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-   -   HERMS or RIMS (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/herms-rims-126276/)

pickles 07-01-2009 03:33 AM

I've been away from brewing for a while trying to finish a home renovation, but now its time to start my rig build! My question is which system (RIMS or HERMS)
do you prefer and why? I have access to 220v and natural gas. If you don't have a perfect rig what would you build if money wasn't an issue? I'm currently leaning towards a Hybrid HERMS (electric HLT and gas fired boil kettle). I'm hoping the breadth of knowledge and experience here can help me make the right decision.

Yuri_Rage 07-01-2009 03:42 AM

I found HERMS slow and sometimes a bit finicky (lots of tubing and a pump that sometimes failed to prime).

I like steam now. There are a ton of threads and posts here, including a simple system based on a pressure cooker. Steam may not solve all of the issues associated with any other method, but I've had great results using it.

pompeiisneaks 07-01-2009 03:42 AM

I'm using HERMS and love it... I hear the disadvantage to RIMS is that if you're not careful the hot elemen in the recirc area can scald the wort, if you're not careful, but I don't have one so I'm speaking from what I've heard. I love my HERMS. Great clear worts out of it and easy to control mash...

pickles 07-01-2009 03:46 AM

Thanks Yuri, i've recently seen you half barrel system and its very impressive; quite a step up from the corny version you had a year ago. I guess its a category of its own?

Yuri_Rage 07-01-2009 03:51 AM

pickles, it is perhaps a category of its own. When directly injecting steam into the mash, it's most like a direct fired mash tun. If I successfully manage to recirculate through the new gadgetry, that portion will behave most like RIMS. In no case will there be any scorching from a hot element directly in contact with the wort.

Mostly, I like the fast heating that steam provides (direct steam injection is FAR faster than any recirculating method) along with the flexibility of the rig that I'm envisioning.

pickles 07-01-2009 04:14 AM

do you use solenoids and love (or similar) controllers to regulate temps? I'm assuming you use gas for the boil.

Yuri_Rage 07-01-2009 04:16 AM

I use solenoids and a microcontroller board that I program myself. I just got another 5500W heating element for the boil. I'm going all electric.

Catt22 07-01-2009 04:20 AM

I use a direct fired completely manual RIMS. It was easy to build and it's easy to operate. I find it to be very versatile and it can handle multi-step mashing easily. I particularly like the simplicity of it. It's not much more than a couple of propane burners, mash tun, boil kettle and a pump. It's Fire Brewed!

pickles 07-01-2009 04:27 AM

thanks Catt22 for the input. I should add that I love building things! I want to build an automated system, i'm just not sure which style to chose. I currently have a keggle and two donor kegs awaiting transformation.

Yuri_Rage 07-01-2009 04:31 AM

I should include...my 1/2 bbl boiler is for 15+ gallon batches. Even so, it's overkill. I don't recommend it unless you're REALLY serious about steam. Try out a pressure cooker before going full bore with a big boiler like that.

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