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Old 08-17-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default My HERMS design

Hi all,

I've put together a first draft of a HERMS system I intend to build in my loft (where space is precious). I'd appreciate any observations anyone could offer on it?

The schematic, and a walk through of its process, is posted here: http://bowerfoldbrews.blogspot.com/2...s-machine.html

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Old 08-17-2011, 04:45 PM   #2
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This looks sort of complicated an inefficient, IMO (especialyl if space and/or $ is a concern).

One thing I noticed was that your design ends up using 4 vessels when getting ready to sparge. You have boil kettle, heat exchanger, mash tun, and a fermenter full of wort from your first runnings that you are temporarily holding to the side.

You could condense and simplify the thing by just mounting your coil in the electric kettle directly and avoid the use of that dedicated heater vessel.

In addition, since you are batch sparging, you should be able to accomplish this system with a single pump. You don't need to be pumping two liquids at the same time, right? You are either pumping hot water around before mash, MLT contents through the coil during the mash, or cold water around during the chill.

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Old 08-17-2011, 04:48 PM   #3
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On this step in your chilling description:

Quote:
Open valves #2, #3 and #6 and half open valve #1. This will push cold water through the coil in the exchanger, taking some of the heat with it. The water will end up in the Mash Tun and Boil Kettle, where it can be recirculated for cleaning later.
Is there a typo there? If you open 2,3,6 and 1, then water will flow directly into the MLT and BK and none will go through the coil.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:34 AM   #4
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Great - thanks for the obs; I'll go back to redraft with your advice!
M.

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Old 08-20-2011, 12:46 PM   #5
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Ok, I've redesigned - abandoning the HERMs design of a more traditional boiler, tun and HLT design which I might at some point upgrade to a RIMS. I've also built in a mechanism to condense the steam.

It's replaced the old plan at http://bowerfoldbrews.blogspot.com/2...s-machine.html

Any thoughts?
M

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Old 08-22-2011, 06:14 PM   #6
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first thing- you do not want to mash (or really brew, period) in the same vessel you use for fermentation. you will figure it out quickly how much of a pain it will be to clean everything between batches.

2- if you have a pump already, you might as well circulate the wort for the entire mash. this eliminates stirring for the most part, and will create a grain bed filter so you will have crystal clear wort for boiling. when you have a HERMS/RIMS system, you will be circulating the whole time anyway to maintain temperature.

3- you want an open boil kettle. you are trying to evaporate water volume, and should encourage it instead of inhibiting it. while its true big commercial breweries usually dont have open kettles, but they also blow quite a bit of air into the kettles and out thru ductwork. relying on evaporation pressure alone to push air out is not going to be sufficient. you want good circulation of fresh air.

you also will need to be adding hop additions, stirring, sampling, wathcing for hot break, etc so a lid is going to get in the way. not least to mention- a piece of hops or hot break clogging the pressure release tube or safety valve and turning a boil kettle into a boiling grenade...

if you havnt had much hands on experience with the whole general brewing process, i would suggest doing it a few times before trying to nail down an automated system setup. i know that when i first started, before i even brewed, i thought for a long time about and planned how i wanted my setup. then once i had all the parts and i started actually using it, i began to figure out how to do things way more efficiently then i had first imagined, and the system changed considerably. yours still seems more complicated then necessary.

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Old 08-22-2011, 06:19 PM   #7
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nope. no thoughts. I was trying to help you minimize the size, cost, and complexity of the first system with my suggestions about the coil and pump, but the new design isn't any smaller, simpler or cheaper.

I guess I am not sure what your goals are.

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