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Old 02-20-2013, 09:05 PM   #1
panicbuttonguy
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Default Upgrade in the works. Help?

So I want to upgrade my AG Cooler set to a Single Tier RIMS System w/automation/panel.

I have a few questions.

First of which, is this diagram somewhat correct for a RIMS?


If this is somewhat correct then I think I have an idea of what I'm going to need to piece together.

I want a system with high levels of automation. I know that I'm just going to buy a controller because I honestly don't think I'm capable of building one.

I'm just going to weld the stand myself from others specifications on here. Then add the burners, plumbing and valves.

Source old kegs for the kettles

I have questions on what is capable for automation.

I know that scorching the wort is a potential issue with RIMS so how do you avoid that if the burner is producing the heat to heat the mash and the tube has to run right under it? Or is that not how it works?

Obviously I have a ton of questions and am just getting started.

Please help me wrap my mind around this. Thanks.

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Old 02-20-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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Here’s what I want to do ultimately. Is this correct? Is there something that isn't making sense?

HLT gets sparge and strike water added to the vessel manually, minerals get measured and added manually. Then pump necessary strike water into the Mash Tun.
I would like to tell a controller to fill the MT to a certain level (Strike water volume) Possible?

The Mash Tun reheats any temp lost via transfer, using a RIMS method of having the water pass through a RIMS tube.
I want to be able to set the temp of the HLT and MT via control panel and have the burners fire automatically.

Once water temp in MT has reached desired strike temp I manually add the grain and stir.

Wort recirculates via RIMS for duration of the mash utilizing the Blichmann Autosparge (automation?)
Does the Blichmann do the automation or does the controller?

Once the mash has been completed, recirculation stops and the HLT water gets brought up to sparge temp.

A pump pulls wort out of the MT and brings it to the BK, another pump starts the sparge by pulling water out of the HLT utilizing the same Blichmann Autosparge that was just used for recirculation.

Once desired pre boil volume is achieved in the BK both pumps stop.
(automation?)

Boil is achieved through telling a controller that we want the BK temp at 212?
(when do we fire the BK up? Like ¾ of wort collected?)

Hops are added as desired

Once boil is complete
[whirlpool process begins? need info on how this is going to happen. Do we need another pump to create the whirlpool or is the whirlpool created from the chilling process? Does the chilling process include another pump regardless?]

Wort is pulled from BK with pump, passing through Blichmann Hop Blocker, to the plate chiller and returned back to the BK (is that right?) Is that how the whirlpool created?

Once temp has reached 70 we flip a switch/press a button/turn a valve and have the cooled wort get pumped into a fermenter and aerated.

Take reading

Pitch yeast and start cleaning

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Old 02-21-2013, 05:28 AM   #3
acidrain
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Building mine now...
I use a keggle for mash, a keggle for boil, and a SS pot for the HLT.
The two keggles are un-controlled direct fired.
The HLT is electric.
I use PID's for the HLT and the RIMS.
I heat the strike water in the MT via fire first, then turn off the fire and mash-in.
Then I run the rims to control the heat during the mash without the fire.
Since the water is added to the MT and then heated to strike temp, there is no reason to direct fire the HLT... it can heat while I'm mashing to my final mash-out temp.
My HLT is higher than the MT, and is gravity fed.
The MT and BK are at the same level, and I use a pump to transfer wort, and circulate the RIMS.
Hope all that makes sense.

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Old 02-21-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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It definitely does make sense. Thank you for replying

I guess to sum up the questions of my previous 2 posts:
Does the diagram make sense?

What sort of controller should I be looking at?
I want a direct fire RIMS where the heat is applied directly under the MT
I want to press a button/flip a switch/set a temp/whatever to turn burners on and off (automatically) and move wort/water

Does my brew day process make sense?

What's up with the whirlpool? Does the flow from the chiller create the whirlpool or does something else?

I'm sure there's other questions up there but these are the big ones I can remember without reading through each line.

Seriously though THANK YOU for ANY help/insight you can provide. I really appreciate it.

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Old 02-21-2013, 06:09 PM   #5
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Your drawing and description looks good.
I'm cheap, so I use one pump and my hoses have cam-locks for moving to each step.
Keep your pumps high so there is less hose volume, and the pumps and hoses can be drained and collected.

There is a way to control the flame with a PID, but I'm not familiar with it, so I can't really comment on that question. I do know that it's pretty expensive to add the pilot and control valves, plus the PID. I chose to spend less than $100 on an electric RIMS tube. Electricity is cheaper than gas too, and you won't run out of electricity.

For chilling/whirl pooling:
You're using an immersion chiller (IC) I assume?
Use the pump to recirculate while you chill. It will stir the wort and help cool it.
Then, after the wort has chilled, remove the IC and direct the pump flow to create the whirlpool.
Once the whirlpool is established, turn off the pump and drain the lines without disturbing the whirlpool.
Wait a good amount of time (~20 minutes) before carefully removing the clear wort leaving the "cone" of trub behind.

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Keg #1: RHESB
Keg #2: Cascadian Stout
Keg #3: Bavarian Hefeweizen
Fermenter #1 BMC West
Bottled: 3.5 gal Mjolnir (Thor's Hammer) Mead

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