HERMS or RIMS?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

cwalter13

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Yardley
I am confused. I used to use a RIMS system. I pumped my mash through a pipe with a heating element. My goal was to recirculate the mash, keep a consistent temp, and raise the temp to mash out. It did not do a good job of raising the temp so I switched to a HERMS in hopes of reaching my 3 goals, only faster. With that I pumped my mash through "chilzilla" while also pumping hot water from my HLT to raise the temp. That didn't work that great either.

Now I am thinking of attaching my immersion wort chiller to hoses and pumps and pumping my mash through it as it is in my HLT (similar concept to a HERMS). I just don't know what to do. There are a million ways to accomplish my goal, but I just don't know the best way with the equipment that I have.

Any ideas or discussion would be greatly appreciated.
 

bruin_ale

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
1,401
Reaction score
25
Location
Campbell, CA
What about your current setup don't you like? A RIMS is generally faster for stepping than a HERMS (because you're heating a much smaller amount of liquid). I have a HERMS, I don't have any allusions about it being great for step mashes, but it works fine for getting to mashout. I recirculate during the mash with the HLT at mash temp, then I heat the HLT to mashout temp and keep recirculating. The temp of the wort going back into the mash tun is the same temp as my HLT temp - so raising the entire temp of the mash is a matter of how quickly I can pump the entire volume through the HLT (and how quickly I can get the volume of water in the HLT to the temp I'm aiming for)
 

ryandlf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2011
Messages
257
Reaction score
1
Location
Charlotte
FWIW I am using an immersion chiller as a HERMS coil in my newest build as well. I figured it made a lot more sense to reuse the equipment I am already using rather than build an entirely separate heating bucket. Unfortunately I am still waiting on a few parts of the system so I haven't had a chance to brew on it yet. I can't speak for how poorly or well this works.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
80
Any ideas or discussion would be greatly appreciated.
Have you tried direct firing your MT. I'm running a direct fired RIMS and it has been working very well for me. IMO, the key to success with this sort of system is a high flow rate on the circulation. A full width false bottom is also essential IMO.
 

JonW

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 9, 2009
Messages
2,100
Reaction score
313
Location
Huntington Beach, CA
Have you tried direct firing your MT. I'm running a direct fired RIMS and it has been working very well for me. IMO, the key to success with this sort of system is a high flow rate on the circulation. A full width false bottom is also essential IMO.
+1. Direct firing works well. The only thing I would add to this is that I turn my MLT burner down after heating my strike water so it isn't so powerful during the mash recirc.
 

bruin_ale

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
1,401
Reaction score
25
Location
Campbell, CA
Now I am thinking of attaching my immersion wort chiller to hoses and pumps and pumping my mash through it as it is in my HLT (similar concept to a HERMS).
That's not a similar concept to HERMs, that IS HERMS. What you were doing with the chilzilla is a slightly different concept because you're HEX isn't in the HLT - though the water comes from the HLT so I guess still HERMS technically. If you put the immersion in the HLT and pump through that and back into the MT, that's HERMS exactly.

That's basically what my build is. I bought a plate chiller, so I took my old IC - punched two holes in my HLT and put fittings (QDs and a ball valve on the lower one) on it. No idea why that would be any more efficient than pumping through a CFC though - either way, your wort should come out the same temp as the HLT water going into it.
 

Hex

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
952
Reaction score
29
Location
Granite Bay, CA
I'm tending towards direct fire, auto stir mash, separate lauter, or insert a lautering manifold into the mash tun after the mash is ready and the stirrer removed...
 

bighand

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
147
Reaction score
6
Location
Sandy
Have you tried direct firing your MT. I'm running a direct fired RIMS and it has been working very well for me. IMO, the key to success with this sort of system is a high flow rate on the circulation. A full width false bottom is also essential IMO.
I also use a direct fired RIMS with a more coarse crush and full width false bottom and it works great in stepping up temperatures. I agree that the key is to have a high flow rate on the recirculation.
 
OP
cwalter13

cwalter13

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Location
Yardley
@ Bruin: I don't like the RIMS set up because it was not heating to mash out temp fast enough. I might not have a hot enough heating coil maybe. I am thinking about setting up a HERMS exactly like yours because I do not have a flame under my mash tun for direct fire, but I do under my HLT.

@ Catt22: I thought about a direct fire system but I have other options with the equipment that I have now. A friend of mine likes his direct fire but I think I might make that a last resort.

A few of you guys have mentioned a high recirculation rate. Wouldn't that increase the chances of a stuck mash because you are compressing the grain bed?

I think what I will do for my next batch is try the HERMS where I recirculate through my IWC in my HLT back into the mash.

