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Old 07-01-2009, 08:40 AM   #11
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I've been away from brewing for a while trying to finish a home renovation, but now its time to start my rig build! My question is which system (RIMS or HERMS)
do you prefer and why? I have access to 220v and natural gas. If you don't have a perfect rig what would you build if money wasn't an issue? I'm currently leaning towards a Hybrid HERMS (electric HLT and gas fired boil kettle). I'm hoping the breadth of knowledge and experience here can help me make the right decision.
I like HERMS this the next brewery I will build like my last one but having indirect heating with a fully electric 240 volt brewing system 11KW in the HLT, MLT and Boil keggle. This will step down to 5.5 KW control once the set temps are reached and controlled by a BCS-460 controller. (Thanks Adam with your BCS -460 control system).
Whirlpool cooling with well water of 62 to 63 degrees depending time of year, water's free I water the yard by the hour anyway plus will brew with this well water instead of the tap water crap. Mind you we have good tap water but I do not want to brew with it. Natural well water with the minerals for me, call it old school same as my grandparents brewing from back in 1924. German what can I say we like our suds.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:23 PM   #12
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I use electric RIMS and love it. I have brewed some very light lagers with no scorching of the wort. I use pumps and heat exchangers mounted in a box with a BCS-460 to control everything and it has made my brewing very repeatable and relaxing.


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Old 07-01-2009, 04:15 PM   #13
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I'm way off from rebuilding my brewery but I have a vision of using a single heating element in what I'd call a multi-purpose inline heater. I'd control it via PID where the probe input is in the heating tube just before the outlet. Basically, you modulate the element to heat to your setpoint. I'd use this to heat incoming tap water for strike. After cutting it to a 120v operation, I'd use it as a RIMs tube for mash temp maintenance/mash out. Then I'd switch it back to 240v and use it to heat incoming tapwater for the sparge.

It's just an idea, it needs more work but it seems like it would be a nice functional 2-vessel RIMS with only one pump required.

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Old 07-02-2009, 02:59 AM   #14
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missing link:
what do you use for a heat exchanger? Something like a shirron or therminator, or is it a homemade exchanger. Do you have any pics available?

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Old 07-02-2009, 04:57 PM   #15
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Why settle have both! My system (when its done) will be a direct fired MLT RIMS that circulates through a direct fired HLT with a HERMS. The HERMS will do what it does best (maintain rock solid mash temps) and the direct fired RIMS will do what it does best (step mashing).

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Old 07-02-2009, 05:02 PM   #16
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If I had to answer that BK, it would be that you can't direct fire and insulate at the same time. Sure, you've got the HERMS maintaining but it would be nice not to be wasteful of energy. I'm thinking element/tube RIMS and insulated MLT for that reason. The element only runs every once in a while because the heat retention is good.

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Old 07-02-2009, 05:04 PM   #17
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If I had to answer that BK, it would be that you can't direct fire and insulate at the same time. Sure, you've got the HERMS maintaining but it would be nice not to be wasteful of energy. I'm thinking element/tube RIMS and insulated MLT for that reason. The element only runs every once in a while because the heat retention is good.
That is true and would be a nice system, it is just more complicated. I already have the direct fired RIMS so that is why I am going that route. If I used and insulated tun, I would do what you suggest. I think the double combo is the best solution.
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:04 PM   #18
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If I had to answer that BK, it would be that you can't direct fire and insulate at the same time. Sure, you've got the HERMS maintaining but it would be nice not to be wasteful of energy. I'm thinking element/tube RIMS and insulated MLT for that reason. The element only runs every once in a while because the heat retention is good.
That and the fact that I can datalog with the BCS were the main reason for me going with RIMS.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:03 PM   #19
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Vent the mash tun skirt and insulate with KAO wool insulation. Here is a couple shots of a vented keggle Picasa Web Albums - Kevin - Boil kettle and the vent to roof Picasa Web Albums - Kevin - Vent hood

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Old 07-02-2009, 09:18 PM   #20
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I built my RIMS in 1997 and have been brewing on it ever since. Through a couple hundred batches, I have never had scorched wort. With a low watt density heating element, proper design and wort flow rate you will not have problems with scorching. I use an insulated MLT, so my heating element does not run all the time. I get 1 degree F per minute temperature ramp when step mashing a 10 gallon grain bill. I have no experience with HERMS, but my RIMS experience has only been positive.

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