Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Winners Re-Re-Re-Re-Drawn - 24 hours to Claim!

Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > what's new with herms?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-15-2011, 02:42 AM   #1
chrisdb
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 222
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default what's new with herms?

I'm designing a hybrid herms using coolers a 52Qt cooler with a 1500W heating element for HLT/HEX , a 62 Qt cooler for mashtun and a keggle on a propane burner to preheat the HLT water and do the boil. I'm mining the forum for ideas but it seems all the HERMS posts I see are a couple years old. I am wondering if there are still people out there doing 3 vessel Herms and if so what they like or dislike about their system?
right now I am leaning towards 2 pumps and a single tier and using silicon tubing and camlocks on all the vessels and moving the water and wort by cross connecting hoses vessel to vessel and pumping with a march pump. any ideas or suggestions are welcome

__________________
chrisdb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2011, 04:34 AM   #2
BrewMoreBeers
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 398
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

Default

I just made my herms and I love it. Single tier, three kegs and a copper coil. It works sooooo much better than my old cooler MLT system because I have better temp control.

__________________
BrewMoreBeers is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2011, 01:18 PM   #3
chrisdb
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 222
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I can't complain about my cooler MLT- I find if I preheat it that the mash temp is very stable over a 1hour mash. The main reason for this build is to get to a 10 gallon system, and since (for me) that means pumping water and wort, A HERMS seemed like a added benefit not only for temp control but for getting a cleaner wort from the constant recirculation (vorlauf). I'm still trying to figure how I can do it with the one pump that I have and still fly sparge to not upset the grainbed (raise the HLT and send sparge water through the HERMS coil?) Glad to see that HERMS hasn't fallen out of favor for some reason that I haven't heard about

__________________
chrisdb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2011, 04:32 PM   #4
rockytoptim
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
rockytoptim's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Livonia, MI
Posts: 806
Liked 93 Times on 74 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

I built one about a year and half ago. I use two coolers and a keggle.
My HERMS coil is in a 2 gal round cooler with a 3500W element. My MLT is 70 qt rectangular Igloo cooler.

__________________

On Tap: Bee Cave Robust Porter
On Tap: Bee Cave OktoberFest
On Tap: Bee Cave Kolsch
Primary: None
Up next: ????

rockytoptim is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-15-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
bobbytuck
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 203
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

I use my HERMS on the TopTier -- HLT w/HEX at the top, MLT middle, and BK on the bottom. I use two pumps: pump 1 recircs HLT water to keep a consistent temp in the HLT. Pump 2 is used during the mash -- I recirc for 90 mins from the bottom of the MLT up to the HLT, through the HEX, and then back into the top of the MLT.

I also use two Ranco probes to automate things: one probe monitors the HLT temp. The other monitors the mash. The HLT probe is what I use to maintain the temp. Usually, there's a 1 or 2 degree differential between the HLT and the MLT-in -- so I set my HLT temp to, say, 154 when I want to mash at 152. Rock solid.

I'd hoped to move the probe to the MLT-in (since all I care about is the temp of the mash going into the MLT), but I haven't gotten around to it. Once I move that, though, I'll not worry about the HLT/MLT differential. I'll just set the MLT-in temp to the mash temp, and let the HLT adjust accordingly. I use the other probe in the mash as a double-check to make sure my main probe is reporting the right temperature. I've also got an analog thermometer on the MLT-in that I can see from a distance and make sure everything is okay going into the MLT.

I mash thin and always use rice hulls, so the mash temp is pretty consistent throughout (and gets up to temp very quickly after dough-in). Since I started mashing thin (1.9 to 2qts/lb) and using the rice hulls, I've never had any recirc problems or stuck mashes (even with big rye and wheat beers). I usually make sure my HLT water is 14 degrees or so over my mash temp at dough-in. Then I add the grains, stir, readjust the HLT temp back down to a degree or two over my mash temp (and have to add a bit of cold filtered water to the HLT to drop the temp). Within 5 mins, the grains are exactly at my mash temp. Then I take the pH readings and start watching pH for the next 15 mins or so to make sure I'm within the 5.3 to 5.5 range. If I'm too high, I'll add either lactic or phosphoric acid or occasionally grind an ounce or two of acid malt and stir it back in the mash. I acidify my sparge to pH 5.8 or so with 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of 85% phosphoric acid (I have pH 7.7 water). Whatever HLT water is left over after the sparge, I'll use for cleaning after the brewing is finished. I also use a charcoal filter for all water and then a single campden tablet in the HLT when I first fill it.

I fly-sparge for 45-60 mins and move the wort via gravity from the MLT to the BK. The wort is absolutely crystal clear going into the BK (even though I won't see it that way again for a couple months until it clears in the bottle).

