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Old 01-14-2010, 04:52 PM   #1
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Default A simple HERMS idea

I'm thinking of upgrading my system into a simple HERMS. Basically I want to use my immersion chiller as a heat exchanger for recirculating the wort during the mash and then use it as a chiller during the cooling proces.
So basically this system would include your basic AG setup (a cooler MLT, BK, IC) plus a pump.
Has anyone done that? I can't find anything similar on here.

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Old 01-14-2010, 09:38 PM   #2
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this is funny. I am sitting here drawing up plans for the same sort of idea and thinking about it.

I want to drill holes and install the IC into my keggle for use as the exchanger during the mash and the chiller at the end.

My main thoughts (at the moment) are how efficient the exchanger would be. I don't want to lengthen the brew day.

I was also thinking about going electric and installing a heating element in the kettle instead of using a propane burner.

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Old 01-14-2010, 09:49 PM   #3
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You've described a brutus 20 design. The setup is simple but it's effectively batch sparging so you'll lose some efficiency points (compared to fly sparging).

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Old 01-14-2010, 09:50 PM   #4
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I already batch-sparge, so I am not concerned about that.

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Old 01-14-2010, 09:57 PM   #5
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I do. Put male qd's on HLT, MLT, IC, and BK and made some hoses with female qd's. Fill HLT with sparge water, MLT with Mash water. Heat HLT to mash temp while circulating mash water. When temp reaches strike, dough in and check MLT temp. I keep a thermo in both HLT and MLT. , If I'm shooting for 152 mash, I'll dough in 157ish and the temps between the dropped mash and the hlt will equalize around my desired mash temp within a minute or two.
At mash out, I'll stop the recirc, open the burner WFO until the HLT (sparge) water is ~170, then begin to recirc again for mash out. When MLT reaches 170 for a few minutes, I switch hoses and pump from MLT to BK. Light BK when wort is drained from MLT, and reconfigure for batch sparge.
for batch sparge, pump from HLT to MLT to desired sparge volume. begin recirculate from MLT through pump back to MLT bypassing IC until wort is clear. Switch hoses to pump again from MLT to BK.

It has saved me about 25 min on my brew day, bumped my eff numbers ~8 pts, and the beer is CRYSTAL clear going into the BK

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Old 01-14-2010, 10:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
I already batch-sparge, so I am not concerned about that.
Yes, but do you add the sparge water to the first wort/runnings? Most of the brutus 20 designs I've seen do just that. So, their efficiency is actually lower than batch sparging. Just something to consider.

Here is a brutus 20 review from 2007:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky View Post
I usually get ~ 65% effeciency. Today I got 58% efficiency, but I was also 1/2 gal short, and sometimes I'm a little lower on wheat beers anyway. More total sparge water might have helped a little.

The overall work involved was slightly less than batch sparging. Once the sparge started, you just let it recirculate until you're done.

It required slightly more time vs batch sparging, maybe an extra 10-20 mins, but was still less than or equal to fly sparging.

Overall, I think this is a fairly simple, sound, viable process. For those who may be considering a stand with a small footprint, this may be something you want to think about.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh_Jass View Post
I do. Put male qd's on HLT, MLT, IC, and BK and made some hoses with female qd's. Fill HLT with sparge water, MLT with Mash water. Heat HLT to mash temp while circulating mash water. When temp reaches strike, dough in and check MLT temp. I keep a thermo in both HLT and MLT. , If I'm shooting for 152 mash, I'll dough in 157ish and the temps between the dropped mash and the hlt will equalize around my desired mash temp within a minute or two.
At mash out, I'll stop the recirc, open the burner WFO until the HLT (sparge) water is ~170, then begin to recirc again for mash out. When MLT reaches 170 for a few minutes, I switch hoses and pump from MLT to BK. Light BK when wort is drained from MLT, and reconfigure for batch sparge.
for batch sparge, pump from HLT to MLT to desired sparge volume. begin recirculate from MLT through pump back to MLT bypassing IC until wort is clear. Switch hoses to pump again from MLT to BK.

It has saved me about 25 min on my brew day, bumped my eff numbers ~8 pts, and the beer is CRYSTAL clear going into the BK
I would love to get away with just two vessels (no dedicated HLT), but that requires a no-sparge and I don't want to do that.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
Yes, but do you add the sparge water to the first wort/runnings? Most of the brutus 20 designs I've seen do just that. So, their efficiency is actually lower than batch sparging. Just something to consider.

Here is a brutus 20 review from 2007:
Right, I do "normal" batch sparge, where the sparge makes its own second runnings.
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:56 PM   #9
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This is very interesting to me!
I'm almost finished my Backyard Cookshack/brewpub, then it will be time to build or buy some sort of brew system instead of my pieces parts brew day.

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Old 01-15-2010, 12:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
You've described a brutus 20 design. The setup is simple but it's effectively batch sparging so you'll lose some efficiency points (compared to fly sparging).
Actualy I'm thinking of fly sparging. I want to use the same manifolds I use for fly sparging now and use them for recirculating the wort during the mash.
I want it to work this way:

1. Heat up the strike water, dough in, etc. All that you do the "old" AG way, no changes there.

2. Heat up some heat-exchange water in your BK. Heat it up to your desired mash temp., 152 for example. This water you will later use for sparging.

3. Start recirculating the wort from the mash tun using your immersion chiller sitting in the BK. Wort comes out from the MLT through a manifold (or whatever you use), goes through the pump, then through the IC sitting in the BK, then back to the MLT through the fly-sparge manifold.

4. Sparging: use the heat-exchange water you used in mashing. Pump it to the fly-sparge manifold. The ready wort goes down into a fermenting bucket.

5. Boil your wort, use your IC for cooling it down, etc, etc.





Mashing w/heat exchange through an IC:



Sparging:
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