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Old 11-02-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
RyanW
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Default RIMS system design

I'm in the process of building a RIMS system and I want to make sure I'm not reinventing the wheel. I'm not quite ready to ask for specific wiring diagram help yet, but I want to share my plan to make sure it makes sense and look for input before I finalize everything.

I don't have a fixed brew stand, I'm planning on using propane to heat water and boil. I'm also going to use a single pump for transfers and to recirculate the mash and boil for chilling. I plan on using a RIMS to maintain/adjust mash temp.

Anyway I'm planning on making a simple stand on casters for the pump at ground level and an elevated control panel at waist height for the RIMS and pump controls.

The features I'm looking for are:
-operate on standard 120V 20amp circuit
-key type main power switch with safety interlock so power can't be turned on if pump and heating element are on.
-ability to turn on/off power to heating element and PID separate.
-some type of safety for the heating element, the most common I see is tied to the pump operation, but since the pump will be used for other things besides just mash recirculation I'm not sure this is adequate.

Any other ideas to consider?

Thanks for your input.

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Old 11-03-2012, 02:32 AM   #2
jasonsbeer
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I have a single pump RIMS system. My setup as a whole is hybrid - I boil with propane, but use an electric HLT and RIMS. The RIMS was a great improvement to my system because mash temp was always a problem for me.

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Anyway I'm planning on making a simple stand on casters for the pump at ground level and an elevated control panel at waist height for the RIMS and pump controls.
You don't mention where your mash tun and boil kettle are, but I would recommend setting your pump just below the bottom of these items. No point in adding extra hydraulic head.

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
-operate on standard 120V 20amp circuit
No problem there. A 1500w element would use ~13 amps. Looks like an 809 March Pump uses 0.5 amps. PID use is negligable. You're still under the 80% safety factor level for a 20 amp circuit.

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
-ability to turn on/off power to heating element and PID separate.
In my control panel, the PID is always on. I turn the power on and off for the element via a power relay. You could put the PID on a small toggle switch if desired.

EDIT: This is the power relay I use, you might be able to save a few dollars going with a lesser contact rating, also this is a dual pole. You could use a single pole for 110.

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
-some type of safety for the heating element, the most common I see is tied to the pump operation, but since the pump will be used for other things besides just mash recirculation I'm not sure this is adequate.
The safety switch is really to deactivate the RIMS element should the flow cease and should have no effect on the pump, per se. I suppose you might want kill power to the pump, just in case it's siezed, but a dropped hose or stuck mash would be the most likely scenario.

EDIT: Thinking about this some more, yeah, would be better to kill power to the pump if there is a problem somewhere in the system. Might need two outlets for the pump, one on the safety switch and one always on.

I use my single pump system very effectively. Having quick disconnects and valves at every connection helps. You should also plan on making a mess when switching hoses around. Wear gloves to help prevent scalding!
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:55 AM   #3
RyanW
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Thank you for the info I'm not sure if this is the right section of the forum, but figured I'd post in electric because I'll eventually need help with the wiring.

Here is an artistic rendition of my planned control panel stand.


Quote:
The safety switch is really to deactivate the RIMS element should the flow cease and should have no effect on the pump, per se. I suppose you might want kill power to the pump, just in case it's siezed, but a dropped hose or stuck mash would be the most likely scenario.
I guess I was looking for some automatic safety that would prevent the heating element from switching on when it is dry. The feature I see most is linking the heating element and the pump so that the element can't fire unless the pump is running.

Along those lines does anyone recirculate their boil through the RIMS tube? Monitoring the chill temperature with the already installed temp probe might be handy.

Quote:
You should also plan on making a mess when switching hoses around.
I was thinking about this, not sure how to move hoses full of wort around
cleanly.

What are the practical options to drain and clean the system after brewing? Keep in mind I'm trying to make brewing easier not harder.
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