2V E-HERMS using hybrid sparging to eliminate HLT

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Surfmase

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Hi, So I'm thinking about building a new setup and started by comparing the equipment and process using different scenarios. I currently use a 3V HERMS. It works fine, but I would like to 1-improve ease in cleaning, 2-simplify process by reducing hose changes and 3-not spend too much money. To improve cleaning I have been looking for domed-bottomed kettles and it looks like they are finally coming into home brewing, yay. To simplify my process I've considered using a valve tree, but with 2 pumps and 3 vessels it's still complicated and costly. I've been brainstorming on ways to eliminate the HLT (and associated pump, heater, controls, piping) as a way to simplify and reduce costs.

Obviously there is the single vessel biab method, which I have tried using a Braumeister for a few years. I didn't keep it. But I have also just noticed the 2V E-HERMS setup from Friedies blog; BK/HLT plus MLT which uses a full volume method to eliminate sparging. In this case strike and sparge water are combined in one mash step. That got me to thinking if I had the same setup, I would have the sparge water in the BK/HLT for heating the HERMS coil anyway, why not add the sparge water on top of the mash, only not lauter off the wort until the BK/HLT is empty. Shouldn't the sparge water sit rather nicely on top of the wort and rinse the grains as the wort is lautered and the water level drops? I have seen other posts claiming a hybrid sparge, but I would argue that this a true hybrid between batch and fly sparging.

Then I would only have 1 pump, 1 heating element, ect. I could also use the HERMS coil in the BK for knockout (at least to get below 80C.) The main disadvantage I see is cleaning the BK with a permanant HERMS coil, even if I have the luxury of the bottom drain. In order to avoid this possible problem, I have also considered doing the 1V RIMS in the MLT; that is, second heating element under the false bottom recirculating, and no HERMS coil in the BK/HLT. Of course here I would have 2 heating elements and added control components.

If either case should workout, I believe a version of the valve tree should be possible to realize being that only 1 pump is used.

Any feedback from you guys side?

Thanks for looking
 

Bobby_M

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I've brewed on just about every configuration, 3V Herms, 3V RIMS, 3V direct fire, 2V eKettle RIMS, All in One Basket based systems and Single Vessel eBIAB (custom built with 5500 watts). I haven't been able to figure out any reason why the eBIAB can be bested in any of the ways I care about. To your point, it eliminates both the HLT and the Mash tun and drops the pump and element quantity to 1.

What about the Breumeister didn't you like? I ask because it's possible that the fix may not necessarily have to do with adding more vessels.
 
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Surfmase

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Hey Bobby thanks for your input. Interesting to hear your confidence in the eBIAB. Ultimately it is the most simplified system. I think I'm just partial against something being too easy maybe? What I hated about the BM 50 liter was lifting the basket, disturbing the clear wort, fighting with placing it on top of the kettle. A hoist would have helped some but I didn't have one. Just personally, I think I would rather use the above described 2V eHERMS (1pump, 1element) and accept the compromise of the MLT rather than lifting the bag of grains.
 

Bobby_M

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Hey Bobby thanks for your input. Interesting to hear your confidence in the eBIAB. Ultimately it is the most simplified system. I think I'm just partial against something being too easy maybe? What I hated about the BM 50 liter was lifting the basket, disturbing the clear wort, fighting with placing it on top of the kettle. A hoist would have helped some but I didn't have one. Just personally, I think I would rather use the above described 2V eHERMS (1pump, 1element) and accept the compromise of the MLT rather than lifting the bag of grains.

I had the same gut reaction to the process. In fact the reason I built my first BIAB rig is so that I could prove that it wasn't a viable process for "real" homebrewers. I had to eat my shoe on that one.

What if I told you that the 2-time state brewing champion, with two consecutive best of shows, uses eBIAB? Or, maybe that over 50% of my homebrew club uses eBIAB and we are the state homebrew club of the year 3 years in a row?

It is true that the wort can be a bit cloudy when you pull the basket/bag, but with proper settling and whirlpooling this is what the wort looks like going into the fermenter:
1666188361658.png



If you're not using an overhead lift, you can't really complain about the lifting unless your situation absolutely prohibits the use of some method of lift.
 
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