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mongo

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Gday everyone,

I am in the process of designing my first all-grain system after seeing some great examples in action (thanks Stagger, Fatboy). I am keen to get a HERMS system going, although this is one thing that I haven't seen operating, so I am running a little bit blind. I really like the concept of them (I am also fortunate enough to know a plumber, which has proven to be kind of essential).

One design question:
All of the HERMS systems I have seen are complicated affairs, and I am trying to simplify things through general budget pressures. Why cant a HERMS system reuse a wort cooler (rather than having to go through the wall of the HLT). Graphically, I am wondering if this is feasible:

Common HERMS setup is the HERMS1.jpg. My proposed setup is the HERMS2.jpg attachment.

pros of my proposal are;
* no need to go through the wall of your HLT
* can reuse the coil as a wort chiller

possible cons are:
* wort has to travel higher (over the lip of the HLT) which means more head, which means more strain on the pump
* wort has to travel further through the coil (could be a pretty big coil) which could further add to the strain on the pump.

What do you guys think?

HERMS1.JPG


HERMS2.JPG
 

jayse

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Thats how i used to do it mate, don't forsee any great probs with that at all.

In the evening
Jayse
 

mongo

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Brilliant!
Jayse - can I ask what wort of pump you use?
 

Dazzling

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G'day Mongo,
I'm a bit of a newbie as well and also in the process of setting up a herms system. If you search for "herms" in the forum you will find a lot of useful info and opinions. As for the pump, i picked myself up a march pump, these are pretty much the go to pump from what i have found, however there are a lot of alternatives. Again, if you search this forum for "pumps" you will find a lot of useful info including cheap alternatives. I think in fact there was a recent post organising a bulk buy of march pumps and another from a cheap supplier of march pumps. Do the search on herms and pumps and that should keep you busy for a few days and give you lots to think about.
Cheerio

Dazzling....OUT
:beer:
 

GMK

BrewInn Barossa:~ Home to GMKenterprises ~
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Mongo

Get in touch with BroNutz - he has a RIMMS setup - i know it is not a herms - but it will give you some really good Pointers/Tips.
 

jayse

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I wouldn't use the pumps i was using. The march pump will be much better. heres a pic of the groundfos i was using and a drill driving a gear pump, both did the job but the march pump would be miles ahead.


Cheers from castle jaysington

brewery1009.jpg
 

mongo

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Thanks Dazzling,
Yeah - have read the herms related stuff, and also knew about the march pumps + the bulk buy thing.
The purpose of this thread is to determine specifics about the methods and combos that I am looking to implement. I'd be interested to hear what your plans for your system are, and how things worked out for you.
Thanks for the extra info Jayse. I am looking to get the March pump, so that's good news. I reckon I am good to go on my Herms design then!
Can't wait to get that angle grinder out...
Steve.
 

vlbaby

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mongo,
i have built myself a herms system and I am currently redesigning it because of a few limitations that i have noticed. I thought i'd share them with you.

The first problem i have is that step mashing seems to raise the temperature impossibly slow. I believe that this, in part, is because i am trying to heat up not only 25 litres off mash, but also the 25 litres of water in the HLT. The heating element is not powerful enough to raise this amount of thermal mass as quick as i'd like.
The second problem is that at the end of the mash when its time to sparge, my HLT is at the wrong temperature for sparging because it has been heated with the aim of regulating the mash temperature with no regard for itself.

The hopeful solution i am going to try, that will solve both these problems, is to build a seperate heat exchanger vessel with a much smaller thermal mass than a HLT. The smaller thermal mass should allow temp rises much more quickly, without impacting on the temperature of the HLT.

Mind you, there are plenty more ideas out there for performing the same job. You just have to decide which method suits you the best. Do a search here or on google to see other peoples designs and get ideas
Homebrew pages


vlbaby.
 

Batz

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mongo said:
Gday everyone,

I am in the process of designing my first all-grain system after seeing some great examples in action (thanks Stagger, Fatboy). I am keen to get a HERMS system going, although this is one thing that I haven't seen operating, so I am running a little bit blind. I really like the concept of them (I am also fortunate enough to know a plumber, which has proven to be kind of essential).

One design question:
All of the HERMS systems I have seen are complicated affairs, and I am trying to simplify things through general budget pressures. Why cant a HERMS system reuse a wort cooler (rather than having to go through the wall of the HLT). Graphically, I am wondering if this is feasible:

Common HERMS setup is the HERMS1.jpg. My proposed setup is the HERMS2.jpg attachment.

pros of my proposal are;
* no need to go through the wall of your HLT
* can reuse the coil as a wort chiller

possible cons are:
* wort has to travel higher (over the lip of the HLT) which means more head, which means more strain on the pump
* wort has to travel further through the coil (could be a pretty big coil) which could further add to the strain on the pump.

