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Dedicated Herms Guide, Problems And Solution Thread

Discussion in 'Gear and Equipment' started by chappo1970, 11/1/10.

 

  1. TheWiggman

    Haters' gonna hate

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    Posted 16/11/17
    I use my HEx during the sparge. I'll set the HLT to 75°C and the HERMS to 80°C, plumbing the HLT through the HERMS. Due to the low flow by the time the water has made it to the mash tun it'll have lost a degree or two.
    I wouldn't try to heat 10-25°C heat tap water to sparge temp in a single pass with a common 2.7m HERMS coil using water, you'll face a few issues with the biggest one likely to be boiling the HERMS water. It is doable, but there are a lot of variables to consider for it to function correctly and to avoid a dangerous situation.
     
  2. pirateagenda

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    Posted 21/3/18
    First trial with new hex setup that is approx 7L with 6m copper coil and a 2200W keg king element.

    Don't have the controller hooked up yet, but got the HEX up to about 70C then started running cold tap water through it. Full speed on the pump it came out luke warm at the other end, when i choked the pump back to a drizzle it's coming out around 45. At full speed on the pump the hex is cooling, even though the element is on flat out.

    Next test, bought the HEX to the boil and put 45C water though it. Again when its at full speed the HEX water is losing heat. The water coming out is too hot to hold my hand under but no where near boiling. Recirculating through the pump I've gained about 15C in 45 minutes for about 80L water.

    So the problems I am encountering are:
    - Big differential between HEX temp and liquid out of the HEX temp (more copper should solve this, but will make the 2nd problem worse?)
    - HEX losing heat (more watts needed?)

    Hopefully it will have enough guts to hold mash temp for a large batch as that is it's primary goal, however would be nice to be able to speed it up to heat strike water and sparge with. Reno'ing the house soon and i'm getting a new shed, so am going to put a lot of power down there!
     
  3. roller997

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    Posted 6/4/18
    While a larger copper coil will get you warmer water exiting the HEX coil than the current coil, I am not sure if your element is going to keep up, especially if the difference in temperature is too much.
    I did some testing a while ago and with a modern 2000W insulated kettle boiling about 1.9L of water from 19.3C to 100C took 6 minutes and 9 seconds.

    For a 2200W element directly in the water I would expect that to be about 10% faster so I would assume it would still take around 5:20 to heat water up by 80 degrees.
    That means to warm up 1.9L, for each minute it rises by about 15 degrees. So to increase your 80L by 15 degrees means it will take more than 42 minutes, assuming there is really good insulation and it ignores the thermal mass of the grain bed.

    In the case above, when you mention a dribble, to get the 25 degree continuous gain in temperature increase you would have to run the water through at 1.1L per minute which would be quite slow. Any faster than that, even with a larger copper coil and you would only get 45 degrees for the initial water and it would cool down the HEX faster than the element could heat it.

    I don't believe you will have issues maintaining the mash temperature if the mash tun is insulated but you might be better off to heat some sparge and strike water separately.

    I used to run 2 * 2.4KW elements in a 4L double walled pot to get the HEX up to temp very quickly and HEX coil is stainless tubing (not as thermally conductive as copper) which is about 5 meter long.

    It achieved the temperatures quite quickly but I didn't use it to heat the strike water or the sparge water. I used a separate hot liquor tun (Keg King 60L double walled urn) and once I had the mash at 78 degrees, I bumped up the two elements to just below boiling point to heat the wort as much as possible as it was pumped through the HEX to the kettle. The Kettle only had a 3600Watt element and it was insulated, which was enough for a rolling boil of the batches I made.

    My setup was for up to a 80L wort, however most often I only made about 50L.

    I hope it helps

    Roller
     
  4. Hermies

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    Posted 1/10/18
    I have a little over 3mtr of copper in my 7.6 lt pot and I can raise the temp a degree a minute using a 2400W element . I do start with cold water which is around the 20*C mark and it takes around 45min to get up temp mash temp and I have no problems holding the temps . Mind you my probe is on the outlet side of the pot and I do run a PID .
     
  5. gibbocore

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    Posted 11/5/19
    Hey Folks, is been a while but I finally got my herms rig up and running, living in a one city terrace, most parts of my rig are multi use and able to be pulled down for storage, that being said it’s performing really well and I’m pretty happy with flows and temp control, I run a copper coil through an esky, I have a 3000w caravan/bath heater for big jumps and I use my ANOVA to maintain, it’s doing 10 minute steps, with insulated pvc hosing into an insulated keg tun with false bottom, it’s working well. I’m having trouble though with efficiency as I’m sitting at around 70%. I’m batch sparging for simplicity while I iron out my processes but have the vessels and tiers to fly sparge.

    My questions, I’d like to know the best way to manage my water additions because I think I’m losing efficiency here, I’d like to know if there’s a direct correlation to water and potential sugar saturation, with my first batch I def had too much water and didn’t boil off as much as I predicted, about 4L off, so my gravity was light on. With my last batch I filed the water losses back in my equipment profile and ended up 3L short in the fermenter but still 2points under my predicted gravity (after recalculating the gravity to water).

