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Old 03-06-2012, 09:01 AM   #1
geniz
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Default 2 vessel gas fired HERMS build

Ok. Ive been lurking and looking at everyones brew stand bling for too long.
I've gone over every permutation and combination of brewing system there is:
1 vs 2 vs 3 vessel, 1 vs 2 vs 3 tier, BIAB, HERMS, RIMS, driving myself crazy trying to design the AG system best suited to my needs. This is what I've finally come up with.

I don't have a lot of cash to throw at this, so first, the system has to be relatively inexpensive. But I want to be able to tweak, add and improve upon it as I develop my brewing skills and as I can afford it.

I want to keep the equipment list as short as possible. I love the simplicity of BIAB. So I started to think about a 1 vessel system. I like the idea of full volume mashing and can live with the loss of efficiency, but Im not crazy about lifting and transferring grain in a bag. So Ill need to incorporate a mash tun.

I love Lonnie's Brutus 2.0 concept as a method of keeping a mash tun in the equation:
http://www.alenuts.com/Alenuts/brutus20.html
I have an igloo cooler MLT so I wanted to use this in my system. The things I don't like about the Brutus 20 are the need to use 2 pumps and 2 burners.

I love jkarp's countertop Brutus 20:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/coun...us-20-a-131411
It solves the two pump, two burner problem, but I don't want to use electricity and I want to be able to ramp this thing up to eventually do 10 gallon batches.

So I kind of stole what I liked from both these systems and designed my own. It is a two vessel, two tier system that utilizes a 10 gallon igloo MLT, a keggle HLT/BK, a single burner and a single pump. I will be building this initially on a wood frame with the idea that Ill eventually build a nice shiny metal stand. I'll incorporate a HERMS coil into the keggle that can be used to mash out and used as an immersion chiller after the boil.

Since I already had the igloo MLT, keggle and burner, this should be a relatively inexpensive build.

It won't be high on the bling factor right now, but the money I'm saving by not using two more keggles, two more burners and another pump I can use eventually to pretty this up.

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Old 03-06-2012, 09:05 AM   #2
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Here is the concept for the system:

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Old 03-06-2012, 09:10 AM   #3
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Strike water is heated in the HLT and transferred to the MLT:


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Old 03-06-2012, 09:13 AM   #4
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The Igloo cooler should hold temps for the entire mash time, but if not the mash can be recirculated through the HERMS coil in the HLT. At mashout, the wort is recirculated through the HERMS coil to raise to mashout temperature.

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Old 03-06-2012, 09:15 AM   #5
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After mashout, the wort is transferred to the BK. After the boil, the HERMS coil becomes a counterflow chiller


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Old 03-06-2012, 09:17 AM   #6
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After chilling, the wort is transferred to the fermenter


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Old 03-06-2012, 09:18 AM   #7
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Cleaning water is heated in the HLT and the HLT/BK is cleaned


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Old 03-06-2012, 09:20 AM   #8
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So I'd like to get some feedback on the system. I know its limitations with respect to efficiency. Im not worried about that. I'll also post pictures of the build as it goes along.

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:19 PM   #9
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With the exception on the HERMS/chiller that is my exact setup. I also have my MLT on top and BK below. I did this for two reasons. First I like having a natural drain from the MLT. Second, I like having the BK low to monitor potential boil overs and it's easier to put my immersion chiller in. I used to have a 10gal round mash tun too, but upgraded for larger capacity. For 5 gallon batches I do a full volume mash and recirculate, firing the top burner when necessary. For 10 gallons I split the total liquid volume between the two vessels, match the flow rates, and recirculate for the entire mash. In that scenario I fire the lower burner for temp adjustments.

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon View Post
With the exception on the HERMS/chiller that is my exact setup. I also have my MLT on top and BK below. I did this for two reasons. First I like having a natural drain from the MLT. Second, I like having the BK low to monitor potential boil overs and it's easier to put my immersion chiller in. I used to have a 10gal round mash tun too, but upgraded for larger capacity. For 5 gallon batches I do a full volume mash and recirculate, firing the top burner when necessary. For 10 gallons I split the total liquid volume between the two vessels, match the flow rates, and recirculate for the entire mash. In that scenario I fire the lower burner for temp adjustments.
Thats a nice looking setup. What type of efficiencies are you getting on the system? Id like to eventually get to the point that you're at, but I'd probably still use the HERMS for 5 gallons, do 10 gallon the way you are doing it and get away with only one burner.

Thanks for the info
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