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Old 09-01-2009, 09:45 PM   #1
spiny_norman
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Default Building a HERMS set up: questions...

Hi all,

Decided to build myself a simple hybrid HERMS set up (I'll still be using propane for the boil kettle) as my next project after motorizing the grain mill. I've been doing a bit of research but still have some noob questions...

- What's recommended for flexible tubing? I'll be using 3/8" fittings with some quick disconnects. As I'll be recirculating hot wort I need something that isn't going to leach plastic into the wort. Cheap solution from Lowes / HD, or do I need to buy food grade silicone tubing (which probably isn't sturdy enough) or something else?

- Temperature control. I'll be using a cooler for the HLT with a 1,500 watt / 120 volt temp water heating element. What's the best way to hook this up to the Ranco? Should the probe go into the Mash Tun (set at 152--easy) or are you monitoring the HLT temp, in which case how do you know what temp it should be to maintain 152 in the mash tun (or is it just trial and error 'til you hit the numbers).

- Heat exchanger: how much copper pipe for 5 gallon batches? 25 ft enough, or do I need 50 ft?

- I have 2 Ranco's, but was planning on using one for the fermentor. Can I get away with just 1 temp controller for the HERMS rig?



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Old 09-01-2009, 11:06 PM   #2
The Pol
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Originally Posted by spiny_norman View Post
Hi all,

Decided to build myself a simple hybrid HERMS set up (I'll still be using propane for the boil kettle) as my next project after motorizing the grain mill. I've been doing a bit of research but still have some noob questions...

- What's recommended for flexible tubing? I'll be using 3/8" fittings with some quick disconnects.

If you are buidling this from the ground up, and you are obviously pumping wort, you want 1/2" ID components. You may not know it now, but you do... or else your flow rates will be less than stellar.


As I'll be recirculating hot wort I need something that isn't going to leach plastic into the wort. Cheap solution from Lowes / HD, or do I need to buy food grade silicone tubing (which probably isn't sturdy enough) or something else?

Silicone is your best bet... food grade, wont get annoyingly stiff when the temps drop and it is plenty sturdy to handle anything you can throw at it. 1/2" ID from AHS is a good start.

- Temperature control. I'll be using a cooler for the HLT with a 1,500 watt / 120 volt temp water heating element. What's the best way to hook this up to the Ranco? Should the probe go into the Mash Tun (set at 152--easy) or are you monitoring the HLT temp, in which case how do you know what temp it should be to maintain 152 in the mash tun (or is it just trial and error 'til you hit the numbers).

Dont place the temp probe in the MLT. By the time the mash where the temp probe is, is 152F... the top of the mash could be 160F, but your controller is only seeing one tiny area in the mash. Monitor the HLT, it is easy and accurate. There will be a differential of a couple degrees between the HLT and MLT, but it is like 2-3F. Once you figure it out once, that is all you need. Easy to figure out on your first brew... just start 2F higher in the HLT and see if you have to go up a degree or two from there.


- Heat exchanger: how much copper pipe for 5 gallon batches? 25 ft enough, or do I need 50 ft?

You are good with 25' of 1/2" ID tubing. Yes, I recommend 1/2" ID, pumps hate to be restricted and since your plan calls for reliance on a pump... it is best to maximize the flow rate.

- I have 2 Ranco's, but was planning on using one for the fermentor. Can I get away with just 1 temp controller for the HERMS rig?

Yes... just control the temp of the HLT where the coil is. Run the pump continuously, you are golden
Hope this helps

Ye


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Old 09-02-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
spiny_norman
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Hope this helps

Ye
A big help, thanks very much.
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:30 PM   #4
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A big help, thanks very much.
Anytime, good luck with the build
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