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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > eRIMS or eHERMS what drove your choice?
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:39 PM   #1
MidTNJasonF
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Default eRIMS or eHERMS what drove your choice?

So like a fair number of people I am going full electric in the brewery. I have accumulated 1/3 of the bits I might need so far and have begun fabrication of my 3 vessel, 3 pump, single tier, multi element system.

My question to the group is which did you choose and why did you choose eHERMS or eRIMS over the alternative? Did you consider eHERMS via a hybrid counter flow heat exchanger mounted externally of the HLT?

I am contemplating a fairly traditional setup with a single 5500W ULWD in both the HLT and the BK but rather than have a stainless HEX coil in my HLT I am thinking of adding a 2000w 120v LWD element RIMS tube on the MT.

By the time I buy fittings for the HLT and the HEX coil the costs will not be significantly different that a RIMS tube setup. It would be powered by a separate 120v GFCI circuit so operating one of the 240v 5500W ULWD elements and the 120v element at the same time would be ok. This should make for a nice quick brew day. I can heat the strike water in the HLT (smaller volume will take less time to heat) and then pump it over the MT. I can mash in and set the control to maintain my mash temps via the RIMS tube while I refill the HLT with sparge water and begin to heat that. Small time saver I am sure but it just sounds like a simple pain free brew day to me.


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Old 02-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #2
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Subscribing to this because I have gone back and forth about this for about 2 weeks now. Started to collect parts from Auberins so really need to finalize the plan and get the last few things...be it another PID or a RIMS tube and a selector switch.

Really interested


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Old 02-02-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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I would say my main reason for herms was I was planning a element (w/ pid control) in the HLT anyway, so why not make full use of it and run wort thru a coil in it? I have 3 vessel set up with just 1 PID (auto for hlt, manual mode for BK). RIMS seems more suited for when you are running propane/nat gas for bk/hlt.. and just use electric for rims.


the second would be, the RIMs set up brings a bit more risk to it in my mind, if I ran into a stuck sparge, the wort may over heat causing massive pressure build up, if the temp sensor is on the rims outlet, and flow stops, you are in trouble. so you are looking at a more sophisticated set up with flow sensors, etc.. if I get a stuck sparge with a herms set up, there is no risk at all.

just my opinion for what its worth
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:43 AM   #4
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This is the proverbial question of electric brewing. I have brewed many batches with both types of system, built both type systems, and made control systems for both type systems.

This all said I stick with (on my shop system) and favor HERMS for one simple reason. Your wort never comes in direct contact with a heating element until it is time it is actually supposed to boil. It is way too easy to have a hot element and stop the flow over it. This can happen when the brewmaster (cough) closes the wrong valve, or with a stuck mash.

In over 15 years of brewing I have had one batch I would not drink (others did) it was due to an oatmeal stout sticking the mash on a RIMS system. The heating element scorched the wort in the chamber before I noticed the reduced flow and added a smoked/burnt flavor to the mash.

In a HERMS system if you get a stuck mash or close the wrong valve nothing happens that will ruin the batch.

Cheers
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:06 AM   #5
MidTNJasonF
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In over six years of brewing I have had one stuck sparge that was the result of doing far to fine a crush on the malt. I had not considered a stuck sparge causing problems with the RIMS system. I have not however used the newly envisioned system yet so it could certainly be more prone to a stuck sparge than my old 10 gallon cooler and CPVC manifold were. Only time and test batches would answer that question. In my mind I envisioned a constantly recirculating wort with the element pulsing on and off as needed to maintain output temperatures, never really considered what would happen if the wort no longer flowed.
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:10 PM   #6
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A couple other things to keep in mind. The pump sucking the recirculation from beneath the false bottom, or manifold I believe increases the chances of a stuck mash.

If you do a RIMS system read up on the temperature probe placement, in my mind the closer to the RIMS tube the better if not nearly in it. This way even if you do stick there is no delay in the element shutting off. If the probe is 2 feet away from the RIMS element downstream and there is no flow... it takes a while for that heat to get to the temp sensor and or the sensor with no flow sees reduced heat and increases power to the element. Both are examples of pretty bad problems.

Both type systems can make great beer.

Cheers.


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