RIMS or HERMS?

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Hi all,

I've looked online and there seems to be pros and cons for both.

Would love your feedback and help on which one I should go for. I'm brewing about 70 litre batches so only small.

My system is controlled electronically using PIDS so I can accurately control my HLT so I'm leaning towards installing a HERMS tube inside it and recirculating.

Thanks
 

applescrap

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I would vote neither. My 2c.

Ill explain, coincidentally someone just posted this

Hi everyone,*

Some time ago i've made a HERMS system for brewing beer, even automatized it with microcontroller, top notch and everything.*
I've brewed a few beers, however, unsuccessfully.

After 1 year of trying, i just can't make a good beer (or i do, but i don't know that), so i am left with this HERMS system. Since it was an expensive investment, i don't want to throw it away but use it for something.

Is your goal to make beer or make a rig? If the goal is beer im not convinced these systems necessarily make the best or easiest. Sure many will slam me for my views likely seeking justification of their bulky expensive system. You are free to read and believe whatever you want. I saved my money to buy hifi speakers to listen to why i drink home brew.
 

AnOldUR

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If the goal is beer im not convinced these systems necessarily make the best or easiest.
If your goal is beer, get it from a store. For me homebrewing is a hobby. It's the journey, not the destination. Experimenting with technique, recipes, ingredients, equipment .... are all part of the trip. Getting great beer just makes it better. IMO, if all you want is to say that you made beer, you're doing it wrong.

Back on topic. If I were the OP, I'd go with the HERMS first, since he's already half way there. But building a RIMS system is a fun project too.
 

MilkStout

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I chose to build a HERMs system. I liked the idea that the worts did not come in contact with the heating element during the mash. However, I agree with Doctor M that a RIMs of HERMs system helps with consistency (at least for me). Either system is capable of will brew good brew, but so is a cooler mash tun without re-circulation. I personally learned a lot when doing research on building my HERMS set-up. I have had mine for about 2 years and am still tweaking it (my wife thinks it is a mental disorder).

Have fun with either. This should be fun!
 
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We prefer the HERMS system and will be rolling ours out shortly. We've found the HERMS gives the best repeatability and efficiency. We consistently hit 85-88% brew house efficiencies.
 
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Thanks everyone. I totally agree with the hobby element. I think I will go for a HERMS system as the HLT is controlled electronically so I will be able to keep a constant temp.

You could potentially spend thousands but that's all part of the fun!
 

mabrungard

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I don't believe there are significant advantages in the differences between RIMS or HERMS. Sure, HERMS doesn't bring wort in contact with a hot element, but unfortunately, some HERMS may leave the wort in the heat exchanger for too long and that may partially denature some enzymes. RIMS does offer the ability to instantly turn off the heat and avoid overheating the wort and denaturing enzymes.

I found that including a PID is critical to operating a RIMS and it is probably very helpful in operating a HERMS. From my perspective, it appears that RIMS can be a little simpler and less expensive than a HERMS.
 

BrauHund

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I've helped a fellow brewer build a RIMS and have seen it in action. I have zero experience with HERMS and have often wondered how reactive (and efficient) a HERMS is to temperature change.
 

jcav

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I love this hobby. Since I went to the herms system, it is very easy (on my system at least) to hold the temps where I need them and can repeat it also the next time. This has made me a better brewer and my beers taste fantastic, which is exciting to me, and keeps me wanting to brew more and more all the time. I really can't get over the quality of the beer I am able to make with my system. Which is great since I built it to make good beer but I also love the whole process.....Rims is also a good way to go and I think either one will serve you well with the right pid controller and accurate temp probes.

John
 

iijakii

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I would vote neither. My 2c.

Ill explain, coincidentally someone just posted this

Hi everyone,*

Some time ago i've made a HERMS system for brewing beer, even automatized it with microcontroller, top notch and everything.*
I've brewed a few beers, however, unsuccessfully.

After 1 year of trying, i just can't make a good beer (or i do, but i don't know that), so i am left with this HERMS system. Since it was an expensive investment, i don't want to throw it away but use it for something.

