Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Semi-Automatic HERMS System (Work in Progress)

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-09-2009, 10:58 PM   #1
bkloos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 147
Default Semi-Automatic HERMS System (Work in Progress)

Hey Guys,

I thought I would post some pics of the system I am currently working on, and open up this thread for discussion and brainstorming.

My goal is to build a semi-automatic HERMS system capable of brewing 10+ gallon batches. The gas system will be fired with low pressure LP, and the fluid side will be controlled with pumps and solenoids.

I would like to start off by mentioning that many of the ideas for my brewery have been taken from other projects, both current and past, here at HBT. Of course, I must give credit to Lonnie as well for his Brutus 10!

Here are some photos of the stand build. I taught myself tig for the build, and I am quite pleased with the progress thus far. Welds are solid, and the gas beam holds 25psi C02 for 24+ hours.

picture-001.jpg   picture-003.jpg   picture-005.jpg  
__________________

Last edited by bkloos; 12-09-2009 at 11:29 PM.
bkloos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-09-2009, 11:01 PM   #2
bkloos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 147
Default

And some more of the stand...

brew-system-002.jpg   brew-system-004.jpg   picture-082.jpg   picture-084.jpg  
__________________
bkloos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-09-2009, 11:04 PM   #3
bkloos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 147
Default

...and the fluid manifold and burner control

picture-086.jpg   picture-085.jpg  
__________________
bkloos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-09-2009, 11:39 PM   #4
Lonnie Mac
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bacliff, TX
Posts: 326
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

Default

This is gonna be a great looking brewery my friend!

At this point I would only caution a few things that I see... Be careful with wire routing, making sure that you do not get it near the upper frame. I would exit any internal wiring at least 4 to 5 inches below the upper rails. It gets mighty hot up there! That heat travels down the legs a bit.

You may want to find a way to REALLY get your wort particle free before it reaches the solenoids. They will clog up with the very first particle. I loved this idea but I have seen others have problems with it and grain particulate getting caught in the pilot valve or the main opening of the valve. Sometimes it may not close and may have some grain stuck under the seal...

I know Palmer had a heck of a time with this.

Looks like a GREAT build my friend... The welding looks as good as it gets! Please keep the pics coming!

__________________

Lonnie Mac...
President of the Brutus Ten cult!

Lonnie Mac is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-09-2009, 11:45 PM   #5
bkloos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 147
Default

The fluid side is based on the flow diagram of the Blackheart Brewery with a couple modifications. I plan on keeping all my solenoids and pumps below the kettles on the lower tier of the stand. I will use flex hose to connect to the inputs/outputs from the manifold the kettles.

I'm currently trying to decide how/where to mount the control box. I was thinking about putting it on the right side of the brewery, on a hinged swing arm similar the Lehr's rig... TBD.

The burners are 23 tip jets. The HLT is controlled with a honeywell furnace and intermittent pilot, and the BK is plumbed with an ASCO and fixed pilot. I will probably install a push-button ignitor if I don't use the constant pilot.

I will also have water inlets for the BK and HLT, which will be controlled with solenoids, passing the water through carbon filters.

One thing I may do is incorporate 2 HXs in the HLT, one standard HX for wort circulation (heating and cooling) and the other for running cold tap water to cool the HLT after the boil to increase cooling capability before adding the ice.... Again TBD.

As it stands now, I need to clean up the layout of the manifold and mount the pumps. After that I will begin drilling and welding up the kettles (20 gal SS pots for the BK and HLT, 14 gal for the MT). After that I will start work on the control electronics.

The electronics will be push button control for the various processes (Dough in, Circulate, Sparge, Boil, Cool, out to fermentor etc etc) as per the blackheart brewery system. For now it will not be PC controlled, but I will keep that as an option down the road.

__________________
bkloos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-10-2009, 06:28 PM   #6
bkloos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 147
Default

Hey Guys,

So here is where I hope the "brainstorming" begins...

I'm about to start tweaking to layout of the manifold to find the most effective use of space and gravity for priming...

I would like to know your thoughts with regard to the pumps orientation while mounting...

I will be using 2 march 809s. Is it acceptable to mount these vertically (so the fan is under the pump head) or do they need to be mounted vertically?

