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Single Step Infusion Mash - Vs. Rims & Herms

Aussie Home Brewer

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What AG System do you use?

  • Single Step Infusion

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • RIMS

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • HERMS

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

Jase

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Hi There,

Was digging around in the scrap bin at work yesterday (as that what one does :blink: ) and I found an oil cooler that, with a bit of work, could be converted in a heat exchanger. So it got me thinking. I'm in the process of building my AG brewery and I thought why not HERMS.......

I searched the net, and found an article from Graham Sanders in favour of HERMS, and another from Scott ? founder of the Brewtree in favour of single step infusion.

This got me wondering what the AHB community use, and how successful these setups are, pros and cons etc, keeping in mind that different systems work for different people.

I've attached the articles in Word format, for those people, like me, who have restrictions at work.

View attachment herms.doc

View attachment single_step_vs_herms_and_rims.doc

Cheers,
Jase

P.S. Hope I'm not stepping on Pumpy's toes, by adding a poll ;)
 
B

bindi

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Not enough choice in your poll <_< I step mash and somtimes do a Decoction depends on the beer I am making.
 

Jase

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Sorry Bindi,

Not too sure how to edit a poll to add more choices.

Should had added an 'others'.

Still interested in hearing about everyone's system.

Cheers,
Jase
 

Justin

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Single infusion brewer here.

I have toyed with the idea of building a herms or rims, especially now I mash in a stainless uninsulated vessel instead of the old favourite, the esky. Heat loss is now an issue that was never there in the esky. If you want a simple to use, very effective brewery go for the esky MT.

With a hand held element I can maintain temps and step mash if desired (I never really do though, sometimes I'll raise temp to mash out). I could use this method in either the stainless MT or esky mash tun though with one of these elements. I just find that I use the element to keep bumping the temps up in my uninsulated MT.

HERMS or RIMS adds a whole nother level of complexity to your brew day and to getting your brew session right. Making sure hoses are filled, elements covered, temperatures right, pumps flowing, no leaks etc. Not to mention that your desired temps are all correct in the places that matter. Things can and do go wrong on brew day, adding something like a HERMS or RIMS could certainly open the door to a whole nother level of potential problems.

So basically, I don't have one. But I may build a small herms unit in the future, more out of the enjoyment I get from building brewing things than out of necessity. I certainly don't begrudge anyone that has a herms or rims system, each to their own and people are free to have fun with their hobby.

If I was building my first AG brewery I probably wouldn't worry about a herms or rims. You can always add it later on (just factor that into your design), but I suggest just getting in there and getting your brewery built and start brewing. There's no harm in collecting the bits necessary to add in a herms or rims later but at least in the first part I'd keep things simple. Then if there comes a time when you decide you want a herms or rims component you'll have the hands on experience with your system to add it in and make it work.

Cheers and have fun. Justin
 

razz

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I agree whole heartedly with Justin in particular his comments about adding complexity to the brew day. But I have to say this, regardless of the system you have, once you iron out the bugs it should work with out too many problems. Just for the record I built my herms system, had a great time doing it and I'm making the best beers ever. Brew day is now a stress free experience and I enjoy it. If I still had my old system ( could'nt put a name to it) I would still be making better beer than when I started many years ago. :D
 

nifty

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I single step mash and use a herms.

Like Justin said, I started with the basic ag setup and made good beer for ages. Later when I was more comfortable with the setup, I started building stuff. I made a separate herms that was cheap to build and works very well. It's not that pretty to look at, but it keeps the mash temp stable, gives very clear run off, is easy to set up on the day, and easy to clean.

If I wanted to do step mashes, it would work, but it's really just another toy to play with on brew day

I don't know what Scott, in the article, was doing wrong but i've never had a problem with the pump and hoses etc. I crush my grain pretty fine and have never had a stuck sparge or gummed up pump/pipes (I've probably just jinxed myself).

nifty
 

Justin

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Hi Nifty.

Although I haven't read that article fully, only skimmed it, Scott makes a few good points. In regards to the problem Scott had with a recirculating system, I think you have to take into context too the fact that Scott was trying to sell his AG brewery system (The Brewtree)-which is a single step infusion system. I have no doubts his systems work well (doesn't take much for a system to work, they are pretty simple things), so maybe a bit of bias there given he wants to sell his system.

But from what little I read of that article it appears there are some valid points there.

