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Old 02-05-2011, 09:19 PM   #1
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Default Yet another HERMS build, by Stinkynathan

As if there aren't already a lot of these on HBT, I thought I'd post pictures, parts list, log, etc. of the HERMs build that I'm beginning.

My brewery (no name yet) will be very much based on both Tiber_Brew's and Kal's HERMs breweries. I am by no means a rich person, so I intend to cut some corners where safe and possible.....this will be a relatively low-bling build. I will however be posting my low-bling and (hopefully) "low" cost parts list for all to see so that other may also be able to get into the electric brewery game.

So...some specs. This will be a single-tier, two pump system. I have ordered three Bayou Classic 1060, 60-quart kettles from Amazon. The third one was delayed by the storm and should be here within a day or two. I will be heating with two 5500w ULWD elements, wired such that only one can be active at a time so that I can run everything on a single 30a circuit in the basement.

Without further adieu, here is a very preliminary parts list. As far as I can tell, my plumbing is pretty much knocked out and will be ordered tomorrow or Monday.


Edit: Wasn't really ready to hit "Submit" there, but apparently did anyway.

Questions and comments are certainly welcome. I've done a TON of reading on this, but by no means do I know everything I need for this project. I'm sure I will have questions about the build as time progresses and I get more parts.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-05-2011, 09:33 PM   #2
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Bad form to respond to your own thread, but I thought I'd explain something about my plumbing list before someone asks.

I have 8 weldless bulkhead setups listed. It seems overkill, I know. It would be very easy to dangle tubing over the top of each kettle to return whatever liquid to it from the pump, but I'm not a big fan of "dangling tubing." My thought is that it's more safe and "correct" (whatever that means) to return liquid to the top of each kettle by way of a "return" or "whirlpool" bulkhead fitting. For the time being I will probably rig something out of copper to have some sort of whirlpool (or sparge tubing in the MLT) and will eventually replace those with "real" whirlpool fittings.

Also:

Why SS bulkheads from Bargain Fittings instead of brass ones put together from Mcmaster-Carr and local suppliers? Well, it turns out that you can't beat the Bargain Fittings price ESPECIALLY when you factor in your time spent researching and once you start adding a ball valve on every bulkhead.

Also, the price difference between the McMaster QDs and ProFlowDynamics camlocks is really not that great ($6 for this build) EXCEPT if you want to put an elbow on your female QDs. The prices were within a few dollars of one another for the total number of QDs I would need, except to add an NPT elbow to each female QD would add quite a bit of cost.

If the 90 degree female QDs aren't really necessary, then I'll definitely go for the cam-locks as they are essentially the same price.

By the by...is there such a thing as a "valved" female QD that would work within the kind of budgets that we homebrewers maintain?

Enough rambling from me. Again, comments and questions are certainly appreciated.

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Old 02-05-2011, 11:07 PM   #3
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I think you should get a 40A SSR instead of the 25A. I think 25A is cutting it close with your 5500 watt element.

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Old 02-05-2011, 11:10 PM   #4
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I think you should get a 40A SSR instead of the 25A. I think 25A is cutting it close with your 5500 watt element.
That's probably true. I haven't really spent much time with the electrical side at this point. I'm not sure why, but I decided to do the plumbing first.

Electric stuff is going to be this week's project. Thanks!
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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I think you should get a 40A SSR instead of the 25A. I think 25A is cutting it close with your 5500 watt element.
This is absolutely correct. The 25A will not handle the amps pulled by the 5500 watt element. The SSR will eventually burn up.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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absolutely is a strong word... there is no reason that the ssr would fail because it's being used at it's rated capacity, that's just crazy talk. sure maybe it won't last quite as long, but these are industrial products, with lifecycles that will most likely last for as long as you need it.

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Old 02-07-2011, 12:25 AM   #7
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Most SSR manufacturers recommend that SSRs be used at less than 75% of their rating in heating applications. Will it definitely fail, probably not, but why risk it.

http://www.wrcakron.com/applications/SSR_applications.pdf

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Old 02-08-2011, 01:53 AM   #8
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absolutely is a strong word... there is no reason that the ssr would fail because it's being used at it's rated capacity, that's just crazy talk. sure maybe it won't last quite as long, but these are industrial products, with lifecycles that will most likely last for as long as you need it.
I did have a 25 amp ssr fail and almost caused a fire. I was told the
5500 watt pulled too many amps, I think 23, so it should have been fine I have a 40 amp now and it works great. I guess I could have had a faulty ssr and sorry for using absolutely but It did freak me out a little. I still think the 25 amp gets too hot with that element and I feel much safer with the 40.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:25 PM   #9
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So I'm finally getting around to ordering my plumbing stuff, but I have a couple questions for everyone.

Now that they seem to be in stock, any opinions on Bargain Fittings' new soldered weldless bulkhead kits vs. their standard ones?

How much silicon tubing is really necessary? I figured I'd need 5 quick disconnect hoses when fly sparging. Is 25 feet going to be enough? I'm trying to get everything from each retailer at one time to avoid getting nailed with shipping multiple times.

Do I really NEED elbows on my QD hoses? I've never handled silicon tubing before. Does that stuff kink easy enough when it's full that not having elbows will cause problems?

Also, am I correct in the assumption that there are no valved female QDs within the home brewer's price range?

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Old 02-16-2011, 09:18 PM   #10
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Now that they seem to be in stock, any opinions on Bargain Fittings' new soldered weldless bulkhead kits vs. their standard ones?
Not sure. He came out with those right after I finished my build. I'm willing to bet they work really well.

Quote:
How much silicon tubing is really necessary? I figured I'd need 5 quick disconnect hoses when fly sparging. Is 25 feet going to be enough? I'm trying to get everything from each retailer at one time to avoid getting nailed with shipping multiple times.
I used about 35+ ft for mine. I ordered 25 ft at first, but found I needed a bit more once I got the rig dialed in.

Quote:
Do I really NEED elbows on my QD hoses? I've never handled silicon tubing before. Does that stuff kink easy enough when it's full that not having elbows will cause problems?
Some of my connections don't have an elbow, and they're fine. I do prefer the elbow, but it might not necessary for you. The silicone tubing is pretty tough stuff, but might kink a bit if it's hot enough and you apply enough perpendicular force.

I'm glad you found my build somewhat useful. Let me know if I can help with anything else.

Cheers,
TB
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