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Author Topic: HERMS RIMS HYBRID OPINIONS  (Read 1934 times)

Offline rusty_tlc

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« on: November 22, 2016, 09:50:07 pm »
Kind of long for a first, post sorry if this offends. I have searched here and on the interwebs and haven't seen anything similar to what I want to try. (Of course after I post this the local gurus will probably link to a dozen threads and web sites ;D) Anyway here goes.

I am on the threshold of getting into all grain brewing, I am also stepping down my brew sizes due to a lifting restriction. I bottled my first small batch of "almost" all grain last weekend and, other than for special occasions, don't see myself going back to 5 gallon batches. I like small batch so much better. For all the positive reasons mentioned on this forum and elsewhere.

For the above small batch I used a 2 gallon round drink cooler for a mash tun. The efficiency was dismal and I had to add some DME to get the pre boil gravity high enough for the style I was brewing (hence "almost" all grain). My thought is that there just isn't enough mass to retain heat long enough for proper conversion.

Sooooo. I am thinking I will use the BIAB method. I will probably do a batch after Christmas as a straight up BIAB. I picked up a smaller kettle at the restaurant supply place on sale and a big grain bag at the local Home brew store, so not much more equipment to buy.

However, I do love to tinker and would like to add a mash system.

The idea I have been toying with is a hybrid of the HERMS and RIMS systems. I don't really like the idea of a straight up RIMS, it just seems like the chance of scorching is pretty good. Plus I would have to mess around with making holes and installing a heater in an already small pot. HERMS complicates my set up by adding a HLT.

So what I have in mind is using my wort chiller, a pump and a RIMS tube during mash in and mash out to maintain temps. Water would circulate through the RIMS tube and wort chiller coil, a thermocouple and PID controller would regulate the RIMS tube heater based on the mash temp. The entire boil volume would be in the brew kettle along with the wort chiller coil and bag 'o grain. The stove burner would get the kettle to the strike temp then temp would be maintained by hot water circulating through the coil. Depending on how efficient the heat transfer is the RIMS tube might be able to bring the temp up to mash out fast enough. The coil could stay in place during boil then be valved over to recirculate water through a cooler full of ice jugs.

I think this would make a nice system that would take a minimum of equipment while still maintaining a high degree of process control. I definitely have the skill to build the RIMS tube and associated electronics.

I welcome comments, opinions and suggestions. Since I cannot find anything like this either it is a stupid idea or just something never done or not publicised.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Offline rob_f

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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 11:17:22 am »
That's exactly what I've been using since 2005.  Requires two pumps. I probably wouldn't do it way if I were starting today. Back then a lot of RIMS users were complaining about scorching.  The elements have improved greatly with ultra-low watt density.

I pump water from a bucket through a water-heater element RIMS tube an into the outer shell of a CFC and back into the bucket.  Mash liquor is pumped out of the tun through the center of the CFC in the other direction and back into the top of the mash tun.  A temperature probe in the hot mash liquor return is read by a PID and controls the RIMS element.  I'm very happy with it, but if I were starting today I'd probably get a RIMS Rocket.
Rob Farrell

Offline JJeffers09

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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 12:10:49 pm »
what if you used your boil kettle lid as an attachment for your chiller?

Pump your mash through the lid of your kettle, through the chiller, back to the lid of the mash tun, with a faucet attached for even spray.  You would have to manually keep the kettle regulated, either on the stove/burner.  It is something as a make shift 2vessel HERMS.  no need for the HLT if you are multipurposing the boil kettle and large PET bucket to collect wort.
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Offline rusty_tlc

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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 08:01:06 pm »
I am actually trying to avoid pumping the mash altogether.

Offline Werks21

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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2016, 09:59:36 pm »
Depending on the Vessel and coil geometry pumping the sweet wort may allow for better temp distribution. That is, a sprayed or manifold distributed mash is moving heat Through the mash vs stationary heat radiated by coils. it is stirirng itself to an extent. It may or may not make a noticeable difference if well executed, but it depends on a lot of variables. And speaking of stirring, a big ole coil in the mash is not conducive to stiring, but if it goes in after mash out and stays then I don't suppose its that big a deal. I did not want to pump my mash but now I so Direct fire RIMS and dig it. I'm gonna go all electric at some point, including RIMS. Your Idea may not be for me but I like the out of the box thinking and am sure it would work adequately at a minimum. If you go that route you could get a big honkin element for faster steps too.
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA