RIMS with Cooler

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

MI_Dogman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
248
Reaction score
25
Location
Traverse City
Brewers,

I am all set up to start using a nice shiny RIMS setup courtesy of NorCal and have a question for my equipment. I use a 10 gal igloo beverage cooler with a false bottom. For recirculating the mash with rims:

Do I need a brad or with the false bottom work just fine?

Also, what is the best way to start the recirculation process once I get the pump running? (Throttling with a ball valve, setting the grain bed, etc...)

Thanks everybody!!
 

stratslinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
2,610
Reaction score
235
Location
Terryville
From what I've managed to research, the false bottom is the better option over a stainless braid. The braid could tend to lead to channeling, while the false bottom would tend to avoid that problem.

Also, from what I've read, you want to be very careful about throttling at all with the RIMS tube thrown into the mix. If the wort flows through that tube too slowly, or not at all, you risk boiling what's in the tube, which can lead to ugly results. Ideally, you want the thing going as close to full throttle as you can (I think - hopefully more experienced folks will speak up and confirm or refute this). Just do a good vorlauf (pump assisted or otherwise) beforehand to set the filter bed and you should be all set for this part of the process.
 
OP
MI_Dogman

MI_Dogman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
248
Reaction score
25
Location
Traverse City
I'm definitely with you on these points. My research has come up with the same results. BUT!, this forum is great for every tip, trick, and experience level. I hope to see some more feedback as well.
 

BBBF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
1,691
Reaction score
209
Location
Chicago
I only use a false bottom. I vorlauf a few times to get the liquid mostly clear before I start pumping it through the RIMS.
 

paulegli

https://blog.twobadbuns.com/
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 23, 2011
Messages
69
Reaction score
26
Location
Santa Cruz
I have similar equipment (RIMS tube, round cooler, false bottom) and I'm still searching for the best way to recirculate during the mash. There's a fundamental issue with RIMS and mashing, I think: like @stratslinger says, you want to recirculate as fast as possible to get a high flow rate across your heating element to avoid scorching your wort. At the same time, you need to throttle your pump back so it doesn't compress the grain bed too much and cause a stuck mash. To date, I've always erred on the side of high flow rate and have not yet burned my wort, but about every other time I do get a stuck mash and end up having to stir and reset the grain bed. The next time I brew, I plan on reducing the flow rate and also giving the grain bed about 10 minutes to settle before turning on the pump.

I also believe that the ability of my Auber PID to accurately read and control temperature is dependent on the flow rate. When I run the PID calibration on brew day with the pump throttled to the flow rate I expect to use for my mash recirculation, the mash temp is spot on and holds steady. If I calibrate at full flow and mash with a lower flow rate, the temp is all over the place. When my RIMS system works, it works great -- I just need a process that can keep it working consistently.
 
OP
MI_Dogman

MI_Dogman

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
248
Reaction score
25
Location
Traverse City
Cool, all good things here. It will be interesting, because I plan on going a two vessel electric route. So I will be using the coolers until everything is put together. I am hoping to build a Two Vessel with MLT and a HLT/BK in one electric build. All info now on techniques will be much needed in the future.

Thanks Guys,

Dogman
 

BBBF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
1,691
Reaction score
209
Location
Chicago
I have similar equipment (RIMS tube, round cooler, false bottom) and I'm still searching for the best way to recirculate during the mash. There's a fundamental issue with RIMS and mashing, I think: like @stratslinger says, you want to recirculate as fast as possible to get a high flow rate across your heating element to avoid scorching your wort. At the same time, you need to throttle your pump back so it doesn't compress the grain bed too much and cause a stuck mash. To date, I've always erred on the side of high flow rate and have not yet burned my wort, but about every other time I do get a stuck mash and end up having to stir and reset the grain bed. The next time I brew, I plan on reducing the flow rate and also giving the grain bed about 10 minutes to settle before turning on the pump.

I also believe that the ability of my Auber PID to accurately read and control temperature is dependent on the flow rate. When I run the PID calibration on brew day with the pump throttled to the flow rate I expect to use for my mash recirculation, the mash temp is spot on and holds steady. If I calibrate at full flow and mash with a lower flow rate, the temp is all over the place. When my RIMS system works, it works great -- I just need a process that can keep it working consistently.
Rice hulls are cheap insurance.
 

augiedoggy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
10,284
Reaction score
2,280
Location
North Tonawanda NY
I use a false bottom with a bazooka tube under it and a stainless braid inside the bazooka tube... not a single issue or stuck sparge in over 50 brew sessions it works as a triple stage filter first stopping the big stuff then finer stuff that gets by.... and I use the small 24v dc pumps so my flow is only about 2gpm through it all once the grain is loaded and its pumping through my rims/flowmeter setup.

never use a rice hull in my life... they are a workaround to correcting the design in my opinion...
 
Top