Thanks for the chatter guys. Please keep it going so I have more food for thought.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
80
@ Catt22:A few of you guys have mentioned a high recirculation rate. Wouldn't that increase the chances of a stuck mash because you are compressing the grain bed?
The grain bed will gradually settle and compact when circulating the wort through the grain bed a la RIMS or HERMS. This can eventually lead to a stuck mash if allowed to progress to that point. The grain bed consolidation is inevitable and happens to some degree whether or not one is aware of it. It's not a big deal as the cure is to simply stir the grain bed and resume the circulation. I stir the grain bed a lot anyway, so this is not even a minor inconvenience. Even a partially compacted grain bed will lead to channeling and that's the main reason I stir the grain bed frequently.
 

wedge421

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2008
Messages
952
Reaction score
14
Location
Harrisburg, PA
Of late it seems that a lot of people are having issue with their RIMS setups being caked down with proteins and sugars. Ive used a HERMS setup and it worked great but I think honestly either one is going to work out for you.
 

bruin_ale

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
1,401
Reaction score
25
Location
Campbell, CA
on the compaction issue.. I think the rate you start things at is the most important.. start the recirc very slowly until it's running clear, then you can open it up a little bit once the filter bed has "set"
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
80
on the compaction issue.. I think the rate you start things at is the most important.. start the recirc very slowly until it's running clear, then you can open it up a little bit once the filter bed has "set"
The grain bed will gradually compact/consolidate/settle/set when circulating the wort. The terms all refer to the same phenomenon and it is unavoidable, but it is also a matter of degrees. The only way I can see it not happening would be if the grain bed were continuously stirred with a motorized apparatus of some kind.
 

bruin_ale

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
1,401
Reaction score
25
Location
Campbell, CA
stirring the grain bed would sort of defeat one of the major benefits of recirculation (wort clarity), wouldn't it?
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
80
stirring the grain bed would sort of defeat one of the major benefits of recirculation (wort clarity), wouldn't it?
Not at all. The wort will clear quickly (in a matter of minutes) when circulation is resumed. IMO, the primary reason to circulate the wort is to help maintain a uniform temperature throughout the grain bed. I've never had any problems getting clear runoff. It's a non-problem IMO.
 

bruin_ale

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
1,401
Reaction score
25
Location
Campbell, CA
sounds good, I don't touch my grain bed once I've mashed in and stirred to remove dough balls. I batch sparge though, so channeling isn't a concern.
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
80
sounds good, I don't touch my grain bed once I've mashed in and stirred to remove dough balls. I batch sparge though, so channeling isn't a concern.
Are you doing a no-sparge then? I would think that you would need to stir the grain bed after the second infusion as well. The inevitable grain bed consolidation is really only applicable to the circulating RIMS or HERMS setups although I suppose one could get to the same place with an over done, extended high speed vorlaugh. I realized a big jump in my extraction efficiency when I started stirring the grain bed frequently and thoroughly, but that was an incidental benefit and of little importance to me in the big picture. I was surprised to see it jump that much though. My efficiency prior to doing the stirring thing was always rather mediocre and less consistent from batch to batch. It's smooth sailing nowadays and the stirring had a lot to do with that IMO.
 

bruin_ale

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2009
Messages
1,401
Reaction score
25
Location
Campbell, CA
Sorry, I left that out.. yes, I stir after each sparge addition - the recirc for about 5 minutes to re-clear.
 

wildwest450

Banned
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
8,978
Reaction score
188
I run wide open on my herms recirc(blichmann false bottom). I also malt condition, I believe that helps a lot. I can get to mashout with a 6 gallon batch in under 10 minutes form the low 150's.


_
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
80
I run wide open on my herms recirc(blichmann false bottom). I also malt condition, I believe that helps a lot. I can get to mashout with a 6 gallon batch in under 10 minutes form the low 150's.


_
Does sucking the wort through the Blichmann 1/4" ID dip tube hinder the flow rate any? I never did like that small dip tube they use. The malt conditioning helps tremendously when done properly. That 2.6 degrees/min gain is really good. Have you measured the actual flow rate? I need to do that next time I brew. I'm guessing about 1-1/2 gpm just eyeballing it, but I could be way off. I go as fast as I can, but way under wide open throttle. I can create a stuck sparge nearly instantly if I go wide open. Been there and more than once. That happened a lot when I was pushing the limits of the system. You must exceed the limit to know where it is and only experience can tell you that. It does not help that the target sometimes moves around, ie not all mashes behave the same way.
 

RiverCityBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
202
Location
Cincinnati
The diptube ID on my 15g boilermaker is .425, although they might be smaller on the smaller pots, but I don't think so.
 

wildwest450

Banned
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
8,978
Reaction score
188
Does sucking the wort through the Blichmann 1/4" ID dip tube hinder the flow rate any? I never did like that small dip tube they use. The malt conditioning helps tremendously when done properly. That 2.6 degrees/min gain is really good. Have you measured the actual flow rate? I need to do that next time I brew. I'm guessing about 1-1/2 gpm just eyeballing it, but I could be way off. I go as fast as I can, but way under wide open throttle. I can create a stuck sparge nearly instantly if I go wide open. Been there and more than once. That happened a lot when I was pushing the limits of the system. You must exceed the limit to know where it is and only experience can tell you that. It does not help that the target sometimes moves around, ie not all mashes behave the same way.
Actually, the dip tube is 7/16". I need to measure the flow rate, my herms coil is only 3/8", so it's not like i'm going wide open with all 1/2". My guess would be around a gallon a minute. That still turns the whole batch over in 6 or so minutes.

_
 

Catt22

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
4,998
Reaction score
80
The diptube ID on my 15g boilermaker is .425, although they might be smaller on the smaller pots, but I don't think so.
I was guessing that it was 3/8" OD. The 0.425 ID isn't so bad. That seems like an odd non-standard size. Makes me think it might be metric. I think the Blichmann dip tubes are all the same size with maybe an exception for the very large kettles, but I don't know that for certain.
 
Top