Is your goal to make beer or make a rig? If the goal is beer im not convinced these systems necessarily make the best or easiest. Sure many will slam me for my views likely seeking justification of their bulky expensive system. You are free to read and believe whatever you want. I saved my money to buy hifi speakers to listen to why i drink home brew.
That sucks! What issues are you having with the new system?
 

jrcrilly

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That sucks! What issues are you having with the new system?
The guy who originally posted that went on to describe his water chemistry problems so it wasn't a process issue. He was just frustrated that the process improvements hadn't helped. Doesn't mean they won't be worthwhile once he sorts out his water.
 

jrcrilly

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I found that including a PID is critical to operating a RIMS and it is probably very helpful in operating a HERMS. From my perspective, it appears that RIMS can be a little simpler and less expensive than a HERMS.
Agreed, at least for an externally heated RIMS. When I was evaluating directly heated RIMS and HERMS for my setup I fiddled with three control methods. The system response was sufficiently slow that manual temp control was workable but inconvenient . I agree that wouldn't be practical with an externally heated RIMS setup. A simple thermostat controller was, of course, better and the PID better yet. With PID and sensor prices as low as they are there's not much reason to not use them.

The energy budget demanded for the higher volumes involved in direct RIMS and HERMS made the control scheme more compex and expensive than an externally heated, low volume RIMS would require. That is where the savings would come in. I like HERMS for maintaining mash temp and the faster-responding direct RIMS for ramping temperatures. An external RIMS could be even faster if flow rates are high enough so there is that to consider if ramping is important.
 

mabrungard

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The guy who originally posted that went on to describe his water chemistry problems so it wasn't a process issue. He was just frustrated that the process improvements hadn't helped. Doesn't mean they won't be worthwhile once he sorts out his water.
I've crowed about this for years. Some brewer's water can be bad enough that no matter what they do, they won't be happy with the resulting beer. People like to say that Water is the last topic a brewer should tackle, but that isn't always true.
 

augiedoggy

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I first went with herms but then decided after a few months to go rims on the cheap... After a couple different configurations I now have what I consider to be a foolproof and scorch proof rims system for about $200 if I include the rims pid, flow switch and other electrical components used... I decided to go with a very long straight ULWD cartridge heater to give me a long gentle heating rims tube which increases the contact time on each pass and allows the wort to reach the target temp in one pass easily... This allows fast step mashes and since it heats so gently theres no buildup to clean on the element after brewing.. the $10 flow switch kills the element power if I ever had a pump failure or stuck flow from my mashtun which has never happened because of the triple filter false bottom technique I use.. There are pics and links in my build thread below toward the end if your interested in using anything Ive learned... I am also able to independently heat up my sparge water while recirculating this way which saved time since I see no benefit in a traditional "mashout" myself with my fly sparge workflow.

Herms works well. Its just a lot slower and requires good re circulation in your HLT (or herms tank) to keep even liquid temps... its also slightly less efficient not that its important on this scale of brewing... I wanted to be able to easily do protein rests and such and the rims allows that in a reasonable time period. I also wanted to be able to control mash and HLT temps independently and do so at the same time on 1 30a circuit... I found I could easily do that with the setup I went with.... No worried of the inside of my herm coil getting all slimy and nasty either.. despite my efforts I had that issue with my herms after a while even though I designed the coil to fully drain after use and flushing out.I bet if smoe herms users here, ran a beer line brush through the first of last 4 feet of their herms they would not be happy with what comes out...
 

applescrap

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Spending thousands part of the fun, the goo that will come out of a herms tube.... I'm standing by my original comment. Oh and the implication that one should just go to a store and buy beer if they don't want to build a system like this is garbage.I'm standing by my original post from the homebrew standpoint. Hell use a burner, I don't even use the thermostat of my PID the PID won't work without it not sure I want to go banging it around. Anyways if you must build one it would seem that a rim system with a 12 volt pump be a good idea. The idea of scorch beer with the system seems unlikely.. I made three beers with the system 5500w and none were scorched. And if you are going to build this system the gentleman that have posted here are worth deeply researching their experiences they have embarked on this path and have been generous enough to share their wisdom. That includes me :) however I just disagree
 
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