Going HERMS from old school

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Nov 15, 2009
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I have an electric setup with a homemade controller and I use gravity draining since I'm never in a rush when brewing. I go HLT into my cooler, then into BK. But that's about to change. A buddy of mine is moving out of state and gave me all of his brewing stuff including a HERMS pot with coil, a Kal electric panel almost fully assembled, two march pumps, and even a s-t-i-l-l (shhh) and I felt like a kid on christmas morning. Other than changing up my routine for brew day, anything else I should expect as far as new troubles? In a weird way I'm disappointed that I can brew on a level bench because I was going to weld myself a cool gravity stand which would take up less floor space than a large brew bench. I'll probably figure out a way to attach everything onto one unit like a hose routed in from outside the garage and another drain hose, a filter mounted (in my care package), and all my gear.

My current Mash tun is a 36 qt cooler and I use a grain bag so i get very clear wort. If the HERMS pot is now going to be my HLT, then my current HLT has no use really. It's a 10 gallon pot with drain valve attached, sight glass, etc. My BK is a keggle. I suppose I should add some wall mounted fill ports for the hoses, since I normally top load my pots.

any other pointers? And to be clear, I've made damned good beer with my old setup and had NO plans to change...but this stuff was just too good to pass up.
You could convert the old hlt into a mashtun sometime in the future when the plastic cooler wears out. Using a domed false bottom and an elbow would probably be all you need, amd maybe a return port.

The nice thing about electric herms is being able to set up the hlt the day or night before and come out the next morning ready to dough in, or have a long extended recirculating mash and never have temp variations.
I thought about that for the HLT. Already has a sight glass and elbow too so the elbow could go under the false bottom. It's not a big HLT though, only a 10 gallon pot since I made 5 gallon batches. Although I suppose that's still bigger
You can cut a hole in the cover to recycle the wort. I built some copper thing so it can emulate a tangential inlet, just place in the pot with the small cutout in the lid. You will need a pump to send the Wort through the coil. Make sure you vorluft the grain bed before attaching the pump.
I was maybe gonna add a camlock to the side instead of the lid and have a curved "dispensing pipe" following the curvature of the pot for recirculation. And I have not done herms before but I didn't think about the vorluft, good point. I will probably make a grain bag like I use now anyways, so stuck beds or debris is never an issue. Way better than manifold or false bottom IMO

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