So, it's come time to upgrade from a stove top pot and a cooler to a RIMS/HERMS. I've looked at a few different designs (and I'm sure I haven't seen anywhere near the full range of what other brewers have come up with), but haven't seen anything I'd like to emulate thus far. So, I spent a few minutes with Omnigraffle this afternoon and came up with this:
Yeah, it looks like a flowchart... and, it sorta is. There are the three primary vessels, and two pumps, but only one heat exchanger (not counting the pre-chiller I'm thinking about). The two different blocks labeled A and B represent its two channels.
The green line from V8->BK/FV is the only flexible part here. Everything else would probably be rigid copper pipe, but that green line would be moved from the kettle (for whirl pooling and recirculating during chilling) to the fermentation vessel (to fill). I would
use the output from V10 to fill the fermentation vessel, but that won't be sanitized by the boil (which means V10 is probably unnecessary). The blue components are ideas I'm toying with (a pre-chiller and a compressor to blow-out pipes), and I'm sure the rest of it could do with some tweaking.
Anyway, here's what I'm trying to do:
- Use a single, high efficiency heat exchanger
- Keep wort and plain water isolated with separate plumbing
- Allow for both heating and cooling in the mash
- Don't move any hoses during the brew process
Anyway, suggestions? Like I said, I'm really only starting to plan this all out... A lot of this is probably overkill, but then that's a part of homebrewing isn't it?