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Old 10-12-2011, 01:40 AM   #1
Dohboy
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Default HERMS Questions

Hi guys my plain is to build a 3 vessel HERMS using 2 50l kegs as the HLT and Mash Tun and a 70l pot as the boil kettle.

The HLT will be electric and the boil kettle will be gas.

Questions.
Is copper ok as the HERMS coil?

Do i need a sight glass in all 3 vessels?

Do i need a false bottom in the boil kettle?

I have a mig but are weldless fitting better than welded ones? (cleaning)

Thanks Dean

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Old 10-12-2011, 03:31 AM   #2
phillyhomebrew
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We are looking to build a HERMS/RIMS system very soon, so I cannot speak from experience, but I'd say...

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Do i need a sight glass in all 3 vessels?
If you can afford it, and are careful not to break them, then why not?!

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Do i need a false bottom in the boil kettle?
Not if you properly recirculate to make sure the wort is clear before going into the boil kettle.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:37 AM   #3
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1. Copper is ok. I plan on using a stainless coil. Its only a couple bucks more. Check ebay.

2. Sight glasses. Not needed at all but a big advantage. if you need some I might be able to make you a couple, let me know.

3. no false bottom in bk. Use a screen made of stainless.

4. I don't know I'm not a welder. I'm having my kegs welded by a professional.

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Old 10-12-2011, 03:48 AM   #4
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I built a 3 vessel herms. I have no sight glasses but plan on putting one on the boil kettle. Dont put one on the mash tun as it will be difficult to clean and you won't need it. I don't have a false bottom in the boil kettle, instead I have a nylon mesh bag clamped to a PVC fitting , which has three legs to hold it on top of the keg. Very nice for dropping hops into the bk without getting them into the pump or clogging up screens. I am assuming you will be automating your hlt temp in order to control your mash temp. If you do build this beast of a brew rig, you will not regret it. Brewing on an automated herms system really is an excellent experience, taking the work out of the process and allowing you to focus the product.

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Old 10-12-2011, 04:08 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far, also how long should the HERMS coil be?

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Old 10-12-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Thanks for the replies so far, also how long should the HERMS coil be?
25' is plenty. I had a stainless IM chiller that was 1/2" so Ijust cut it off and used it. It is about 45' after cutting.

As far as welded vs weldless, IMO the welded is a better choice. If you can find someone that can tig it while back gassing the welds go welded. If you don't know a competent welder, go weldless.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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How did you who already have a HERMS system attach your tube to the HLT? I am going to convert an old keg into a HLT with a HERMS tube for my single tier system. I plan using 1/2" weldless fittings on the keg for my ball valves.

Any information is appreciated.

Cheers,
Nick

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Old 10-12-2011, 04:45 PM   #8
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a sightglass is useful in the HLT if its up high (like in a 3-tier setup). the mash tun doesnt need one as the differing amounts of grain will change the scale, and it will be hard to clean. its usefull in the boil kettle because with the turbulance of boiling, its difficult to tell where the fluid level really is.

you dont need a bottom of any kind in the boil kettle. you can put a screen on the outlet port to prevent sucking up hops and debris, but dont use a whole false bottom.

i will not use MIG on any brewery related connections. some people might half-ass it like that, but its sanitary TIG or nothing for me. some people would argue that its the boil kettle and doesnt matter as it gets sanitized anyway... its up to you. if TIG were out of the question, i would silver solder or braze the connection before using MIG.

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I plan using 1/2" weldless fittings on the keg for my ball valves.
you can use the same fittings for the in and out of the HERMS coil. or else run the ends up to the top of the keg, above the water line, and put some sort of connection on the top. i used 1/2" copper for my coil, so i soldered on 1/2" sweat-to-NPT fittings, and then screwed camlocks onto the copper.

remember HERMS pipe legnth is not always longer=better.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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1. I went stainless for it will never tarnish, and i like that it matches all my
fittings/keggles. Although remember, copper is WAY WAY easier to bend to fit.

2. I put a sight glass on the HLT and BK from brewhardware.com and I use them both
everytime. they are not glass so they wont break.

3. no false bottom on BK, I put a stainless screen from Mcmaster-Carr similar to the
hop-stopper for filtering hops and anything else you may put in the boil so it wont
clog the march pump. And if you don't do secondary ferm then you wont be sitting on
hops for a month.

4. Welded look nicer. I guess the BK doesnt matter cause you are boiling, but I went all
weldless so I can take it apart and clean everything. I recirc after my boil thru an
ice bath in my HLT so if the welds arent perfect some nasties may have a place to
hide.

here is a pic of mine. many more detailed ones on my page gallery if you can see them.

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