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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2006 * Archive through May 05, 2006 * HERMS alternative < Previous Next >

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George Schmidt
Advanced Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 685
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 68.251.105.3
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 03:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are there any HERMS guys out there who control the HLT temp at target and constantly pump wort through? If so, what kind of heat up rates can you see? An advice on this method in general?
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

danno
Advanced Member
Username: Danno

Post Number: 689
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 65.100.60.29
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 03:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I run mine at abut 10F above the target temp. Some heat is lost to lack of transfer (the outgoing wort is about 5F lower) and the rest is for actually heating the mash. Most of my temp increases occur in less than 15 minutes.
 

Richard Shaffer
Member
Username: Mr_baseball

Post Number: 142
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 64.35.155.194
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 04:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I keep my HLT at about 180 Deg and use a three way valve to control my wort thru the herms coil. I have a thermometer on the output so that I can modulate the valve for whatever temp I need. I can do three deg. a minute if I want but it really is a function of delta tee; mash liquor temp, HLT temps and efficiency of the herms coil. I also have a burner on my MT so at mash out I use a combination of the two to achieve quick mashout temps. I use single temp. mashes most of the time and only use my herms to vorlouf and when I need to do step mashes, wheat beers, pilsners, etc. Richard
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 5312
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 24.57.239.69
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 04:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Richard's system and technique are very close to mine. With the HLT water at 180 F I can raise the mash temperature about 1.5 degree F per minute over the 135-155 F range, and about 1 degree F per minute to 168 F for mashout. I have a burner under the mash tun that allows for relatively fine control of the flame, so I often use it as well. I don't have a problem with scorching as long as I stir frequently (but no need for constant stirring). More important in my mind is stirring of the water in the HLT to prevent thermal stratification and improve heat transfer efficiency.
 

brewer of beer
New Member
Username: Brewbeer22

Post Number: 24
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 216.41.89.234
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 07:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George, I use a system similar to Richards. It uses two valves to route recirculating sweet liquor through the HERMS coil (20 ft of 3/8 soft copper) or by-pass the coil or both. With a full-throttle flow through the HERMS coil and the sparge water in the HLT temp at 170, wort going in at 150 comes out at 160. Each valve can be modulated to achieve the desired flow rate and delta T.

Is automation your goal? With an electric system such as yours, it would seem that RIMS (ie, SABCO Brew Magic) has distinct advantage over HERMS.
 

George Schmidt
Advanced Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 686
Registered: 08-2004
Posted From: 198.179.10.7
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 08:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Limited automation of steps is one of my goals, maintaining a steady mash temp is bigger, as is maintaining a small budget. I had begun planning a RIMS, actually, but the price started to get out of hand. Then I hit on the idea of using my kettle element as the heat source instead of buying another.

I can easily modify the Christmas-light element controller to accept input from a Johnson or Love temp controller and maintain the kettle temp wherever I want. I think that would be the only control I'd need if I pumped wort through the coil constantly. Theoretically, I don't think I'd even need to measure mash temp, though I of course would still do so. Retro-fitting my old IM chiller as the coil, I would literally only need to buy another controller and a couple of compression fitting - $50 HERMS.

Whether this works effectively is going to boil down to the rate of heat transfer from the kettle to the mash recirc, given that low deltaT. Any thermodynamic geniuses out there that can calculate it? I've been out of school too long to remember how to do it, so I'm just going to run a few tests. If I can get steady maintenance and 2F/min steps, I'll be happy.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

brewer of beer
New Member
Username: Brewbeer22

Post Number: 25
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 216.41.89.234
Posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2006 - 09:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you were willing to totally forgo automation, a valve/thermometer set-up like this might get you to where you want to go. It's still gonna cost a few bucks in brass, tho.



Flow from the pump comes into the manifold from the bottom and flows past the lower thermometer (which gives the mash temperature). Sweet liquor temp and flow rate can be modulated by manually adjusting the positions of the two valves. The horizontal valve controls flow through the HERMS coil. The vertical valve is a by-pass. The sweet liquor flowing from the coil and by-pass combine and then flow past the upper thermometer (which gives return temperature) and back to the mash tun.

The drawback of this method is that as the pump flow rate changes (due to compaction), and the temperatures of the sparge water in the HLT/HERMS coil vessle and sweet liquor coming into the manifold change, the output temp also changes, requiring the operator to keep adjusting the postion of the valves and the heat added to the HLT/HERMS coil vessle.

But it works for me.
 

Jeff Dieterle
New Member
Username: Dietejr

Post Number: 10
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 147.154.235.53
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 01:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use a peristaltic pump at about .5gpm with constant recirculation through a separate heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a 1/6 Barrel keg with appx. 30ft of 1/2cu tube and a 1500kw heating element, filled with water. If I'm step mashing I get the heat exchanger water to the 2nd step +10dgf. I hit the 1st step with strike water. I use a t/c in the bottom of an Igloo cube mash tun and a Honeywell UDC3300 to control the heating element. My heat-up rate is currently about .8dg/min and the mash temp controls within 1dg top-bottom. I just picked up a DC variable speed gearmotor & controller (at an auction for almost nothing) and will play around with it attempting to increase my ramping rates one of these days.
 

Richard Nye
Senior Member
Username: Yeasty_boy

Post Number: 1404
Registered: 01-2004
Posted From: 68.4.202.69
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 05:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George, the success of your plan will depend on how much heat you can add to the HLT during the steps. You'll need to add A LOT of heat to raise the hot liquor PLUS the mash by 2F / min. Also, the mash temp will trail the HLT temp because the warmer wert will need to flow through the grain to warm it up.

I have a Brew Magic and when I step mash I need to raise the wert temperate 6 to 8F over my target temperature so that when it goes back into the MT it blends with the colder grain to even out at my target temperature.

I was going to design my rig and I did a lot of playing around with different "pilot plants". I learned a lot. The most important thing I learned was it isn't as easy as you may think.
 

Belly Buster Bob
Senior Member
Username: Canman

Post Number: 2537
Registered: 02-2003
Posted From: 131.137.245.198
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 11:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Maybe think about breaking away from the norm, get rid of the coil from your HLT and run a seperate electric heat exchanger. Full control over mash temp and I circulate constantly. Automation is a breeze as there is only one variable to control...the temp of the output wort from heat exchanger. My mash temps are always bang on. Using a PID ($25 form Ebay) it is able to "learn" the thermal dynamics of your system and keeps the temp perfectly steady.
A couple systems to look at
http://www.texanbrew.com/
and
www.bellybuster.netfirms.com
You will not be dissappointed
Bellybuster Bob
www.bellybuster.netfirms.com
 

davidw
Senior Member
Username: Davidw

Post Number: 1530
Registered: 03-2001
Posted From: 65.163.6.62
Posted on Thursday, May 04, 2006 - 02:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is what ya need, right here:

http://morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=17515

I don't have any numbers to spout off, but I recall the first time I used my system after installing this I was surprised at how quickly I could bump up the temp in the tun. 1-2 degrees per minute, easy.