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Old 11-02-2012, 02:54 AM   #1
Trillium
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Default RIMS and HERMS nessesary?

I started brewing beer 25 years ago with my best friend in the basement of his parents house. It turned out good, I mean really really good. In fact I have been making homebrew beer ever since. My methods were based solely from Charlie Papazian's book, since there was no other book.

Recently I have been obsessed (to call it mildly) with brewing automation, RIMS and HERMS, and the Brutus 10. Spending hours on-line looking at and reading about everones brewery builds and automation systems. I was totally in awe.

The other day I had an epiphany. Nobody, used these things 25 years ago. It was a double bucket mash tun and than the insulated picnic cooler became all the rage. I still have my original double bucket and I have made some fantastic beers with it. Even double decoction mashes to replicate my favour Munich Helles. So why now am I so obsessed with automation.

Making beer is a simple thing. Heat some water, add the crushed grain, sparge and than boil. I think the importance and nessessity of using RIMS and HERMS is overblown. You do not need all that fancy expense stuff in the age of fully modified malts, or even before then. My local brew pub does bother with it. All you need is an insulated mash tun. Nothing more. I do see the merrits of a temp controlled HLT so you can do other things while it is heating and not worry about it. And a pump to recirculate the wort to make it clear before sparging, but not for temperature control.

I have taken a step back and things look more clear to me.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:24 AM   #2
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Necessary, absolutely not. An added convenience, absolutely. Herms and rims just make repeatability and control easier to achieve. Brewing isn't rocket science, unless you want it to be. A lot of great beer is made by a wide variety of methods and processes. I say get good at the way you do things and stick to it.

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Old 11-02-2012, 01:17 PM   #3
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You already know making beer is simple and doesn't require fancy automated systems but building these systems
automated or not involves lots of planning and work and is just way cool to tinker with different tools and stainless blingy stuff.
It's a few hobbies within a hobby. I started like you did 23 years ago and started building my Herms rig a few years ago. I know
I don't need it to make good beer but it's alot of fun to build.

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Old 11-02-2012, 02:13 PM   #4
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Having just finished an electric HERMS setup (Thanks Kal! Awesome website-theelecricbrewery.com) I can tell you with absolute certainty that the conveniences do not outweigh the costs. I did it because I had a habbit of tinkering with my equipment (hmmm hmmm hmmm, huh huh huh) between every brew and never dialed in the process. Efficiency, final volume, and FG would fluctuate every time I bought or made a new gadget. So I decided to give in to give in and do everything at once.

If the goal was simply consistent, quality beer, I probably would have just went with a nice burner, 10 gal pot, 10 gal cooler, counterflow chiller, and a spare propane tank. To make better beer, brewing more often probably will yeild much better results than tricking out your setup.

My guess is that most people that go RIMS/HERMS like tinkering and gadgets as much as they like brewing. If that's the case for you, then go for it. I'm really happy with mine.

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Old 11-02-2012, 04:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badonkadundkel View Post
Having just finished an electric HERMS setup (Thanks Kal! Awesome website-theelecricbrewery.com) I can tell you with absolute certainty that the conveniences do not outweigh the costs.
EDIT: Unless you want to brew when it's 20 degrees & snowing
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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Making the equipment is half the fun of brewing! Of course one of my favorite forums is the DIY section...

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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Not much is necessary. These are just a couple of methods of many used to control mash temps. I love seeing all of the different ways people come up with to do stuff. That is one of awesome aspects of brewing.

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