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Old 07-01-2009, 03:33 AM   #1
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Default HERMS or RIMS

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.

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Old 07-01-2009, 03:42 AM   #2
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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.

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Old 07-01-2009, 03:42 AM   #3
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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...

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Old 07-01-2009, 03:46 AM   #4
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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?

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Old 07-01-2009, 03:51 AM   #5
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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.

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Old 07-01-2009, 04:14 AM   #6
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do you use solenoids and love (or similar) controllers to regulate temps? I'm assuming you use gas for the boil.

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Old 07-01-2009, 04:16 AM   #7
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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.

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Old 07-01-2009, 04:20 AM   #8
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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!

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Old 07-01-2009, 04:27 AM   #9
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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.

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Old 07-01-2009, 04:31 AM   #10
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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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