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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > RIMS for Dummies
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:04 AM   #1221
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That's a sweet kill switch.
Thanks. So here is the inside of my toolbox:



All of the "grunt" work is done. I attempted to place my pump inside the toolbox, when I realized too late that it probably would be too cramped, hence the tape on the side.

The GFCI is on the top of the picture, the two switches right below that: one for the pump and another for the heater element. The pump and heater element will be plugged into the GFCI. To the left is the PID, right next to that is the outlet, and at the bottom is the SSR, heatsink and the kill switch.

So the hardest part, for me, has come: the wiring.

I've tried to adapt some of the diagrams here and some of the pictures you guys have provided, but the switches are throwing me off.

I have a 4500w 240v heater element and I am running everything off of a 15 amp circuit. Again, any help will greatly be appreciated.

http://www.auberins.com/images/Manual/SW1_manual.pdf
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:40 AM   #1222
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Originally Posted by misled_drummer View Post
Thanks. So here is the inside of my toolbox:



All of the "grunt" work is done. I attempted to place my pump inside the toolbox, when I realized too late that it probably would be too cramped, hence the tape on the side.

The GFCI is on the top of the picture, the two switches right below that: one for the pump and another for the heater element. The pump and heater element will be plugged into the GFCI. To the left is the PID, right next to that is the outlet, and at the bottom is the SSR, heatsink and the kill switch.

So the hardest part, for me, has come: the wiring.

I've tried to adapt some of the diagrams here and some of the pictures you guys have provided, but the switches are throwing me off.

I have a 4500w 240v heater element and I am running everything off of a 15 amp circuit. Again, any help will greatly be appreciated.

http://www.auberins.com/images/Manual/SW1_manual.pdf
So go at the wiring from the diagram on this site but before you fire anything up have a electrician look at it. Wish you were in Oregon id hook you up
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:22 PM   #1223
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This is my controller also built into a toolbox.

image-1336908984.jpg   image-762738400.jpg   image-3272784215.jpg   image-2098229052.jpg  
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:28 PM   #1224
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The pump is supplied by a former computer monitor power supply, then to the pump speed control that does off to full power. I was able to reuse the connector for a quick disconnect for my pump.

image-751304081.jpg   image-2812668616.jpg  
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:51 PM   #1225
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Originally Posted by kwadric View Post
Someone smarter than me might chime in with a different solution, but I'm going to say, "No an aquarium temp controller won't work for a RIMs."

The aquarium temp controller turns the power on or off based on the temperature read by the probe and the controller settings. This works great for refrigerators because the compressor is either on or off.

What most people use on a RIMs is a PID controller. The simple explanation is that the PID output is generally a percentage of full on. So the heating element in the RIMs runs at less than maximum power consistently.

The aquarium controller is like a light switch. The PID is like a dimmer switch for a light. To maintain mash temp my RIMs run at 10-20%. An aquarium controller isn't designed to cut on and off fast, so it can't time average a low percentage . And turning on 100% would add a lot of heat to the small amount of wort in the tube. The wort could scorch or the temp could go hot enough to denature the enzymes.

The PID is more complicated than I described, but I thought talking about pulse width modulation and mechanical vs solid state relays would add un-need detail. I'd be happy to post about it, but there is also a wealth of info on those topics in the forum.

<http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/aquarium-rims-controller-am-i-crack-196609/>
This is incorrect. A PID controller does not "dim" a power source as you described. A PID simply switches a power source on and off, just like an aquarium controller. However, the PID is "smart" in that it learns and adjusts its on and off cycling to more accurately control the difference between its setpoint temperature and its heated medium's temperature. It takes into account the present error in the proportional difference between those two values (P), the past error in the integral difference between those two values (I), and the future error in the differential difference between those two values (D). It is essentially a very sophisticated light switch, but it is by no means a dimmer.

You were correct when you talked about pulse-width modulation being a methodology for "dimming" a power source, but they are mutually exclusive things. This is not to say that they can't be used in conjunction with each other with a slightly more advanced circuit, but a simple PID controller will be more than adequate for keeping a heated medium (in this case wort) well within 1 degree of its setpoint.

I would say yes an aquarium controller could be used to control a RIMS, but the major drawbacks with that are the fact that aquarium controllers are meant for much smaller heater loads (typical aquarium heater mats are in the 10-100W range) and would need significant modification to control a typical RIMS load of 1500W or greater. Also, they are not as "smart" as a true PID controller and usually only use either PI, PD or sometimes only Proportional control and don't account for the entire PID spectrum of a system's temperature profile.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:08 AM   #1226
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I'm putting together an electric RIMS system for my gas-fired BIAB, tri-clamp system and have a plumbing question:

In most plumbing schematics I've seen, the kettle output is connected to the pump; the pump then feeds the RIMS tube. This requires 3 silicon hoses - kettle-pump, pump-RIMS, RIMS-kettle. Since everything is tri-clamp, I'm able connect the RIMS tube directly to the kettle and use only 2 silicon hoses -- RIMS-pump, pump-kettle. I've done a small test-run with this using water, and it seems to work fine. Water flows from kettle through RIMS tube to pump input via gravity; heating element in RIMS tube has little chance of being exposed air -- kettle would have to completely drain or kettle valve turned off.

Does anyone see any potential issues with this approach? I like it because it means one less thing to clean.

Edit:

One potential issue that just occurred to me is that since the heating element is on top, the top part of the element above the RIMS liquid input port might not get covered in liquid. This could impact lifespan of the element and potentially lead to some wort scorching. BTW, I'm using the Brewers Hardware RIMS tube.

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Old 05-14-2013, 04:57 AM   #1227
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I as going to do the same configuration, but put the element on the bottom side of the rims tube.

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Old 05-14-2013, 05:01 AM   #1228
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I as going to do the same configuration, but put the element on the bottom side of the rims tube.
Wouldn't that make PID control difficult -- sensor would come before heating element. Makes for a long feedback loop through the kettle...
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:30 PM   #1229
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The flow would be out the mash tun, through the pump, into the rims tube on the heating element end, out the rims tube on the temp probe end and back into the mash tun.

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Old 05-14-2013, 03:03 PM   #1230
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The flow would be out the mash tun, through the pump, into the rims tube on the heating element end, out the rims tube on the temp probe end and back into the mash tun.
I see --- this is different from the approach I'm thinking about. I'd like to connect the RIMS tube directly to the kettle output, avoiding the need for a hose between the kettle and pump.
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