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Old 10-14-2011, 04:24 PM   #1
Oct 2011
Ponderay, Idaho
Posts: 17

Newbie here.

I am getting ready to switch from extract to all grain. I know I want to do a HERMS, and next summer when my brother comes back we will build a 10 gallon or larger setup, but this winter I want to play with recipies and experiment without ending up with more beer than I can store or drink.

So I was thinking maybe putting together a system to make 2.5 gallon batches, and most of the stuff with the exception of the kettles, heating elements, and herms coil should be able to be moved over to a bigger system I would think.

Is this a bad idea? Has anyone done a 2.5 gallon electric herms? I was thinking 20 qt kettles should do. Looking for recommendations on pretty much everything. I was thinking about this heater. Mostly camlock fittings from bargain fittings, with silicone tubing. A couple of chugger pumps

I am also considering a brewtroller, but am still up in the air about it.

Thanks for any replies and or suggestions.

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Old 10-14-2011, 05:56 PM   #2
Apr 2011
., Connecticut
Posts: 1,497
Liked 44 Times on 42 Posts

if you are talking about building a stand-alone HERMS vessle (not a coil in the HLT), with its own heater, and reusing that in a later, larger setup- sure that would work.

and most of the stuff with the exception of the kettles, heating elements, and herms coil should be able to be moved over to a bigger system
those exceptions that are not reusable happen to be the most expensive parts. i would highly suggest building only one system and doing it in the correct size the first time. you will be spending almost as much money buying a smaller setup as you will the larger one, so unless you really want to buy everything twice, i suggest waiting.

if you want to start now, either build a stand-alone HERMS unit (not integrated with the HLT) which will work with either setup, or build your full size HLT+HERMS now so that you dont have to throw everything away later. a 10 or 15 gallon HLT will work for 2.5gal batches.

i would also use a physically smaller element than the one linked (assuming the picture is the actual product, there is zero info on that site). there are 2kW high density elements that are only 8" long and not coiled over like that one. simply so that it doesnt get in the way in the HLT. you only need low watt-density if you are boiling wort with it. if its just water, you arent in danger of scorching anything.

also- these guys have the cheapest camlocks you will find

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Old 10-14-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
Bigscience's Avatar
Sep 2009
Woodinville, WA
Posts: 626
Liked 29 Times on 26 Posts

I built a 5 gal HERMS chamber out of an old sanke to make a 4 container system. The thing I like about it is that its separate from the HLT. Ive had a HLT HERMS,RIMS and now this, which is my favorite. Search for my build thread for details and benefits.

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First they came for my Four Loko and I said nothing, then they came for my Double Imperial Espresso Stout.

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Old 10-14-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
Oct 2007
Posts: 151
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I don't have any information to share but I am subscribing and along for the ride. I brew in a small apartment with an electric stove (no outside space for my propane burner) and only brew beer only for myself. 1/2 batche sizes allow me to brew at a pace I enjoy and not requiring me to drink more than I should. Good luck and am looking forwad to what will come with your thread.

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Old 10-15-2011, 04:23 AM   #5
Oct 2011
Ponderay, Idaho
Posts: 17

Thanks for the replies guys. You have given me a few things to think about. audger, I was under the impression that 2.5 gallon batches in a 10~15 gallon system wouldn't work well. Wouldn't the evaporation rate go sky high with so much surface area? Thanks for the link. But actually the couple I checked they are a few Penney's more on the SS camlocks.

Bigscience. Interesting thread on your 5 gallon herms chamber. Not sure I could find anyone around here that would be able to coil the SS that tight. BTW I lived between Woodenville and Monroe for ~20 years. Recently moved to north Idaho to try to slow the pace down a bit.

Basically I just want to do more experimenting and learning than stocking up on beer right now.

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Old 10-15-2011, 01:06 PM   #6
Mar 2009
Posts: 97

If you are really interested in a smaller system check this thread out. One of the best I have seen.

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