Author Topic: HERMS vs RIMS  (Read 13418 times)

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 01:39:30 PM »

If you we're going to use gas, I would shoot for the HERMS system.  My first HERMS coil in my HLT was a 50ft 1/2" stainless steel immersion chiller from Midwest Supplies. I got to play around with the process without punching holes in fancy kettles.  Kind of a simple HERMS setup MLT-->Pump-->IC in HLT-->hose floated on top of MLT.

A fairly simple way to try HERMS mashing out.

Can you use HERMS on an electric?  The example of a HERMS setup is exactly what I am going for. 

I figured it is going to take me about 3 months till I can brew all grain.  I've got limited funds so taking my time and not stressing out the budget or my wife.
If you are working with limited funds consider taking a cheaper more pragmatic approach!

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I built a variation on this system and including a very nice kettle (which as a gift), an immersion chiller, and a propane burner I think I came in under $400.00. It's not shiney, well the kettle is. But it was cheap excuse me, pragmatic.
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Offline blatz

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 01:40:14 PM »
the link i posted is an electric brewery with a HERMs setup

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Offline weithman5

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 01:53:28 PM »
i have probably 25 bucks in my kettle. in the one picture you can see a little pump laying there that came out of a keurig coffee machine.  i thought of doing rims with it but quite honestly i think i will just tear down the heat exchanger it pumps through and just go back to normal mash system and immersion chiller.
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Offline jlo

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HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2012, 02:36:07 PM »
Since you are starting with 3 to be converted kegs, get a stand with 3 burners and a couple of pumps.  Brew without either and see how it goes, and then layer on top of that palate.

I started with RIMS because my BIAB setup in a converted keg would not hold temperature in Minnesota winters.

I like the recirculating system I have in place now, but here are some of the downsides:
- more to clean (RIMS Tube, tubing pump)
- more to build
- more things to plan for on brew day, more connections, tubing, joints, etc.

I get clearer wort into the kettle, and slightly higher efficiency, but mostly I get a pretty awesome bling factor.

Offline skepace

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2012, 07:42:40 AM »
Since you are starting with 3 to be converted kegs, get a stand with 3 burners and a couple of pumps.  Brew without either and see how it goes, and then layer on top of that palate.

I started with RIMS because my BIAB setup in a converted keg would not hold temperature in Minnesota winters.

I like the recirculating system I have in place now, but here are some of the downsides:
- more to clean (RIMS Tube, tubing pump)
- more to build
- more things to plan for on brew day, more connections, tubing, joints, etc.

I get clearer wort into the kettle, and slightly higher efficiency, but mostly I get a pretty awesome bling factor.

Thanks!

Since I already own the kegs and they are getting cut today, I can't go back.  But I like the electric brewing options since I could build a stand out of wood with the top being covered in a stainless steel sheet instead of having to worry about using a metal stand plus the expense of it. 

Anyone have any pics of a full 3 keggle electric set-up?

Offline jimrod

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2012, 08:04:44 AM »
My 10 gal HERMS is made of cut kegs and 3-150,000 btu propane burners and a $12 tank of propane lasts 2 and part of a 3 rd batch. There is no $8 savings per batch with electric. There is less lag time with propane, I can get the bottom of the keg glowing red in 3 minutes.  Try running 50- 100 watt light bulbs for 5 hours and see how your electricity bill jumps especially if you are on the last usage tier.

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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2012, 11:30:11 AM »
What about your electric bill?

Well, a 3000 watt element run constantly for 4 hours at full power (in reality they are not on all the time or at full power) would use 12kW-hours of power. At $0.15/kw-hour, that's $1.80 - I doubt you can get that cheap with propane.
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Offline dcbc

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2012, 02:18:58 PM »
I went back and forth on this numerous times.  I poured over the electric brewery site a lot.  I played with wiring up a dedicated HERMS element in a cooler.  But after I saw the ad for the Blichmann Tower of Power controllers in Zymurgy, my mind was made up.  It's not the cheapest option by any stretch, but it's very much plug and play and works extremely well in holding temps and raising temps.  Keep the flame low and the pump moving the mash liquor around and scorching is a non issue, at least in my experience with it. 

It's worth mentioning that wiring up control panels is not something that I consider myself to be very good at nor is it something I enjoy. 

YMMV
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Offline jimrod

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2012, 12:53:53 AM »
I don't know where your from but Southern California Edison has a 5 tier cost program. The lowest possible price for the first 843kWh is "tier 1" $.23 per kWh......  the next 102 kWh is $.24.....the next 176 kWh is $.32...the next is $.36 ...and the rest is $.39 per kWh....

