Originally Posted by JeffNYC
I continue to be impressed with setups here. It's making it harder for me to determine what to upgrade to. What advantages do you think this has over a HERMS setup? What is the rest of your setup for preparing sparge water, boiling wort, and chilling? Is this for 5 gallon batches?
Do you have any links on details for this kind of setup? Do you have a list of parts (particularly the electronics, pump, temp sensors)? Schematics?
For me, the advantage was my comfort level with the design and execution of electrical control equipment and some potential cost savings of having access to used electrical/electronic control components.
I think automation of the temperature control process may be a somewhat simpler for a RIMS.
Some of the discussion over the merits of HERMS vs. RIMS center around the potential to overheat the circulating wort in a RIMS system.
I think that for a properly designed system, wort scorching with a RIMS is not very likely to occur, at least in my own experience.
Both systems, when properly done, can both make excellent beers.
As far as the rest of my equipment, I am using a 1/2 barrel keggle for my HLT. I heat it with a propane burner set on my work bench so it can gravity feed while sparging into the MLT. I monitor my HLT temperature with a digital meat thermometer.
I use a simple copper tubing ring with holes drilled into it for sparging. A manual ball valve on my HLT regulates the sparge water flow rate. I am pretty happy with how it works.
The gray PVC outlet valve pictured on my MLT outlet is connected to a hose which directs the run-off into another 1/2 barrel keggle that sits on the floor (actually on a small dolly for mobility).
I do my boils on a second elevated propane burner. I have a conventional CFC that I built for chilling the wort. I gravity feed through the chiller into a waiting fermentor that in a previous life was a 1/4 barrel Sanke keg .
I am currently working the kinks out of an aerator system using an aquariuim stone and air pump.
One thing I really want to do soon is find away eliminate having lift that damn kettle full of wort up on to the burner. I am considering either a hoist or a transfer pump.
Funny how it never used to bother my back as much when I was just a young pup.