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Old 12-13-2012, 11:40 PM   #11
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Yes, exactly....so again, 2 burner not 3 right? Why even have the place for the 3rd vessel on the stand? What's the 3rd vessel for?

MLT with strike water heated up in it. If you need a HLT, use the BK then when the HLT is empty, it turns into the BK.
Well, I have three vessels. One is the HLT, one is the MLT, and one is the BK. The HLT is NOT empty when I"m filling my BK so that's why i have three vessels!

Even when I batch sparge (sometimes), the first runnings go into the BK while there is still water in the HLT. When I fly sparge (needs two pumps on a single tier), the wort comes out of the MLT and into the BK, but the HLT is still pretty full with sparge water. That's why I have three vessels. I have an electric system, but only the HLT and the BK have elements/heating abilities.

The Brutus system is a classic two vessel system, and that'd be worth looking at if you're seriously considering two vessels.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:41 PM   #12
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Even in this situation, can't you use one burner for the HERMS and one for the direct fire? The third would not be needed until boil began and in that case you wouldn't be using either burner anymore.
Well when it comes to sparge time then you are moving wort into a kettle that isn't on a burner. Now you are moving a hot kettle off a burner and in my case of 10 gallon batches, lifting 12 gals of wort around. Again you most certainly can do it, but once you are buying multiple kettles and pumps, the price of 1 burner is insignificant.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:21 AM   #13
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OK. That clarifies a lot. Thanks for all the responses! Now for the planning stages.....

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:30 AM   #14
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OK. That clarifies a lot. .
It does?!?! I'm actually confused now.

I guess the one thing I can suggest is doing lots of homework! I've never seen a three burner stand, and yet you've never NOT seen one, so that just goes to show you how many versions of brewstands there can be.

I used to have an electric HLT, cooler MLT, and electic BK. So I guess that is why I never even thought about a burner under my MLT. But of course, it makes sense.

I have a HERMS, and I like it alot. My HEX coil is in the HLT, so that has water in it until the mash and sparge are over. But if you're running a RIMS, of course, you don't need the same set up.

It would probably be really helpful if you could brew with a few people and see what "fits" you. I didn't have that opportunity, so I've spent more time and money tweaking things for me. For example, I never considered a bottom draining MLT before. But now I love it. You could save time and money by planning ahead to what seems like a good fit for you.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:51 AM   #15
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YES! That's the plan. I am a research junkie. I am actually pretty sure I'm going to go with a HERMS system now and do a 3 burner, but only get one pump and one extra mount on a single tier. Keep the options open.......

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:16 PM   #16
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I have three burners. I do not typically have all three fired at the same time, but it does occur. As stated by some others, I fire the MLT to get my strike water up to temp while I bring my HLT up to temp at the same time. Where it comes in handy is cleanup. Once I've collected into the BK (and that has had heat on it once 3 gal were in there), and the MLT is emptied, that gets the extra water I always put in from the HLT. Then some PBW and let it go with pump #1 that was used to recirc throughout the mash.

Perhaps I'm wrong here, but I have always refereed to my rig as a "Direct Fired RIMS", I do not have the rims tube but rely on multiple thermo's for my temp and fire as needed, and recirculate the entire length of the mash.

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:53 PM   #17
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Why even have the place for the 3rd vessel on the stand? What's the 3rd vessel for?

MLT with strike water heated up in it. If you need a HLT, use the BK then when the HLT is empty, it turns into the BK.
The third vessel is for sparging.

Heat strike water in HLT. Transfer to MLT, dough-in, mash. Heat sparge water in HLT while draining first runnings into boil kettle.

You cannot heat your sparge water in the same vessel into which you're drawing your first runnings.
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:57 PM   #18
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Perhaps I'm wrong here, but I have always refereed to my rig as a "Direct Fired RIMS", I do not have the rims tube but rely on multiple thermo's for my temp and fire as needed, and recirculate the entire length of the mash.
Well, RIMS stand for "Recirculating Infusion Mash System", so if you're not recirculating, it's not a RIMS. HERMS stands for Heat Exchanged Recirculating Mash System, and again, the key there is the heat exchanger and the recirculating.

Since you're recirculating without a HEXS, I guess it would be a RIMS.
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:25 PM   #19
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It's a pretty simple concept. If you want to direct fire your mash tun, it needs a burner. If you use a plastic vessel for a mash tun, you CAN'T use a burner. If you have a RIMS tube or HERMS hex, you don't need to direct fire but you can as long as it's a metal vessel.

Also, while you only really need two burners running at any given time, once you get to a certain kettle size, or using kegs, the last thing you want to do is pick them up to move them to another burner. I've seen designs where the burner isn't fixed but can slide between two vessels.

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Old 12-14-2012, 06:32 PM   #20
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For what it's worth, i'm happy with my single tier, 3 vessel, 2 burner setup. HLT, Bottom Drain-Tippy MLT, BK. Obviously no RIMS but HERMS is doable, just for our needs it's too slow for us. We sacrifice extraction efficiency for time efficiency (4 batches/brew day).

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