Now, everyone I know ends up in the last usage tier of $.39 per kWh..... So calculate at $.39

12 kWh x $.39 = $4.68.....A 5 gallon propane tank $10 to fill......Gas cost us $1.75 to $1.99 per gallon out here to refill. A tank lasts 2 batches with some left over.

Electricity isn't as cheap as you think it is.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2012, 06:17:22 AM »
I have to admit that your electricity cost is far higher than I experience.  I lament your dilemma, but for many individuals, the cost of an electrical option may be less expensive.  Do remember that the conversion of watts or BTUs into water heat is much better with electricity when the element is in contact with the liquid.  The gas industry likes to tout the gas water heater as more cost and energy efficient than an electric heater. But a gas-fired brewing kettle is nothing like a water heater while an electric-fired brewing kettle is exactly like a water heater. 

I brewed with propane for 13 years.  Since I've converted to electric, my experience has been incredibly positive.  I wouldn't even consider returning to gas based on my experience.  Its that much better to brew with electric heating. 
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Offline blatz

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2012, 06:23:31 AM »
jimrod:  I pay $.011368 per kW/h (FPL is one of the cheapest electric co.s in the country) and I pay $19.99 to fill a 20# propane tank, which would *maybe* last me 2 batches on my one KAB6 burner, so for my equation the energy cost is certainly in favor of electric.  Not to mention the fact that from a technical standpoint, I personally like the fact that 90-95% of the energy I am using to fire up my kettles is being utilized vs. only about 30% with propane.

I also feel much safer brewing inside than I would have with propane, which is a big plus considering how hot it is most of the year here.

but to suggest the electric build that I did was merely to save money is ludicrous since I went all-out, top of the linie with integrated temperature control etc. - its like buying a boat to save money on fish.  one can do electric for much cheaper - the Blichmann Tower of Power is not expensive relatively and can get you rolling fairly cheaply.

dcbc - just a heads up, I didn't do the wiring - the control panels can be purchased assembled.  I did alter the kettles and build the brewstand, etc. however. 

edit - forgot the Blichmann ToP is for propane IIRC.   Nonetheless you can make a simple control panel for $5-600 easily.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 06:31:03 AM by blatz »
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Offline weithman5

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2012, 06:41:17 AM »
to me it wasn't much of a cost issue. my grill is natural gas fired and i haven't bought a tank in over 20 years. i was not going to just for brewing.  i toyed with modifying my grill and getting a ng burner set up.  but i was able to experiment and get a working electric kettle going quite quickly. i love it.  i have no fancy controllers. i can move in doors or out doors depending on the weather.... and as it is a small system, i have actually started a boil on my picnic table and when the storms hit i carried it inside to finish.
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Offline jlo

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HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2012, 09:17:34 AM »
I find it fascinating how different energy prices are for electricity and propane in the same country.

It's amazing the things you learn homebrewing.

Cost management in this hobby is a fools errand at best - for me.  It's less than a fishing boat and a cabin.  I've had to add the cabin part in recently.

Offline snowtiger87

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2012, 01:31:17 PM »
I am building a new brewery in my basement and am going electric with it just like www.theelectricbrewery.com. It doesn't really matter to me if the energy prices are more or less expensive. What does matter to me is that when it 2* below zero and snowing outside of 110* in the garage I will be in my nice, climate controlled basement brewery.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: HERMS vs RIMS
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2012, 02:29:46 PM »
What does matter to me is that when it 2* below zero and snowing outside of 110* in the garage I will be in my nice, climate controlled basement brewery.

That was exactly my situation also.  I'm a Florida boy, now in Indynaner.  It gets cold here!. 

Be sure to install a good exhaust venting system.  I use a 6" centrifugal fan.  Since you don't have to worry about fire, you don't have to use a metal exhaust hood.  My hood is wood and plexiglass and is very effective.

Oh, and since this is a HERMS vs RIMS discussion, I can recommend the RIMS tube from Brewers Hardware.  It has been worth every penny.  I strongly recommend including a PID to control the RIMS heating element.  You will overheat your wort if you don't include that control.  That is another reason I have a problem with a HERMS.  If the water in the exchanger is too hot, you could also overheat the wort and denature the enzymes prematurely.  I can tell you that starchy wort does not make good beer.   
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 02:35:17 PM by mabrungard »
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