What do you guys think?
[post="79755"][/post]​

Should work OK
Only problem I can see is you will be left with a coil full of wort , I suppose you can just tip it out but.

Batz
 

hockadays

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you could run the HLT water through the coil then to the mash to clean it of wort.. maybe?

matt
 

dreamboat

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If I run my HERMS system, I reuse my chilling coil for the purpose, exactly as you showed in your second picture. Any concern about extra head on your pump from this arrangement is a myth.

You always have the option to stop your pump at any time, so you can use the HERMS to maintain or increase you mash temp, then stop the pump with say 10 mins left for your mash, and during that last 10 mins, you can heat up your HLT to sparge temps... there will not ne any significant heat loss in your mash over that time.



dreamboat
 

Dazzling

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Setting up a second dedicated heat exchanger vessel sounds good, the only trouble it will give me is that I have an electric element powering the HLT, to have another electrically powered heat exchanger I am going to need a big extension cord so I don't trip the circuit breaker :blink:

A small price to pay i guess....

Dazzling
 

Asher

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Some important questions to ask yourself when designing a HERMS..

How fast and how often do you want a step to occur?
- Will you use your HLT as the heat source?
- Is it big enough to hold your dough-in water and your sparge water so no reheating is required during the mash?
- How good is your burner to cope with the head drop in water?
- How will you regulate HLT water temps?

How much control do you want?
- Will you be adjusting re-circulation flow rates to hit a temp? (this will also affect step times)
- Will you use a bypass to recirculate wort without going through the heating coil?
- How will you know when your mash tun is at a desired temp? (remember your not just heating the liquor, you'll need to heat the grain in the tun as well)

There's a few questions off the top of my head... Answer these and you'll be on your way to designing 'your' perfect set-up...


:chug:

Asher for now
 

mongo

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vlbaby - I have thought that this might be the case. Could this problem be solved by using the boiler as a secondary HLT, and then introducing hotter water from this to ramp up the temperature while stepping up the temp with the HERMS system? I am not sure, but this is a solution I have been wondering about.
as for the wort in the coil - I just calculated that there would be somewhere in the vicinity of 2L of wort in the coil. That's heaps! I was thinking about pumping some water through the coil to empty it of work before draining the mash tun. If I end up with some water in the tun, then that's OK.
Asher - thanks for the really good questions here. Could end up changing the design because of it. To go through your questions;
HLT as heat source: yes and no (more yes than no)
big enough to hold dough in plus no re heat: no, but that may change
How will I regulate temp: thermometer in side of tank
adjusting recirculation rates?: hadn't thought of it
bypass: no
msh tun at desired temp: I have assumed (without actually practicing it) that I can hit this temp by having the liquid heat the grain as it goes through.

Thanks for your input on this. Mistakes could be quite expensive, so it's good to hammer em out before I get too far into it.
 

timmy

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I'm toying with the idea of a hybrid herms/ direct heated setup.

Direct heat for the big steps, then from alpha to beta amylase steps use the herms. Seeing as Lion nathan have me ticked off ATM i'd be stealing their kegs for the project ;) (insert tongue in cheek here).

At least this setup would be pretty versatile. the herms would help stabilise the mash temp as well as clear it.
 

BrissyBrew

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I have been toying with steam injection (for temp maintanence and stepping). A doc at my homebrew club use to have one but he stopped useing it, need to ask WHY?
 

vlbaby

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brissy,

my first mash system was based on steam injection. I gave up using it for a few reasons.
Firstly the steam boiler required a very powerful heat source in order to raise the temp. steps fast enough. This meant a gas burner was needed that would have either been manually controlled, or gas solenoid and PID controlled. The whole setup seemed to be an expensive option for me compared to herms.

The second reason i abandonded it was that the mash would have to be constantly stirred in order for the steam to penetrate the entire mash. I preferred the idea of allowing the mash to settle by recirculation, resulting in a clearer wort.
Perhaps this part wouldn't be a real problem, as there's nothing to stop you recirculating the mash at the end anyway. I just didnt want to have to build a mash stirrer on top of everything else required to make this work.

Herms system, IMO is a much better and cheaper option.


vlbaby.
 

Gout

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I will be running my herms for the first time, it is all manual control for the first run (to limit things/errors i need to deal with) then next brew i will try my own temp control system to control the herms mash HLT and CFWC outlet temps. cant wait.... lets hope all goes well

i am running a herms "bucket" rather than the HLT for the herms for reasons outlined in other posts. I recall SDcollins (havn't got the link handy) has a good site on the reasons also

cheers
 

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