Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > Final Int-E-gration 120v (CB20 HERMS Batch or BIAB)
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:15 AM   #1
HarkinBanks
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Default Final Int-E-gration 120v (CB20 HERMS Batch or BIAB)

So there I was 2 years ago happily fly sparging with a 3-tier system, pre-HBT, and then I discovered HBT and my good buddy JKarp posted his CB20 system. I dove head-first into the deep end of electric brewing, very much with the kind help of JKarp. Many experiments later, I have finally integrated my original 3-tier system into a system that can be used as a CB20 system, with or without HERMS, small batch or big batch BIAB, traditional batch sparge, closed system wort cooling, has a pre-chiller option for the summer, and can do partigyle mashes on big beers. I'm certainly not covering any new ground, as I took every idea from another thread here on HBT, but I thought I would share my final electric system. After trying a Shirron, I have gone back to an immersion chiller with whirlpool and like it very much. Everything is 120v and I brew in my kitchen. I can brew 3 gallon BIAB batches after work in 3 hours, or full 5 gallon batches in 5 hours. Below are my old school drawings in paint. I will post some pics the next time I brew if anyone is interested.

CB20-HERMS with Batch Sparge, Closed System Cooling, Pre-Chiller, or Partigyle Options
Notes: BK and MLT are 10 gallon SS Megapots insulated with reflectix. BK has two 1500w ULWD elements run on separate circuits. MLT has one 1500w HD element to heat strike water only and has a false bottom. HLT/HERMS is an 8 gallon SS Megapot with two 1500w ULWD elements (only one needed during HERMS). Pumps are built into a toolbox with switches. The AC-1 pump recirculates the HLT water during HERMS to prevent stratification and can then be used to move water to the MLT for a batch sparge or a partigyle mash. PID is in a project box copied from JKarp. BK and HERMS-out have thermocouples. HLT/HERMS vessel can be used for closed system cooling with ice or as a pre-chiller to my IC in the summer. All connections, except the AC-1 pump connections, are Mcmaster quick-connects.


CB20-No HERMS
Notes: Run just like JKarp, but on one level. BK has a thermocouple connected to the PID.


Big Batch BIAB
Notes: I recirculate during the mash with PID control to keep temps even. I protect the element from the bag with mesh or a strainer.


Small Batch BIAB with chiller
Notes: I recirculate during the mash with PID control to keep temps even. I protect the element from the bag with mesh or a strainer. The HERMS coil is used as a chiller. This is my 3-gallon test batch system. It is great for quick brews after work.


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Old 02-05-2011, 12:32 PM   #2
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Damn, that's a lot of brewing options there!

I'm probably going to upgrade my kettle this year - you happy with the megapot / reflectix?


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Old 02-05-2011, 02:19 PM   #3
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I am happy with the megapots, they are well made and should last me a lifetime. I think they are one of the better bang for your buck options out there. FYI, on the 10 gallon one you need about 3000w to get a 1 gal per hour boil-off. On the 8 gallon one, you need about 2500w for a 1 gal per hour boil-off. They are much wider than the kettle you have I believe.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:28 PM   #4
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I went from setup 1 to setup 3 with my ekeggle and do not foresee returning to the 3 vessel method. I am VERY satisfied with PID and pump recirc to maintain mash temp in BIAB. You will be happy too. Nice drawings by the way!
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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Thanks. I have fully tested each of them and agree biab is super easy. I choose which setup to use based on the grain bill mainly, and how long I want the brewday to consume. If the grain bill is big, I don't like pulling a big bag in my kitchen and making a mess. For the smaller batches, it is the way to go for sure. Also with the bigger grain bills I like experimenting with a partigyle mash using system 1.
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:08 AM   #6
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Awesome! This is actually super helpful. One question - how do you do a CB20 on one level with only one pump? I've been looking at your diagram trying to figure out how you cross-circulate, but I'm apparently too dense to figure it out...
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:44 AM   #7
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Glad you like it. It is all done with ball valves on the output of my march pump. Each return has a ball valve (connected via a Tee) that I can regulate the cross circulation, mlt is wide open and bk return is about 1/2, all connections are 3/8. I merge the bk and mlt flow into a Tee connected to the input of the march pump (I add one more ball valve on the mlt-in so I can disconnect and clean the mlt during the boil and still be able to recirculate for whirlpool). In the cb20 configuration, I prefer to mash in for about 35-45 minutes, heat the bk to near boiling, then start recirculation for about 30 mins to get to 170. This gets me in the 70s for efficiency pretty consistently.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:33 PM   #8
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I'd love to see some real pics of your system. I also have been studying jkarps system as well as the "attobrew". I'm slowly converting a space in my basement into my brewery. This forum rocks! I'd be lost w/o it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:41 AM   #9
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I'll certainly post some pics the next time I brew in a few weeks. This forum is the best. I copied so many different builds and would never have gone electric without Jkarp's help and this forum.
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:25 AM   #10
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Here is a pic of the madness during my last session. I set up and break down everything on brewday. Next house I will build something vented in the basement, but for now I enjoy brewing in the kitchen. Also below is a pic of my "pumps in a toolbox".

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