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RIMS-HERMS Discussion

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tnlandsailor

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I think it would be helpful to open a discussion on RIMS-HERMS equipment and brewing systems. I'll start by stating that I have a HERMS type system that I have been using for about 4 years now. I am a huge supporter of this type of system.

I think the recirculating technique is often misunderstood by it's critics, over-hyped by it's fanatics, and generally looked upon as "over-the-top" by nearly everyone else. This type of system does not have to be as complicated as generally thought. However, because of it's nature, it's got a few more elements than a traditional type of all-grain system. Because of this, brewers have to be very careful about design and layout. I gave this a ton of thought before I built my brewery and am happy to say that all the work up front has really paid off, not to mention the experience of brewing with it over 50 times.

A recirculating system clearly has limitations. I've had many brewers tell me of their dissappointment with their systems because, I think, they had unrealistic expectations of its capability before they started. Top that off with poor planning and execution- and you have one more brewer bashing the recirculating technique.

I guess I'm starting this thread to try and hear some of the problems people have had and hopefully offer some suggestions on improvements or fixes and encourage those who are considering a recirculation system and steer them in the right direction.
 

D-brewmeister

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Sounds like a great idea for a thread, as this is a technique I don't know much about. First of all, what do those acronyms mean? What are the differences between them. I assume it has something to do with Mash System, perhaps Recirculating, maybe something about Heating? I dunno. Just give us unknowing masses a basic description of how they work, so we can think up some more specific questions about the systems.
 

Janx

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RIMS - Recirculating Infusion Mash System
HERMS - Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System

I have brewed hundreds of batches on several RIMS systems. When I went to build my current system, I built a 3-tier infusion mash setup...simple and works great.

RIMS and HERMS really *are* over the top. You can make great beer with them or without them, but they do overcomplicate an inherently failrly simple process. They're great for people who like to play with equipment as much as brew beer. Pleanty of commercial breweries find no need for such a system. They provide more failure points, more sanitation issues, more breakdowns, etc.

The *only* real gain I can see to a recirculating mash system is clarity. But that can be achieved with a simple pump on your mash tun without all the heating stuff.

Personally, having done a lot of brewing both ways, I prefer the simplicity of an infusion mash setup. And I brew beer just a good as I did on my RIMS systems. YMMV.

Good thread...been waiting for this one to show up. Cheers! :D
 
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tnlandsailor

tnlandsailor

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The original RIMS system was invented by Rodney Morris. He used a pump to take wort off the bottom of the mash tun and then pump it directly over an electric heating element inside a chamber, then back onto the top of the mash. A temperature contoller would turn the element off and on so that the wort acheived the desired temperature. This arrangement had some drawbacks. First, if the flow rate through the pump dropped during mashing, then the wort had a longer contact time with the heating element and had a tendency to scorch. Not good. Since then, people have used other methods to reduce scorching like low watt density elements and over heat sensors, etc.

The most significant improvement to RIMS was the concept of HERMS. This used a conductive coil (copper usually) submerged in hot water (a Heat Exchanger). Now the wort never comes in direct contact with the heat source, thus eliminating the possibility of scorching. Several methods can be used to heat the water so that the wort will be heated to the correct temperature.

Whichever method is used, the system relies on a pump to recirculate the wort and some kind of an automatically controlled heat source to heat the wort to the correct temperature. I've seen a dozen different configurations of this, some better than others. From here on out, I'll just refer to a recirculating system (RIMS or HERMS) as an RS.

An RS is definitely more complicated than a traditional gravity fed brewery. However, there are more benefits than just wort clarity. The first is temperature control. When properly designed, an RS will give you the same temperature in the mash from top to bottom and maintain it (equipment precision notwithstanding) at the same temperature for as long as you want. A static/traditional mash will have temperature gradients in it. Perhaps not much, maybe only a degree or two, but by eliminating these gradients, the consistency and repeatability of the system can be improved. Some folks with traditional mash systems have built elaborate contraptions termed "mash mixers" which will definitely eliminate the temperature gradients, but will also increase the heat loss in the mash tun. The ability of the recirculating system to add heat as necessary to the mash and maintain the desired temperature for the entire mash duration definitely makes it attractive for the homebrewer.

