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Old 07-08-2013, 01:09 AM   #1
carsonwarstler
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Default My first try at a HERMS set up... questions

I've got a keg for a HLT, 10gal Rubbermaid cooler for a mash tun, and another keg for my brew kettle. I gravity feed everything into place but am working towards a single tier brew stand with two pumps, 3 burners, and 3 metal pots. As an intermediary while I raise some money, I'm going to buy a pump and use a wort chiller inside my HLT and have an non-automated HERMS.

My questions are:

Is there any special equation by inputting current mash temp, desired mash temp, to come up with the needed temp in the HLT?

Will my 50ft copper wort chiller work just fine? Any special cleaning needed so there's no mold, etc built up in there between uses?

I also have about 20ft of a copper line I pulled from my attic and coiled up to cool down ground water before it hits the wort chiller, will this work better?

Pump suggestions? I'm going to use it for the HERMS and to conduct the vorlauf, so something that can handle some grist is probably needed.

Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 07-08-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
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Any takers????

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Old 07-08-2013, 10:03 PM   #3
ThreeRatBastards
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I just finished putting together my HERMS system and it has gone through two brewing sessions thus far. Here's what I have learned so far, but I do still feel there is a lot more fine tuning to be had for my process.

- I don't know of any equation. I've just been adjusting the flame under my HLT as needed. It seems to me that keeping it about 5 degrees above desired mash temperature seems to be doing the trick (just observations so far, your mileage may vary).

- I use 25ft of copper as my heat exchanger in the HLT, seems to work fine. I fly sparge, so cleaning seems to be fairly simple. Running the hot water through the heat exchanger to sparge with seems to clean it of recirculated wort.

- I'm using a Chugger center inlet pump right now and it has been great so far. I do vorlauf into a pitcher before connecting the pump to the MLT though. I don't like the idea that the grain could potentially clog up the pump or the heat exchanger.

Hope this was helpful, but like I said I am new to my HERMS system so others with more experience might have better advice.

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Old 07-08-2013, 10:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeRatBastards View Post
I just finished putting together my HERMS system and it has gone through two brewing sessions thus far. Here's what I have learned so far, but I do still feel there is a lot more fine tuning to be had for my process.

- I don't know of any equation. I've just been adjusting the flame under my HLT as needed. It seems to me that keeping it about 5 degrees above desired mash temperature seems to be doing the trick (just observations so far, your mileage may vary).

- I use 25ft of copper as my heat exchanger in the HLT, seems to work fine. I fly sparge, so cleaning seems to be fairly simple. Running the hot water through the heat exchanger to sparge with seems to clean it of recirculated wort.

- I'm using a Chugger center inlet pump right now and it has been great so far. I do vorlauf into a pitcher before connecting the pump to the MLT though. I don't like the idea that the grain could potentially clog up the pump or the heat exchanger.

Hope this was helpful, but like I said I am new to my HERMS system so others with more experience might have better advice.
Thanks for sharing your experience. So when you fly sparge, are you pumping your hot water from the hlt thru the coil and then into the mash tun, for the purpose of cleaning the inside of the coil? Seems like a good idea, knock out some cleaning while sparging.

I think I will go with the chugger, I've heard good things about it. I guess it'll just take some tinkering to get things working right.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carsonwarstler View Post
So when you fly sparge, are you pumping your hot water from the hlt thru the coil and then into the mash tun, for the purpose of cleaning the inside of the coil? Seems like a good idea, knock out some cleaning while sparging.
That's exactly right.

I have a set up similar to what you described, one pump, 2 keggles (BK and HLT), and a cooler mash tun. The only "tinkering" I had to do to get this setup to work for me was to build a stand for the mash tun that could gravity feed into the BK while fly sparging. The setup works great though, having a pump (even one) changes everything!

The picture below is my setup during the sparge, pumping hot water from the HLT, through the heat exchanger, into the mash tun which is draining into the BK.

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Old 07-09-2013, 02:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ThreeRatBastards View Post

That's exactly right.

I have a set up similar to what you described, one pump, 2 keggles (BK and HLT), and a cooler mash tun. The only "tinkering" I had to do to get this setup to work for me was to build a stand for the mash tun that could gravity feed into the BK while fly sparging. The setup works great though, having a pump (even one) changes everything!

The picture below is my setup during the sparge, pumping hot water from the HLT, through the heat exchanger, into the mash tun which is draining into the BK.
Awesome. That was how I envisioned it looking. Thanks for the info, hopefully have the changes made by the weekend for the first batch!
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