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Old 08-02-2010, 11:14 PM   #1
patrck17
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Default Another (mostly) stainless HERMS build!

Hey everyone, I am starting my herms build tonight and I figured I'd do a thread documenting my efforts. The rig is based almost entirely off of The Pol's original 10 gallon herms build with a few modification/upgrades to suit my needs. There won't be much (if any) new build material here as I have based the entire build off material on this forum, but I will be glad to answer any questions about the build if anyone asks. To view The Pol's threads where I got most of these ideas use the links below:

New 10 Gallon Herms! Pics!
BLING BLING Electric HERMS Conversion

Alright so picture time:



This is all of the materials I have so far. I have not received a few packages yet. I'll also have a 10g orange rubbermaid water cooler that I'll use as the mash tun, a stirring assembly from McMaster Carr, a SS false bottom and immersion chiller (for the herms coil), and a LG pump.



The heating element I am using is 5500W, I know most will consider this overkill but my thought process was that I'll be doing 10gallon batches and the faster I can get the water/wort up to mash and mashout temps the better. Also since I won't be using an insulated HLT like in The Pol's build I'll have to make up for the heat loss. So I just went with the largest heating element I could find.



The reason I have 4 three peice ball valves and a two peice is because I wanted all three peice valves because they are able to be broken down to clean if needed, but I was nervous about the weight of a ball valve + tri-clamp on the sidewall of the rubbermaid cooler, so I decided on the two peice since its lighter.

More to come later.

UPDATE 8/3/2010: Got my rubbermaid cooler and Mcmaster Carr shipment today:





Managed to drill a few more hole in the keg and install the weldless fittings on the cooler and kettle. Going pretty slow at this point. Hopefully it picks up soon.




More tomorrow!


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Old 08-02-2010, 11:14 PM   #2
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Okay so I've made a little bit of progress and learned a few things along the way. First I realized that the extra stainless steel tubing I have left over from the cannibalized wort chiller is perfect for making the pick-up tubes for my HLT and kettle. Also getting compression fittings on the coil is not really trivial. Since the coil is bent the stainless is not perfectly round making it pretty tough (at least for me) to get the fitting over the tube. Anyways here are a few more pictures:



Pictures of the input to the mash tun, will be used during recirculation and sparging.


A pic of the herms coil with the fittings attached. Again this was a lot of work for me. I am also a little bit nervous about them leaking. Has anyone had any experience with these stainless fittings? I guess if they do leak I can always have them welded, or maybe even solder would work.





My HLT with everything installed except the pickup tube, waiting for another compression fitting from Bargainfittings.com. All this stuff is kind of losely put in, I havn't really tightened anything down yet since I will have to remove some of it to get in the pickup tube.



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Old 08-02-2010, 11:15 PM   #3
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Going to get to work on the electronics this weekend. Here is a sketch of the setup. I took this picture from another electric brewery thread in the DIY section of the forum and edited it with pain, I take no credit for the origination of the sketch.

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Old 08-06-2010, 03:03 AM   #4
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Bump: Added pics.
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:12 AM   #5
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Nice build so far! Is that HERMS coil resting on the element? I always wondered if they needed support or not...
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:40 PM   #6
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What's the part number for your stirring setup?
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:29 PM   #7
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looking great!

Is that a 50'' ss coil?

Are you planning on adding some valves on the herms outlet for the hlt?

Keep us posted!
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunlock View Post
Nice build so far! Is that HERMS coil resting on the element? I always wondered if they needed support or not...
The HERMS coil is about 1-2 inches above the element and not resting on it. The coil with (or without) the fittings installed is very rigid, it does not bend easily. Once you tighten down the fittings it stays in place and feels very firm. The weak link would be the sidewall of whatever you are installing it into. It is pretty heavy so I definately wouldn't try to mount it this way to a cooler or a thinner vessel.

EMPyre:

6142K49 AC Gearmotor W/Fan, Face Mnt, 100 rpm, 7 in-lbs Torque, 115 VAC $50.34
34935K66 Polypropylene Propeller W/Coated-Steel Shaft Fixed-U, 2-9/16" Propeller Diameter $21.53
6099K22 Stainless Steel One-Piece Set-Screw Coupling 5/16" Bore, 1" Length, 5/8" OD, Without Keyway $12.19

Crap I had forgotton how expensive that stuff was.

Gabrew:

It is a 50ft 1/2" OD SS immersion chiller. I ordered it and a 12" false bottom from midwest supplies.

EDIT: Just realized I ignored your second question Gab. I had no intention of putting valves on the outputs of the herms coil. The way I will be using it I do not think it will be necessary. I DO plan to put valves on both sides of my pump. During a brew session I will never remove the clamps from the input or output of the coil. The only thing that I will be switching is the input to the pump. During mash recirculation the input of the pump will be from the output of the mash tun. When I sparge I will switch the input of the pump from the mash tun to the output of the HLT. I'll use the water in the HLT for sparging. I am sure this would be more clear with an illustration but I hope you get the idea.

If you can think of a function for the valves on the coil please let me know, I may have overlooked something.
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:22 PM   #9
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Default Weldless fittings become welded fittings.

Quick update, I was having a hell of a time trying to get the weldless fittings to hold a seal so I had a few welded in. Basicly I had the holes for everything on my HLT except my thermocoupler and my heat element welded in. Guy charged me 40 dollars to do 4 holes for the 1/2inch couplers and one 1/4" hole where my sight glass hoop was. I think the price was more than fair. Heres a few pics:




One thing like about having the fittings welded is I can tighten the hell out of the spigot.

I got my LG pump today and I am really impressed with it. It pumps fine as far as I can tell and is not very loud at all. A bit larger than I was expecting it to be though. I tested my herms coil cause I was nervous about the compression fittings not sealing but I think they are good. What I am scared about now is getting all the npt threads to seal. I had leaks all over the place on all my wet test today which got me a little discouraged. Not worried about the welded fittings anymore but I will have to try to do a good job with the teflon tape and tightening everything down a little harder and hopefully have better results next time.

By the way I have nothing bad to say about bargainfittings and their products. The main reason why I was having so much trouble was cause I overdrilled one of my holes and put the other 2 too low on the keg. Since it was so low the nut didn't make an even seal cause of the rounded edge and woudln't tighten properly. The fittings on my mash tun cooler work great, and all the other nuts and fittings have worked fine. They turned around my orders fast as well, ordered on Thursday and in my mailbox on Saturday, from Texas to Florida for $5.00 you can't really ask for more.

That is about it for now. Hopefully everthing will come together nicely from here on out.

EDIT: I created another thread to discuss an issue I was having at this step. Basically having the nipples for the herms coil welded in created the problem of not being able to attach the coil without additional fittings since I couldn't rotate the coil or the nipple to tighten into a standard coupling. Some good feedback was given about how to solve the problem, the thread is here: Build problem, need some advice!
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:28 PM   #10
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Thanks...


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