The arguments that state that an RS is "over the top" I think are unfounded. More failure points/breakdowns? Perhaps. Good design will take care of that. Sanitation issues? Sanitation issues don't exist pre-boil. Yes, you need to clean your mashing equipment, but no one has ever "infected" a beer prior to the boil. You can make any system "over the top". We've all seen it. The whole reason for the development of RS was to improve the traditional method of mashing, which I believe it does when properly implemented. Believe me, I've seen plenty of RS's that simply defy description for complexity. In some cases, I think they introduce more variables than they eliminate. My goal here is put the RS in perspective: it's not overly complex or troublesome, on the other hand, it's not as easy as it looks. I'm just here to give the straight poop on what does and doesn't make a good RS.
 

Janx

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Yeah I'm here to give the straight poop too. It's over the top and truly unnecessary. It's fine and fun if you enjoy tinkering with equipment, but it's like building a complicated shoe tying machine instead of just tying your shoes in the morning. Sure, your shoes may *theoretically* be tied exactly the same every time, but they get tied the same way when I tie them myself. I don't begrudge anyone who prefers such a system, but it isn't an improvement on the old way. It's just different and more complicated.

Consistency is the big goal thrown around by all the RS proponents, and it was (for some reason) an important goal of mine too when I got into RIMS. However, I found it to be more of a theoretical pie-in-the-sky than anything else. The reality is that your system will perform differently from brew to brew, even more so because a RIMS/HERMS is complex and has a lot of variables and parts that can misbehave or perform differently.

In reality, I can reproduce beers much better with my gravity system because it's simpler and has fewer variables. My pump or heating element or temp controller never act up, because my system doesn't use them, so my system performs the same every time. I never had similar results over many years with 3 RIMS systems. There was always something that needed adjusting/repairing/etc on it.

The other advantage you cite is a universal temperature throughout the tun, but I think we both know that any variability is negligible and really doesn't matter at all. When was the last time you didn't get total conversion? A well-insulated infusion tun may actually hold heat better because it isn't moving wort through a lot of tubing where it gets chilled. So, that one really isn't an advantage as I see it.

So, if there are so many advantages besides clarity, what are they? You really haven't said a single way that a RS makes your beer better. I don't buy the consistency/repeatability argument because experience tells me it's just not a reality, and I can reproduce beers fine without a RS system. Also, homebrewers are always experimenting, so what does exact reproducability matter? Even my standard house recipes are always getting tweaked in little ways. That's why we homebrew. Plus I can be more consistent with a simpler system that has fewer variables.

So, what ways does a HERMS make your beer better than my beer made with an infusion system? I hear you that you like your HERMS. You sound like the usual RIMS/HERMS proponent, proposing advantages that you admit don't make much if any difference (universal temp throughout). I think in the end, you either like a complex solution to mashing or you don't. Having tried both, I like the simple solutions, and can't see any tangible advantage in terms of the quality of the finished product. You prefer the complex solution. That's cool. A HERMS is almost certainly how they would brew on the starship Enterprise ;)

So how can your system make better beer than my system? That's the real bottom line. If you can't come up with any ways, then the system is, by definition, over the top, in the sense that it gains you no advantage other than you like complex gadjets.
 
