Portable RIMS

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N5629

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I've been formulating a plan for a portable RIMS for a couple weeks now and have a pretty clear idea of what I want - and now, before I start fabricating this contraption I could use a review of this plan before I start throwing cash at it.

The idea is to build a portable frame for the RIMS - pump, heater and PID control panel - probably out of 2x4s, and rig it up with QD and braided high-temp plastic hose to connect to two 5-gal. Igloo coolers for HLT and MLT. The HLT would have a heater element built into it and would connect to the control panel through a GFCI plug for power, and I'd rig up a 1/8 inch mono jack to connect the thermocouple to a PID. For the MLT I'll either build a manifold or put in a false bottom for lautering. I'd boil full-volume over a king kooker outside during warmer months and spilt the boil into two pots on a stove during winter.
The main point of this being that, since I am in school for the next couple years and will probably be moving through apartments every 12 months, I can break this into three parts and fit it easily into my piece-of-s#$& Honda Civic and drag it with me at will.

I guess my question is, since nearly everybody on these forums has more experience than me, am I asking to get electrocuted? Or, for that matter, is there something seriously important that I am totally ignorant of?

I love brewing beer but I am not really in the market for a messy death, or should I only burn my building down, a messy lawsuit. So, any opinions on the topic would be great.
 
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N5629

N5629

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Actually, that makes alot of sense - and it would make sparging a bit easier - you could gravity drain the wort out of the MLT while pumping sparge water out of the HLT a whatever rate you'd want. Something to think about...
 

MrNate

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I'll get around to adding a RIMS to my brewladder one of these days. Maybe this winter.
 
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N5629

N5629

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MrNate,

Where did you find your coolers - I am having a devil of a time tracking two down - it is coming to the point of me trying to con my track-coach uncle to let me buy a couple from his high school. Also, I'd rather not pay shipping on those suckers, or I'd just order online.
 

MrNate

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Oh, sorry.... I built mine a little differently. I do 5g batches using an electric HLT and an Ice Cube cooler. I think you can get those Igloos at Home Depot, though.

Mine looks like this:
 
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N5629

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Are we sure that isn't modern lawn art?

No, in truth that is very close to what I had in mind, except mine is gonna have to fit into an apartment kitchen, which seems doable. If I am boiling on a stove or totally separate area, I could just get a shorter ladder I suppose, or cut a full size one off, since I won't have to account for the height of the burner.

What sort of temperature control do you use on the recirc and HLT elements?

Thanks for the lead on the coolers.
 

MrNate

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Mine fits in my kitchen, and I think I used a slightly shorter ladder than he did. Mine is a 5' IIRC. They are available in 3', 4', 5', and 6' at your local Ace hardware.

Temp control on the HLT is a simple Johnson aquastat (ebay) and relay controlling a DHW heater element. In hindsight, I wish I had just bought a Love controller. Analog sucks.

I haven't built the recirc yet, but I am thinking of going very simple with one of those electric coffee mug heaters (like a miniature bucket heater) and an aquarium pump, hopefully not really needing a temp controller.
 

slnies

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Here is another idea for ya. Completely portable, I like to brew, just about anywhere. My first set up was similar but with a five gallon Gott cooler.
 
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N5629

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That is more or less exactly what I was thinking - except with a cooler connected with disconnects to make it come apart even smaller. Really when if comes down to it, the total size of the RIMS section of this wouldn't need to be that big - just limited by what a guy can do with the plumbing.

I am wondering which I should use - braided plastic or copper? The ability to disassemble to clean the tubes might be a positive. Opinions?
 

slnies

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That is more or less exactly what I was thinking - except with a cooler connected with disconnects to make it come apart even smaller. Really when if comes down to it, the total size of the RIMS section of this wouldn't need to be that big - just limited by what a guy can do with the plumbing.

I am wondering which I should use - braided plastic or copper? The ability to disassemble to clean the tubes might be a positive. Opinions?
Well, I will tell you what. The manifold is about as small as I could make it and fit the element, but you could mount it in the stand though. For a five gallon set up, that is what I would do. As for the plumbing, Good cleaning and rinsing practices are all you need. Trust me, I try to grow **** in there just to see how easy or not cleaning is. My set up is really simple. Just so you are informed you do not need to do the plumbing in copper. CPVC is just as good, in fact it is what I originally used in my first set op of the rig. S.
 

slimer

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Oh, sorry.... I built mine a little differently. I do 5g batches using an electric HLT and an Ice Cube cooler. I think you can get those Igloos at Home Depot, though.

Mine looks like this:
I like your brew ladder.

I really was thinking about building a tool box like John Beere's cooling tool box but have both a RIMS and a Shirron cooler in it. It could fit on the paint shelf very easily.

Keeps everything portable too.
 
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