Started the Herms build today.

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Started the Herms build today.

Postby Pakman » Sat Feb 20, 2016 21:01

Ever since I modded the lid of my thermobox mash tun I have been gathering bits for a Herms unit so that I can recirc the mash.
I finally got around to assembling the PID, SSR and a 13Amp socket into a box this morning

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This is the inside during construction.

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I used the heatsink from an old PC processor fan to bolt onto the SSR.

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During testing I noticed that the temperature probe was not very accurate so tried sticking a ferrite onto the sensor leads where they passed the SSR.

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This improved things a great deal but I will stick a bit more interference protection in before finally screwing the box up. Tested using my £5 kettle purchased at Morrisons yesterday and it did a good job holding the kettle to the desired temperature.

Next I'll build a pump speed controller. :thumb:

Graham

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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby fishplate » Sun Feb 21, 2016 09:59

Nice
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:41

Good luck with the build, :thumb: I really enjoyed building my system up from nothing.

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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby Pakman » Thu Mar 24, 2016 21:49

Almost there now :thumb:

I've made the heat exchanger coil and found a kettle to fit it into. The 10mm copper tube (2 metres) was filed with salt and the ends crimped before bending it around a length of metal pipe. Then the ends soldered on. The plan is to clamp the silicon tubing onto the 15mm copper tube ends. The stainless jubilee clip keeps it vertical in the kettle.

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Had to cut a couple of notches in the kettle lid to hold the coil in place. At least it means that the kettle is re-cycleable as a normal kettle if the set-up doesn't improve things.


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During my normal mash brew last weekend, the mash started out at 70 degrees so rather than cool it with an addition of cold water, I tested out the mag pump and speed controlled and recirculated the wort from the bottom of the mash tun up into the manifold at the top. Dropped it down to 68 degrees in less than 5 mins.


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Here is the pump speed controller opened up after making it.
Next brew will be a Citra in 10 days time and I hope to do a HERMs brew. Just need to fit the thermocouple probe into the push fit right angle bend I purchased yesterday so it's right at the entry point of the mash tun manifold.

Graham

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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby xCamel xSlayer » Thu Mar 24, 2016 22:09

I have no idea yet what any of this is but I like the look of it. DIY projects are the best.
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby wezzel » Thu Mar 24, 2016 22:37

I find that a truscot housing is the ideal location for the double, whippy, overhead flamshaft. Especially when the throket spigot has minimal clearance
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby krazypara3165 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 00:41

Great little build!!

Kegged:
Simecoe APA (HBF Donation)

Bottled:
Galaxy Pale Ale, Woodfordes Wherry, Bella Brew Pale Ale, Strawberry and vanilla Pale Ale, Mixed fruits cider, Elderflower and grapefruit fizz.

Maturing:
Rhubarb Wine, WOW rose', Elderberry wine, Mixed berries wine, Elderflower and grapefruit wine, Elderberry wine.

Next Up:
German Pilsner, Guinness Clone, Chateau De Roi selection kit, Strawberry and lime cider.
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby pittsy » Fri Mar 25, 2016 08:08

wezzel wrote:I find that a truscot housing is the ideal location for the double, whippy, overhead flamshaft. Especially when the throket spigot has minimal clearance

:rofl: :rofl:
Insure your winkle is primed at room temperature .
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby PhatFil » Fri Mar 25, 2016 22:12

Grand job, as i scrolled down to pic #1 i thought to myself is that ssr on a heatsink, next pic down OMG what a big un :thumb:

it probably isnt but it looks like your herms coil is resting on the kettle element??

if it is may i suggest you consider slipping a bad conductor in between a peice of broken potery for example..
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby john luc » Sat Mar 26, 2016 19:50

Where are you reading the wort temperature as it returns to the Mash Tun. I love the coil in the Kettle by the way. :clap:
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby boab44stout » Tue Mar 29, 2016 20:43

really nice neat coil there very tidy.
Is that a pwm you have used in your speed controller for your pump looks really good best of luck with it
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby Pakman » Tue Mar 29, 2016 20:48

Did a dummy run this weekend (in a howling gale ;^)

Filled the mash tun with water and set up the HERMS

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I had mounted the kettle, pump, filter and speed controller on a board and then let it run to see how well it worked.

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Observation #1 - the cheap and nasty Chinese thermocouple leaks like a seive with no method of stopping it happening from what I could see. This will be solved by removing the thermocouple from it's crimped housing and making a new fixing using a 6mm brass bolt drilled to accept it glued inside. That should sort that out.

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Observation #2 - found that my PiD would only allow me to adjust the set temperature downwards and not up. Therefore I could only reach about 59 degrees in the mash tun when it was set to 70 degrees. I could not adjust it upwards but did manage to turn it down easily.
Post test I found an 'un-documented' setting in the PiD which limits the top temperature.