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tnlandsailor

tnlandsailor

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Whew! Looks like I'm in for a long reply after that one. I'll apologize in advance for the length of this post. Good thoughts overall (except for the editorials), I'll tackle these one by one:
Janx said:
It's over the top and truly unnecessary. It's fine and fun if you enjoy tinkering with equipment, but it's like building a complicated shoe tying machine.....I don't begrudge anyone who prefers such a system, but it isn't an improvement on the old way. It's just different and more complicated.
It is different. That's the point. More complicated? RS definitely has more elements involved. Kind of like the difference between extract and all-grain. Of course its an improvement! Any time I can gain more control of a parameter its an improvement. Just because there is more involved does not mean you are tinkering with equipment all the time and things are hopelessly complicated.
Janx said:
Consistency is the big goal thrown around by all the RS proponents, and it was (for some reason) an important goal of mine too when I got into RIMS.
Consistency is absolutely key if you want to systematically improve your beer. The more control you have, the more consistent you will be. I don't see how this is arguable.
Janx said:
However, I found it to be more of a theoretical pie-in-the-sky than anything else. The reality is that your system will perform differently from brew to brew, even more so because a RIMS/HERMS is complex and has a lot of variables and parts that can misbehave or perform differently.
Unless you have a poorly designed RS, this is patently untrue. A well designed RS will perform almost identically from batch to batch. Again, design is key. If you design in complexity without purpose, it doesn't help. The reliability of the components is not really an issue here. Industries use temperature controllers and thermocouples for critical processes all the time. My experience does not bear out your argument.
Janx said:
In reality, I can reproduce beers much better with my gravity system because it's simpler and has fewer variables. My pump or heating element or temp controller never act up, because my system doesn't use them, so my system performs the same every time.
Good for you. I suspect you have better luck on your present system because your RS was problematic. On a poorly designed system, reproduction is nearly impossible. That's the purpose of this thread. My pump, heating element and temp controller don't act up either. These parts are used in different critical applications every day by millions of people. I don't hear anyone complaining.
Janx said:
I never had similar results over many years with 3 RIMS systems. There was always something that needed adjusting/repairing/etc on it.
No offense, but your system obviously had problems. All the more reason to look for real answers instead of ditching the whole concept.
Janx said:
The other advantage you cite is a universal temperature throughout the tun, but I think we both know that any variability is negligible and really doesn't matter at all.
I know no such thing. Anytime you have variability, there is inconsistency. I would never generally state that the variability of the temp gradients in the mash "don't matter at all".
Janx said:
When was the last time you didn't get total conversion? A well-insulated infusion tun may actually hold heat better because it isn't moving wort through a lot of tubing where it gets chilled. So, that one really isn't an advantage as I see it.
Conversion is really not an issue. I quit testing for conversion years ago. Conversion is not really what were after, it's the conversion products that matter. The fermentable/unfermentable profile that is the result of a certain mash temperature. This profile will change at different mash temps. Again, I have to bring up design. A well designed RS includes a well insulated mash tun. It also minimizes the tubing lengths to minimize heat losses and places the exit from the heat source just an inch or two from the mash tun return.
Janx said:
So, if there are so many advantages besides clarity, what are they? You really haven't said a single way that a RS makes your beer better. I don't buy the consistency/repeatability argument because experience tells me it's just not a reality, and I can reproduce beers fine without a RS system.
We really haven't listed the advantages yet have we? Ok:
1) Temperature control and uniformity
2) Wort clarity
3) The ability to perform a mash out without the addition of extra water or removing the mash, boiling it and dumping it back in. Each of which requires stirring. The benefits of mash out are debatable, however, I believe that performing a mash out improves efficiency (reduced wort viscosity) and promotes consistency (deactivates enzymes so that saccrafication stops at the same time for the entire mash).

I never said you couldn't reproduce beers on a traditional system. But the more control you have (on a well designed system), the easier it will be - and that's what RS is all about - control.
Janx said:
Also, homebrewers are always experimenting, so what does exact reproducability matter? Even my standard house recipes are always getting tweaked in little ways. That's why we homebrew. Plus I can be more consistent with a simpler system that has fewer variables.
Does being able to reproduce a beer matter or not? I thought "we" homebrew so that we can make better beer. You aren't getting better unless you know how you got there. If you do get there and don't know how, that's luck. Also, I would argue that a traditional system has more variables, not less. Variables are temperature, mash thickness, specific gravity, etc. More equipment doesn't equate to more variables neccessarily.
Janx said:
So, what ways does a HERMS make your beer better than my beer made with an infusion system? I hear you that you like your HERMS. You sound like the usual RIMS/HERMS proponent, proposing advantages that you admit don't make much if any difference (universal temp throughout).
RS is a tool. I've listed the benefits above. On the most basic level, making beer is all about temperature control. The more control you have, the better. This goes beyond mashing, it covers chilling, fermentation, and serving as well. I'll ignore the editorial at the end.
Janx said:
I think in the end, you either like a complex solution to mashing or you don't. Having tried both, I like the simple solutions, and can't see any tangible advantage in terms of the quality of the finished product. You prefer the complex solution. That's cool. A HERMS is almost certainly how they would brew on the starship Enterprise.
All I can say here is that a poorly designed RS will yield dissappointing results. That's why I started this thread. Again, I'll ignore the editorial.
Janx said:
So how can your system make better beer than my system? That's the real bottom line. If you can't come up with any ways, then the system is, by definition, over the top, in the sense that it gains you no advantage other than you like complex gadjets.
Systems don't make better beer, brewers do. Arm yourself with better tools and it will make your job easier. I won't repeat myself on the benefits, since I've stated them numerous times throughout this post.

I'll summarize by saying that Janx doesn't like RS as a brewing tool. That's fine. For those of you who have questions, or who are considering an RS, I'd be happy to listen to your questions and give them the same attention I've given to Janx, only I'll try to be a little less winded about it :). Good design and planning are the key to a successful RS system.
 

