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Old 08-22-2010, 03:10 AM   #1
Dgonza9
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Default To RIMS or not to RIMS...that is the question.

For a long time now I coveted those of you with RIMS systems. I've really wanted one. But since I was just starting out brewing this past summer and had a lot of ground to cover I went a different route, made some heat sticks and set up an electric Brutus 10.

I was thinking that next summer I'd dive into a RIMS retrofit for my system. But now that I'm up and running with heat sticks and Brutus, the whole idea of RIMS seems less attractive. I have no problem hitting and maintaining mash temps. And if something did go wrong I can always stir a bit to cool the mash, recirculate a bit with a heat stick going in BK, or even just stir the mash with a heat stick. 10 seconds and it's dead on.

So let's hear it from those of you with the RIMS system. Is it really worth the expense? Does your beer improve? Or is it just some more bling and some more toys to add to your brew system?

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Old 08-22-2010, 03:33 AM   #2
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My beers keep getting better but I don't know that I can say it is RIMS related. In my case I think it is related to temp control, cold crashing and oddly enough recipe selection. Brewing only what I really think I will drink instead of brewing Lagers because they are harder and trying to prove myself capable. Even if they come out great, IMO they still taste like ()%#$%).

All in all I'd say RIMS is a complexity that may not be worth it for me. I did it more for maintaining temp control, which an insulated vessel provides anyway.

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Old 08-23-2010, 05:43 PM   #3
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I'm with Samc on this one. I have always thought of a RIMS system as being more a gling thing than anything else (could have been my envy, who knows). I always had other things to think about:
Ferm temp
Yeast quantity
Recipe selection...

But now that I have spent time playing with all of that stuff, I'm more confident that adding a RIMS system is going to make brew day a bit easier. And give me another something to build.

If you are happy hitting your temps that way you're brewing now, I see no reason to mess around with RIMS. Unless you just want to tinker with stuff.

I got a controller, relay, etc. from work for free from a small thermolator that died. I can get SS tubing for cheap at the scrapyard. I work in a machine shop. It will cost a little bit to build a RIMS, but it should be fun.

I also still seem to struggle hitting my temps. The first time I used beersmith it went swimmingly. Since then, I still have to play with the mash. With RIMS, I can hit the temp AND filter the wort in one go. Enter a temp, turn on the pump and let it go.

I'm still a bit confused on the sparging, but I have time to worry about that as I continue collecting parts. For me it's not really about building a "better" brewing system, but hopefully it will be fun to make and make brewing day a little less hassle.

And I hope to get a fridge soon so I can start brewing #$*ty tasting lagers too! (just to say I did and hopefully my friend swill appreciate it a bit more.)

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Old 08-23-2010, 05:56 PM   #4
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I also have been toying around with the thought of building a RIMS Tube. I don't know if it is because I have run out of things to build for my home brewery.
I still mash in a cooler, but for some reason, I have not been able to keep my mash temp stable through the 60-90 min mash. I end up losing 2-3 degrees. I have only been using the cooler to mash for 8 months, and wonder if it loses it's insulative power.
Can you even use a RIMS with a cooler????
I like Boerderij_Kabouter's tool box RIMS build, it is sweet!

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Old 08-23-2010, 07:34 PM   #5
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I don't see why that would be a problem. The temps are fine for the wort just sitting there, so what's the difference? I was actually planning on doing that to start with. But now I have 2 kegs, so I might make one into a Mash Tun. Or give it away to a friend or something. Still undecided. The Mash Tun is already built and ready to go. Just have to add a way for the wort to recirc.

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Old 08-23-2010, 08:13 PM   #6
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A RIMS tube, or any recirculating system for that matter is about keeping the temp dead accurate with no manual intervention. If you're happy with other methods of keeping temp, great.

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Old 08-23-2010, 09:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
A RIMS tube, or any recirculating system for that matter is about keeping the temp dead accurate with no manual intervention. If you're happy with other methods of keeping temp, great.

I'm confused on this point. The wort is dead on accurate when it passes the RIMS element, but what about the rest of the wort in the cooler? I've read posts where people discuss 6 degree differences in temp between the mash in the tun and the wort that's actually in recirculation at any given moment. If you're brewing a ten gallon batch, not much of your wort is passing thru the element at any given moment.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:48 PM   #8
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Default Try heat stick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave258 View Post
I also have been toying around with the thought of building a RIMS Tube. I don't know if it is because I have run out of things to build for my home brewery.
I still mash in a cooler, but for some reason, I have not been able to keep my mash temp stable through the 60-90 min mash. I end up losing 2-3 degrees. I have only been using the cooler to mash for 8 months, and wonder if it loses it's insulative power.
Can you even use a RIMS with a cooler????
I like Boerderij_Kabouter's tool box RIMS build, it is sweet!

Just a suggestion, but if I lose a degree or two in my cooler I just stir it with my heat stick. About ten seconds and it's back up a degree. Another solution, one I'm considering looking into going forward, is to mount an element in the mash tun and/or in HLT. Now that I have the heat sticks (which are great) this is looking interesting, too.

Or I can begin plans for RIMS. Still trying to decide. One thing holding me back on RIMS is still the idea of the mash tun being a different temp than the wort recirculating over the element, as I've heard a few people (not many, though) mention.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:51 PM   #9
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RIMS is all I know so I cannot honestly comment......I like the fact that a heat stick maintains my temp and not having to constantly screw with a burner to keep temps.......The recirculation also reduces the amount of sh*t that goes into my BK.

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Old 08-24-2010, 06:03 PM   #10
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Wouldn't a check of the temp as the wort comes out of the mash tun be the most accurate? At least is seems that it would be the lowest at that point.

And I can't understand why there would be such a difference in temp. If the hoses are short enough, and/or insulated, it seems that there would be practically ZERO difference.

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