Upgrade questions- herms and panel builds

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Rankin_leigh
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Upgrade questions- herms and panel builds

Post by Rankin_leigh » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:19 pm

Hi all.

Over the next few months I'm hoping to make my next round of upgrades.
I'm currently running a cheap platsic 25l htl that gravity feeds to 50l thermo mash, then pump to 70l boiler.

I'm looking at ditching the current htl and upgrading to a shiny 70l herms set up (and adding 2nd pump).
The majority of time at present I do 25l batches (1 cornie and bottle some).
I want a set up that is flexible enough to allow to do batches for either 1 or 2 cornies depending on my needs at the time.
Will a herms coil heat the wort enough if doing a 1 cornie batch and the whole coil isnt covered with water?
How far up the pot is the coil likely to go?

The next part - at the same time, I'd then look to sort out a proper control panel.
I know sod all about electronics, but have someone that knows a fair bit and said they'd help if it was all laid out in easy diagrams.
Naturally read what I can on electric brewery website. But seen a lot of people say the uk adaptations from that site are a pain in the arse.
Does anyone know of a good uk equivalent?
Any idea on what it's currently likely to cost for a panel build?
And anyone recently done one that has a uk shopping list (ie - list of places theyve sourced each item from)?

Thanks for any advice!

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Jocky
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Re: Upgrade questions- herms and panel builds

Post by Jocky » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:30 pm

Rankin_leigh wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:19 pm
I'm looking at ditching the current htl and upgrading to a shiny 70l herms set up (and adding 2nd pump).
The majority of time at present I do 25l batches (1 cornie and bottle some).
I want a set up that is flexible enough to allow to do batches for either 1 or 2 cornies depending on my needs at the time.
Will a herms coil heat the wort enough if doing a 1 cornie batch and the whole coil isnt covered with water?
How far up the pot is the coil likely to go?
Trying to understand what you're planning here.

Normally with HERMS you run the wort from the bottom of the Mash Tun out through a heat exchanger coil that is sitting in a pot full of heated water. The ideal setup is to have a separate HERMS pot that isn't much bigger than the coil and has a big element, as this allows the fastest response. If you don't want a separate pot you can put the coil in your HLT, but it can make the response quite slow as you need to heat all the water in the HLT.

From what you say I think you're planning the latter option? There's nothing forcing you to only half fill the HLT for a smaller batch, you can fully fill it but only use half the water. It's difficult to know what will happen if you only half cover the coil - it may well work fine as you've also got a smaller mash. I'd think about getting the coil mounted as low as possible to avoid the issue.

What you will need for HERMS but haven't mentioned is a PID (which can go into your control panel).
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Rankin_leigh
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Re: Upgrade questions- herms and panel builds

Post by Rankin_leigh » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:49 pm

Hiya thanks...

Was aware of the need for pid's, that was main reason for planning on trying to do panel at the time.

Hadnt heard/thought of having a seperate smaller pot for the herms coil, only ever heard of it being in the hlt. Think for money/space side of things I would probably still want the heat exchange in the hlt.

If needed to I would have more water in the hlt to make sure the coil is fully covered.
I guess I was seeing if it would work without massive amounts of excess water with the time etc it would take to heat the extra amount.
Sorry, should have been clearer.

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PeeBee
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Re: Upgrade questions- herms and panel builds

Post by PeeBee » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:05 pm

Think out of the box and you may be surprised at the solution you uncover. My brewery will do two sizes (2x Corny kegs or 3x Corny kegs, but not 1x Corny keg which is a pain so watch out for that). I have no problem with how full the HLT is, because the HERMS coil isn't in the HLT, it's in a jacket supplied by the HLT.

Whoever came up with the "one-pot" system (e.g. a Grainfather) was thinking out of the box: People are still surprised to learn a one-pot system is "RIMS".

The best advice for UK control panels I can give is don't look for 32A relays (or any relays "rated" as 16A or more). Look for "contactors" instead (25A and 40A available). Though it is possible to find 32A (even 40A) relays now-a-days, off eBay and the likes, from China, … God help us!

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