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Old 11-08-2012, 07:00 PM   #1
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Default what's easier: HERMS or RIMS

Hey Gang,
My efficiency has recently become cruddy. Also, my beer consistency is not as magical as I'd like it to be. I've recently tried a very failed attempt at recirculating mash by draining a gallon at a time, heating it, and putting it back. [stupid moron face with burned hands].

As I start reading on this recirc subject, which do you guys think is easier to build? Those schematics on the systems make zero sense to me. I mean, damn. What are they talking about?

This isn't my attempt to revive a debate on which is better, but just some simple advice on which is easier...
DOB


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Old 11-08-2012, 08:54 PM   #2
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I made a simple herms coil in my hlt and it was fairly easy. I have not attempted a RIMS build but it would seem that you would need a little more electrical skill when making the rims tube, so you can control the element.

I would look at other ways first to try and bring up your efficiency. On my 5 gallon batch sparge setup I was hitting in the upper 70's low 80's..


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Old 11-08-2012, 09:59 PM   #3
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HERMS is much more user friendly and less prone to gotchas on brew day. HERMS +1 in my opinion. See my link below and read the 6 pages. Photos included... I think you will understand HERMS better after that.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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HERMS all the way
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:58 PM   #5
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Default Depends on Abilities

If you were handy with electrical work, then a RIMS tube might be the easier item to fabricate and implement. As for me, it would be much easier to coil a tube of copper and fit it with fitting to accept some kind of quick disconnect for a HERMS coil. It could be more challenging to do a HERMS coil that is permanently installed in the HLT, but I am planning on using a coil that is very much like an immersion chiller. This would be a piece of cake to fashion.

I hope that this helps.

Mark
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #6
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If you're planning on immersing the heat exchanger (HEX) in the HLT, then I'd say the HERMS is probably easier. I built a HERMS with a standalone heat exchanger, which I would say is about the same level of complexity as a RIMS...but I don't think either is all that complicated either as long as you have basic electrical knowledge. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most difficult, I'd say an HLT-based HERMS is about a 3 and a standalone HEX-based HERMS or RIMS is probably a 5.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:02 PM   #7
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The reason HERMS is easier is that it's based on controlling the temp of a large body of water (the tank the coil is submerged in, usually the HLT) and the temp doesn't move very fast. In that way, it's less prone to panic mistakes. Without getting too fancy, you could easily keep heat on it via a small flame, monitoring with a read-only temp gage. Up from there, you can put a heating element in the HLT (or run an actuated gas valve) controlled by a simple on/off controller like the Johnson A419 to maintain your desired temp (which in this case since the wort is out of the control loop would be a few degrees over your desired mash temp). Finally, you may opt for a PID/SSR combo to control the HLT heat input based on the sensing of HERMS coil wort output.

If you're going to use the third method of control anyway, it makes the simplicity argument moot between the two methods of heat delivery except for the fact that you CAN screw up a RIMS tube by overheating a non-moving wort.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tradewindsbrewing View Post
HERMS is much more user friendly and less prone to gotchas on brew day. HERMS +1 in my opinion. See my link below and read the 6 pages. Photos included... I think you will understand HERMS better after that.
Thanks for the description Dustin. Clearly a lot of work put in to writing this out and documenting the entire process. I'm also learning about the two methods and after my latest research along with this thread, I'm sold on HERMS +1 for sure.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:06 PM   #9
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I'm especially weak at electrical skills, and the convenience of using the HLT as the heat exchanger sounds pretty logical. I guess I have to buy a march 809 or chugger, right? Isn't homebrewing fun? MacGyver meets Homer Simpson - magic.


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