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Old 01-30-2008, 01:01 AM   #1
Nwcw2001
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Nov 2005
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I am in the dreaming stage of building my system. I have the kegs and the MLT for the 3 tier, but I want to have some input from the collective.

What are the pros and cons of each system?

What are the mash efficiency of each? I realize that a lot goes into this paticular question but just a precentage will work I think.

IF you have had more than one system, why did you change and would you (or did you) change back.

Thanks guys,

John

 
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:42 AM   #2
runhard
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Apr 2006
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Hi John,
I have a SABCO BrewMagic Pro. I both hate it and love it. Hate, because it was expensive and I didn't have the patience to build my own system and I'm a little envious of those who took the time to plan, design and build their systems. Love it because it is a piece of cake to use. My efficiencies have been in the mid 80's up to 90% lately but I've converted the orignal design of the RIMS to a combination HERMS/RIMS but adding 25 feet of 1/2 inch copper coil into the HLT and only using the electric heating element for the very fine tuning of +/- 1. I've also been crush my grain a lot finer and just adding more rice hulls. With this setup the heating element only comes on 2 or 3 times through a 90 minute mash. It works great but the beer isn't any better than my gravity system that I built; but the BrewMagic is much more consistent. If I brew the same recipe and my starter is about the same cell# then the beers turn out so close that I can't distinguish a difference.

Brutus 10 is best of both worlds IMHO. Check out the plans for that beast. Awesome.
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keg 1-Graham Sander's Tropical Flower Wit
keg 2-Yooper's Fat Sam - I highly recommend it
keg 3-Yooper's Fat Tire
keg 4-XXX Stout
keg 5-empty


Fermenter #1-Graham Sander's Tropical Flower Wit
Fermenter #2-empty

 
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:10 AM   #3
Nwcw2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runhard
Brutus 10 is best of both worlds IMHO. Check out the plans for that beast. Awesome.
Yeah I have the plans. I bought them from Alenuts and then I got them free with BYO! But they are definitly worth the $25.

 
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:56 AM   #4
The Pol
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Feb 2007
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I contemplated a HERMS, but I have (2) 10 gallon coolers for MLT and HLT and a keggle to heat my water and boil in. Just connected them all with some valves and a march pump to do all of my transfers. The coolers retain heat so damn well that a HERMS would be redundant... keeping it more simple I am.

Pol

 
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:16 PM   #5
Flipper
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Oct 2007
La Conner, Wa
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I too am Thinking about building my own system and will be following this thread with much interest!
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:22 PM   #6
Lil' Sparky
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I think RIMS/HERMS/Direct-fire all accomplish the same thing and have similar pros and cons. The differences I can think of are RIMS and HERMS are probably easier to automate for maintaining temps if you're thinking of going that way in the future. Direct fire is probably the cheapest to build, may be more difficult to manually maintain temps, but does well at raising temps for steps/mashout.

I've got a completely manual direct-fire + recirculation MLT setup and think it's great. I don't have any reason to try something more complicated.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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I have a HERMS but use a small cooler (1 gallon) for the coil along with a bucket heater. My main design goal was to maintain mash temps and make temp adjustments (not really to do step mashes but I could).

As for efficiency, I'm hovering around 76% but I don't crack my grains too fine. Just a personal preference. I believe in keeping the grain husks in tact as much as possible and don't mind adding an extra 1/2lb. of grain.

The only thing I would change? Not really a change, but in the future I'm going to add a LOVE controller along with a gas valve so that I can set my hot liquor temp. and have it controlled automatically... more a "luxury" addition that anything else.

Brewery Pictures

 
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:13 PM   #8
Lil' Sparky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caskconditioned
I have a HERMS but use a small cooler (1 gallon) for the coil along with a bucket heater. My main design goal was to maintain mash temps and make temp adjustments (not really to do step mashes but I could).

As for efficiency, I'm hovering around 76% but I don't crack my grains too fine. Just a personal preference. I believe in keeping the grain husks in tact as much as possible and don't mind adding an extra 1/2lb. of grain.

The only thing I would change? Not really a change, but in the future I'm going to add a LOVE controller along with a gas valve so that I can set my hot liquor temp. and have it controlled automatically... more a "luxury" addition that anything else.

Brewery Pictures
Nice looking setup!!!

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Old 01-30-2008, 04:35 PM   #9
caskconditioned
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
Nice looking setup!!!
Thanks! A work in progress

 
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:46 PM   #10
Lil' Sparky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caskconditioned
Thanks! A work in progress
Well, I've definately seen uglier works in progress.
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