Recirculating 2 vessel system

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Recirculating 2 vessel system

Postby Mark » Wed Nov 18, 2015 14:29

Hi, I can't make up my mind whether to get a GF... I had another idea, but I wondered if there are any draw backs with my plan.

Basically having two vessels, for me a 50l stockpot HLT/Kettle and a 38.5 thermopot MT (with a FB) as I already have them. The only element to be in the hlt, and controlled by a PID. The wort going through the hlt from the MT and at the same rate, water pumped into the MT from the HLT. You would soon have wort in both vessels. Step mashing possible by heating the liquid in the HLT, being pumped to the MT maintaining and raising the temp for step mashes. At the end of the mash, closing the valve from the HLT and waiting for all the wort to empty from the MT before closing that off and cleaning it out and moving on with the boil.

Sorry if that's really convoluted. I've done a little diagram in paint to explain;
Image

Is there any reason why this wouldn't work/anything I've overlooked?

My thinking behind it is I already have everything to make the PID, and other than a pump, I have everything else. I've also got a SS catering table big enough for 2 vessels which isn't getting much use. I could perhaps build a permanent setup in the shed with this.

Thanks
Mark

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Re: Recirculating 2 vessel system

Postby Mr. Dripping » Wed Nov 18, 2015 14:59

IMO, you would be better putting a big coil in the HLT and recircing through that. Use the PID to control the temperature in the HLT with a sensor on the exit from the coil.
It would be much easier to control the temperature as you are not constantly recirculating the whole volume.
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Re: Recirculating 2 vessel system

Postby Mark » Wed Nov 18, 2015 15:34

Mr. Dripping wrote:IMO, you would be better putting a big coil in the HLT and recircing through that. Use the PID to control the temperature in the HLT with a sensor on the exit from the coil.
It would be much easier to control the temperature as you are not constantly recirculating the whole volume.

Thanks. maybe like this? That's a bit pricey, but maybe it could be done with copper. As the hlt would also double up as a kettle, I can't see why this couldn't be used as a wort chiller too.

The main issue here is the added expense. If I went with the original plan, I could always add bits as and when, if it were necessary.

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Re: Recirculating 2 vessel system

Postby WM7793 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 17:38

Hi Mark, have you thought about a small 5L pot for the HERMS vessel?
This way you can get swift rises in temperature. I have exactly the two vessel set up as you, I have added the additional 5L pot complete with kettle element and HERMS coil. The kettle element is controlled by a cheap Mypin PID controller, temperature is measured at the exit of the insulated mash tun as well as the exit of the HERMS pot.

Works a treat!

The 5L pots are off Ebay for approx £10, similar price for the Mypin PID's. I am currently replacing the copper HERMs coil with a stainless steel one.

Hope this helps.

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Re: Recirculating 2 vessel system

Postby Mark » Wed Nov 18, 2015 19:23

WM7793 wrote:Hi Mark, have you thought about a small 5L pot for the HERMS vessel?
This way you can get swift rises in temperature. I have exactly the two vessel set up as you, I have added the additional 5L pot complete with kettle element and HERMS coil. The kettle element is controlled by a cheap Mypin PID controller, temperature is measured at the exit of the insulated mash tun as well as the exit of the HERMS pot.

Works a treat!

The 5L pots are off Ebay for approx £10, similar price for the Mypin PID's. I am currently replacing the copper HERMs coil with a stainless steel one.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,
WM7793

Hi thanks. How do you sparge with the two vessels? Do you collect wort in another container before putting it back in the hlt/kettle? Thanks

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Re: Recirculating 2 vessel system

Postby WM7793 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 21:38

Hi Mark. I batch sparge.
For most beers the mash tun is big enough for me to pump all the sparge water into the mash tun in one go. Settle grain bed, recirculate wort until clear, and then drain the mash tun into another vessel prior to putting it back into the kettle.

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Re: Recirculating 2 vessel system

Postby Kev888 » Thu Jan 21, 2016 14:34

This looks like what some Americans sometimes call Kettle-RIMS (or K-RIMS), using the boil kettle's element (or in some cases gas fired kettle) instead of a separate rims tube. I'm quite interested in it at the moment, and have been reading around the forums on it. I may as well pass on my current thoughts in case any help, but please keep in mind I'm no expert with RIMS and I've not done any of this yet so don't rely on a word of it!

It has some advantages, in equipment and cleaning needed. The blichmann brew-easy setup does this with a 2-tier setup, as well as the grainfather (and in a different way) the braumeister - obviously, with the last two having the second vessel/tube sitting inside the first - so it can definitely work. It can also have some disadvantages, if not implemented well, as can be seen with some of the DIY copies people have tried. If the amount of wort needed to cover the kettle element is large then the system becomes less responsive and similarly if the amount of liquid needed to flood the element and other pipes is too high there may not be enough liquor left for a decent grain-bed/liquor ratio, making higher gravity brews more complicated.

People do use level setups, but personally, I'd consider going 2-tier and losing the pump out of the MT; aside from simplifying things both when building and on brew day, the open kettle then works like a grant for free, preventing the pump sucking on the grain bed. Although the GF and BM have the grain pot/tube inside the outer one, they are in this respect still a 2-tier system in that they use gravity to let wort return to the kettle.

One thing I like about the systems I mentioned is that they incorporate some damage limitation wrt the MT overflowing, and presumably also prevent the liquid level around the element consequently dropping. If I understand them properly, the breweasy uses a float valve to prevent the MT filling too much, the grainfather takes advantage of the gravity outlet to incorporate an overflow (to bypass the sticking grainbed if the level gets too high), and the braumeister pumps from below and has to overflow when the grain pipe is full.

Again, very much just initial thoughts - don't assume I'm correct!

Cheers
Kev

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Re: Recirculating 2 vessel system

Postby pittsy » Thu Jan 21, 2016 17:19

Hi I too have a 2 vessel set up ( although i'm planning on having a third at some point) and also a small 5 litre pot that I've fitted an element in with some copper coil ( a small wort chiller basically inside the pot ) well easy to use , quick , efficient and simple .
Image
The small pot on the left would be connected to the mash tun via a pump , outlet through the base of the mash tun and inlet near the top with a length of pipe inside the mash tun going down so as to reduce splashing and to recreate some movement to the wort which removes cold spots etc .
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Re: Recirculating 2 vessel system

Postby aamcle » Thu Jan 21, 2016 17:41

If you put the thermo pot on top you have ( more or less) a Blichmann Breweasy http://www.blichmannengineering.com/products/breweasy

They seem well liked in the US.

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