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Thread: HERMS and 3.5bbl systems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    7

    HERMS and 3.5bbl systems

    OK, here we go...

    We have been very consistent with our 1bbl all electric HERMs system. So much so that demand has outstripped supply, as we're struggling to keep 16-18 taps supplied with our in house beers.

    We bought a 3.5bbl system. And, I'm struggling with whether we should deploy RIMs or HERMs and so I have some questions, but first some lessons learned I intend to bring forward in the new system:

    1. The volume of water in the HLT is very important. I use a Corny keg cut down to 3gal with a 5500w element and 25' of 3/8" copper. Using a March or Blichmann
    pump we get about 3f temp rise/min on 1/2bbl and half that for 1bbl batches. With the new system I'm planning on something like 8gal and 11Kw and TWO coils
    of 7/8" copper (or SS) and TWO pumps at about 15g/min flow rate.


    2. The temp inside the mash tun is not as important as the temp of the wort leaving the heat exchanger (HLT)

    3. We will be using Sparge Water On Demand. I might make RO water and store in a tank, then mix salts in a 55gallon vessel and pump through the heater. We
    are in Florida, which has VERY sulphery notes and is hard enough to break windows with...before freezing it!

    QUESTIONS:

    1. Have any of you experimented with HERMs in a 3.5bbl system?
    2. What is the max flow rate in a 3.5bbl mash before compaction occurs?


    We only do a few multi step mashes, but they're important- let alone hitting mash out temp. Temp maint is the bulk of the work here, but changing is a big piece for us with these few beers.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    west coast
    Posts
    260
    have you considered skipping the HLT for an extra HX? seems like alot less work than building a crazy DIY herms/rims system.

    if you have an on demand heater, you can have a dedicated heat loop into the HX and heat your wort for each step. id imagine you'd get alot better thermal transfer and be to each step quicker.

    then you could run the sparge water from your reservoir through the HX to heat that as well. and you get another HX on hand should you ever need it.

    but one point- if i recall i think its better that you dont ever put RO water through your on demand heater- not good for the HX in the unit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    western , NY
    Posts
    66
    Quote Originally Posted by FishHawkBrewer View Post
    OK, here we go...

    We have been very consistent with our 1bbl all electric HERMs system. So much so that demand has outstripped supply, as we're struggling to keep 16-18 taps supplied with our in house beers.

    We bought a 3.5bbl system. And, I'm struggling with whether we should deploy RIMs or HERMs and so I have some questions, but first some lessons learned I intend to bring forward in the new system:

    1. The volume of water in the HLT is very important. I use a Corny keg cut down to 3gal with a 5500w element and 25' of 3/8" copper. Using a March or Blichmann
    pump we get about 3f temp rise/min on 1/2bbl and half that for 1bbl batches. With the new system I'm planning on something like 8gal and 11Kw and TWO coils
    of 7/8" copper (or SS) and TWO pumps at about 15g/min flow rate.


    2. The temp inside the mash tun is not as important as the temp of the wort leaving the heat exchanger (HLT)

    3. We will be using Sparge Water On Demand. I might make RO water and store in a tank, then mix salts in a 55gallon vessel and pump through the heater. We
    are in Florida, which has VERY sulphery notes and is hard enough to break windows with...before freezing it!

    QUESTIONS:

    1. Have any of you experimented with HERMs in a 3.5bbl system?
    2. What is the max flow rate in a 3.5bbl mash before compaction occurs?


    We only do a few multi step mashes, but they're important- let alone hitting mash out temp. Temp maint is the bulk of the work here, but changing is a big piece for us with these few beers.

    Thoughts?
    I decided to got rims myself but implemented it in a way where it works effectively like a herms. I did this by making a long u shaped rims with 2 28" long 2200w ulwd cartridge heaters so the wort has longer contact time with gentler heating action of the ULWD element surface to prevent any denaturing of enzymes. I also implemented an inexpensive stainless flow switch which kills power to the elements if the flow stops. I modeled this off the 36" long element in my home brewing/polit rig which nets me an average of 91% efficiency.
    I also think your flow rate is way too high for a rims or herms in a 3 barrel configuration... The temps dont drop very fast on a 3bbl mash due to mass... im going to use around 5gpm flowrate myself but so far we've just done water tests being that we are trying to get an engineer to stamp the approval of the use of a coolbot for our cooler and have been held up thus far.
    Last edited by augiedoggy; 08-09-2018 at 07:00 AM.

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