Janx

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tnlandsailor said:
We really haven't listed the advantages yet have we? Ok:
1) Temperature control and uniformity
I think we've both agreed that this one doesn't matter much and that the variability throughout a well-insulated mash tun is negligible. Not to mention that I doubt your temperature is uniform throughout your entire flow system.

tnlandsailor said:
2) Wort clarity
I grant you this one, but it doesn't require a HERMS or RIMS...just a pump...much simpler without all the heating whatnot.

tnlandsailor said:
3) The ability to perform a mash out without the addition of extra water or removing the mash, boiling it and dumping it back in. Each of which requires stirring.
Hmm...so? What's wrong with stirring? If the temp ends up where you want it, it's no big deal. A lot of breweries around the world stir their mash. A lot do decoction.

I think you do a disservice implying that these systems are not more complex. They are by definition. Your system involves pumps, heaters, temp controllers, plus the burners that mine does. Mine? Three kegs and two burners. Your system is by definition more complex with more failure points. That, my friend, is fact. I really can't believe that someone so obviously intelligent would argue so clear a point. Your system is my system plus a lot of moving parts, heaters, sensors, temp controllers, etc. And you say it is not more complex with more failure points?

I don't appreciate your implication that I experienced failures because my system was half-assed. Frankly, you haven't brewed very much on your system. Just because you've been lucky doesn't mean that pumps and heaters last forever. I brewed on my RIMS systems far more than you have, and didn't just scrap the idea at the first problem. I (and for that matter every brewing buddy I have who used RIMS) decided that it was a lot of complexity with no gain. Nothing you have said changes any of that.

In the end, you either like a complex solution to a simple problem or you don't. How do commercial breweries ever manage to reproduce beers without a HERMS? You imply it can't be done, which is obviously absurd. Every commercial brewer I have known pokes fun at homebrewers like yourself you tout the necessity for ultra-complex brewing systems. It isn't necessary for repeatability, nor is it necessary to brew quality beer. If it were, commercial breweries would use them. But these systems are just overkill, and that's why they remain the domain of homebrewers.

But since your HERMS probably cost 10 times what a simple infusion setup costs, I can understand why you're trying to find reasons it makes better beer. To be fair, you should probably mention that when touting its very few and very questionable advantages.
 
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tnlandsailor

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Not exactly what I had in mind when I started this thread yesterday. Questions and comments welcome.
 

rightwingnut

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I'm wondering if tnlandsailor uses a hydrometer....
I'm actually glad to read all this, as it makes me not worry about upgrading to brew better beer. I respect Janx's experience, and trust it, so I'm happy in feeling that my simple gravity system will be all I need. I've seen and read of RIMS and HERMS, and sighed at thinking I would have to learn it all and put a ton of money into it, because I always like to go all-out and get the best of the best for my hobbies. But I do enjoy simplicity, and if Janx says simple is good, simple is good.
 
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Good reading for me. I happen to be a gadget freak, so reading about this is quite informative. I do tend to think the benefiets do not warrant the expense and complexity for most home brewers but for me, I'm fascinated by it and I'm quite sure I will end up tackling a RIMS / HERMS in due time. I think my final decision (after all the time and money has been spent) on the system I end up using will come down to how I can minimize the effort on my part and have an automated system that I just throw in grains at one end and drink cold beer out of the other :D (No, buying the final product has no gratification so I won't go that simple)

I would prefer tinkering with the equipment and having it potentialy perfect the beer for me than to tinker with the brew. I don't care to speed up the process however, since this is quality beer drinking time! I often refer to how long it takes me to cut my lawn in terms of beer... takes me 4 beers to mow ;) Now I want to sit back and take 8 beers to brew!

Please, discuss away!
 

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If you haven't checked out tnlandsailor's site, do so. It's a nice site and his sytem looks very tight. I think we're on opposite ends of the brewing spectrum in terms of our approach to the gear. I use barb fittings all over the place, and my guess is he has a hydrometer. Call me old fashioned...or Okie ;)

Also, be sure to check out morebeer's systems. They run into some serious cheddar, but they look pretty slick, and you can get good ideas if you're interested in concocting your own system.

Dyer, your comments about a beer machine make me think of Wile E Coyote busting open some big crate with Acme Beer-O-Matic written on the side. Dump in grains and a bunch of wheels turn, pumps go, things beep and whir, and beer comes out ;)
 

myndphaser

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Does ACME have an online store for that?

