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Old 02-04-2013, 06:23 PM   #1
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Default HERMS Valving/Piping Question

I'm trying to lay out a simple HERMS setup and I want to make sure I've not missed something silly:



Let's call the three-port valve 1, the two port valve 2. Valve 1 has two states, "Recirc" and "Fill". Valve 2 has two states, on and off.


Condition "A" - Valve 1 "Fill" and valve 2 "Off" will fill the MLT from the HLT:


Condition "B" - Valve 1 "Recirc" and valve 2 "Off" will be my recirc/heating mode


Condition "C" - Valve 1 "Fill" and valve 2 "On" will sparge from the HLT into the BK

Does that make sense? Am I missing something?



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Old 02-04-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
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Assuming your intent is to hardline everything and use valves to direct flow - under "sparge", how do you divert wort from the MLT to the BK? It seems that you're missing another three way valve.



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Old 02-04-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PLOVE View Post
Assuming your intent is to hardline everything and use valves to direct flow - under "sparge", how do you divert wort from the MLT to the BK? It seems that you're missing another three way valve.
I've accounted for it I think - if I'm correct with the design under sparge valve 2 being open and valve 1 in the other position should redirect the gravity-fed wort to the kettle.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
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So, you'll essentially have wort dead-ending in front of your "on/off" valve then? Probably fine.


I'm probably over-thinking this, but depending upon how much flow control you have with your three-port valve, you might need to add another control valve after your pump. I have a 1/2" system (full-port), and usually have to crank the pump way back to keep it primed and pumping. You only want to restrict the output side of the pump - hence an extra valve. Also, you'll probably find that with a HERMS you will want to recirculate/mix the hot water in your HLT. My HERMS system is much more stable when I mix in the HLT during long mashes, mashout, and sparge.

Good luck!
Pete

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Old 02-04-2013, 09:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PLOVE View Post
So, you'll essentially have wort dead-ending in front of your "on/off" valve then? Probably fine.
True, and this is a logical/functional design so "as built" can employ methods to reduce any potential issues there. It could be as simple as a valve instead of the T and straight valve. I know a valve exists that will leave AB open and open/close C as desired - just not sure what they are called. Bypass valve maybe?

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I'm probably over-thinking this, but depending upon how much flow control you have with your three-port valve, you might need to add another control valve after your pump.
I assume that as well. I was just trying to capture the major control points and any "tuning" will sit on top of this framework.

Thanks for the sanity check.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:40 PM   #6
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I hardlined my system (probably similar to you) because I wanted to use valves rather than moving hot hoses around. I also didn't want hoses collapsing during a stuck sparge or other clogging situation.

I heat my strike water in the boilpot, in parallel with heating the water in the pot for the heat exchanger. This saves time vs heating everything from a single tank.

I also added plumbing to fill the mash tun from the bottom, which eliminates dough balls and spreads the strike water more evenly. That means the bottom port has to do both input and output.

It will probably save time to fill the mash tun directly from the "out" port on the pump, rather than waiting for the strike water to flow thru the entire 50' of 3/8" copper coil (or whatever it is that you're using inside the heat exchanger.

$.02. Good luck.

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Old 02-04-2013, 10:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLOVE View Post
you'll probably find that with a HERMS you will want to recirculate/mix the hot water in your HLT. My HERMS system is much more stable when I mix in the HLT during long mashes, mashout, and sparge.
I missed this part.

I do plan to have mechanical agitation in the HLT during the process. Mechanical agitation seemed a little easier than trying to plumb something.

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I hardlined my system (probably similar to you) because I wanted to use valves rather than moving hot hoses around. I also didn't want hoses collapsing during a stuck sparge or other clogging situation.
Simplicity is the goal. Before my sabbatical I was an AG brewer, working with 1/2 BBL batches. This was done "by hand" with a water cooler mash tun and was perfectly acceptable. To the extent that I can simplify my brewing I would like to do so. If it requires a PhD to operate then I'd just as soon go back to doing it by hand.

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I heat my strike water in the boilpot, in parallel with heating the water in the pot for the heat exchanger. This saves time vs heating everything from a single tank.
I'd considered that - especially since the boil pot is at least at first going to be gas fired. However (again going with the simplicity model here) I didn't want to add more valves and/or another pump. In the previous iteration of me as a brewer I ran gravity feed out of the brew pot through a counterflow and an aeration wand and into the fermenter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SagamoreAle View Post
I also added plumbing to fill the mash tun from the bottom, which eliminates dough balls and spreads the strike water more evenly. That means the bottom port has to do both input and output.
That's interesting. Does this consistently eliminate the need to manually mix in the strike water? That would be a fair trade for a little more complexity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SagamoreAle View Post
It will probably save time to fill the mash tun directly from the "out" port on the pump, rather than waiting for the strike water to flow thru the entire 50' of 3/8" copper coil (or whatever it is that you're using inside the heat exchanger.
True, but again simplicity struck here. The idea was to use the same circuit for strike and sparge, with sparge clearing the line of the wort. There's about 40 oz of wort in a 25' long, 1/2" ID line - nothing I'd wanted to waste.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:42 PM   #8
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Wrt filling from from the bottom: I add the strike water then recirculate in the normal HERMS manner until the temp. on the thermometer in the mash tun is constant. My mash paddle is basically retired. I use it on the few occasions when I need to push the grain down into the strike water. But the pushing down part is easier than the flood-from-the-top process.

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SagamoreAle View Post
Wrt filling from from the bottom: I add the strike water then recirculate in the normal HERMS manner until the temp. on the thermometer in the mash tun is constant. My mash paddle is basically retired. I use it on the few occasions when I need to push the grain down into the strike water. But the pushing down part is easier than the flood-from-the-top process.
I'll have to try this. I usually fill from the top and just mash-in with a paddle. I have a Jaybird false bottom in a keggle. I don't see any reason why I couldn't try pumping strike water back-up through the false bottom. SagamoreAle - Do you find that your grain bed floats "better" using this method?
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:51 PM   #10
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Once the grain is mixed, it behaves the same as a mash that was filled from the top. The only difference is that it's an easier way to do the work.



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