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Old 12-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #1
alha
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Default New to brewing, and starting with all electric build...

Hi, I have been interested in brewing my own beer for a 4-5 years now, and have purchased a number of items to start, carboys, a couple 5-6 gallon kegs, a kit to start brewing with from my local brewstore, even made 2 reverse flow chillers out of spools of copper tubing and garden hoses. I have slowly been collecting things for the day I have the time to devote to this new hobby. One thing that I became very interested in when I went to the 2010 AHA National Homebrewers Conference here in Minneapolis was a system to brew beer with, and I saw on display a Brewmagic VMS350. As I am a gadget geek and an appliance repairman to boot, this system really impressed me, to say the least. I knew it was the bomb, but at $6000+, there was no way I would be able to afford it at this time, though it did get my mind going on a BMO (build my own) version of it. One thing I wasn't too excited about was that it was gas powered. I prefer electrical, and decided that my system was going to be all electric instead of gas.

I have been quite impressed with induction cook-tops for a while now, they are pretty amazing in the kitchen, and I figured I would go this way with my setup, if I could find some at the right price. Well, I ended up coming across one that I think would work out quite well for my system. It is a Thermador CIT151DS, a 15" multi-element, up to 3600 watts. It takes a 20A circuit, but not sure if it draws that much when running, probably around 12-14 at full load. I think that a couple 50A circuits will handle the whole system easily. I ended up purchasing 4 of them at a Very Good price, 3 for the system and one as a spare, just in case.

When I started looking at making my my clone of their system, I went their site to examine how they set theirs up, and one thing I found (that is no longer up on their site) was a dimensioned drawing of the stand. I ended up copying the .jpg to my computer for future reference. I plan on building mine out of 304 or 306 SS tubing, depending on what I can find for a "reasonable" price, as I figure I will need 30-35 linear feet of 1 1/2 or 2" square tubing, and mimicking their design pretty closely. I will have to modify the dimensions slightly to be able to hold the 3 electric heating systems, but overall it will be close. One thing I do plan on doing is adding a 5500W element to each pot to use as needed, to assist with bringing the product up to temp as rapidly as possible, and to help hold the temp if the induction element for some reason can't keep up.

I really appreciate the information available here on the forum, I have seen a number of very cool builds, and it is inspiring me to get off my duff and actually start this project. There is a lot to building a semi-automatic system, and there are times I wonder what I have gotten myself into, but since I have purchased over 1/3 of the materials, it's pretty much too late to turn back now. I still believe I will be $1000's below the VMS350 when I am done, plus I will know it inside and out, not to mention I'll have the satisfaction of knowing it was built right. I know I still have a lot of research to do, (controls, pots, tubing, ventilation, etc, etc) but just wanted to say hi and thanks to all here that have contributed to the critical mass of knowledge. We Newbs greatly appreciate it!

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Old 12-17-2012, 01:59 AM   #2
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Wow, cool idea, very gutsy to go for something like that right out of the chute. Def are aiming pretty high for your 1st build. Best of luck on it, definitely do a lot of reading, there's a ton of info here to guide you, and feel free to ask questions, ppl here are happy to lend a hand, and to share their opinions. Oh, and Welcome to the forum!

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Old 12-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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Did you just post and then congratulate / welcome yourself? I'm confused... but either way, good luck to you (you two?)

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Building a Bad News Brewery - eHERMS

2014:
5gal Scottish Wee Heavy
5gal Saison
15gal American Pale Ale
20gal Belgian Wit
10gal Oktoberfest
10gal Southern Pecan Ale

Keg 1: Apfelwein
Keg 2: Oktoberfest
Keg 3: Southern Pecan

On Deck: Winter Spice Ale
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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What he said???
Welcome

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Old 12-17-2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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That' funny as hell I do that all the time to myself.

"Hey self, want a beer?
Sure self, Ill take one!
Damn this is good stuff, you make it?
I sure did, have another one.
Ok, I will. "

Makes for a long night....

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Old 12-18-2012, 04:22 AM   #6
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LOL yeah I did, it was mostly as a joke, since I posted it at 8am, and by 9pm had 0 responses and 1 view (mine) I thought for fun I'd post the 2nd one.

Seriously, thanks and I'm looking forward to moving forward with this, though it will probably be in fits & starts. Life has a funny way of interfering with fun, but whaddaya gonna do? I have spent some more time reading up on other ppls electric setups, and have come to realize that no one has had it easy or quick in their builds, so if it takes me all winter (or longer) I won't feel bad. It is being done for fun not as a job, so I can't expect to knock it out in a week or 2. Not that I would be able to acquire all the knowledge and expertise I'm going to need to successfully build it in that short of time anyways, not to mention all the part$ I still need to acquire. One thing I will have to try to remember is to take some pics along the way to document my progress.

I do have a couple basic questions, first of which is I noticed in someones build thread that the question was asked if they are going to build it one of 2 ways, I think it was HERMS and some other acronym, but I don't remember. Could someone plz explain what those 2 terms mean, what the differences are in the setup of the system, if one system can accommodate both styles, why someone would go one way or the other, and is one "better" than the other or is it a Ford vs. Chevy thing? Thanks guys!

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Old 12-18-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alha View Post
LOL yeah I did, it was mostly as a joke, since I posted it at 8am, and by 9pm had 0 responses and 1 view (mine) I thought for fun I'd post the 2nd one.
Or... 6 minutes apart... we're not THAT fast...

The two terms you're likely looking for are HERMS and RIMS. Check out the glossary or Wiki for all kinds of good information on the two. As far as I can imagine, they are not interchangeable nor would you want them to be.

Welcome, btw.
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Building a Bad News Brewery - eHERMS

2014:
5gal Scottish Wee Heavy
5gal Saison
15gal American Pale Ale
20gal Belgian Wit
10gal Oktoberfest
10gal Southern Pecan Ale

Keg 1: Apfelwein
Keg 2: Oktoberfest
Keg 3: Southern Pecan

On Deck: Winter Spice Ale
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:03 PM   #8
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I know it looked like it, but it was actually 12 hrs, 12-16-2012, 08:53 AM to 12-16-2012, 08:59 PM Regardless, thanks! I will check them out. I read a couple more build threads last night, man you guys do some fine work. Hope mine turns out half as nice as those.

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Old 12-18-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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Damn, I stand corrected on my ribbing. 30 lashes will be administered.

Yours will turn out great. You already have the first steps down - accept that it will take longer and cost more than you planned. From there, it's easy!

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Building a Bad News Brewery - eHERMS

2014:
5gal Scottish Wee Heavy
5gal Saison
15gal American Pale Ale
20gal Belgian Wit
10gal Oktoberfest
10gal Southern Pecan Ale

Keg 1: Apfelwein
Keg 2: Oktoberfest
Keg 3: Southern Pecan

On Deck: Winter Spice Ale
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alha View Post
I do have a couple basic questions, first of which is I noticed in someones build thread that the question was asked if they are going to build it one of 2 ways, I think it was HERMS and some other acronym, but I don't remember. Could someone plz explain what those 2 terms mean, what the differences are in the setup of the system, if one system can accommodate both styles, why someone would go one way or the other, and is one "better" than the other or is it a Ford vs. Chevy thing? Thanks guys!
They are very similar, but the big difference is that HERMS systems never have the mash comet into direct contact with the heat source. RIMS systems do.

Both accomplish the same goal, but your choice of system will strongly influence your total system design (mainly how complicated your HLT is)
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