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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Scuba's Herms Build!
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by nabs478
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!!
I was going to use the copper tubing for the HERMS coil in the HLT. I would definitely have to use stiff copper pipe if going the hard plumbing route. I agree, using hoses is kind of the easy way out....and definitely doesn't look as awesome as polished copper. I'm gonna look at doing the burners/propane piping next, then move to liquids. Will give this some thought.....any other ideas are welcome.
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:46 AM   #12
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GO WITH Q/D's!!!! I have my setup done in hard pipe. 1/2" SS tubing with swagelok fittings and I do love it but if it weren't for good friends and the scrap yard it would have been easily $1000.00 or more. I had it set up similar with Silicone tubing and wasn't happy. I had a fancy manifold with ball valves on the return that I would keep the same(I kinda did after the refit) but If I hadn't been given a 3-way ball valve I would have just gone with Q/D's and silicone tubing for the lines from each vessel to the pump. It's cheap, easy to clean/sanitize(I have to tear my fancy set-up apart to clean it out) and you DO NOT GET AIR BUBBLES IN YOUR PUMP!!!! the big breweries use clover clamps. Those are perfect for running caustic through. They don't trap wort. Threads trap wort. Compression fittings trap wort. Trapping wort leads to bad times. There's good, and bad about hard plumbing. It looks SEXY!!!! but it's a pain to clean. Hope my imput was helpful. Just my 2cp.

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Old 08-14-2007, 02:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ScubaSteve
Not to be a jerk, but this is probably where it'll fail if it does. You've undermined the inherent strength in angle iron my cutting the angle off. Perhaps you could have notched the wood instead?

It would just be a shame (and dangerous) to lose 10+ gallons or boiling wort.

Also, I'd be curious as to if the heat absorbed by the angle iron carries into the wood and starts to burn it. Like I said, curious, not worried.

Edit: To be part of the solution and not the problem, two ideas;
1) Add another board to the face of the exiting on and notch it or even stagger it down so that the vertical part of the angle is supported.
2) Drill a hole in the end of the angle iron and drive a lag bolt down through it into the wood. This would help it from bending itself upward and having everything falling through the middle.
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:22 PM   #14
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I love a good build thread but I have to agree. You'll have issues with the angle once it gets up to 500+ degrees. Granted, my experience is based on bedframe angle which is really inferior, but I've gotten them to bend after a long boil. I wonder how the wood is going to hold up too, there's a lot of radient heat under a keggle. You'll get some scortching if you don't put some metal flashing on the wood near the burners.

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Old 08-14-2007, 04:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_Duel
Not to be a jerk, but this is probably where it'll fail if it does. You've undermined the inherent strength in angle iron my cutting the angle off. Perhaps you could have notched the wood instead?
Actually I think he did notch the wood.

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I cut a 1" notch in the rail and fit one side of the angle iron down into it like this:
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:17 PM   #16
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Actually I think he did notch the wood.
After a second look, I think you're right. I can't tell from the pic.

If that's the case, I stand completely corrected, and good work!
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:54 PM   #17
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I used flashing as heat shields on the original "Bellybuster" It worked but I would advise giving at least 2" airspace behind it to the wood. Mine was 1" away from the wood and it eventually did start to burn.
I also hard plumbed most of my new system and really like it. I did use union fittings in places so I can dismantle for detailed annual cleaning. However I am really considering going the QD route

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Old 08-14-2007, 08:18 PM   #18
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Yeah, I did notch the wood....definitely didn't want to compromise the structure of the steel. I tried to show that in the pic, but it's hard to see.

I'll keep the flashing in mind....I plan on creating some sort of collar around the burner as a wind/heatshield, and then I'll also use flashing on the upper/inner part of the wood frame. I designed the rig to give me 6" between the keggle wall and the wood in any direction. What if I placed a 6" or 8" strip of reflectix around the inside, then covered with flashing and screwed it down? That would provide a reflective shield, then the reflectix would provide further insulation. I've also seen guys put some of that concrete infused board in there....that's fireproof. How's that sound?

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Old 08-14-2007, 08:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I love a good build thread but I have to agree. You'll have issues with the angle once it gets up to 500+ degrees. Granted, my experience is based on bedframe angle which is really inferior, but I've gotten them to bend after a long boil. I wonder how the wood is going to hold up too, there's a lot of radient heat under a keggle. You'll get some scortching if you don't put some metal flashing on the wood near the burners.
I tried to address this issue with my stress testing experiments. Granted, that was with cold steel. Needless to say, when I finally get this thing up and running, I'm gonna take it slow. I tried to space my burners out to allow the flames to come up under the keg and not directly hit the angle iron, while still providing a solid base for weight distrubution.

A few points:

1) I figured my heaviest vessel will be the mash tun when its got grain and all the water in it at the same time. I will use a smaller turkey fryer burner to do occasional low heat direct fires. Heat should be less of an issue here, so I trust the steel to hold.

2) I would like to put a hurricane or banjo burner (anybody got preferences?Bobby- you got anymore of those LP halo burners?) under the HLT and Kettle, so heat is going to a real issue, and I will definitely watch for bending!
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Old 08-14-2007, 08:40 PM   #20
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In my build I've got my angle iron the other way around. That way the bend in the angle iron cradles the keg and it can't move at all. No accidental bumps or slides when pouring in water/wort. Although now that you've already notched the wood, you may not want to invert the rail now...
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