Not trying to be a dick, but the only benefit I really picked up on for the RIMS was temp control. Even in a boiling kettle or converted keg there will be variations in temperature. You can type until your fingers fall off, but there is absolutely no way in hell that you can keep the temperature the same to within even a two degree margin no matter how many gadgets and gizmos you use. It's just plain physics, that which is exposed to direct heat is going to be warmer than that which is exposed to indirect heat and warmer still when compared to that which is exposed to normal atmospheric temperatures.

Now for my question:
If there is going to be some variability in temperature regardless of the added expense and gizmos involved, what is the real benefit?



I should really write a note to myself to not poke the bear.
 
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Is there really a perfect temperature at which to mash / sparge? I have read different numbers from differnet sources. Some being 150, 155 and 160. Also, if there are processes such as step mashing, then once again... a perfect temp is not so critical (although I realize the different temp. bands here are for different processes to take place in the mash). I would also think that different grains would be optimal at different temperatures.


Ok... I'll fall back here... I think the point was consistency. Maybe we don't know the ideal temp for that grain with it being that age etc etc but this perhaps is more a consistency issue.

Hmmm, the gears in my head are grinding thinking of ways to maintain absolute temperature control ;) Sounds like a fun challenge for me!
 

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myndphaser said:
Now for my question:
If there is going to be some variability in temperature regardless of the added expense and gizmos involved, what is the real benefit?
I think you know my answer ;)

I wouldn't be suprised if a non-recirculating well-insulated mash tun had a more stable temperature throughout than a recirculating. You're going to lose heat mostly in the hoses, fittings, etc, and because the volume in the recirculating hoses is so low. In my mash tun, I lose *maybe* a degree an hour just because of thermal mass. It's not even that well insulated.
 

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DyerNeedOfBeer said:
Ok... I'll fall back here... I think the point was consistency. Maybe we don't know the ideal temp for that grain with it being that age etc etc but this perhaps is more a consistency issue.
A lot is known about temperature and enzymatic action. We know that a protein rest occurs at about 120-122. And saccarification can happen anywhere from about 140-158. The lower your temp, the dryer your beer, because you generate more fermentables and less dexetrins and whatnot.

The RIMS/HERMS advocates would say that it's about repeatability...so no matter what temperature you want, you can repeat it again. I would say I can do the same thing with my simple infusion setup. No matter what your equipment, if you use the same procedure every time, you'll get the same results. I heat my strike water to 171 and my grain ends up at 150-152...every time.

And the thing is, RIMS/HERMS still requires you to heat strike water and do an infusion to start the mash. If you strike too high or low and want to adjust the temperature, it's going to take 10 or 15 minutes of recirculating to adjust that large volume at a minimum, by which time most conversion has already occured at the non-desired temperature. I've seen full conversion in 15 minutes many times. Since so much of the relevant activity is determined by the strike temperature, it really amounts to very little difference in terms of relevant temperature control.
 
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tnlandsailor

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Looks like we'll just have to agree to disagree about control and consistency. I've never seen a homebrewer effectively duplicate a recipe on a traditional static mash, others reading this thread have. I've had nothing but good, repeatable results on an RS, others say they've gotten nothing of the sort. According to some, the RS actually has worse repeatability because it's "hopelessly complex". The logic, experience, and real world brewing practice on both sides disagree. Hmmmm, imagine that.

In the big scheme of things, what does consistency matter on a homebrew scale anyway? It all comes down to how you like to brew and the results you are trying to achieve. If you can see no benefit from doing something, don't do it. If you do see a benefit and it falls in line with where you want to take your brewing, make sure you do it right. If you've read this thread up to this point, you've heard the benefits of RS batted about and you've certainly made up your mind by now whether or not they make sense.

My whole point of bringing up this thread in the first place is to offer up advice to those who are considering, or those who are having trouble with, their recirculating systems. NOT to debate the merits of RS. Frankly, I'm bored with doing that here. I've seen many false claims and outright lies endorsing RS. I don't subscribe to this. You can spend a lot of money and time and still end up with something no better than what Janx brews on ;). One look at my website will tell you about my stand on RS, it's limitations, and it's pitfalls (among other things). I'm just offering my assisstance to those of you who want to give RS a try.
 

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Well, I think you'll have to forgive this group kicking around the relative merits of these systems. Many folks here are fairly new to brewing. Some have never heard much about these systems, and we've only touched on the subject once or twice, but never really kicked around the upsides and downsides in this forum. As people become more educated on the subject, hear both sides, and decide whether it is or is not for them, there will probably be some more interest in building one.

