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Old 02-23-2010, 12:19 PM   #1
goatchze
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Default Help me understand something - RIMS/eHERMS Sparge

In looking through various builds on this board, I'm still confused about the Brutus system. My confusion is centered on the way that the Brutus sparges by mixing the wort with the sparge water. Scoates has an excellent diagram on this thread.

What is the purpose of this recirculation? I understand the idea is to only need two vessels, however, I see a few big disadvantages:

1. Mixing the wort/sparge water over the grain bed will hurt efficiency
2. This system requires two pumps
3. You're supposed to recirculate until the gravity of the kettle/MLT are equal...seems like a lot of work and measuring.


I've ordered all the parts and have my stand built, just waiting on delivery to complete my build. But I still don't understand why I don't see more systems like below. I want to make sure I'm not missing something.

This configuration

1. Only uses two vessels
2. Only uses one pump
3. Allows a sparge independent of the first wort
4. Allows the first wort to start heating/approaching boil during sparge (saves time)

In this system I plan to do everything as in the Brutus up until draining the MLT. It's different from then on. I'll drain the wort to the brew kettle and fire up the heating element. Fresh water will pass through the RIMS tube to heat up to sparge temps before entering the MLT, all while the first wort is being heated to a boil. The sparge water then gets pumped/added to the kettle. (BTW, that thing in the Riddle is the RIMS tube)

I'll have the option of either recirculating the sparge water or just doing a simple fill/drain batch sparge, throttling the pump to hit a target RIMS outlet temperature. I can also do more than one sparge if I choose. (I'll find out what works best after it's built).

What is everyone's thoughts?

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Old 02-23-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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I just built a Brutus 20 design, I did it for simplicity and footprint.

Also, I build my water, so hooking a hose up to my 9000W RIMS heater to heat water on the go for a fly sparge, is much more complicated to do.

Brutus 20's are basically a no sparge system, your eff. loss is equal to MLT deadspace and grain absorption. The key is being mindful of your conversion eff.

I dont plan to do a lot of measuring of the gravity with my system during the "sparge". I am going to set a timer on the BCS and let the process run for a specified time, then the BCS will shut down my BK pump and continue to run the MLT pump to empty the MLT into the BK.

There is an efficiency loss, but you are also making all of your wort, first wort, which from a wort quality standpoint is about as good as you can get.

My system will achieve 70-78% depending on grain bill size. The nice thing is that since eff. losses are tied to losses in the MLT (fixed) and losses due to grain absorption (linear), I can easily determine my eff. for each brew.

Your design will work, there are guys here who have built it. You are doing a 3 vessel system where your municipal water and RIMS heater ARE your HLT.

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Old 02-23-2010, 01:18 PM   #3
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The pol,

You're right on the RIMS heater replacing the HLT, that's the idea.

Building your own water isn't a concern. As it's drawn up, the pump will actually be able to move water from a container to feed the system. You can mix your strike water in the kettle and sprage water in a small water bottle on the side, or just use water bottles as feed. You don't necessarily need the positive pressure from your tap, although doing so would eliminate the need for any additional water container (note that the drawing doesn't really take heights into consideration...it was just a simple way to draw it)

I don't understand this statement:
"you are...making all of your wort, first wort, which from a wort quality standpoint is about as good as you can get."

What do you mean by quality? With this set up you can recirculate the sparge water until you get maximum removal. Having a lower gravity will increase the amount of sugars that you can remove, so I would expect improved effiency and good quality? What am I missing?

I too am going for a small footprint; I've got limited space in the garage. My stand is 40"x20"x20". I expect to get everything on there with the exception of the water bottle with the sparge water.

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Old 02-23-2010, 01:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goatchze View Post
The pol,

You're right on the RIMS heater replacing the HLT, that's the idea.

Building your own water isn't a concern. As it's drawn up, the pump will actually be able to move water from a container to feed the system. You can mix your strike water in the kettle and sprage water in a small water bottle on the side, or just use water bottles as feed. You don't necessarily need the positive pressure from your tap, although doing so would eliminate the need for any additional water container (note that the drawing doesn't really take heights into consideration...it was just a simple way to draw it)

I don't understand this statement:
"you are...making all of your wort, first wort, which from a wort quality standpoint is about as good as you can get."

What do you mean by quality? With this set up you can recirculate the sparge water until you get maximum removal. Having a lower gravity will increase the amount of sugars that you can remove, so I would expect improved effiency and good quality? What am I missing?

I too am going for a small footprint; I've got limited space in the garage. My stand is 40"x20"x20". I expect to get everything on there with the exception of the water bottle with the sparge water.
Wort quality associated with PH and the buffering power of the malt.

My stand, with kettles, measures 48" wide x 20" deep x 40" tall... I could go larger but I wanted something less bulky too.

If you dont have positive pressure from a hose, I guess, and have another bottle or vessel that you are feeding the RIMS with, you still sort of have a three vessel system in a round about way. I assumed the design was centered on the hose providing pressure to the RIMS.

It will work, there are a couple dudes kicking around here with these setups. I had initially planned to use my RIMS for the same thing, but didn't want to create space for an additional water holding tank. As you can see in my photos, I dont have any room!!
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:08 PM   #5
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How do you "build" water when salts don't want to dissolve in water?

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Old 02-23-2010, 02:22 PM   #6
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How do you "build" water when salts don't want to dissolve in water?
I have to start with distilled, which does not flow from my tap. Meaning I would have to have another vessel and pump it from there to the RIMS heater. Thusly, not a two vessel system. That is how.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
My system will achieve 70-78% depending on grain bill size.
I think you're being overly optimistic. On average, if you achieve 68% brewhouse efficiency with your no-sparge design, I'll be very impressed. I think 60% - 70%, depending upon the grain bill, is more realistic.

Realistically, to make a 1.070 beer with no-sparge at 63% efficiency requires approximately 19.25 lbs of grain. If you were at ~85% efficiency, it would only require 14.25 lbs of grain. And, I realize bulk grain is cheap (I buy in bulk too), but a 20+ percent efficiency hit is significant . Just sayin'.

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Old 02-23-2010, 02:32 PM   #8
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Isnt your loss in eff. equal to the loss in grain absorption and MLT deadspace?

If so, it isnt hard to get in the mid 70s. If you are converting your sugars that is.

If I start with 16 gallons of water...

The grain absorbs 2 gallons (20 pounds of grist)

I lose .19 gallons to deadspace in the MLT

I have lost 2.19 gallons from my 16 gallons, right?

So I have lost about 14% of the total wort.

If I convert only 90% of my sugars, 86% (from the above wort loss calc) of 90% is still 77% right?

What am I missing?

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Old 02-23-2010, 02:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pol View Post
I have to start with distilled, which does not flow from my tap. Meaning I would have to have another vessel and pump it from there to the RIMS heater. Thusly, not a two vessel system. That is how.
Sorry, what I'm asking is, how are you getting salts to dissolve in your distilled and not just precipitate out? If you stir chalk into water and walk away for 10 minutes, you come back to a layer of chalk on the bottom of the vessel. That's why most people treat their mash with salts, not the water.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:42 PM   #10
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20lbs of 2-row is capable of about 20 x 36 = 720 points. Assuming preboil volume of 12g for a 10g batch, your mash gravity at 100% conversion would be 1.060. Therefore the lockup of 2 gallons of 1.060 wort removes 120 GU. 600/720 = 83% theoretically with no other losses. I know that's Kaiser's chart but I don't remember what other assumptions are made about conversion and deadspace.

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