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Old 07-05-2012, 04:14 AM   #1
Theologia14
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Default HERMS system advice

Hey all,

I am looking to design a HERMS system and need some advice. I will probably piece meal the thing together over the next few months but I want to build a very effective system without breaking the bank. I have one 15 gallon brew pot and a mlt converted Rubbermaid 10 gal. I also have a pump that I bought off a guy recently who was upgrading a RIMS system. So what do I new and where do I go from here?

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Old 07-05-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
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Very high level you will need a new pot for the HLT, coil for the HLT, another pump, and all the fittings that go with that.

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Old 07-05-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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Hi

Backing off still further:

Gas or electric?

If electric, you will need power for the system - do you have 220V available? If so, how much amperage?

If gas, located where? An outdoor setup is a bit different than an indoor one.

Bob

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Old 07-05-2012, 02:26 PM   #4
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Yeah I am looking at a larger pot already still trying to figure out which one I want to pull the trigger on.

In regards to indoor/outdoor that's tough. But the wife probably votes outdoor so I have one 130,000 btu burner now and access to a lower output turkey burner from a friend.

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Old 07-05-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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Using what's available, I would use the turkey fryer burner on your HLT. I use a turkey fryer pot (8 gallon) and burner with my SS immersion chiller as my HERMS coil. I fashioned a bypass valve using 1/2" copper with 2 valves and a thermometer so I can bypass the coil when necessary. I then us the chiller for it's intended purpose post boil...At some point I will get a dedicated HERMS coil but there really is no need right now.

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Old 07-05-2012, 04:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theologia14 View Post
Yeah I am looking at a larger pot already still trying to figure out which one I want to pull the trigger on.

In regards to indoor/outdoor that's tough. But the wife probably votes outdoor so I have one 130,000 btu burner now and access to a lower output turkey burner from a friend.
Hi

Burner ratings are often pure bunk, so your 130,000 btu burner may or may not put out 50,000 btu's when you hook it up to your tank.

Next basic decision - high pressure (as in 10 psi) or low pressure (as in <= 1/2 psi)?

Low pressure lets you use furnace valves and ignitors. High pressure is likely what your burners are set up for right now. Why furnace valves? You probably want some way to shut everything down if the burners don't light / the pilot goes out. Furnace valves and their controllers are an easy way to do this. You don't *have* to use them together. You can indeed put high pressure valves on a furnace controller.

If you want to get fancy, you can run multiple valves or a mass flow controller to give something other than just "flame on / flame off" control.

After that next up - does it rain where you live? Might it rain while you are trying to finish up a brewing session? Is outdoors really outdoors or is it under some kind of roof? Water and electricity (even without the rain part) are not real good things to mix.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:01 PM   #7
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Hello
So when i set up my HERMS system I went with a hybrid of gas and electric. Gas to heat the HLT quickly then a medium density 1500W heater that i run on 120v and control with a PID controller from auber. I have the temp probe at the end of the heat exchange coil to measure the mash temp right before to empties into the MLT. We also have propane under the MLT so we can heat the strike water and the water in the HLT at the save time. Hope that helps
Mark

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Old 07-06-2012, 05:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Hello
So when i set up my HERMS system I went with a hybrid of gas and electric. Gas to heat the HLT quickly then a medium density 1500W heater that i run on 120v and control with a PID controller from auber. I have the temp probe at the end of the heat exchange coil to measure the mash temp right before to empties into the MLT. We also have propane under the MLT so we can heat the strike water and the water in the HLT at the save time. Hope that helps
Mark
Hi

Same set of questions, on a different setup:

1) Indoor (say basement), outdoor (backyard), or enclosed (back porch) location?

2) What kind of 110V power do you already have? 1500W is getting mighty close to full load on a 15A circuit. You might of course have a 20A circuit available.

-----

3) Why so complex? If you have gas, why not just use it? No a knock on your idea, I'm just trying to understand your design.

Bob
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:43 AM   #9
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hey bob
So we brew outside rain or shine (do set up pop up canopy) . we also have 20 amps in garage, when i was putting it together i just thought turning off a 120v heating element would be the most simple thing to do, as apposed to opening a valve on the pump with continuous gas firing or a gas valve and starter to control the propane on and off..
mark

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Old 07-07-2012, 02:05 PM   #10
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Hi

Electricity and rain are two things that I get a bit nervous about. It's just one of my hangups. You can indeed use a ground fault gizmo, but I don't like depending on them.

Switching electric is indeed a bit easier than doing all the stuff to control gas and pilot lights. I'd do the pilot light stuff weather I did the gas temperature control or not. People get away without doing it, but again I have a hangup. Big balls of fire in the middle of the brew day ... not cool.

Once you have the pilot light stuff worked out, gas control isn't any harder than electric control. You might get a bit better accuracy on the electric. Weather +/- 1F versus +/- 0.25 F (or what ever) really matters is up to you.

Bob

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