Greetings to all. I'm seeking some advice on designing my (sort of) new HERMS system.
Up 'till now I have been brewing AG with a 25L cooler as a mash tun, and a 50L Aluminum Pot as a kettle. At an average of about 6kg grain per batch, and a 2-batch batch sparge, I end up putting between 12 to 15 Liters of water into my tun at a time. Given that I can't use my kettle for strike water (because I collect the wort into it) I have to heat it up in several smaller stock pots. Annoying and inaccurate, to say the least.
So I've decided to move on to HERMS, which will give me much better control over the mash temp (always a problem when your hot water comes in two or three different temperatures, depending on which pot you got it from) and will move me to fly sparge while I'm at it. Seeing as I live in Israel, where things like pumps and hardware are hard to come by, and cost an arm and a leg, I'm trying to re-use as much of my current hardware as possible.
My plan so far is to do the following:
I've bought a 40L Stainless steel pot, which will become my HLT. I am planning to install a spigot in it, as well as a measuring rod, and another valved connector about two thirds of the way up the pot. Heating will be achieved be a pair of submersible heating elements (1500W + 1000W) controlled by a PID. I'm not installing the elements, just submersing them in the water, this way I don't loose the ability to use the pot on a gas fire later, if I want. In the pot, I am also putting a copper coil that was suppose to be a small immersion cooler. Again, I'm not installing it in the pot, just immersing it in, and connecting the hoses to it.
My current Mash Tun is a square cooler. I have drilled a hole in the lid, and will run a length of copper pipe through it. This pipe will have T connections on both sides. The bottom will be the sprinkle for the water, the top will be the connection for the hose from the HLT, and a place for the SSR probe. (See drawing)
Once mash is done, and I raise the water temp for mash out, I'm planning to disconnect the pump from the MLT and connect it to the spigot on the HLT. This way it can start pulling water through for fly sparge, while I collect the wort from the MLT straight into the kettle. I will have to turn the heating elements off at this point, as the water level around them drops, but I think the temp would be high enough for it no to matter.
The whole system is interconnected with food-grade silicon hoses, 10mm inside diameter, 16 mm outside.
I have a bunch of questions, but I'll just ask a couple for now (with more to come!):
The first, biggest, and most obvious is (as it always is) what am I missing?
I'm sure there things I didn't think of. For example, I just realized today that people circulate the water in the HLT to achieve even heat distribution, So I'm going to have to figure something for that. What else?
Second, I'd like a recommendation for spigots and quick connect couplers. In the drawing, the couplers are shown as red stars, where each star is actually two couplers (male and female) I imagine I would need barbed couplers for the hose ends, threaded couplers for the spigots. I just need a recommendation for specific models, types and places to order (I can order from US stores, but it takes a while to get here, and I don't get to see it before hand, so I want to make sure I get the right stuff)
Thanks in advance
Three Cats Brewery