Once the build is complete, I will fab a cover to enclose the pump/manifold setup, so water/wort dripping down the pump should not be a factor.

Thoughts?

Bryan

__________________
bkloos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-11-2009, 10:32 PM   #7
bkloos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 147
Default

Hey Fellas,

I've experimented with they manifold layout and I have a compact orientation that I think will work.

As you can see, I'm following the liquid flow diagram of the Blackheart brewery with the addition of two valves so I can pump to the fermentor without having to disconnect anything. As mentioned, the goal it to keep the entire manifold below deck thus eliminating solenoids hanging off the kettles....

After looking at my layout, it seems that I may need a dump valve to fully drain the lines after the brew session. The original plan was to run water and then sanitizer through the lines/manifold after the session to clean everything out. BUT, if my manifold is below deck, any liquid in the lines will drain into the manifold and stick around until the next brew session... Not good for many reasons. Do you think I should add a manual dump valve at the lowest point for cleaning purposes?

I could easily add a switch on the control panel to open all valves simultaneously after cleaning/flushing and then drain from the dump at the lowest point via gravity. Does this make sense???

Thoughts?

Thanks,

Bryan

picture-002.jpg   picture-003.jpg   picture-004.jpg  
__________________

Last edited by bkloos; 12-11-2009 at 10:38 PM.
bkloos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-11-2009, 10:45 PM   #8
beerthirty
big beers turn my gears
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
beerthirty's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Phoenix AZ
Posts: 2,651
Liked 23 Times on 11 Posts

Default

Make sure you have access to the tops of the solenoids even with full kettles. I would also add a manual valve on each kettle. Lonnie made a very valid point about grain particles. There may come a time when your kettles are full and you have to take apart a solenoid and clean it to get it working again.

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird View Post
"I've got a fever... and the only prescription is, MORE CARBOYS!"
primary- Tangerine Dream, SWMBO slayer,
serving- amber ale hop experiment #6, Roggenbier, apfelwine
planning- Cru?
conditioning- 9/9/09 barleywine
Drink water?... Never, fish fornicate in it.--- W.C. Fields
Most problems can be solved with the proper application of force.
beerthirty is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-11-2009, 10:55 PM   #9
bkloos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 147
Default

Thanks for the advice Beerthirty.

I was thinking about closing up the manifold with a removable panel. I will be sure to keep the panel "removable." I may also keep things exposed, pending how they look.

I will also orient the solenoids in such a maner that I can pull the tops in an emergency... Good point!!!

WRT particles, what is the best method to ensure no grain gets into the works??? How big of a particle are we talking about here? I'll have a false bottom and a screen over the pick-up tube. Would this suffice?

__________________
bkloos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-13-2009, 10:56 PM   #10
bkloos
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Reading, MA
Posts: 147
Default

The manifold is finished, with the exception of needing a few QDs and one connecting tube.

It's pretty wild looking

While this layout is a bit larger than my previous version, it has the pumps facing up/down so tha I can use gravity to prime (at least in theory).

Next step is to lay the manifold onto the frame and fabricate some supports for the pumps. I was thinking about using these (the vibration dampeing type) attached to some square tube. They look pretty slick.

Looking at the march specs for the pump, I should be able to get 4.3 max feet of head. I'm wondering how much that will decrease with the 90 degree turns in the manifold? Have you guys had any issues with flow rates with bends and a couple feet of elevation?

Moving along, slowly, but moving!

picture-003.jpg   picture-001.jpg  
__________________

Last edited by bkloos; 12-13-2009 at 10:59 PM.
bkloos is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Automatic Keg Cleaning System HenryHill Equipment/Sanitation 9 06-25-2014 03:42 PM
Semi-automatic Bottling Line jajabee DIY Projects 79 08-18-2011 11:53 PM
How's this sound for a kegging system? (semi-portable) bsay Bottling/Kegging 2 08-26-2008 04:22 PM
Automatic System competed Beermaker General Beer Discussion 1 04-03-2007 03:46 PM
Automatic HERMS control Yuri_Rage DIY Projects 4 11-16-2006 11:06 PM