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Old 11-12-2009, 02:05 PM   #1
Listende-elg
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Default Single container RIMS - possible?

I live in an appartment in the city, so when brewing everything takes place in the kitchen. At the same time, I'm a bit of a tech freak, so I have decided to automate as much of the brewing process as possible - without creating a fixed rig (I need to be able to move everything from our basement up the stairs to the 2nd floor by myself).

I already have a 2KW / 30 L (8 gal) heavily insulated electric kettle with a false bottom that i use for both mashing and boiling. I also have a 24L (6.3 gal) cooler box with a slotted copper manifold that i use for lautering. It works, but involves a lot of manual labour.

I've been playing with the thought of creating "single container RIMS", but I could use some advice from other RIMS users.
My false bottom for the kettle is made from a plastic bucket with a SS mesh bottom. The deadspace between the kettle and the bucket is effecively isolated with regards to temperature. It's almost impossible to change the temperature of the mash by turning on the heater.

I was thinking that this deadspace might be used as the HLT and the false bottom bucket the MLT.
I would then use a pump to pump the liquid from the deadspace to the top of the mash, thereby circulating the worth through the mash and hopefully achieving pretty much the same temperature everywhere in the mash.

Finally I'd stick the thermocouple from my PID controller in the deadspace and use that for controlling the temperature.

I've tried to do a small drawing - click here.

One problem I can imagine is stuck mash - but how do other RIMS brewers avoid this?

I also think that I might have to distribute the wort somewhat equally across the mash, but I guess this could be achieved using the manifold from my lautering bucket.

Do you think this would work?
Please, any input will be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Kasper Hansen

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Old 11-12-2009, 03:43 PM   #2
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Kasper, what you proposed is certainly feasible, and I am in the process of creating similar type of system myself. There is a commercial unit out of Germany that works on this principal (http://www.speidels-braumeister.de/s...aumeister.html) Seeing this system and doing other research leads me to believe in the efficacy of the design/method.

That said, the limitation to this method however is if you go with a single container brew system you are relegated to a "no sparge" mash, which yields lower efficiency. Otherwise you will need a second container to act as your HLT in order to do a sparge.

Additionally, I think it is more appropriate to call the area under your false bottom as a Heat Exchanger as opposed to the HLT... a rims or herms unit are heat exchangers.

Good luck!

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Old 11-12-2009, 08:39 PM   #3
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Hmm... You have a point about the "no sparge" mash - I don't know why I didn't think of that. Maybe I could do the actual mashing in another cotainer and use the electric kettle as the heat exchanger. That way the total amount of water in circulation would be much greater.

My main concerns are to:
a) avoid any more containers on the countertop and
b) avoid stuck mash and
c) achieve precise control of mashing temperatures and steps

Best regards, Kasper

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Old 11-12-2009, 09:15 PM   #4
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That German system is a pretty sweet setup. I love the copper top!

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Old 11-13-2009, 01:24 AM   #5
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Kasper,

Based upon your concerns, I would be inclined to test this method. It will definitely avoid excess containers, should allow for precise and control of mash temps and allow for steps.

And as far as no-sparge, you should still be able to achieve a respectable efficiency. As long as your conversion efficiency is dialed-in, you should be good. I think if you can obtain a consistent crush for your grist, you will achieve very favorable efficiency results.

I look forward to seeing yours, and I will be sure to post mine when complete.

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Old 11-13-2009, 03:36 AM   #6
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Recirculating BIAB. One pot, one pump. Of course it will work.

-OCD

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Old 11-13-2009, 04:06 AM   #7
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Check out the Nimbus system by Lund teknik in Denmark
http://lundteknik.dk/nimbus.html
You get around the sparging bit by raising the bucket part way then rinsing the grain bucket with water heated in an electric jug/ kettle. I tried it once using a 40L hot water boiling urn with a 20L plastic pail inside it with a stainless steel mesh falso bottom. I think I overloaded the grain bucket or corshed too fine as it would not recirculate properly and it kept overflowing the grain pail.

I plan on experimenting more with this as it does makes for a very compact and efficient setup when you get it all working right, there are a lot of Danish guys using this type of setup.

The Braumeister is very cool but works in reverse to the Nimbus as the Malt holding cylinder is screwed down against the base of the vessel and the cylinder has a false bottom and false top. The pump draws water/wort from around the annulus between the cylinder and vessel and then it pumps up through the malt cylinder. There are some good videos of it on youtube and their site, it would be a lot harder to replicate their system.

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Old 11-13-2009, 05:24 AM   #8
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Ahh - why didn't I think of the Nimbus system myself? I'm actually from Denmark (i just live in Belgium) and equipment is 98% the same as the Nimbus 270. I've know about the existence these systems for a while, but just never thought about how they actually worked. The only thing i don't have is the metal frame for raising the bucket - but this should be an easy fix.

Thanks a lot...!

/Kasper

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Old 11-13-2009, 05:07 PM   #9
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That braumeister unit looks sharp, but it's ~2100 USD. Whoa.
It's basically a huge coffee percolator.
The other kit, Nimbus is around 1400USD.
Looks homemade and can be done for way cheaper.

Listnede - what kind of heater are you using? Is it the type used for water heaters or something else? It is not clear from your drawing. I think this system would be a first of it's kind on this board. Could you post pictures as you build?

-OCD

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Old 11-13-2009, 05:40 PM   #10
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Actually, in many ways the braumeister is just an evolution of papa charlies zap pap lauter tun... it just has bling, heating elements, and recirculation But the concept is the same as papa charlies; i.e. a bucket within a bucket!

I too am in the process of a similar type of build... I have all the parts, now I just need to get it assembled!

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