3V eRIMS + LPG system controller setup advice.

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Thor

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Hi All,

So I have been fortunate enough to have the attached system come into my hands. My father made the frame and bought all the equipment but then other projects have gotten in his way so he passed this onto me. While he has done all the hard work I have had to put together the final plumbing system and controller.

My question is what would you do in terms of a control unit & functionality for this system...

System comprises of 3 x 95L nano brewery pots.
1 x HLT with 5000W + ability for LPG with under-slung burner.
1 x Mash with 2000W RIMS Tube (still to work out the best way to mount on this frame..) - Ability to tip grain out via the post sitting on a gimble.
1 x BK with 5000W + ability for LPG with under-slung burner. Again can be tipped out which is pretty neat.
3 x 25w Pumps ready to be used in any number of combinations!

I also have a 5500W keggle wtih controller for potential BIAB

Prior to inheriting this system I was going down the path of a 50L BIAB mainly to mess around on with a 5500W element and DIY PID controller with power controller such that I didn't trip my household system. Controller is pretty rough and ready with no contactors and relying on the fact I manage the power down such that I dont trip a GPO power circuit. having done many LPG 50L 3V Herms with my good mate im across a number of possible options with my new system. Which way to go...

1st thought was to setup a RIMS controller to start with such that I can just get brewing and figure the needs of the system out in due course. I can knock up a pretty straight forward control box with a PID controller, 2 switches (1 for pump in loop with other for RIMS element), 40A ssr with heat sink kicking around and a small box. Given the element is only 8.3Amps is there a need for contactors? Momentary push button switch is rated for 10+ Amps from memory.

2nd thought is to get a controller setup such that I can have functionality to do it all electric and just fire up the gas when I want to hurry things along. Given the time it takes on brew day I was also contemplating doing back to back brew (added complexity) and sharing kegs with friends. Ultimately this system is where I have a number of thoughts about how it could function....

How to ferment all this is my next conundrum. I also inherited a sanke keg which I was thinking about setting up as a pressure ferment with a cross fermenter kit.

I have 80amps single phase at the meter box. With a 50L BIAB controller and this system I am sure I could give 80amps a nudge if I turn everything on & pull out my hair dryer!

Currently I will be doing brews outdoors with a 12mth view that a shed extension will be complete and I could move the system indoors into a big garage and really set it up.

I reside in the sunny and warm region of Fremantle, WA - not that it has too much affect on the system.

Appreciate any thoughts and feedback from other brewers out there.

Cheers,

Thor
 

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MHB

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Nice sort of problem to have.

I'm sure you could get 100 opinions on what is best, each based on what someone wants to accomplish.
Step one is I think to define what you want to do.
One approach that I think might be advantageous is to get it up and running in the most basic configuration you can. Use what you learn to make plans for a more advanced setup if you are so inclined.
Plan out each step in the process; draw a flowchart of where water needs to be moved.
Simplest is probably to set up to do Isothermal, batch sparge boil, cool or no-chill.
So step one is to mix a given amount of grain and water in the mash tun to give you a stand for about an hour at around 67oC.
From that we can work out that you need to be able to heat enough water to the strike temperature, are you going to do that in the HLT, the mash tun itself, or even in the kettle. Are you going to pump it? There will be lots of questions.
If you aren’t putting a burner under your Mash Tun I would insulate it, I find Aeroflex sheet works well, ideally glue it on with contact cement and cover it in wide duct tape. Will keep the heat loss down to the point where you won’t need to adjust the heat during the mash. Insulating the HLT is a good idea to saves money on electricity.

Like I said get a plan of what you want to do, keep it simple work out where all the water needs to move and how you are going to move it. Similar with heat, it needs to be applied in the right place.
Get a bunch of 1/2" silicone hose, remember you can rearrange flexible lines until you know where they will be needed.

Have fun
Mark

PS
Have you got a false bottom for your mash tun, if so pix would be good
M
 

Thor

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Hi Mark,

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I share your thoughts with getting it running - gas for HLT with RIMS to get to strike temp, pump transfer to underlet mash. Mash is controlled by RIMS and then pump to BK which will be gas to start with. At this stage I only have simple PID controllers not like the Auberins ones to do step mash. But thats pretty easy work around.

I have an insulated jacket for the Mash Tun, just need to put it on.

So if I am correct, doing isothermal mash at 67 is just to ensure the simple system is up and running? given they are 95l pots I would do a double batch to start with perhaps.

Plenty of hose and connections are on hand.

Yes false bottom. some more pics attached. Also have a wort chiller.

Thanks again

Thor
 

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MHB

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Isothermal wont even need the RIMS tube, just water and grain at the right temperature and leave it alone!
You can heat your sparge water in the HLT if you like, or with the size you have you could even do a full volume mash then just drain/pump to the kettle.
There are lots of options and many will work well. But start simple so you get to know your equipment and dont have too many issues cropping up all at once - makes it very hard to solve problems when there are too many moving parts.
Panning and practice are key.
Mark
 

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