Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > Do I even need a RIMS tube?
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
Handsaw
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Default Do I even need a RIMS tube?

Do I even need a RIMS tube? I have been doing BIAB with propane and a 120v RIMS tube and things were ok but Iíve decided to go all electric. Iíve installed a 240v 5500 ripple element in my pot and was about to rework my control box to have a switch to either control the element in the pot or the RIMS tube and started wondering if I even need the RIMS tube if I just recirculate the wort and control the 5500 watt element. That would be one less thing to hook up and clean.
Do any of you doing all electric BIAB see any need for the RIMS tube?
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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I think the element in the pot will scorch your grain and/or bag if you turn it on, unless you have a good basket or false bottom to keep your mash solids away from it.

I just wrap my keggle in a blanket and use no heat at all. Whydo you think you need temp control?
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
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I think I need heat control because when I've tried wrapping my kettle in blankets I lose several degrees in an hour. I don't have a keggle but a 15gal SS Stock pot. 16" across and 16" high roughly.
Now that it will be all electric, I plan to insulate the bottom and sides of the kettle so maybe it won't lose heat so much.
I plan to recirculate instead of stirring the mash because I'm lazy and I already have the pump.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #4
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There are plenty e-BIAB implementations that fire the element during the mash to maintain temperature. Some people have even reported that they can let the bag rest on a ULWD element without a problem, although I would use something like a steamer rack to avoid it.

One potential problem when recirculating is pumping at too high a flow rate, draining the space below the bag, and dry-firing the element. This is a function of the output flow being faster than the return water can drain from the bag, so it is more likely to occur if there are other impediments to draining, such as a true false bottom or with the bag in a basket. In any event, it makes sense to have a ball valve on the output of the pump to be able to slow the flow if necessary.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:57 PM   #5
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I have rested nylon bags on ULWD 1500w element with no problem.

I only use a rims tube on my large propane fired pot, but for smaller electric pots I just use the main element.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:09 PM   #6
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Well, I had decided to try without the RIMS tube and just mash with the element in the pot and just let the bag rest on the element, but if I do that, where should I put the temperature sensor for the PID? What I have now is a 1/2 NPT probe that is 1.5 inches long mounted in a T coming out of the RIMS tube. That seems like it would be too short to mount in the coupling where the Brewmomenter is now. I have a pump already for the RIMS tube and the chiller so I may continue to recirculate and move the T with the probe from the exit of the RIMS tube to just before the valve coming out of the kettle. The problem with that is that it will make a really big "thing" coming out of the side of my kettle to bump into.
Does anybody have opinions on the best way to proceeded? Keeping the RIMS tube in the circuit and rewiring the control panel so that I can use the RIMS tube to get the water up to strike temperature and for the mash and then flip a switch to use the 5500 watt element in the kettle for the boil is an option.

Reason: sprelling errors
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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You can put a tee on your kettle drain and mount the probe in that, or get a longer probe to put through your Brewmometer coupling. Incidentally, I wouldn't let the bag rest on the element. You may be fine with it, but it is easy enough to get something like a steamer rack to separate them. For me, the consequences of a problem far outweigh the costs of prevention.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:03 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback.
I'm getting a false bottom sometime next week to keep the bag off of the element.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsaw View Post
Thanks for the feedback.
I'm getting a false bottom sometime next week to keep the bag off of the element.
Be careful when pumping that you don't cavitate (trying to pull liquid faster than the pump can get it). False bottoms will restrict flow a bit and you don't want air space around the element while it's on.

You can tell it's cavitating if the liquid level seems to be dropping in your sight glass.

Lower the flow rate with a ball valve after your pump.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cupido76 View Post
Be careful when pumping that you don't cavitate (trying to pull liquid faster than the pump can get it). False bottoms will restrict flow a bit and you don't want air space around the element while it's on.

You can tell it's cavitating if the liquid level seems to be dropping in your sight glass.

Lower the flow rate with a ball valve after your pump.
That's why I recommend a steamer rack rather than a basket or false bottom. But as long as you don't need to restrict flow so much that it won't hold the temperature, it will work.
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