I use 3 Blichmann 15 gallon kettles, 2 March pumps, copper coil for the HEX, about 20-30 feet of 1/2" silicon tubing, and 5500W elements in the HLT and BK. I use HighGravityBrewing's control panel with a 220 outlet. (I had the outlet professionally installed and weather-proofed with all the safety stuff -- so that was a bit of an expense.)

I can't imagine going back to propane after this electric HERMS. It's still a long brewday (mostly due to the 90 minute mash, 45-60 min sparge, 90 minute boil, and cleaning I do) but it's worth it. If I start brewing on a Saturday morning at 7:30a, then I'm usually putting away the last of the gear and heading back inside by 3p. Love the system. I usually get anywhere from 75% to 85% efficiency.

__________________
bobbytuck is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-16-2011, 07:08 AM   #6
JuanMoore
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
JuanMoore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: The Old Pueblo
Posts: 17,163
Liked 3253 Times on 3153 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

My ghetto HERMS is still a work in progress, and has been for the last 1.5 years. It's 3 keggles on a single tier stand with two propane burners and a single LG pump. My HEX is ~40' of 1/2" od copper mounted to a large stock pot lid. I really like mounting the HEX to the lid for added versatility. I use the HEX to chill also, first as a pre-chiller with water in the MLT, and then with ice water in the HLT. I've also used the HEX as an IC a couple of times. I use aluminum camlocks which work great. I bottom drain on both the HLT and MLT so the deadspace is only a couple tablespoons. I have a side drain with pick-up tube on the BK since I whirlpool. The MLT uses a simple two piece false bottom made from perforated SS found in the scrap pile at a local metal supply shop. I recently built a control panel, and am currently working on automating the HLT burner. I had planned on a two tier with the HLT up higher, but the salvage material I found for the stand worked prefectly for a single tier and would have been a PITA to modify. There are a couple small things I'd do differently if I had the chance, but overall it works very well for me. Mainly I would have kept the HLT and MLT upright and drained from the bottom rather than inverting the kegs and draining through the top. I chose to do it the way I did so that I could exit through the keg handles and the stand wouldn't interfere with the plumbing, but now wish I would have just modified the stand instead. By being patient, scoring a couple nice craigslist deals, and using a lot of copper/brass/aluminum instead of SS, I only have ~$400 into the whole thing so far. Automating the HLT burner will probably add $100 to that though.

__________________
JuanMoore is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-16-2011, 07:17 AM   #7
LakewoodBrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,876
Liked 24 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

i'm going to be doing a 2 vessel herms using my heat exchanger for HERMs heating and chilling depending on cycle / valve setting...

that's a little "new" i guess. but im sure someone has done this before me.

__________________
LakewoodBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-16-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
chrisdb
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 222
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I'm not ready to go Blichman yet, but I bet it's beautiful. All electric isn't an option for me now as I'm not wired for 240V in the detatched garage where I brew.
+1 on water and PH control- A RODI water filter and a PH meter were 2 of the best improvements I have made to my brew kit.
I'm sure my brewstand will look redneck when i'm done, but I'm pretty impressed with how well inexpensive coolers maintain temperatures . I don't expect the 1500W heater element will be able to raise the water to strike temps in a reasonable amount of time so I plan to use my BK to heat strike and sparge water and use the electric element mostly to maintain temps during recirculation. A 25' x !/2" copper coil through the lid of the HLT will be the HEX with a PID sensor on the Hex Output.
I have plenty experience sweating copper so I could put together a 'hard' plumbed system, but am leaning towards using all silicone hoses with camlocks mostly because I tend to get confused even 2-3 steps into my brewday flow chart and think that making direct vessel to vessel connections may simplify things for my simple mind. Those three-way ball valves are pretty cool but I know I'b be screwed if I tried to remember what position the handle goes to do each step. Same thing for 2 vessel herms- I'm sure it works great but I just need to have things a little more simple. thanks so much for sharing your setup and process with me, feel free to critique or suggest improvements to my brewstand plan

__________________
chrisdb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Whirlpooling the HLT and BK in a HERMS drkwoods Equipment/Sanitation 5 01-08-2011 05:21 PM
HLT as HERMS heater? Cpt_Kirks Equipment/Sanitation 4 01-07-2011 06:16 PM
Why not build a HERMS like this? Islandboy85 Equipment/Sanitation 30 09-16-2010 03:23 AM
Is this a good SSR for a HERMS? Gonefishing Equipment/Sanitation 4 01-02-2009 03:37 AM
Herms Gabe Equipment/Sanitation 20 01-11-2008 06:23 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS