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Old 01-11-2011, 12:46 AM   #1
magnj
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Default Help, planning a direct fire RIMS

Hello all, long story short a friend and I would like to go 50/50 on a 10 gallon brew rig. I'm currently doing 3 gallon BIAB batches and it's a lot of work for a little beer.

Here's what I'm thinking: 2 tiers, 4 vessels, direct fire ( fire fire ) RIMS. BK and MLT on the bottom, HLT and RIM vessel up top. Since I have a 5 gallon kettle now I figured I'd avoid any possibility of scorching grain by using a second vessel to adjust with heat...



My main concerns, questions revolve around the burner(s) (maybe the HLT too but because of the cost I'm not sure it's really worth it) with the pilot. I'm thinking digital thermostat ala Johnson A419 to toggle the gas valve. What are the chances there is a kit out there including the LP reg, solenoid valve, pilot and burner? Because I read a lot of these threads and although helpful I'm left a bit confused on parts and I don't want to blow up.

And electric is out of the question unless it's cheaper and I don;t need anything than 1 or 2 standard outlets.

Other than that I have to figure out a pump, false bottom, valves, etc., but that I'm less lost on.

Thoughts? Thanks!

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Old 01-11-2011, 06:57 AM   #2
trigger
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This may be a stupid question, but wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to just make your MT/LT direct fired, and then add a rake and motor to stir it? You could use the stirring and recirculate during the mash, I would think, to eliminate any scorching issues.

As far as temperature control I think you'll want a PID to eliminate overshoot/undershoot. The PID and temp probe will be cheaper than the Johnson, but you'll have to add an SSR, heatsink, and enclosure. The RIMS tube its self, if you go electric, will cost about $100 with an element, and a 120V element will work fine for maintaining temperatures (I have a 5500W element in my RIMS, but I run it on 120V during the mash, knocking the power down to 1375W). You can build the rest of the control panel for pretty cheap if you don't get elaborate. Really all you need is an on/off switch, PID, SSR w/ heatsink, wires, a power cord, and then the case. I would suspect that by the time you buy the extra vessel, valve and fittings, burner, pilot light setup, controller, solenoid valve, and gas lines/fittings you'd probably be at about a wash, but I have no experience with building an automated gas system.

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Old 01-11-2011, 11:07 AM   #3
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Trigger, thanks for the suggestions. Your suggestion is to build an electric RIMS tube to maintain the mash temp. Thinking out loud I could still do step mashes that way...If I look for one of the 2kw 120v models, will that be enough to maintain temps in an aluminum Kettle? Will it be cheaper? Easy to clean?

As far as doing it gas, I already have some kettles I could use for that application but obviously piping the gas, and the expense are concerns.

Really my goals are consistency, larger batches, step mashes, multiple batch brew days all in an easy to maintain package (meaning cleaning, reliability) that does'nt break the bank. If the answer is an e-RIMS then so be it.

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