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Old 08-14-2007, 12:07 AM   #1
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Default Scuba's Herms Build!

Allright folks!-

Here's the beginnings of my rig build! Lot's of pics. See my original post for all the goodies I got to build this thing:
LET'S GET ALL MACGYVER A few words about my design; comments/advice welcome:

1) I wanted to build a HERMS because I liked the idea of keeping the wort away from direct heat if possible. I also had an extra 50' of 1/2" copper....so why not?

2) I got 2 pumps when I bought all this equipment. I decided on a single-tier because I wanted to avoid a mishap. I am strong enough to lift a full keg, it's just not so safe when on a ladder and after having a six-pack. I also have a little one on the way...so I'm thinking safety from here on out.

3) I have my old turkey fryer burner, so I decided to actually make a Hybrid HERMS. I will have the capability for a very controlled low heat direct fire if needed; i.e. in the case of cold weather.

OKAY! PICS!

First, I had these dull/dirty kegs...
http://s165.photobucket.com/albums/u...UIPMENT%20ETC/


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Old 08-14-2007, 12:20 AM   #2
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I soaked everything in PBW, then removed all the valves, etc. This is all the junk I ended up with:

I'll probably recycle what I can use, like the stainless valves, etc. Then I got some Barkeeper's Friend (WEAR GLOVES!) and scrubbed the hell out of the keg. Then I got a car buffer and poured on Brasso. This is how I got it after about 6 hours of work.


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Old 08-14-2007, 12:28 AM   #3
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Then I said screw that, and bought a cheap angle grinder for $30. I buffed it with coarse pads and it looked like this:

I didn't really like the swirling effect, but after buffing, etc. you can barely tell. Here's all three together:


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Old 08-14-2007, 12:31 AM   #4
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have you got a stand put togethe yet?? I went single tier and will never go back. Gravity is for those without pumps

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:33 AM   #5
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Hold on dude! I'm still postin' pics! I guess the beer is slowing me down

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:45 AM   #6
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So, I had been looking real hard at this site: http://just-brew-it.com/ It is probably one of the most innovative single tiers out there, next to Brewtus 10. I really liked this one too: http://www.campbellsmoonshinebrewery.50megs.com/ Bottom line, I decided that I could do this thing with wood, and still make it classy. I wasn't worried about burning the rig up, because I could shield the interior with aluminum flashing. Also, I thought that heat transfer could be a problem with a steel frame...causing me to be branded like a steer. Only drunker. So here is the rudimentary frame:

I used 3/8' hex bolts, 2X4's, and 2X8's. This thing is build like a tank, and light enough for 2 people to carry. I filled in the bottom deck with planks, and had a dropped section in the center for the pumps to get even further away from the overhead burners.

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Old 08-14-2007, 12:54 AM   #7
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If I have to frequently disconnect QD's from the pumps, then I will use this space to put a drip pan right under the pump heads. I gave my plumbing a lot of thought, and am thinking real hard about just using silicone tubing with QD's. There are many reasons for this:

1) Ease of use. I just connect to where I want things to go...no messing with valves.
2) It is not hard plumbed, and so easily replaceable if cleanliness/wear&tear become an issue.
3) It is not hard plumbed, so is much less easily damaged in transit/storage.
4) I can easily visually inspect for gross matter buildup is repeated infections occur.

***PLEASE GIVE OPINIONS ON THIS! I HAVE NOT DONE THE PLUMBING YET!***

Then, I put some 3" 275 lb casters on each corner.

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Old 08-14-2007, 01:07 AM   #8
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I am currently getting the gear together to build a HERMS system (I suppoe this stands for heat exchanging recirculating mash system?) In which case I can drop the wor system from above?

I am in two minds about the hard plubing or not. I fundamentlaly think that using silicon hoses is just a cheap dodge, but it would be really easy. I think most commerical breweries clean their set-ups by pumping caustic soda around the place, so I am sure you won't have trouble with build up of crap and infections if you do that. I have also had trouble with leaking hoses that have been clamped with hose clamps, probably just dodgy clamps...but if you hard plumb it and it doesnt leak, it definately won't start leaking if you bump it during a brew.

I vote hard plumbing - Especially seeing as you have 50 feet of pipe!!

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Old 08-14-2007, 01:15 AM   #9
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So then I went to HD and got some 1" angle iron. I wanted a bit bigger, but that was a compromise between strength and price. Damn, that stuff adds up! Just to be sure, I stress tested it with a keg full of water at the same distance between boards that I would use in the rig:
I know, I know! Heat is going to weaken the steel! I put my additional bodyweight on the thing and still noticed little sign of bowing/stress. After I was satisfied with the strength of my design, I cut my steel (can you say sparks???) and laid it in the frame on an internal rail:

I cut a 1" notch in the rail and fit one side of the angle iron down into it like this:
Probably not the BEST way to do it, but it IS strong. I climbed on top of this thing and stood on each set of steel rails with no problem. I weigh 190 lb. I may still drill through the ends of the steel and into the wooden rail...effectively screwing the angle iron to the rail.

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Old 08-14-2007, 01:15 AM   #10
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Here's where I'm at as of now:



I still have to plumb the propane lines, burners, and water/drains in, sand/stain, etc. etc.

So please everyone, let me know your thoughts!!!!

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