His site has certainly "trimmed" the line up of products he sells. ie. Nothing other than the system now. If I recall correctly he trod on a few toes in the US homebrewing circuit and their may have even been a few infringements on "borrowing" someone elses designs etc. But I can't recall the specifics so I could be really off the mark.

Cheers, lets make beer. Brewing an APA this weekend and teaching the old man how to brew.

Justin
 

Jase

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, I think you have to take into context too the fact that Scott was trying to sell his AG brewery system (The Brewtree)-which is a single step infusion system. I have no doubts his systems work well (doesn't take much for a system to work, they are pretty simple things), so maybe a bit of bias there given he wants to sell his system. Justin
I tend to agree with Justin.

Whilst reading Scott's article, I tried keeping an open mind in that Scott's in the business of selling single setp infusion system.

Just thought it would an interesting post for all aspiring All grainer to get a better picture on what systems are available to the craftbrewer. But one of the major advantages to this hobby is that you can add to your system as your experience and ideas grow. The quest for the perfect brew. Gee's youve gotta love this obsession, er I mean hobby. ;)

Cheers,
Jase
 

warrenlw63

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Gotta agree with Justin too.

After farting around with multi-step mashes to eek some extra efficiency out of Powells and to convert some FB in a mash with Marris Otter my results weren't particularly great.

All of the resultant beers came out very thin, excessively dry and struggling to hold a good collar of foam.

Makes me wonder if I could have possibly degraded too much protein in today's world of well modified malts. ;)

Single step dump and stir is back on the menu and beers are looking and tasting great again. :)

Warren -
 

Airgead

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I searched the net, and found an article from Graham Sanders in favour of HERMS, and another from Scott ? founder of the Brewtree in favour of single step infusion.
You looking for that legendary 110% efficiency?

I'm a single infision (with the odd step mash thrown in) brewer. I've looked at rims/herms before as I'm a gadget freak but they look too complex and prone to problems. The Yanks love these sort of systems and also seem to have huge problems with DMS and hot side aeration that we just don't. I'm wondering whether there is a connection.

Cheers
Dave
 

Justin

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Yeah. Two ways you can make great beer.

1.You can do it as simply as possible with a single infusion mash in a well insulated esky and make a great beer or;

2. you can add in a bunch of complexity, a heap of gadgets, fiddle with this, adjust that, heat this, tend to that and watch over here. At the end you come out with a great beer.

Hmmm, hang on the outcome is exactly the same as the first techinque?

How you convert your starches in the mash is a pretty forgiving process IMO, hence the reason why so many temperatures and systems/techniques work. If you hit 64C instead of 67C it's not like your going to end up with a beer you can't drink.

I suspect most people tend to fall in the middle ground of the two points above. You've got to do something for that 60mins while the mash converts.

I like to drink a good beer while I'm brewing so I can remember why I'm doing it. Probably has something to do with the reason I always forget the whirlfloc ;) :p .

Cheers, Justin
 

PeterS

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I use a HERMS simply because wanted to experiment and see the results. One day I decided to purchase a convoluted chiller and my home made coil of copper pipe became redundant. I hate to throw things out and ended up using it in my HLT. I must admit I was sceptical at first and I hated drilling an extra couple of holes in my HLT but I thought nothing ventured nothing gained. Since I already had a pump I might as well put it to good use.

I doubt very much that the system produces better beer as compared to a Single Infusion setup but I like watching the little sight glass that I introduced in the pipes and see how clear the wort becomes after awhile.

For me it works. On the other hand, just recently I had an accident with my Immersion Heater that I use to heat my HLT and my HERMS was out of action. I found no difference in tasting my normal House Ale that I produced using the simple Single Infusion Setup.

Cheers
PeterS... :beer:
 

ArnieW

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I love HERMS because I'm a control freak ;)

I had trouble with the machine the other day and did a normal mash for the first time in about 5 years. It was no trouble at all.

I like the convenience of HERMS when it works well. Once tuned up it is no extra trouble at all, but it is certainly not necessary.

My main reason for having it is the satisfaction in building something that works well. But brewing is actually a very simple art - I just make it more complex than it needs to be.

HERMS just means a more versatile tool. But having the most expensive tools does not mean you will make the best beer. It just makes it a bit easier to make the beer you make.

cheers, Arnie :chug:
 

Trough Lolly

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You're not a real brewer until you have a March Pump....and a HERMS!! :ph34r: :p

I single step mash if I'm lazy on brewday... :rolleyes:

Cheers,
TL
 

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