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Old 03-24-2011, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default Herms equipment question

Hey all. I am planning on building an all electric HERMS somewhat based on Hals electric brewery. Obviously not as bling bling but at least highly functional. I am going to use one march pump with quick disconnects to move water and wort around. I will be using PID's to monitor boil, mash, and hlt.

I will be using my 10 gallon rubbermaid round cooler for the mlt. I have a 15 gallon stainless bk, and another 10 gallon rubbermaid for the hlt on my current setup. My question is, should I sell my current rubbermaid cooler and get another 15 gallon stainless pot? Or can I use the cooler for the hlt? Or should I get two more stainless pots and insulate one for the mlt? I am going to use the same heater elements and most of the parts from the electric brewery build. I am a noob to electric brewing but I am quite good with electronics, I work on helicopter avionics in the military. I got tired of using 15 bucks worth of propane for a five gallon batch.

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Old 03-25-2011, 02:38 AM   #2
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I have basically the same setup with keg for kettle and 2 rubbermaid coolers (not electric yet). I was thinking about doing a RIMS system for recirculation and installing an element in the kettle. So I would heat the strike water in the kettle, then pump to the MT. Then heat the sparge water in the kettle and pump to the HLT. I was thinking for a long time about how to make the rubbermaid HLT electric, but the best I could come up with was a heatstick solution - and I wasn't happy with the thought. The only other option I can think of is what you already suggested: replacing the HLT with another keg. As for the MT, I don't see any reason to get rid of the cooler. It holds temp very well.

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Old 03-25-2011, 03:07 PM   #3
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Yeah, I am thinking about going to a RIMS as well. The more I read about it, the better it seems. I like the idea of the three PID control panel that P-J posted last month. I think I am going to go with most of this setup.

http://www.pjmuth.org/beerstuff/images/Auberin-wiring1-a13-Rob-May-SYL-2352-4500w.jpg

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Old 03-25-2011, 04:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvdustin View Post
Yeah, I am thinking about going to a RIMS as well. The more I read about it, the better it seems. I like the idea of the three PID control panel that P-J posted last month. I think I am going to go with most of this setup.
If you need any mods to the diagram, let me know. I'd be glad to help.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:42 AM   #5
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for what it's worth, I do HERMS and have only a single electric kettle. My "HLT" only holds water for about 5 to 10 minutes during the day. Any container capable of holding 4 gallons of hot water for a few minutes would work fine for me.... stock pot, cooler, plastic bucket, etc.

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Old 03-26-2011, 04:45 PM   #6
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If you need any mods to the diagram, let me know. I'd be glad to help.

I will get in touch with you when I get closer to building, probably a couple months out I will start buying parts. I think mostly I just want to add an ammeter, a voltmeter, and lights for all the different functions. sort of like Kal's control panel, but I don't need the herms stuff in there. Certainly not that involved! Then again, it will probably turn out really similar...
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
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I just changed out my cooler HLT for a keg, but it worked very well with a cooler HLT. The only reason I changed was because I wanted to put in a bigger element, and the element was podded in there so I couldn't just change it out. I also wanted to do bigger batches.

It worked very well for me. I had a 1500 w element in the cooler, along with the HEX copper coil, and a little stirrer.

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Old 03-26-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
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I guess my biggest question is would it be easier to build an electric herms or a rims system. None of it seems too complicated, I have a good background in electricity and whatnot. As far as cost goes, which one would be easier and most cost effective? I am going to use quick disconnects and 1/2" full port ball valves on the hlt, mlt, and bk. 1/2" everything actually.

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Old 03-27-2011, 01:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milesvdustin View Post
I guess my biggest question is would it be easier to build an electric herms or a rims system. None of it seems too complicated, I have a good background in electricity and whatnot. As far as cost goes, which one would be easier and most cost effective? I am going to use quick disconnects and 1/2" full port ball valves on the hlt, mlt, and bk. 1/2" everything actually.
They are both simple, but I am a fan of HERMS when it comes to cost effectiveness and minimalism. With HERMS you don't need to build a RIMS tube ($), and you can do HERMS with just a single electric element involved. RIMS requires two elements if your plan is to also boil with electric.

If you already have an immersion chiller, that keeps the $ involved in moving to HERMS lower, too.

Both systems are great. Neither is better than the other, but I feel HERMS has an advantage in terms of costs.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:13 PM   #10
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I do have an immersion chiller already. Is there a place to read up on how these actually operate? I see lots of how to build but nothing on operation. Do you have to heat the hlt and then run the pump to heat the strike water on a herms? on a rims, do you have to heat the hlt and then heat your strike water to dough in? If so, how do you maintain the hlt while operating the rims?

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