Or maybe everyone just wants to make kickass beer on a system "no better than the one I brew on"...kinda like I do every week. ;)
 

Janx

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I have no aversion to them. Look around on this forum if you want to know my opinion. The short version is that 90% of first time brewers' first post involves something about how their gravity readings aren't what they expect and they are all stressed out. I point out that a hydrometer is in no way necessary for making beer, and especially with your first batch of extract beer, it's completely irrelevant. I tell em to get rid of it if it's not adding to the enjoyment, and bring it back in as you get more experience and feel less task loaded.

It's kind of like my stance with RIMS/HERMS...if it adds to the experience to know those numbers, then by all means have at it, but newbies should know that they don't have to use a hydrometer at all. I don't. I think the literature directed at new brewers is misleading regarding the importance of gravity readings and it stresses out new brewers. I know that many people have been greatly put at ease by this knowledge.
 
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tnlandsailor

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Good call. Lots of things to worry about for the first few times other than SG. Especially with a kit beer.
 
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tnlandsailor

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Looks like the RIMS/HERMS thread is dying a slow death. Keep my e-mail and web address handy for future reference on this.

Prost,
 

COLDBREWER

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tnlandsailor, I like your site. I have been using my RIMS since 1997 and have had great luck (and fun) with it. To be honest I don't know if it makes my beer more repeatable, better or worse than when I brewed without it. Frankly, I'm a gadget freak with a computer/engineering background and I love to design and build. Is it a better "mousetrap"? I have no idea and don't care. I can tell you that my friends and family are happy with the results and I suspect they couldn't care if I brewed using a RIMS or brewed in a bathtub. However, for me, I love using RIMS because it is fun for me and allows me to enjoy the hobby that much more. Good on you for sharing your design and thoughts. I support you 100% and those that don't get a kick out of brewing with a RIMS/HERMS good on them too. In the end, if they enjoy brewing the way they do, that's all that counts.

By the way, I got some good ideas from your sight. I'm definately going toward quick disconnects. I dont use HERMS but it sure gives me something to think about.

I Had another idea for my RIMS, assuming that I dont go in the HERMS direction. Had you or someone else ever considered using a SS Hot-tub heater unit for the heat exchanger? I thought about that the other day while sitting in my hot tub. The heater in my tub (manufactured by balboa) actually has no element in-line with the water. The element is sandwiched between an outer SS tube and an SS inner tube. The inner tube wall is heated. I wonder with the larger amount of surface space if this would prevent the wort scorching? If so, maybe the heater could be used in a HERMS application. What are your thoughts on this?
 

MAH

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I'm going to agree with Janx that a RS is OTT, but if as homebrewers we can do it, then why not. No it's not neccessary to have a RS to brew top quality beer, but this is a hobby and we're not constrained by profit margins, efficient use of time etc, so if you want a RS go for it. And as Dennis very openly points out on his site, just do so with full aknowledgement of it's limitations.

Yeah commercial brewers might poke fun at us, but as homebrewers we do lots of things they simply can't do or don't need to do and this is just another example. I'm sure they laugh at us for overly complicated recipe formulations, but who cares, I'm not after their approval, I just want to have fun and make better beer than I can buy. A RS is just another way of having fun.

We equally poke fun at commercial brewers for having their hands tied to an extent, and giggle about how they can't be as experimental as us. A RS is just another element of that experimental approach that we can revel in.

Also I don't think a RS should be considered as complex as Janx makes it out to be. My simple infusion system employed a HLT, MT and Kettle. I converted these all to single level because I didn't want to have steps or ladders or vessles full of hot liquid too high. Next logical step was to add a pump to make the single level system nice and easy to operate. I'm sure that Janx would admit that using a pump on a single infusion system is not overly complex. Well once I had the pump the next simple step was to add a heat exchanger and temp controller. I had everything else and this was a simple addition. Again not that complex. Why would I want to do this. Because I can. It's how I get my kicks. I don't need to do decoctions, but I do because I can. It's also the reason why most of us don't use a Zapap Lauter Tun wrapped in a camping mat. From the perspective of being able to measure any significant difference, it would do the job just as well as a cylindrical cooler. But we move on because we can.

Finally I don't think we should be trying to convince people to build a RS or not to build a RS. Rather as Dennis generously offered at the start of the thread, we should offer advice on how to do it properly if they want to. I wanted to and gained a lot from his site.

Cheers
MAH
 
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tnlandsailor

tnlandsailor

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Thanks MAH, I'm glad the right message got out there. An RS isn't for everyone, but if someone wants to try, I want to put some good information out there so they know as much as possible going in.

Prosit,
 
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