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Dedicated Herms Guide, Problems And Solution Thread

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chappo1970

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Just wanted to ask and guage whether there would be much interest from the HERMies AHBers out there in having a dedicated HERMS thread where we can discuss our systems, procedures, set ups, theories, problems and solutions without the clouding banter that seems to creep into nearly every thread. I'm probably more guilty than some for that. Anyway before starting the thread I thought it wise to maybe open the floor to maybe set down some rules of the thread as well so we can get what we want out of it.

I suggest:

  • To stay on topic where reasonable (a little friendly banter is ok)
  • Purely on procedures, techniques, brewing techniques, equipment, technology and set ups.
  • Talk on recipes and results from HERMS systems
  • Photo's, drawings, scribbles of gear and set up is a must.
  • No trolling lets keep it straight, debate well, deal with facts and remain focused. Difference of opinion is more than acceptable. Calling someone out for a shooting and pissing contest isn't.
  • Advanced brewing techniques using HERMS.
  • Beginner advice on setting HERMS systems up.
  • The thread will be actively Moderated to keep it on topic.
Now this isn't an elitist thread ok. So please don't start banging that one out guys. It is however for those in the HERMS world of brewing. We don't bash on much about our systems etc as mentioned above. But it will be a place where those doing HERMS can advance and share their knowledge.


Cheers

Chappo
 

FNQ Bunyip

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I'll be watching with interest ...

been thinking about this for ages , havn't changed anything on the rig since last full change around , must be time to get creative...

Gas fired herms ...

good work chap chap
 

glaab

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sound like a good idea Chappo. I wanna setup a herms, can I start aksing questions now?
Are the 19L Big W pots ok for the vessel? might grab one while they're cheap.
 

chappo1970

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Thanks FNQ and yes it is time you did step up! :lol:

@Newguy that would be great if you could post your system. Maybe the older hands at HERMS post up their systems and modifications to kick off the thread? I'll PM you Newguy when it gets a start.

@Bulp to right mate. It's like we are the unmentionables.


sound like a good idea Chappo. I wanna setup a herms, can I start aksing questions now?
Are the 19L Big W pots ok for the vessel? might grab one while they're cheap.
Mods please delete this post! :rolleyes:

Kidding!

Glabb welcome aboard! IMO only 19lt is too big because of the volume of water the HE has to deal with including the HE from the wort so it would be better for a smaller 9-11lt pots. I have seen at BigW. But lets leave that for the thread. PM if you wish.
 

RussTaylor

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I bought a HERMS second hand from a guy around the corner. 3 brews through it so far. It works well, but can see some adjustments that I'd like to make.
 

Screwtop

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Decided to reply to AndrewQld in this thread, should be more appropriate.

I really don't see the logic there, are you saying that there are no starches in the grain bed to convert? I'd be a bit worried about missing out on some of those starches and enzymes.
As it was explained to me Andrew, solubilised starches are washed out of the grainbed and away with the liquor where it is heated on circulation through the HE then returned at or a little below the HE controllers set temp. After 10 min or so of contact with liquor most of the available starches in the grist should have solubilised into the liquor, none or effectively none, of what we want would then be present in the grist.

And another point, If the temp in your grain bed is lagging so far behind the wort that is circulating through your herms then it means your not circulating through your grain bed very effectively and you are more than likely channeling the wort down the sides of the tun and not through the grain bed which would be why your temps are so different.

After having a conversation with Gregs on Saturday about this issue I decided to test the theory myself, I did a fairly simple brew of a lite lager and added a good does of rice hulls to the grist to aid the flow, I kept my recirc at the usual flow rate. The grain bed lagged by about 2 during temp changes but settled at the correct temp within about 5 minutes. I also noticed that throughout the mash the grain bed was soft and not compacting at all, the rice hulls helped here and also a balanced recirculation speed.
I recirc very slowly so as not to compact the mash, my mash remains very open and floating, never need hulls even at 60% wheat.

