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Old 10-27-2011, 09:37 PM   #1
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Default RIMs element/controls

I am looking to assemble parts for a RIMs system. I am thinking of using a 120V/1500 watt low density element (plumbingsupply.com) powered by 120 V from a Johnson Controls A419ABC-1c controller. Any comments or suggestions regarding this set-up's viability would be appreciated since I am unexperienced about electric components and thier installation. Also any comments on what other people are using would also be helpful.
BTW - are stainless elements a must? If so, suggestions would be great. Thanks all. Cheers!



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Old 10-28-2011, 01:12 AM   #2
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A must read:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/rims-dummies-114997/



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Old 10-28-2011, 01:19 AM   #3
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Thanks - good info and nice design. I think I'll start with the 120V/1500 and go from there. But I'm a little afraid of the alloys. The website didn't specify and I'm a little wary zinc etc. getting into the wort - is this really a problem?

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:58 AM   #4
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I built a RIMS using a 1500w 120v element that came already assembled and was ready to either hang onto a MT/kettle or screw into a RIMS tube. It has worked well for the mash but can't boil. I bought the element from Chi but I don't think they sell them now. It was advertised as stainless steel and I assume it is. The same element is available the link below (I think it is the same). It is on the expensive side but was already wired and had a housing around it with a little control knob. You could assemble one for a lot less money.: http://www.homebrewstuff.com/brewing-equipment-1/gas-burners/electric-brewing/mash-sparge-brew-heater-controller.html

This is my RIMS tube with the element screwed in:


I use it with this Auber PID (I turn the power knob on the element to high and let the PID do the rest). If you look closely you can see the probe inserted into the thermowell on the valve. I just noticed that this is an older photo. The cooler on the left now has an all stainless valve like the one on the right.


Here is the RIMS mounted to the brew cart. Again, it works nicely for mashing and I have raised the temps from ground water in the 60s up to mash temps in a reasonable amount of time with this element, but it won't boil:

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Old 10-28-2011, 02:45 AM   #5
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Wow- Looks great! Is the element poweful enough to heat up strike/sparge water without the need for propane?? BTW - nice RIMS tube. Where did you get it (I'm in the market for one of those as well). Thanks for the info!

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Old 10-28-2011, 03:24 AM   #6
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It will heat the water to strike temp and I have done that. The last few times though, I used my propane burner. I only do batch or no sparge brews. However, I am going to make a barley wine maybe next week. I will have to at least batch sparge that if not fly sparge.

The tube came from brewersequipment.com I don't think he is selling them anymore. I think he had some issues with a few of them. Once I got my threads sealed, it was good to go, but it took a LOT of teflon tape. I could not find any sealant that was food safe, so I stuck with the tape. BTW, if you ever want a nice brew stand and don't want to make it yourself, this guy has very nice stuff.

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Old 10-28-2011, 01:39 PM   #7
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Good stuff!! Thanks for the info - let me know that barleywine turns out!

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Old 10-28-2011, 04:54 PM   #8
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I could not find my file with the heating info that I made last year. So, I filled the MT to the 5gal mark and set the PID to 152F. The water was 70F when I hit start at 12:10pm.
12:18pm - 80F
12:34 - 100F
12:45 - 110F.
It is still running and I'll check it again shortly. Using my pre-made element that has it's own little control built in is probably slowing it down. I think it turns itself off and on regardless of the PID which is telling it to go full power. So, making your own element instead of using one like mine will probably produce much faster results. Also, I have my valves fully open. I think slowing down the flow may increase the heating (with wort, you'd have to be careful and not scorch).

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Old 10-28-2011, 05:32 PM   #9
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The RIMS for dummies thread is good read. You'll definitely want a PID and solid state relay to control the element.

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Old 10-28-2011, 06:02 PM   #10
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One more update:
12:59 - 120F
1:31 - 140F
1:41 - 145F
1:52 - 150F
So, you can do it, but be prepared for a wait. Again, I think my little pre-built element cycled on and off even though my PID was telling it to go full power. If you buy an element and cord and the appropriate insulating and grounding parts, you can probably heat a lot faster than this thing does. I am also using a ready made Auber Sous Vide PID which works well but at $150-$190, it is more expensive than building one.

This stuff is all in my garage. I have a recirc pump, PID and heating element as well as a refrigerator and garage door openers on the same circuit. At least I think the door openers are on that circuit. I could maybe unplug the fridge and then run another 110v element such as the 1000 watt bucket heater I have to speed it up. This is why I use my propane burner to do the heating most of the time and the little electric element maintains the temps for as long as I want to mash.

Nope, garage doors and ceiling lights are not on the same breaker. That is good to know and gives me options that I didn't know I had.



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Primary: IPA
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On Deck: Kolsch
On Deck: Pale Ale
On Deck: Dusseldorf Altbier

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut."
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