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Jan 23, 2020
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I was super-inspired by the "Automated HERMS system" thread from Blackheart and learned quite a bit about efficient brewery equipment process and design.

I wanted to build a copy of the HERMS system but keep it on a tight budget (need to prove my new-found hobby is not a whiff). I tend to over-complicate stuff, trying to make it cool. But the goal for this build was to keep cost low, build a simple, functionable system that can easily control volume and temperature, easy to sanitize, work without too much mess/spills and give a consistent result. It should allow me to enjoy some beer along the brewing process without being at peak performance.

So, I ordered cheap Chinese equipment for a 3-tier, 5 gallon system. It consists of 3 brewing machines with 2500w heating, an inner tub for grains, an 8m cooling coil, 3 food grade pumps, 6 meter of silicone hoses, a condenser, a few stainless fittings, and a fermenter. I recon the build cost is less than 650$ and I'll recover the investment after 10 -12 batches (beer is expensive in Norway).

For simplicity, I added a pump to each of the 3 tiers (although, I could have made it with a total of two pumps) , all connections are manual connecting hoses to barbs before adding water, turning on/off heat and/or pumps.

The last picture shows the pump bolted onto the brew-machine wirh 1/2" ID hoses connected.

I also added an overview of the system (schematic, drawn in Visio). I made a pdf that will explain the steps in the process.

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System overview (Visio dwg)


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