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-   -   Sparging and RIMs (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f170/sparging-rims-346293/)

RichBenn 08-07-2012 11:46 PM

Sparging and RIMs
 
BACKGROUND:
I currently infusion mash in a round cooler and batch sparge, 5.5 gallon batches (up to 7 gallons pre-boil). Efficiency is great, beer is excellent, but I'm getting tired of carrying pots of hot water to the top of the cooler to mash, mashout, and sparge. So a pump would seem to be the next step.

But getting a pump opens up doing a RIMs (or maybe a HERMs system, not sure yet). It'd be nice to be able to do mash out without adding water.

I'd probably have a hybrid (boil would be gas) system. No problems with the electric part (I'm an EE with controls background). But I don't fully get the sparging process possibilites once a pump and perhaps automated valves are added. I'm assuming I'd have a PID to control the RIMs heater, but may just use the existing burner/boil pot rather than have a separate HLT.

SPARGING QUESTIONS:
1. How does one go about sparging with a RIMs system? I've seen posts saying just the same as before (fly, batch), but can't I get rid of vorlaufing using the pump?
2. How and when do you add the sparge water to the system? Do you fully drain the MLT, shut off the pump and drain valve, then move the pump to move the sparge water in?
3. Is it feasible (or smart) to add sparge water while draining the initial mash?
4. If I have to have a separate HLT anyway, is it smarter to go HERMs?

Actually, I'm not certain exactly what to ask. I don't want to do an extreme system with alot of automation, but am trying to figure out a good balance between where I now am and fully automated. Although I can program and design and build circuits, I want to brew beer rather than taking forever building and/or laying out cash for a pre-built system.

Rich

ChuckO 08-08-2012 12:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichBenn (Post 4313261)
SPARGING QUESTIONS:
1. How does one go about sparging with a RIMs system? I've seen posts saying just the same as before (fly, batch), but can't I get rid of vorlaufing using the pump?

I recirculate the mash through the RIMS during the entire mash, so vorlauf is continuous from the start.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichBenn (Post 4313261)
2. How and when do you add the sparge water to the system? Do you fully drain the MLT, shut off the pump and drain valve, then move the pump to move the sparge water in?

At the end of the mash I start to drain to the boil kettle while adding fresh hot water through the RIMS into the MLT for a continuous sparge. If I were to batch sparge I would drain the MLT, refill through the RIMS, stir and then do a vorlauf through the RIMS before draining again.
Quote:

Originally Posted by RichBenn (Post 4313261)
3. Is it feasible (or smart) to add sparge water while draining the initial mash?

This is the concept of continuous "fly" sparging.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichBenn (Post 4313261)
4. If I have to have a separate HLT anyway, is it smarter to go HERMs?

I don't have a separate HLT, as my RIMS is capable of heating 1 qt. per minute from supply temperature to 170 deg. during the sparge. This gives me a two tank system. My system has 2 pumps and 2 three way valves to do most of the control of wort flow.

RichBenn 08-08-2012 03:59 PM

Chuck,

Thank you very much for your detailed responses! Much appreciated!

One follow up:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChuckO (Post 4314296)
I don't have a separate HLT, as my RIMS is capable of heating 1 qt. per minute from supply temperature to 170 deg. during the sparge. This gives me a two tank system. My system has 2 pumps and 2 three way valves to do most of the control of wort flow.

How many watts does your RIMs have(to get 1 qt. per minute)? I'm thinking of going 1650 watts (120V), which would seem to be sufficient to raise 150-170 (mashout) in a reasonable time for 5 gallon batches, but it's nice to get real world figures.

abarnett 08-08-2012 04:09 PM

My first RIMS brew is this weekend, and I intend to go "no sparge". I'm doing a 5 gallon batch in a 10 gallon cooler, so I'll have about 7.5 gallons of water in the MT from the start. I'll bring it up to mash temps (plus whatever offset for "cold" grain), add grain, and recirculate through the RIMS to maintain mash temp for 60 minutes. Then I'll bump up to 170 for 15 minutes, and drain to the BK.

I probably won't get perfect efficiency this way, but I also only have to add water the one time. My water supply is not nearby, and it's a pain to lug buckets back and forth.

sr20steve 08-08-2012 04:18 PM

I do a gas fired rims, and I continuously recirc the mash at a slow rate and never stir the mash so the grain bed compacts. Then slowly drain the mash tun into the boil kettle and switch the inlets to the pump from the mash tun drain valve to the drain on the HLT and sparge at the rate I'm draining keeping a 1-2" level above the grain bed.

RichBenn 08-08-2012 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abarnett (Post 4314878)
My first RIMS brew is this weekend, and I intend to go "no sparge". I'm doing a 5 gallon batch in a 10 gallon cooler, so I'll have about 7.5 gallons of water in the MT from the start. I'll bring it up to mash temps (plus whatever offset for "cold" grain), add grain, and recirculate through the RIMS to maintain mash temp for 60 minutes. Then I'll bump up to 170 for 15 minutes, and drain to the BK.

I probably won't get perfect efficiency this way, but I also only have to add water the one time. My water supply is not nearby, and it's a pain to lug buckets back and forth.

I read about this technique, but don't think I'll go that route. Seems like BIAB, which is even cheaper and easier if you want to reduce efficiency. We all have different goals and techniques that work.

ChuckO 08-09-2012 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichBenn (Post 4314854)
Chuck,

Thank you very much for your detailed responses! Much appreciated!

One follow up:



How many watts does your RIMs have(to get 1 qt. per minute)? I'm thinking of going 1650 watts (120V), which would seem to be sufficient to raise 150-170 (mashout) in a reasonable time for 5 gallon batches, but it's nice to get real world figures.

Rich,

It's 5500 watt and seems to operate about 95% of the time to produce the 1 qt. per minute. My water starts at about 55, so in theory it should only run at 76% to produce the 1 qt. per minute at 170 deg. Heat losses in the system account for the difference.

Remember when making your power calculations that you not only have to heat up the mash out water, but also the grains and the mash tun.


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