When I have brewed without rice hulls I've noticed what you and Screwy report, a big difference between the grain bed temp and wort out temp that can take a long time to even out unless the mash is stirred, then it seems to even out pretty quickly again indicating poor flow through the grain bed.
So it seems that it might be more of an issue with poor circulation through the grain bed that is causing the mash to lag behind the HERMS so much and for so long and it's fairly easy to fix with rice hulls and balancing your circulation speed.
Does that make sense?

Cheers
Andrew
Probably does to you Andrew, from your experience with your system. And I think its as important for HERMS brewers as all AG brewers to realise kit does make a difference, you need to apply the same basic principals while allowing for differences due to equipment and process variations.
Remember I dont stir my mash apart from a few stirs after dough in and a few after ramping to MO. My experience with my system and from advice received is that the temp of the grainbed is insignicant. The max temp reached by the liquor during recirculation is very important. My mash efficiency is very high >90% so I have no concerns regarding poor mash circulation.
Part of the problem with my system reflecting different temperatures to yours could be in the type of through the wall dialface thermometer I am using. Am positive the temperature of the tun surrounding the mounting position bears quite an impact upon the temperature displayed. The reason I believe this is that if I take a temp reading of the wort/liquor inside the tun during recirculation using a good quality thermometer it is much closer (around 2) to the HE out temp of the liquor, but the dialface is way below over quite a long time, indicating that the time taken for the tun to heat up is affecting the reading. My MM dialface thermometer has a thick SS section from the threaded part inside the tun which reduces down to the smaller probe. I have always had this problem with this thermometer, maybe the large section sinks temp away from the probe affecting the reading. Well before changing to HERMS I was having attenuation problems. Having to mash at much lower temperatures than convention would dictate to achieve good attenuation would indicate there was an anomaly in temperature reading somewhere.

Cheers,

Screwy
 

AndrewQLD

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I've deleted the lists and left only relevant content (some edited) so we will have a fairly continuous discussion that people won't have to wade through (hopefully) as per OPs request.
topic is now pinned.

Andrew
 

glaab

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ok, 1st noob question. I'm off to BigW soon, is an 11L pot is big enough to squeeze in copper coil, element and probe?
and is 10M of 1/2in copper ok for the coil? Cheers
 

sav

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Great to see this thread happening,Andrew how are you changing from the tun to kettle after recirculating,At the moment I am turning valve off from herms then connecting to kettle I am thing about hard plumbing through .
cheers sav
 

sav

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ok, 1st noob question. I'm off to BigW soon, is an 11L pot is big enough to squeeze in copper coil, element and probe?
and is 10M of 1/2in copper ok for the coil? Cheers
I have 11lt pot 9mtr 1/2 copper jug element no probe thats is as close to mash return as possible
 

nifty

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ok, 1st noob question. I'm off to BigW soon, is an 11L pot is big enough to squeeze in copper coil, element and probe?
and is 10M of 1/2in copper ok for the coil? Cheers
I use a 7 litre el cheapo pot with about 8 metres of 1/2 inch copper coiled inside.

nifty
 

AndrewQLD

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Great to see this thread happening,Andrew how are you changing from the tun to kettle after recirculating,At the moment I am turning valve off from herms then connecting to kettle I am thing about hard plumbing through .
cheers sav

My pump has 2 valves on the inlet and 2 on the outlet
HLT enters through the bottom left valve and mashtun enters bottom right valve
Top left valve goes to Herms and top right valve goes to boiler, Probe goes into the herms outlet.

brewstand_002__800x600_.JPG

I'll get a better picture tomorrow and label it all up.

Cheers
Andrew
 

chappo1970

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Andrew,
It's hard to tell from the photo but are you running 2 pumps?

If so what do both look after in the brewery?

Chap Chap
 

AndrewQLD

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Andrew,
It's hard to tell from the photo but are you running 2 pumps?

If so what do both look after in the brewery?

Chap Chap
Click on the pic Chappo and it will enlarge, only running the one pump that does everything.