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This picture shows the pump and filter plus speed controller.
After my experimenting, and once I've sorted out the thermocouple fixing, I'm happy to give it a bash with a first brew this coming weekend. :thumb:

Graham

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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby PhatFil » Tue Mar 29, 2016 21:31

teething probs then ;) looking good though only a few fiddles away from a brew..

the thermocouples that come in pid bundles are pants, if you can your much better off getting a class B or better pt100 probe, better accuracy and general quality.

but the swivle within a threaded sheath tyke K thermocouple s can be sealed with a small smear of waterweld or jb weld or any other food/heatsafe epoxy applied with a pin/needle at each end, better wrap the thread with ptfe tape first to ensure you dont foul it.. :thumb:
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby boab44stout » Tue Mar 29, 2016 21:31

really like how compact your system is looks nice and neat have you had any issues with that little pump filter which pump did you use.
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby boab44stout » Tue Mar 29, 2016 21:33

i bought my ntc sensor from homebrew builder they are quality im still getting to terms building my herms coil dont want to spend 22 quid on a full coil of 10 mm pipe only need 2 metres
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby mark1964 » Wed Mar 30, 2016 05:48

you would keep a better stable temp if your kettle lid was on tight. Is there no way of cutting or filing a u shape in the plastic so the kettle lid would fit tight?

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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby Pakman » Wed Mar 30, 2016 20:28

boab44stout wrote:really like how compact your system is looks nice and neat have you had any issues with that little pump filter which pump did you use.


When I used the pump to cool my last mash a bit the filter coped well with the grubbage out of the bottom of the mash tun. It's an input filter from a boat/caravan waterpump. It unlocks to clean the gauze between uses.

boab44stout wrote:im still getting to terms building my herms coil dont want to spend 22 quid on a full coil of 10 mm pipe only need 2 metres.


I purchased two metres of 10mm copper pipe off of Ebay as I didn't want to buy a full coil either.

The thermocouple housing has now been remade to a leakproof design.

Graham

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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby Pakman » Wed Mar 30, 2016 20:30

mark1964 wrote:you would keep a better stable temp if your kettle lid was on tight. Is there no way of cutting or filing a u shape in the plastic so the kettle lid would fit tight?


If I did that the coil would touch the element. I'll give it a try with a brew this weekend and see how we get on. I can always put a cover over the whole kettle.

Graham

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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby mark1964 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 06:45

could always take the element from the kettle and put it in a stainless asparagus steamer we did similar and just drilled holes in the sides of the steamer for inlet and outlet pipes.
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby Rolfster » Thu Mar 31, 2016 08:57

Or make some kind of lid that fits over the top of the kettle lid lined with bubble wrap or something.
Also if your struggling to maintain temperature would shorter pipes help?
Just a thought I don't know what I'm talking about my hems set up is still firmly in my head!
Loving the build thread, it's got me thinking about my theroretical build! :thumb:
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby mark1964 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:30

I got plenty of pics of our build if you need inspiration

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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby PhatFil » Thu Mar 31, 2016 19:40

2m of copper coil is ample for the tube contents to pick up 100% of the surrounding temp if its only a few degrees difference..

however bare copper tube will radiate heat off so insulating the return to the tun is essential, and insulating the feed in will minimise the work needed too.

are you preheating the kettle sufficiently before inserting the coil, with its proximity to the element temp control is going to be tricky unless the whole liquid volume is close to target, the coil could pick up excess heat at the close to element point. perhaps a small paddle agitator down the coil centre to move the water bath around akin to the shelf chillers??
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby ockelford » Wed Apr 06, 2016 09:55

Couldn't help noticing that your sensor leaks.

If that's the one that comes with the PID, then I'd says its noty worth keeping.

I've had very reliable use out of this setup

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=8470

using these (or similar):

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pro-RTD-Pt100 ... SwWTRWy~Rc

It works, and the 1/4" whitworth bolt welded onto the pipe is another thing to fail. Even if it doesn't, the K type sensor you have probably isn't sealed against the thread either. Best way is to use a thermowell somehow or seal onto the shaft of the sensor, ignoring the thread all together (the pt100 I bought wasn't sealed either). I got very frutrated for a long time with this bit of my build!

Hope it goes well.

R
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby Pakman » Thu Apr 07, 2016 19:38

Well, it's HERMS brewday tomorrow so I'll try and get some pictures taken. Brewing a Citra beer for the Soddit cruise in early March. Using the same recipe as the Citra I did two brews ago but using a different yeast to see how it affects the final beer. It will be conditioned in and served from the plastic keg.
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Re: Started the Herms build today.

Postby beermaker » Sat Apr 09, 2016 17:53

Looks like a nice build, very tidy and neat. Very impressed!
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