece Set-screw Coupling 5/16" Bore, 1" Length, 5/8" Od, Without Keyway

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Old 08-19-2008, 10:22 PM   #35
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Here are the components!





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Old 08-20-2008, 10:57 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billtzk View Post
That's clear. The HLT with HERMS coil is on the left, the MLT on the right. You pump out of the mash and into the HERMS coil inlet at the top of the HLT, then back out the top of the HLT via the other end of the coil and into the top of the MLT to the blue knobby hose return. You use gravity to drain the MLT into the BK.
OK, either I no longer understand English, but to ME that was not really crystal clear, more like hazy shades of "MUD". Mostly because a HERMS system is still alien to me.

Pol - Seriously that does look really cool, now do I understand that moving from 3/8th to 1/2 ID made a massive difference? My MLT is 3/8 so this is interesting to me.

I have looked at making a heat stick to help with my low BTU electric stove top brewing, but it seemed that they all cited 220, does 120 really provide you enough BTU conversion to heat the water levels you need?
Please share if you don't mind, eager brewers await.
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Old 08-20-2008, 01:01 PM   #37
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Kauai...

Friend, HERMS is pretty simple... take a little of the mash water out, pump it through a coil that is immersed in water that is at your target mash temp (to warm it up) then return it back to the mash.

Now, there is a HUGE difference in flow rates when using the March pump when you move from 3/8" tubing to 1/2" tubing and fittings. I also brought my pump UP about 2.5 feet. It was previously connected at the bottom of my stand, now it is just below my HLT and MLT vessels. These pumps have a limited head head pressure, and the higher you have to pump something, the lower the flow rates will be. 7 gal/min is pretty respectable in my case, and I will only be able to use that when I am filling my MLT for dough in.

I use a 120v 1500W water heater element. For my purposes, it will raise 9 gallons of 70F tap water to 170F in 90 minutes in a cooler that is insulated and covered, and where the water is stirred. Not super fast, but I have time, and it uses alot less gas. After I pump out 4-5 gallons to dough in my grains, I am left with 4-5 gallons in my HLT to be used to heat the heat exchanger coil... with half the volume, I get twice the temp rise. I can obtain about 2F per minute increase in my water temp at this point, which I would primarily use for mashout and sparge water.

I am not familiar with heat sticks and boiling on a stove, but I would think that an additional 1500W of power in a pot that already has heat being applied would help significantly. Again, I have no experience with that sort of setup.

I am happy to field all questions, I should be able to get some more detailed pics up here soon. Thanks for the inquiries!

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Old 08-20-2008, 05:36 PM   #38
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I'm probably gonna build a new rig here shortly....I think I might go with one of those bucket heaters; essentially a well-made heat stick with an auto off for safety. I guess using the temp controller would be safer, as it would cut the element once it reaches temp. You could potentially over/undershoot with a timer.

What about a timer to switch the thing on at say, 0400, then power would reach the temp controller, which would take over and get the water to 170? Hands free, baby!

Just to play devil's advocate, have you thought about what you'll do if the HERMS doesn't work as well as you'd like? I know a lot of people have put all the bells and whistles together and find out it takes forever to step up your temps......

FWIW, how will you measure your mash temp? At the MT output, or the HERMS coil output, right before it goes into the mash?

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Old 08-20-2008, 05:47 PM   #39
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It will take some tweaking, I only take my temp in the HLT with the A419 to control the heating element. I have a through the wall digital therm in my MLT to monitor the temp in the mash. Between the two temp readings, I should be able to figure out how many degrees F I lose between the HLT water and the return line in the MLT. Keepin it simple... if it is off a couple degrees on my first couple brews, I dont care. I just want to be able to HOLD a temperature... if I have to set my HLT at 155F to maintain 152F in my MLT, so be it. It will be nice to set the A419 to say 173F and let it recirculate to raise my temps to mashout (concurrently heating my sparge water to 173F! It will be fun to mess with it and see how well it works. I will work better than simply striking at one temp and letting it sot for an hour, I am pretty sure of that! It will also be nice to do all of this without burning propane.

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Old 08-20-2008, 06:17 PM   #40
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Quote:
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It will work better than simply striking at one temp and letting it sot for an hour, I am pretty sure of that! It will also be nice to do all of this without burning propane.
I agree to that! Especially with the IN and IL winter.....can you say "heat loss"? Part of the fun is the tweaking!
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