Andrew
 

TidalPete

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ok, 1st noob question. I'm off to BigW soon, is an 11L pot is big enough to squeeze in copper coil, element and probe?
and is 10M of 1/2in copper ok for the coil? Cheers
IMHO the smaller the pot (Less water to heat) & the longer the copper coil the more efficient your HE will be.
I have 5.7 metres of copper coil inside a 7 litre pot & get a temp rise of 2 deg c\minute.
Nifty --- HITBH did you manage to cram 8 metres of 1\2" copper coil inside a 7 litre pot? :eek:

TP
 

reVoxAHB

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IMHO the smaller the pot (Less water to heat) & the longer the copper coil the more efficient your HE will be.
I have 5.7 metres of copper coil inside a 7 litre pot & get a temp rise of 2 deg c\minute.
Nifty --- HITBH did you manage to cram 8 metres of 1\2" copper coil inside a 7 litre pot? :eek:

TP
+1. My dedicated exchanger is along the line of what you are considering approx. 10m in 11L with 2000w element and my ramp time is longer than I would like. For my first herms build it's acceptible and I use it at every brew day but If I had to do it over again I would def go smaller pot (or likely cylinder) with a tighter coil, etc. Like the setup that was recently fabricated in Vietnam (apologies can't remember ahb user, etc. but it's a recent build and very flash).

reVox
 

chappo1970

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This is my HE almost exactly likes Sav's but he was able to shoe horn in another meter IIRC.



Has a 2200W electrical jug element scavanged from a a cheapy Aldi kettle. There is a bit of work in modifying the housing of the element. I took some photos of what need to be done but they are at home.



Entry of wort is via the bottom ball valve. I use this valve to control flow but also to act as an airlock when changing hoses over so i don't need to re prime the pump. The top you can see the thermowell for the TempMate probe. It 's a simple tee piece with a terminator end. I epoxied it in there using high temp expoxy.



This shows the HE coil and the element which is dead centre of the pot.



This is my valve seat to control fresh water entering the system. Used gate valves but I am now thinking I should have gone all ball valves. Gates valves are hard to know if you have them fully shut over the noise of the brewery running.

Cheers

Chap Chap
 

yardy

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nice system chappo B)

without getting too many threads within a thread going, gregs and i were discussing the other day how close to a herms my setup is, if i fabbed up the HE myself ( and any other fab work ), what APPROX cost would i be up for to go full noise herms do you guys think ?

cheers

Dave


 

gregs

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Ramp time is also indicative to flow rate. Has anyone ever timed and calculated there flow rate?

Also can someone explain how the temp in the mash tun could ever reach mashout temp, (say 78c) in reasonable time when ramped thru the HERMS- (a 13mm outlet at a given flow rate)) from say, (65 c)? Especially when doing double batches.

Consider a grain bed at 65c, (no HERMS) how much water and at what temperature would it take to immediately adjust that grain bed to mash out temp 78c. This may seem a silly question but if it takes the HERMS unit ramping at 1 degree per min 13 min to archive mashout temp at the output reading from 65c to78c, then it would be fare to say that the grain bed at 65c would take a bloody long time to adjust. ( I am new to this and know buggar all), but what is it we are measuring, it would seem to me that the dial thermometer in the mash tun would read the highest temperature at the time and that would be the wort. As the actual grain itself may read lower than the fluid temp. Does this sound feasible?

This is a great subject,

Cheers.
 

chappo1970

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nice system chappo B)

without getting too many threads within a thread going, gregs and i were discussing the other day how close to a herms my setup is, if i fabbed up the HE myself ( and any other fab work ), what APPROX cost would i be up for to go full noise herms do you guys think ?

cheers

Dave


Love your system Yardy! Been good seeing you inch that together over Christmas.

I have to agree with Gregs you are 9/10th there you have the big bit! The bloody pump.

Ok shopping list and rough pricing.

Pot 11lt BigW $15
Cheapo Jug for element $12
Junction box including some electrical odds and ends $20
TempMate or PID say $75
Bit more plumbing but I bet my cotton socks you already have the bits after your build just laying around.
A waterproof housing control box about $20 for jaycar
Old/new extension lead that is still sound. (Awww honey I cut the extension cord by accident. I'll have to get a new one but not to worry I can use it again in the brewery so it's not a complete waste)
So say less than $150

Have I left anything out guys?

Ball valve and some hoses.

Chap Chap
 
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