BrewHardware RIMS package (Review from my experience)

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Jako

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I want to start out by staying this review is not me bashing on BrewHardware. I have only had super good experiences and will continue to order from BrewHardware.

Also i want to say i never reached out to BrewHardware about the issues i had as it happened months after use and i have no way of pin pointing the issue. For me i don't believe on pushing issues on retailers unless i have good reason to do so.

so to start off. I purchased this RIMS system for a 2V set up. i had the RIMS tube set up horizontally and it worked flawlessly for 7 months or so. the quality of the RIMS tube is amazing and i have 0 complaints about it. I highly highly suggest buying the tube if you plan on making a RIMS set up. To the point. the past 4 Brew days the RIMS scorched my wort extremely bad. the first two times i took it as user error and accepted the loss. The last 2 brew days i make sure everything was set up perfectly, took advice from others and watch carefully. Only to have the heating element scorch once more.

I don't know what caused this issue. the PID controller, user error, or the element going bad. with that said i would highly suggest buy the RIMS tube but not the Ink bird controller and element as kit. I could be the only one with the issue who knows. I just wanted to share my experience and thoughts on this as it's not cheap and honestly i am unhappy at my situation.

i plan to add pictures and edit this thread once i have a moment.
 

apache_brew

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I would think mounting the rims tube horizontally increases your chances for air entrapment and scorching. The vertical/bottom inlet configuration eliminates that and always keeps the element wet while pumping.

I’m sure there are ways to troubleshoot the controller. Perhaps ask Bobby or reach out to Inkbird.

I’m not sure how much can go wrong with heating elements. I’d assume they either work or don’t. Again, I’m sure there is some trouble shooting that can be done.
 

matt_m

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Do you have any pictures of how you have it installed? I used one of these with a different controller for a while with not issues. I had it installed horizontally, input was down on the element end, output was up on the sensor end.
 
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Jako

Jako

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I would think mounting the rims tube horizontally increases your chances for air entrapment and scorching. The vertical/bottom inlet configuration eliminates that and always keeps the element wet while pumping.

I’m sure there are ways to troubleshoot the controller. Perhaps ask Bobby or reach out to Inkbird.

I’m not sure how much can go wrong with heating elements. I’d assume they either work or don’t. Again, I’m sure there is some trouble shooting that can be done.
I bought a multimeter today to do some testing of my own. You would think that would help but I almost tried it all. This is the last test if you will. But I have made plans to get rid of it already
 
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Jako

Jako

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Do you have any pictures of how you have it installed? I used one of these with a different controller for a while with not issues. I had it installed horizontally, input was down on the element end, output was up on the sensor end.
I will definitely supply some once I get home. I should have added some from the beginning.
 
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Jako

Jako

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I cant find a decent picture of the RIMS set up. But you can see the burnt coil and zoom in on the over all pic. The rims was always flowed with the temp sensor on the exit end. In this picture it shows other wise. Just how it was stored clean
 

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Exit was always run with the port up. In both horizontal and vertical positions.
 

matt_m

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How sure are you that you've got constant flow and no air? If the pump is being starved, there's a good chance of losing flow over the element and probe. You might consider a sight glass between the pump and RIMS tube if you aren't absolutely sure. You'd see it in your output too.

Not exactly the same thing but I've sucked too much out from under my bag before. As soo as the probe (and element) are out of the liquid things go nuts.
 
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i am mostly sure, i would say 100% but its not like i was watching the whole time. I like the sight Glass idea but how do you set it up between the pump and RIMS?
 

eric19312

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A sight glass would require putting a new hole in your kettle (for the eyebolt that secures the top).

Another solution is a flow meter. There are cheaper options but I imagine this one has been checked to be food safe and ok to use at mash temps. You could mount it to the out flow of the RIMS tube. Blichmann also sells a version with an alarm function...with some electronics skills you could probably wire a fail safe that would tell the controller to kill the heat when flow is below target minimum.

 

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eric19312

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Haha that might work too. I was thinking of this sight glass

Used as a manometer which is what I use on my mash tun to keep an eye out for mash sticking in my direct fire RIMS. I'd be concerned the sight glass you linked might not give you enough warning you are headed to sticking...seems like it could look just fine right up until you are getting cavitation in the pump because you are firmly stuck. With a flow meter or manometer you can see the flow slowing over time and have opportunity to make adjustment before you end up stuck, and have plenty of warning to turn off the heat source while you figure the issue out.
 

matt_m

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If there's turbulent flow you'd definitely see it but that's a great point on detecting stuck mash. I in fact just bought a flow meter from someone here for my recirc line in my eBIAB system so I can start controlling recirc based on something besides "that looks ok" and improve consistency.

I have a suspicion the issue here is flow but maybe a bad temp probe could be the issue. @Jako if it were me I'd do some water testing to ensure you are getting steady flow and temps, and that your output temp is inline with what the Inkbird unit is set for. Solve any problems detected there, then move on to a new brew day and watch for the same. If you get new problems, its probably a stuck mash.
 

stealthfixr

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I have a Brewhardware.com RIMS setup with an Inkbird controller and have had nothing but success. Only slight scorching was from a 113F to 154F rise only using the RIMS tube, which I could have prevented in the controller custom setting with less element power. Still cleaned up just fine and the resulting beer was outstanding. My RIMS tube is vertically oriented.
 
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Just wanted to follow up on all this.

After extensive testing and digging into everything. The cause of my issue was a bad ground in the heating element. Water made it into housing and started to rust.

The inkbird under load as well as temp probe all checked out.
 
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