RIMs vs HERMS....at 120v

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HokieHT07

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Looking at going RIMS or HERMS, but I have to stay at 120v. I move around a lot (military) and can't garuntee that the next place I live will have 220v. What are my options? I like the RIMS setup at Brewhardware, but am also aware of the issues with RIMS systems writ large.
 

Bohern

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Looking at going RIMS or HERMS, but I have to stay at 120v. I move around a lot (military) and can't garuntee that the next place I live will have 220v. What are my options? I like the RIMS setup at Brewhardware, but am also aware of the issues with RIMS systems writ large.
due to the restriction of power I'd say you have to go with a RIMS setup. I have never used one personally but have done some research and that is my 2 cents.

EDIT: a second thought may be an all in one system too.
 

RPh_Guy

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If you're just wanting to maintain temperature, 120V is great.

However if you're wanting to step mash, 120V may be slow, depending on the size of your mash (which you didn't mention).
 
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HokieHT07

HokieHT07

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due to the restriction of power I'd say you have to go with a RIMS setup. I have never used one personally but have done some research and that is my 2 cents.

EDIT: a second thought may be an all in one system too.
I've thought about that and figured RIMs was the way to go. However, a lot of the controllers for them are 220 it seems. I tried using a grainfather once. If I'm space constrianed for a long period of time I'll have to look at it, but where I live in Northern NY it was waaaaay to slow heating up in the cold of my garage and I cannot brew inside.
 
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HokieHT07

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Why not an eBIAB system with two 120v elements installed? If I were restricted to 120v, that's the only choice I'd consider.
I've been using my rubbermaids for mashing and sparging for years and don't want to move to BIAB. I feel like if I'm going to buy new equipment it should build on what I aleady have and use. it also just doesn't seem as fun.
 

Bobby_M

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Thats fair but if you want rock solid temps, the ability to step mash, boil electric, and stay mobile thats a great choice. Ive brewed on every type of system in 14 years and youd have to pry my eBIAB outof my cold dead hands.

Keep in mind this recommendation is in spite of my option to trying selling you my Rims system.
 

BYOB504

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Why not an eBIAB system with two 120v elements installed? If I were restricted to 120v, that's the only choice I'd consider.
to run 2 120 elements of have to have 2 independent circuits right?
 

augiedoggy

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I've thought about that and figured RIMs was the way to go. However, a lot of the controllers for them are 220 it seems. I tried using a grainfather once. If I'm space constrianed for a long period of time I'll have to look at it, but where I live in Northern NY it was waaaaay to slow heating up in the cold of my garage and I cannot brew inside.
This would be a good choce for a 120v rims controller... bobby sells them too. https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Pre-Wired-Thermostat-Temperature-Controller/dp/B072JW5F66

 

Wizard_of_Frobozz

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I've never found the need for a high-powered RIMS element, unless you are doing on-demand sparge water heating. My RIMS heater is 2,000W, which only pulls 16.7 amps at 120V - a 20 amp circuit will handle that, which are pretty common in kitchens and/or garages. Maintaining rest temperature takes almost nothing to do. At full flow/full power when raising temperature from 152°F to 167°F, I see about 6°F difference between what's coming into the RIMS tube vs. what's going out.

There are a lot of other factors that will affect the heat-up rate for your mash: the flow rate you are pushing through the RIMS tube, length of the RIMS tube/heating element,the size/shape of your false bottom, the size of your mash, types of grain, piping diameter, etc. The typical Chugger/March/Riptide pumps we use can't move liquid fast enough to significantly increase your flow rate with the typical 1/2" tubing most people use. Given all those other system limitations, it's tough to get the full capability of a higher wattage RIMS heater for step mashing. Not saying it can't be done, but given how difficult it is, and the fact that most malts are highly modified and don't really require a protein rest, I think it's unnecessary.

For the boil kettle, heater power really only affects how long it takes to bring the batch up to boiling temperatures - maintaining a boil can easily be done on 2,000W or less. My kettle heater is 4,500W - for the boil, I dial the power down to 30%, which is around 1,350W. Insulating the kettle and/or keeping the lid on during the heat-up will keep more heat in the wort and speed up the time it takes to get up to a boil if you really want to improve your heating times.

Like most things in engineering, there are trade-offs with how you set up your system. It all comes down to what is most important to you: heat up rate vs. staying with 120V. You can't do both without some significant power increases, but you can brew some pretty good beer regardless.
 

bleme

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I often brew with a friend who has 240V in the kettle and a 120V RIMS which works great. He brews 10G batches so 120V/120V would probably perform similarly for 5G batches.
 

augiedoggy

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I agree with above, my rims at home is 240v but still only 1800w the voltage doesnt matter in this respect... I step mashed 10gallon brews most of the time. I got 91% brewhouse efficiency very consistently on most brew sessions besides heavy adjunct type beers.
 
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HokieHT07

HokieHT07

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Thats fair but if you want rock solid temps, the ability to step mash, boil electric, and stay mobile thats a great choice. Ive brewed on every type of system in 14 years and youd have to pry my eBIAB outof my cold dead hands.

Keep in mind this recommendation is in spite of my option to trying selling you my Rims system.
I went with your system. Seemed like a good fit and I'm very excited to try it. I got it in the mail today and put it together. Is it ok if the heating element touches the inside of the RIMS tube? I want to make darn sure I don't electrocute myself, and burn my beer.
 
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HokieHT07

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The Brewhardware RIMS tube set up was an absolute dream. Brewed an Abbey Ale today and it turned out great!
 
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