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Old 11-18-2010, 03:29 AM   #1
f404
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Default The Herms Gate

My first post here !

I am in the process of building a brew sculpture based on Kal's Electric Brewery. I spent hours reading and searching tons of web pages in my quest to finally build my own personal brew rig. Initially, my plan was to make something like Loonie's Brutus Ten but research to locate parts and the fact that I would have to brew inside my garage (not heated) had me changed to an electric design (we are in Canada, northern Quebec, winter are harsh and cold) . So far I think I made the right choice. I did change a couple thing on Kal design, for instance, instead of using Auber temp controller, I choosed to use the BCS-460 Temperature controller from Embedded Control Concepts.

I was concern that the recirculation of the wort thru the Mash / Lauter Tun would only happen when the temperature of the Mash tun would drop and the pump would be turn on by the system.

I came up with an idea, it's probably been done before, who knows, but I illustrated the concept of an HERMS GATE to provide constant recirculation of the wort and only allowing it thru the heat exchanger of the Hot liquor tank when needed.

Since I can't post picture, here is the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/56055216@N04/5186376450/

This "Herms Gate" isn't built so far, but I thought it would be a good idea to submit this concept for your inputs.

Feel free to let my know what you think, pro and cons, etc.

Thank you for all I have found here so far, my beer brewing knowledge increase every time I come here !

Jeff

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Old 11-18-2010, 03:38 AM   #2
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Very interesting. I don't know if there are any advantages over a standard HERMS where the pump constantly runs and the controller maintains temp in the HLT.

I don't run a HERMS so I'm sure those guys are gonna chime in here. I'll sit back and watch from the balcony.

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Old 11-18-2010, 03:42 AM   #3
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Well, most folks control the temp of the water in their heat exchange vessel (you can use your HLT) and circulate the wort with the pump running full time.

So if your target mash temp is 154f, if you maintain the temp of your HLT at 154f and circulate full time, your mash stays at 154.

Because there can be a lag to change the temp of the volume in the HLT, some folks use a separate, smaller vessel dedicate for their HERMs coil.

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Old 11-18-2010, 04:18 AM   #4
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f404 - I think that Ohio-Ed nailed why most folks never considered your plan. I believe that your design will actually provide a superior system, provided the MT is properly insulated. Because of slower response times in the HLT temp, you can ramp up to 175ish before your mash is complete, while still maintaining your MT temp where you want it. The downside, of course, is the additional cost and complexity of the system.

I applaud your ingenuity, and would be really excited to see how a working build comes out. If it weren't for innovation we'd all be living in the trees still.

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:10 AM   #5
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Default happy to see others view on the subject

That is exactly why I enter this thread, to get some advice and thoughts.

So if I understand what you are saying is that this concept is probably over the top for what I want to achieve.

Maintaining constant temperature in the Mash Lauter tun while constantly recirculating wort shouldn't cause such a drop in temperature to justify having such a complex rig.

Considering the fact that we only want to keep mash for a certain period of time (roughly 60 min.) at a specific temp, I am better of keeping the hot liquor tank temperature lower than the planned strike water temp, and eventually raised this temp to the mash out temperature.

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Old 11-18-2010, 09:50 AM   #6
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I would argue that your system. Has both the benefits of a rims in it's ability to raise the output temp to a predetermined temp and the benefit of a herms in having sparge water ready on demand.

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Old 11-18-2010, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f404 View Post
That is exactly why I enter this thread, to get some advice and thoughts.

So if I understand what you are saying is that this concept is probably over the top for what I want to achieve.

Maintaining constant temperature in the Mash Lauter tun while constantly recirculating wort shouldn't cause such a drop in temperature to justify having such a complex rig.

Considering the fact that we only want to keep mash for a certain period of time (roughly 60 min.) at a specific temp, I am better of keeping the hot liquor tank temperature lower than the planned strike water temp, and eventually raised this temp to the mash out temperature.
You can use a separate, smaller vessel to contain the HERMS coil if you want faster response and maintain your HLT at Mash Out or sparge temp.

I build a coil with ball valves exactly as you have described, but they were manual with no automation. Not my invention, I saw it somewhere else first. The thought was to "blend" the wort from the MT & that being heated to end up with the correct output. I tried it a couple times but could never get the output stable.

A concern I had and would be even more of an issue in your design is that the wort in the coil will be over heated if the bypass valve stays open very long.

I love innovation. Half the fun in this stuff is having an idea and seeing it through!
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
instead of using Auber temp controller, I choosed to use the BCS-460 Temperature controller
I was thinking about that too. The BCS would replace all three PIDs right? I'm an IT guy by trade so I was really wondering if I want to IT out my brewery. May not want to complicate something that should be so simple.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f404 View Post
My first post here !

... I came up with an idea, it's probably been done before, who knows, but I illustrated the concept of an HERMS GATE to provide constant recirculation of the wort and only allowing it thru the heat exchanger of the Hot liquor tank when needed.

Since I can't post picture, here is the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/56055216@N04/5186376450/

This "Herms Gate" isn't built so far, but I thought it would be a good idea to submit this concept for your inputs.

Feel free to let my know what you think, pro and cons, etc.

Thank you for all I have found here so far, my beer brewing knowledge increase every time I come here !

Jeff
I like it!

Your plan reminds me a lot of central heating systems with water radiators. If we replace your two solenoid valves with one proportional 3-port valve, which I know as a shunt valve, it would be almost identical. The furnace (HLT) is held at a constant temperature, while the shunt valve diverts more or less water directly to the radiators (MLT) or first through the furnace (HLT), to set a desired temperature of the outgoing water headed for the radiators. A controller decides what the outgoing temperature should be and operates the shunt valve via a motor to acheive that temperature. This system works very well, so your idea is on solid ground, especially if the valves were proportional.

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvklein View Post
I was thinking about that too. The BCS would replace all three PIDs right? I'm an IT guy by trade so I was really wondering if I want to IT out my brewery. May not want to complicate something that should be so simple.
I use a BCS-460 to control 2 pumps, the HLT Elelment, RIMs Element and the BK Element. It has built in timers and the ability to Log and Graph data. One feature the BCS does not have that Auber PID's do is Auto Tune. It has not been a problem for me, just wanted to point it out so you are aware.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Quaffer View Post
I like it!

Your plan reminds me a lot of central heating systems with water radiators. If we replace your two solenoid valves with one proportional 3-port valve, which I know as a shunt valve, it would be almost identical. The furnace (HLT) is held at a constant temperature, while the shunt valve diverts more or less water directly to the radiators (MLT) or first through the furnace (HLT), to set a desired temperature of the outgoing water headed for the radiators. A controller decides what the outgoing temperature should be and operates the shunt valve via a motor to acheive that temperature. This system works very well, so your idea is on solid ground, especially if the valves were proportional.

Welcome to HBT!
I agree an automated proportional valve would work better. The OP mentioned using a BCS for control. BCS-460 does not have analog output, so I think it may be a challenge to control a proportional valve.

Ed
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