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Old 08-01-2010, 09:11 PM   #1
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Default use an Immersion Chiller as a HERMS coil?

so i lost a couple degrees on my mash the other day, and i started thinking about ways to get the mash temp to stay put. the idea of HERMS has always intrigued me, but i don't want to hard-plumb the equipment into the MLT because i think it'll be more of a pain to stir, clean, etc.

my thought was that if i had a decent Immersion Chiller (mine is short and small diameter) then i could hook my pump to it, and pump hotter water through my IC in the MLT as a removable HERMS. then when i'm done, pull the IC, rinse it off and set it aside until i use it in the boil kettle at the end of the boil.

does this idea make sense? any negative repercussions?

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Old 08-02-2010, 12:49 AM   #2
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so i lost a couple degrees on my mash the other day, and i started thinking about ways to get the mash temp to stay put. the idea of HERMS has always intrigued me, but i don't want to hard-plumb the equipment into the MLT because i think it'll be more of a pain to stir, clean, etc.

my thought was that if i had a decent Immersion Chiller (mine is short and small diameter) then i could hook my pump to it, and pump hotter water through my IC in the MLT as a removable HERMS. then when i'm done, pull the IC, rinse it off and set it aside until i use it in the boil kettle at the end of the boil.

does this idea make sense? any negative repercussions?
what would be your hot water source? I would look into building a RIMS

check this out http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/rims-dummies-114997/ No disrespect intended
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:59 AM   #3
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I think you have it backwards. Most people (including myself) pump the wort through a stainless or copper coil resting or fixed in the HLT. Using a PID I can easily maintain to 1 degree difference. If you were using it manually, turing the pump on and off I bet you could easily stay within 2-3 degrees depending on how close you watch it.

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Old 08-02-2010, 05:19 PM   #4
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what would be your hot water source? I would look into building a RIMS

check this out http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/rims-dummies-114997/ No disrespect intended
i have a 3 keggle system, so my thought was to pump from the HLT through the HERMS to the MLT and then back.

not really loving the idea of the RIMS. but don't worry, we can still be friends
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:23 PM   #5
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I think you have it backwards. Most people (including myself) pump the wort through a stainless or copper coil resting or fixed in the HLT. Using a PID I can easily maintain to 1 degree difference. If you were using it manually, turing the pump on and off I bet you could easily stay within 2-3 degrees depending on how close you watch it.
cleaning the inside of that tube seems more painful than cleaning the exterior of the coil... but i guess a flush with some PBW or something would solve the problem.

Is your pid temp sensor in your MLT or your HLT when you do this? and are you switching on and off the pump or the heat?
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:54 PM   #6
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I continually pump the wort through the coil in my HLT and I tell my PID to maintain within +- 1 degree of 156 degrees. This keeps my mash at 154 for as long as I need it. I use an electric element in my HLT so this is very easy to do. If didn't want to automate and was using propane I would simply heat my HLT tank up to about 200 degrees and turn my pump on as needed to maintain my mash temp. You could under

I'm using a BCS-460 and I have temp probe in 4 locations MLT, HLT, BK and return manifold.

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:58 PM   #7
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i am currently propane not electric, so i think i'd have to hook the PID to the pump and only have it circulate when the temp is below what i want. pump in a toolbox with a light switch would prolly make it pretty easy to manually control.

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:59 PM   #8
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the fact that I already had a copper coil IC was what pushed me to build a HERMS system rather than a RIMS system.

Cleaning the inside of the coil isn't really that bad. I boil some water, add a bunch of oxiclean, and then pump through the coil for 10 minutes or so when I am done brewing and call it done.

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Old 08-02-2010, 07:00 PM   #9
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i am currently propane not electric, so i think i'd have to hook the PID to the pump and only have it circulate when the temp is below what i want. pump in a toolbox with a light switch would prolly make it pretty easy to manually control.
You can use a PID to control propane burners, too. You need solenoid valves and a pilot light, but it can be done.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:05 PM   #10
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Walker, so you took your IC and turned it into a HERMS coil? what do you use to cool your boiled wort now?

and yes, i could get a PID to control my propane, that's starting to get expensive, complex and potentially more dangerous... the trifecta of doom.

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