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RIMS or HERMS?
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,321
    I'm in the beginning stages of building a rig. As with all other projects in my life I will string this out over the next couple years before actually completing it. I'm more of a dreamer than a doer. To that end, I have began dreaming and sketching out what I imagine my rig to look like. I will probably add RIMS or HERMS to it either up front or later on, depends on monies at the time it happens.

    As I understand it, RIMS is pulling the wort out of the mash and recirculating it through a tube that has a heating element in it controlled by a PID to obtain the proper output temp.

    HERMS is the same thing except instead of a RIMS tube, the wort recircs through a coil in the HLT? And the HLT is held at a particular temp? The HERMS I have researched less (obviously).

    In the RIMS, the PID controls the element current. What is the variable with HERMS?

    What are the advantages/disadvantages of both systems? I must have something wrong about the HERMS system. I can't imagine it is very good at adjusting temps. I mean, the RIMS has much finer control? Or at least more immediate results?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,152
    With rims there is a risk of scorching that you dont have with herms. Herms has a slower time constant, but that is variable based on the power of the heating element and the amount of liquid in the hlt or water/oil bath (depending on design)

    I plan on going with a herms with the heat exchanger being the "chiller" in my system.. just recirculate hot water through the oter sleeve and wort through the inner. Should work well. You control the temp of the hot water with a pid.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,321
    So that brings up another question... With the herms, you will have to have water in the HLT at all times. Meaning at the end, once all the wort is in the kettle you'll have wasted water in HLT left over?
    With the chiller heat exchanger like you're saying you would recirc water from the HLT and wort from the MLT at constant flow rates and then vary the HLT water temp?
    I like that idea as it consolidates two components into the one heat exchanger.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • beerluvverbeerluvver
    Posts: 13

    So that brings up another question... With the herms, you will have to have water in the HLT at all times. Meaning at the end, once all the wort is in the kettle you'll have wasted water in HLT left over?
    With the chiller heat exchanger like you're saying you would recirc water from the HLT and wort from the MLT at constant flow rates and then vary the HLT water temp?
    I like that idea as it consolidates two components into the one heat exchanger.



    once you are done raising the temp to mash out you don't need to keep recircing. So you won't need to keep water in the HLT.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,321

    So that brings up another question... With the herms, you will have to have water in the HLT at all times. Meaning at the end, once all the wort is in the kettle you'll have wasted water in HLT left over?
    With the chiller heat exchanger like you're saying you would recirc water from the HLT and wort from the MLT at constant flow rates and then vary the HLT water temp?
    I like that idea as it consolidates two components into the one heat exchanger.



    once you are done raising the temp to mash out you don't need to keep recircing. So you won't need to keep water in the HLT.

    Ah. You're mash out volume is the herms water. Then you use it for mashout. That makes sense.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,152

    So that brings up another question... With the herms, you will have to have water in the HLT at all times. Meaning at the end, once all the wort is in the kettle you'll have wasted water in HLT left over?
    With the chiller heat exchanger like you're saying you would recirc water from the HLT and wort from the MLT at constant flow rates and then vary the HLT water temp?
    I like that idea as it consolidates two components into the one heat exchanger.



    once you are done raising the temp to mash out you don't need to keep recircing. So you won't need to keep water in the HLT.

    Ah. You're mash out volume is the herms water. Then you use it for mashout. That makes sense.


    Yes.

    In my case i will still use a direct electric inline heater (same heater used for herms) for sparge water so the recirculated water will ony be a very small volume in a pressure relieved closed system.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,321
    Ok, so which is better? And why? (insert opinion and reasoning.... here)

    What are the advantages of one or the other?

    The way I see it, scorching could be an issue with rims, but not likely with an ULWD element that is sized correctly. I think a faster temp ramp could be had with herms (without scorching). One reason I like the idea of a rims/herms system is the ability to do step mashes (because I could. Although it would have to be sized appropriately.... Now I'm rambling. Rambling to bed...
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,152

    Ok, so which is better? And why? (insert opinion and reasoning.... here)

    What are the advantages of one or the other?

    The way I see it, scorching could be an issue with rims, but not likely with an ULWD element that is sized correctly. I think a faster temp ramp could be had with herms (without scorching). One reason I like the idea of a rims/herms system is the ability to do step mashes (because I could. Although it would have to be sized appropriately.... Now I'm rambling. Rambling to bed...



    Better? Thats just silly. They both will make beer assuming you know how to use it.

    My preference is for herms for two reasons.
    1: adds no additional lines or equipment which contact wort. Every piece that touches wort is an additional infection farm. (Ah, the majesty of the simple single vessel system)
    2: you can get better control over the wort temp and faster ramps without scorching by applying heat indirectly... you will never be able to expose the wort to greater than boiling water temps.... assuming water is in the hot side of the hex and you arent applying any subatantial head pressure..
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,321
    I just had a thought... I'm eventually going to put an outdoor boiler in for my home heat. Probably about the time I get this done...