    So I guess my second question is, can you over dilute by sparging too much? Or if you know your boil off rate can you sparge at an optimum rate by batch or fly and not risk over dilution?

    Last question, is the Craftbrewer generic crack the best for a herms recirculated rig with beer belly falsie? That’s another variable that I think is effecting my efficiency. Thanks all.
     
  6. Don

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    Posted 11/5/19
    The answer is yes, each to their own but you should stop sparging around the 1.010 mark as a max cut off. If SG still too high directly add water to the boil without going through the grain bed. To help out with efficiency, little things like pumping some sparge water through the herms to regain those sugars out of the coil and lines there could 1/2 a liter to 1 liter in there. Investigate your grain crush. And definitely get into fly sparging, its slower and more evenly rinses the grain of sugars.
     
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  7. gibbocore

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    Posted 12/5/19
    Thanks Don, thats reassuring, def keen to get going with fly sparging, need a better pickup tube in my kettle first.

    When fly sparging do you start your sparge while draining off? Or do you fully drain the mash tun first?
     
  8. Don

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    Posted 12/5/19
    You keep the water level an inch above the grain bed, as you fly sparge while draining into the boil at the same time. The idea here is to avoid compacting the grain bed by draining the water out or too fast and also maximizing all the sugars extracted. When you know your equipment you should be able to have a lot more sparge water in reserve and say you design 60 litres in the boil. You should be able to sparge until the SG hits no less then 1.010 and you should be smack on 60 litres, but you will still have an inch of water above the grain bed which is just water by this stage. It's a superior method then pouring water over the top and waiting for it to drain through the bed and wait for it to drip dry.
    Also you know the saying "listen to everyone, follow no one" cheers.
     
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  9. MontPel

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    Posted 12/5/19
    With fly sparging, once you reach your boil volume are you left with a mash tun full of liquid 1" above grain level? What do you do with the remaining low gravity liquid? Pour it down the drain?
     
  10. Don

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    Posted 12/5/19
    Yes. Its no good. Just let it drain off in a bucket or sink and discard the grain. Remaining wort below 1.010 will be full of hash tannins.
     
    Last edited: 12/5/19
  11. gibbocore

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    Posted 15/5/19
    Awesome, thanks Don, much appreciated
     
  12. Crusty

    The Electric Brewery

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    Posted 15/8/19
    Hi guys.
    I currently have a 30A control panel from The Electric Brewery but am looking for ideas to change how the herms operates. Instead of running through the full volume of the HLT, slower ramp times, I'm trying to devise another smaller vessel that will house the herms but still use the panel as is with the 3 PID's & timer. Two 5500w elements run this system with a 3 way selector switch to run either the HLT element or the boil kettle element, not at the same time. Looking for the brains trust amongst us for a solution & ideas. Check out their website for clarity.
    Cheers
     
  13. Don

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    Posted 15/8/19
    Electrically a second switch coming off after the HLT selected side of the 3 way element switch that will give you the option of selecting the HLT or the 4th vessel (Small Herms vessel). But controlling a 4th vessel with olny 3 pids is a bit more tricky. ???. Just maybe there could be a idea of turning the smaller vessels (your planned Herms) into the main HLT and having your sparge tank ran off a 2nd herms system to heat the sparge water. Does that make sence? Swap out the big HLT vessel with the smaller unit to control your mashing. Then run a a second herms and pump to heat up the big reserve HLT vessel when required. That's what I would do. At start of brew day. Select the Hlt, heat water in the small vessel and run the second herms and pump to bring up temp to the same temp in the larger sparge/reserve HLT using the one PID controller in the small vessel. Once ready to start mashing just switch off the pump to reserve HLT herms. That way it wont suck the heat out of your new smaller mashing HLT while doing a mash out. And the reserve tank will sit being nice and hot. Actually this would be the simplest way of doing it. A second herms and pump to heat the big reservoir off the smaller unit. Actually this setup would almost be like a large Rims system
     
    Last edited: 15/8/19
  14. Crusty

    The Electric Brewery

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    Posted 15/8/19
    Awesome buddy.
    Exactly the ideas I'm looking for. I never thought about a second herms so this might just work.
     
  15. Don

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    Posted 16/8/19
    Actually wouldn't even need the second herms just able to pump water between the two.
     
  16. Crusty

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    Posted 17/8/19
    Cheers all.
    Some ideas to consider.
     
  17. Vic

    Circle of life. I brew, I drink, I brew, etc.. Pro

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    Posted 18/8/19
    What volume are you doing? I have converted my 3V system to a 4V system some months ago to get more responsive ramp time and it has worked very well. It involves a relay to always give HLT1 (small volume herms vessel) priortiy allowing the larger HLT2 (Hotter sparge water) to heat up during the mash. Only one element can run at a time. Maybe this could solve your problem. More details & circuit details on request.
     

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