Author Topic: How to build a herms setup???  (Read 1337 times)

Offline turfgrass

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How to build a herms setup???
« on: April 26, 2017, 11:43:20 PM »
Wine making was fun, but brewing beer has been a blast!  I've been thinking about possibly purchasing three, 15 gallon kettles from SB and automating the process with pump(s), electric heat and a control center.  I guess I need to start with the power source and see what's possible.  I no longer use a 240v circuit that was once used to run a 1hp homelawn irrigation pump.   I believe the power line is a 12-2 wire.  Any suggestions as to what or how much I could power with this 240 circuit?

https://imgur.com/a/Scfpo

« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 11:46:32 PM by turfgrass »

Offline Stevie

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2017, 12:24:09 AM »
Call an electrician. 20a isn't enough for an element plus pumps and panel power. You also want a GFI breaker for safety.

Offline coolman26

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2017, 02:50:50 AM »
Checkout electricbrewing
They have all the information you could want.


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Jeff B

Offline turfgrass

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2017, 11:33:44 AM »
I'd like to try and reduce the use of propane, so maybe just customizing the 15 gallon HLT with a heating element and herms coil for circulation of the mash.  The pumps can be plugged into another near by outlet.  Partial automation would be nice if someone has a few suggestions.  An electrician will do the work.  Thanks. 

Offline Stevie

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How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2017, 02:11:53 PM »
If you're going to invest in an electric system, might as well not half ass it. Have an electrician upgrade your circuit to a 30a gfi minimum. This will give you more than enough power for a 5500w element, panel, and pumps.

I'd start with with electric brewery as mentioned above. Spike has an all in system now as well. Basically based around the same design. Both are zero automation outside of holding temperature. PIDs with ramp function exist, but are a PIA to program with four buttons.

Hosehead controllers are RPi based and have more automation. This is the only out of the box micro controller solution I know of.

Offline turfgrass

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2017, 11:41:37 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions, but I want to keep it a bit more simple and less expensive.  The HLT and MT will both be 10 gallons and customized by SB.  My BK will be a bit more simple and propane heated. 

Working with my 20 amp dual pole circuit (3,800 watts) is there a simple 120v temperature controller that will operate an electric heating element? For the circulating 10 gallons?

I check out Electric Brewery too.

Thanks again.

Offline Stevie

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How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2017, 11:47:47 PM »
Any PID should do the trick, but you will also need to add in and SSVR to limit the voltage to the 4500w element. High gravity brewing may have a controller that would work for you.

ETA - 3500w elements exist, not sure if they are stainless or not.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 11:54:51 PM by Stevie »

Big Monk

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2017, 11:57:56 PM »
The Auber EZ-boil is great


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Offline turfgrass

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2017, 06:51:41 AM »
Those are great sites! 

Question about the herms process.   I'm use to manually sparging 170 degree water over the grain bed, so what happens in a herms system.  Does the constant recirculation thru the herms coil eliminate the need for final grain bed extraction?

Offline turfgrass

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2017, 01:30:00 PM »
I've read up a little on control panels and a 30amp sized panel seems adequate for my future 10 gallon system.  Rated at 7,200 watts, what size equipment can I run?  I would like a heating element in the HLT and BK.  What size "low density" element should I purchase?  Thanks.

Offline Stevie

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2017, 03:58:43 PM »
You would likely only be able to run one element at a time, which is fine as you don't need to run both. You don't need to power the kettle intel you've sparge don't enough to cover the element by a couple of inches and by then you wouldn't need the HLT element powered.

I'd go with the highest wattage possible for the HLT and a 4500w ripple in the kettle. Many people use 5500w just fine, but I would worry about scorching or darkening (likely an unwarranted worry)

When using a system like RIMS and HERMS, the goal is to get the wort to 170 for mashout, not the entire grain bed. You still need to sparge unless you opt to run no-sparge.

Offline turfgrass

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2017, 01:42:15 AM »
So, when you do sparge with a Herms system, how do you raise the temp to 170 and not include the grain bed?   Isn't the MT and HLT just recirculating thru the herms coil until you finally drain the wort into the boil kettle? 

Offline waltsmalt

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2017, 01:45:55 AM »
I would also second the www.theelectricbrewery.com.  While a little more pricey, I purchased a completed panel with elements, and I don't regret it at all.  Top notch build, and works very well.  If nothing else, Kal's site has a wealth of information. 

Offline Stevie

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2017, 01:50:41 AM »
So, when you do sparge with a Herms system, how do you raise the temp to 170 and not include the grain bed?   Isn't the MT and HLT just recirculating thru the herms coil until you finally drain the wort into the boil kettle?
You measure the outflow of the coil and not the temp of the mash tun itself. The grain will not get as hot, but it will get close.

Offline turfgrass

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Re: How to build a herms setup???
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 11:33:35 AM »
So, are the temperature dials that are screwed into the kettle exterior unnecessary?  Temps displayed on the control box  should be enough.  Also makes the kettle a little cheaper price wise.