    Anyway, I'll basically have a constantly circulating loop of ~170*-190* water from the boiler outside in to the home hot water heater to the furnace and then return. I was planning on using a direct insulated line from the hot water heater to a mixing valve at the MLT as an on demand HLT. (The water heater would have 180*+ water in it and have an anti-scald mixing valve on it before it goes to the house domestic hot water)
    I could also use the boiler lines for HERMS. A PID could control a valve on the heating water flow (just the loop off of the trunk line for brewing) in order to obtain fine automated temperature control. I think this is similar to the two vessel system you had in mind Lake? Just a different heat source?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,152

    I just had a thought... I'm eventually going to put an outdoor boiler in for my home heat. Probably about the time I get this done...

    Anyway, I'll basically have a constantly circulating loop of ~170*-190* water from the boiler outside in to the home hot water heater to the furnace and then return. I was planning on using a direct insulated line from the hot water heater to a mixing valve at the MLT as an on demand HLT. (The water heater would have 180*+ water in it and have an anti-scald mixing valve on it before it goes to the house domestic hot water)
    I could also use the boiler lines for HERMS. A PID could control a valve on the heating water flow (just the loop off of the trunk line for brewing) in order to obtain fine automated temperature control. I think this is similar to the two vessel system you had in mind Lake? Just a different heat source?



    That would work, although i aim to be able to hold 210 degF inside the hot loop for faster ramping to mashout.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,321
    I can probably get enough volume at 190* to ramp fast enough. I think the water jacket on the boiler is 180 gallons. That's a lotta hooch at 190*.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,152

    I can probably get enough volume at 190* to ramp fast enough. I think the water jacket on the boiler is 180 gallons. That's a lotta hooch at 190*.


    Should work well
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,321
    Lakewood said:

    I can probably get enough volume at 190* to ramp fast enough. I think the water jacket on the boiler is 180 gallons. That's a lotta hooch at 190*.


    Should work well

    Well done and done. Now I just need ten grand.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,152

    Lakewood said:

    I can probably get enough volume at 190* to ramp fast enough. I think the water jacket on the boiler is 180 gallons. That's a lotta hooch at 190*.


    Should work well

    Well done and done. Now I just need ten grand.


    Well, there is that...




    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,321
    Didn't @Curlyfat have some problems with RIMS?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • CurlyFatCurlyFat
    Posts: 61,448

    Didn't @Curlyfat have some problems with RIMS?



    Thermocouple readings erratic. Still unresolved. Proposed, but unsubstantiated, solution is RTD sensors.

    And, for the lOve of your God, get self priming pumps!

    "Balls."
    - Thym's 100,000th post

  • CurlyFatCurlyFat
    Posts: 61,448
    Btw, I did not read anything leading up to this. I just resonded to the comment I was @ on.

    "Balls."
    - Thym's 100,000th post

  • CurlyFatCurlyFat
    Posts: 61,448
    Some more useful info:

    I never had any scorching problems.

    Actually, the opposite was an issue. I used a 220v element using 110v source. While I understood the electrical science behind everything, it's just not enough to do Nything but maintain temps. Even raising the temp by one degree takes about 20 minutes. If I did it again, I'd either wire a 220v source, or use a higher wattage 110v element....frankly, I'm thinking I'll build a HERMS and skip the PID. I'll just use an analog thermometer and and tweak temps/flow as needed. I'm having to babysit as it is.



    So, my vote is to build a HERMS. It's cheaper, and just as effective if not more so, while being just as automatable.

    "Balls."
    - Thym's 100,000th post

  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,321
    Automatable.

    If i get an outdoor boiler, then I'm definitely doing herms. With no boiler, I still haven't decided.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,152
    CurlyFat said:

    Some more useful info:

    I never had any scorching problems.

    Actually, the opposite was an issue. I used a 220v element using 110v source. While I understood the electrical science behind everything, it's just not enough to do Nything but maintain temps. Even raising the temp by one degree takes about 20 minutes. If I did it again, I'd either wire a 220v source, or use a higher wattage 110v element....frankly, I'm thinking I'll build a HERMS and skip the PID. I'll just use an analog thermometer and and tweak temps/flow as needed. I'm having to babysit as it is.



    So, my vote is to build a HERMS. It's cheaper, and just as effective if not more so, while being just as automatable.



    running a 220V element at 110V is like driving a Lamborghini but maintaining idle RPM all the time... sure, it looks cool, but it's not going to go very fast, and you sure dont have to worry about getting a ticket for speeding.

    if you ran at 220V 100% duty cycle for a ramp you'd be putting 4x as much heat into the wort, that's when you worry about scorching, not while maintaining temp.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny