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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > Electric Heating Element for RIMs/eHERMS
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:33 PM   #1
rosienej
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Default Electric Heating Element for RIMs/eHERMS

A reader suggested that I document this work in its own thread (part of it appears in another thread). Here it goes.

This thread is to document an approach to a RIMS or eHERMS heating element which can be used with insulated vessels to maintain and adjust temperatures for mashes for 5 to 10 gallon batches.

I have been using two of these elements with 2+ hour mash schedules from dough in to mash out under PID control for 5 and ten gallon batches with reasonable, repeatable results.

NOTES:

Always use GFI circuits.
Always verify flow through the pipe

Design Goals
1) Use easy to obtain parts (McMaster Carr for example)
2) Safe to use on 110V 20Amp Circuit (16amp budget)
3) Easy to clean, no internal heating elements does not require dis-assembly to clean
4) Modular, can add additional watts as required (subject to the amperage limits)
Back of the envelope calculation
The 8ft 624 Watt 120VAC Extreme-Temperature heat tape requires 5.2 Amps. If the system uses two of these heaters + a PID (budget 1 Amp), plus a March pump (budget 1.5Amps) We get approx 13Amps, which is less than 80% of a 20 Amp Circuit.
Parts [McMaster Carr is one source]
1) Extreme-Temperature Heat Cable 13 Watts/Square Inch, 8 ft Length, 624 Watts, 120 V, :: make sure that the tape can be used over metal. See Laboratory Electric Heating Elements Tapes Heating Jackets Heating Blankets Insulated Resistant Wire for precautions.
2) Ultra-High Temp Foil-Faced Insulation Strip 1/2" Thick, 3" X 12', :: make sure that the insulation can withstand direct contact with the heating element. Fiberglass is NOT okay to use.
3) 18” of ½ stainless steel pipe threaded both ends
4) (2) ½ inch stainless steel Female Pipe Tees
5) (2) ½ inch stainless steel Square Head Plugs
If there is interest I will take photos on the new build as the parts come in.

As always, safety first.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:58 PM   #2
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ive never seen someone try to heat the mash tun using tape. neat idea. i might keep that in mind for when i redesign my HERMS tank/mash tun setup eventually.

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Old 01-11-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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Ummm... YES! I would LOVE to follow this build. I have not made up my mind on HERMS or RIMS yet and I am interested in seeing this option. I am just not too keen on the idea of a heating element confined in a make-shift tube that has to be sealed up with thinned down JB weld. This, otoh, is external heating...

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Old 01-11-2012, 07:18 PM   #4
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Just put in an order.
1) I didn't purchase the insulation (I have some left over from the last build)
2) I picked up a 3 inch threaded pipe to connect the systems.

------------------------------------------ McMaster -----------------------------

1 1 each 4550T141 Extreme-Temperature Heat Cable 13 Watts/Square Inch, 8 ft Length, 624 Watts, 120 V today $73.46 each 73.46
2 2 each 4452K434 Type 316 Stainless STL Threaded Pipe Fitting 1/2 Pipe Size, Tee, 150 PSI today $10.31 each 20.62
3 2 each 4452K124 Type 316 Stainless STL Threaded Pipe Fitting 1/2 Pipe Size, Square Head Plug, 150 PSI today $4.28 each 8.56
4 1 each 4816K124 Standard-Wall Type 316/316L SS Threaded Pipe 1/2 Pipe Size X 18" Length today $23.89 each 23.89
5 1 each 4548K175 Std-Wall Type 316/316L SS Thrd Pipe Nipple 1/2 Pipe Size X 3" Length today $5.37 each 5.37
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:28 PM   #5
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What kind of insulation are you going to use?

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Old 01-11-2012, 08:47 PM   #6
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Default 2100 degree F Max

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huaco View Post
What kind of insulation are you going to use?
http://www.mcmaster.com/#9379K93

The pipe heaters max temp output is 1400 degrees F so there is a bit of a margin.

I purchased two rolls last year, One roll is enough for two heaters.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:56 PM   #7
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Default One More Safety Feature.

Once I build my heater, I will be mounting the pair in a box, to make the setup a little nicer. To prevent overheating, I will put in series one the following thermal fuse on each heater, outside of the insulation.

THERMAL FUSE 128C 10A AXIAL - SDF DF128S

These are one shot use, but for less than 1 buck each, we can keep the setup from safe if we loose flow and don't notice.

Joel

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Old 01-12-2012, 05:48 AM   #8
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So essentially an ERIMS (external RIMS) tube? Seems very simple, eliminates scorching.
Will it heat enough depending on the flow of wort?
Also, putting the heating tubes in a box, seems like adding heat to heat in an enclosed area.

Just thoughts. But very interested.

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Old 01-12-2012, 01:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonesCreek View Post
So essentially an ERIMS (external RIMS) tube? Seems very simple, eliminates scorching.
Will it heat enough depending on the flow of wort?
Also, putting the heating tubes in a box, seems like adding heat to heat in an enclosed area.

Just thoughts. But very interested.
I have been using it with 2+ hour mash schedules for mashes of 5 and 10 gallon batches. From dough in to mash out largely unattended. It works well.

The current system uses two different types of heat tape for a total of 1024 Watts, one test showed the system can raise 5 gallons of water (insulated Gott cooler and pipes, constant circulation) approx 1 degree every 6 minutes. It does depend on ambient temp etc.

I am upping the wattage a bit with the new build, and the new system with two elements will have 1248 Watts.

I think, having more insulation the better. Installing in the enclosed box with the clean-outs on the ends of the heating pipes exposed should improve the performance. Of course I need the thermal fuses to keep everything safe if flow is stopped, or the heater is left on by mistake.

I found the following site to be helpful. Calculating Heat Loss - Features - Process Heating

Thanks for the interest. I will be posting pictures of the build process as the parts come in.

Joel
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Old 01-12-2012, 02:52 PM   #10
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Sounds good, I have been contemplating an ERIMS for a while myself using heating tape. Any chance you could post some pics when you finish the build?

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