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-   -   HERMS setup questions (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/herms-setup-questions-166421/)

sudsandswine 03-04-2010 08:27 PM

HERMS setup questions
 
I have been reviewing the single tier brewing system designs on this site, as well as anything else I can find on the web.

I think I have settled on a HERMS setup and had a few questions to make sure I understand this properly.

The HLT has a copper coil inside that is used for recirculating liquid from the mash tun through hot water during the mashing phase. The liquid travels out of the mash tun (false bottom), to the HLT's copper coil, then back to the mash tun after being heated and is deposited at the top of the mash tun for the duration of your mashing stage? The wort is then pumped from the mash tun to the brew kettle after the mashing period is finished, and the heated water from the HLT is used as sparge water for fly sparging? The sparge runnings are gradually transferred to the brew kettle at a specified rate.

Do I have the process right? A couple benefits of this configuration are the ability to run 2 burners instead of 3, and potentially being able to control the mash temps more precisely?

I have 3 sanke kegs that I plan to use, and I want to have a Brutus 10 like stand with the hinges that allow the kegs to be easily tilted for cleaning. I assume to get the maximum benefit from a HERMS configuration, you will need temp probes to control the water temp in the HLT?

I am looking to have a reasonable amount of automation in the way of burner flame levels and fluid temp control. I even saw a couple setups that could be controlled using a web browser?! :mug:

Any advice or input is greatly appreciated. I've seen some really nice setups on here and would like to get one of my own.

Walker 03-04-2010 09:38 PM

You understand the process just fine. I don't know about the "specified rate" comment when talking about transferring sparge to kettle. I just open the valves and let'er run.

I don't know anything about the automated control of fire other than the fact that there are electrically controlled solenoid valves that people use to do it. It's essentially the flame quivalent of a solid state relay that electric brewers use.

I think "beertroller" is the thing you might be thinking of when you mention the web page based control.

willynilly 03-04-2010 09:41 PM

BCS is the web based control... is it kick arse. This the only control box on my rig. Distributes power, 6 PIDs (inside the BCS) and it is wireless (see the antenna)

4 temp. inputs, 6 outputs, 10 SSRs in this control box alone. 12 x 12 x 6 inches

http://i837.photobucket.com/albums/z...w/P1030866.jpg

Walker 03-04-2010 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by willynilly (Post 1924615)
BCS is the web based control... is it kick arse. This the only control box on my rig. Distributes power, 6 PIDs (inside the BCS) and it is wireless (see the antenna)

4 temp. inputs, 6 outputs, 10 SSRs in this control box alone. 12 x 12 x 6 inches

I have to ask.... what do you need 6 PIDS for!?

RonRock 03-04-2010 11:09 PM

willynilly, Do you have an electric stand or LP?

willynilly 03-04-2010 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RonRock (Post 1924783)
willynilly, Do you have an electric stand or LP?

E-lectric....

willynilly 03-04-2010 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walker (Post 1924728)
I have to ask.... what do you need 6 PIDS for!?

The BCS has 6 PIDs built in, it is the size of a wallet.

Fletch 03-04-2010 11:39 PM

Process
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sudsandswine (Post 1924405)
I have been reviewing the single tier brewing system designs on this site, as well as anything else I can find on the web.
(snippage) then back to the mash tun after being heated and is deposited at the top of the mash tun for the duration of your mashing stage?

The wort doesn't have to be continuously recirculated. In the simplest HERMS control scenario, the pump is switched by a temp controller. When the mash temp is below the setpoint (actually setpoint minus differential, which can be as low as 1 degree, depending on the controller), the pump is switched on. When the setpoint is reached, the pump is switched off. In order to emloy continuous recirculation for the duration of the mash, you need either two 2-way or one 3-way solenoid valve. I built my first HERMS almost 9 years ago, and used the 2 valve method. But when I built a larger (1 bbl) system for Club use, I stuck to the KISS principle, and just had the ETC switch the pump. After almost 100 brews on the Club rig, I can tell you that switching the pump does just fine, as long as you have good temp probe placement.

BTW, I also automate the HLT burners on both systems, using salvaged furnace gas valves and intermittent ignition modules. Much safer than just slapping a solenoid valve on and relying on a standing pilot!

willynilly 03-05-2010 12:04 AM

What do you gain by not continuously recirculating?

I mean, you already have to control the HLT temp, so why add a temp. control to the pump?

Isnt this just adding switches?

I have never seen a HERMS that cycled the pump on and off... I am just missing what you gain.

Walker 03-05-2010 12:06 AM

With HERMS you could actually leave the heat on all the time in the exchanger and then just kick the pump of and on instead of leaving the pump on all the time and kicking the heat off and on.


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