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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > New RIMS system teardown
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
Soviet
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Default New RIMS system teardown

Fellow brewers:

I'm ready to pony up some dough and build a nicer brew system. I've talked to a couple of folks and worked up some sketches. Those of you guys who have build a system of your own, if you could take a look at this design and tell me what won't work, how to improve or simplify the design, I would be forever in your debt. Some of the goals for the system were:

  • smaller footprint (2 vessel width)
  • simplicity (1 burner, 1 pump)
  • repeatability (PID+heat exchanger keep temps stable) in mashtun
  • ability to fly sparge for good efficiency

Those are just a few... I'm having some doubts about the plumbing schematics, perhaps there's an easier way with fewer valves, loops, etc.. let me know what you think!

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Old 12-19-2011, 12:10 AM   #2
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Can you move the wort from the mash to the boil vessel and sparge at the same time with that configuration? Or does the mash collect in the "vessel" while sparging and then go into the boil kettle after sparging?

Seems like an interesting design. I am intrigued.

One thing I would look into--if you are going to electrify the mash, perhaps, electrify the boil kettle too? Why not? Unless too expensive and no ability to run 220v on dedicated circuit.

In that case--if running gas I may just do away with the PID and just run mash through a copper coil in the hotter liquor tank to maintain temp instead.

Other factors to me are important to design--> easy take apart or easy clean in place and storage... With all those valves is this going to be hard plumbed or quick disconnects and tubing?

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Old 12-19-2011, 12:29 AM   #3
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For simple and with one pump , one PID (220 V) search "single vessel BIAB brewing" . Very sweet set up with a small footprint. I have been looking and plan to go this route myself. It seems a lot less work & cost from start to finish; for either the project or the brew process including maintenance or clean up. I hope I'm not off topic here. Cheers

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Old 12-19-2011, 01:13 AM   #4
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Default thanks for the feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewBrewTheGreat View Post
Can you move the wort from the mash to the boil vessel and sparge at the same time with that configuration? Or does the mash collect in the "vessel" while sparging and then go into the boil kettle after sparging?
The sweet wort runnings would drain into the vessel on the lower tier while the pump poured the sparge water into the mashtun rinsing the grain simultaneously. Going for good efficiency too .

I am trying to keep costs down if I can. That's a good point with the plumbing—I don't want lots of congealing growths... how would the "quick disconnects" work? Would you be able to quick disconnect from the intake into the pump? Any example photos I you know of?
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:22 AM   #5
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I dont think you can drain and pump sparge water at the same time without a valve in there... maybe something like this valve configuration would work.

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Old 12-19-2011, 02:51 AM   #6
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Default to clarify...

The MLT would drain by pure gravity straight down (pink arrows). At the same time, the HLT would flow into the pump via yellow arrows and up through the heat exchanger into the top. Note the lighter blue pipe goes behind (doesn't connect to) the main dark blue plumbing. I might be wrong, but I think that works, doesn't it? If there's a simpler way, definitely tell me.

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:11 AM   #7
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Default another thought

Perhaps this would be simpler... I don't know much about quick disconnects, but assuming they are what I think they are, we could do something like this (this way, when you wanted to have HLT infuse the MLT with sparge water, you could connect A1 to the pump at B2, and just have the MLT drain into the vessel? This seems a bit simpler using flexible hoses with hot-swappable connectors...

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soviet View Post
Perhaps this would be simpler... I don't know much about quick disconnects, but assuming they are what I think they are, we could do something like this (this way, when you wanted to have HLT infuse the MLT with sparge water, you could connect A1 to the pump at B2, and just have the MLT drain into the vessel? This seems a bit simpler using flexible hoses with hot-swappable connectors...

Agreed , This is what I do.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
I don't want lots of congealing growths... how would the "quick disconnects" work? Would you be able to quick disconnect from the intake into the pump?
You could hard plumb it with stainless or copper and, after running cleaner, run hot ass water through it, to sanitize, at the end and air dry. I assume you'll be doing that with the plate chiller anyway...

I would think it would make sense to run disconnects w/ short hosing from the kettle, vessel, and mash, and anything else you want to easily remove for cleaning purposes.

If costs are a concern, copper and brass valves will make it relatively inexpensive to plumb--even with all the valves.

It looks like a good idea to me, with the one pump and all. The first setup I built was a similar type of one pump design. My first a was a three tier. I put the sparge vessel on the bottom (pretty much ground level) with a copper coil hard plumbed to recirculate mash. The top was the mash vessel that gravity fed into the boil vessel, which was on the second tier (while the pump ran to sparge). After the boil, the second tier was high enough to gravity feed into a fermenter.

Your design eliminates a tier and incorporates a plate chiller driven by the pump. I am not a fan of plate chillers (don't like things I can't see are clean), but I think this design will work well.

The only downside I see is that you can't heat the mash as it fills the vessel (unless you put a burner there)--like you can if you were filling the boil vessel directly. That isn't anything but a time concern though.

Edit: the second design is simpler. Also, there are three main disconnects I have seen: Plastic high temp, sometimes you can find them that stop flow after disconnecting--this is nice but harder to clean. Camlocks, cheaper stainless disconnects--most popular probably. And morebeer offers another stainless variety that has a cleaner look and full 1/2" flow. I use the latter--they are more expensive, but I like them best.

you can look at photos in my gallery for pics of the quick disconnects.... i use them pretty extensively on the system pictured there....
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:46 AM   #10
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Great feedback so far... would I realistically be able to use these quick disconnects at the points marked with red squares or am I imagining them wrong?

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