HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby Gethin79 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 19:52

So, I'm planning my new brewery build and am a little confused over one point.

Do I install a HERMS coil in my HLT, or do I get a separate smaller pot?

I'm intending to use my existing 70l boiler as my new HLT, and converting it from gas to electric. My concern is how quickly I can get the HLT temperature to raise to raise the mash temperature in the case of a stepped mash and for mashout. Obviously a smaller pot would enable a quicker temperature change, but is an additional cost.

I would intend on installing 2 x 2.4kW elements in the HLT.

Am I wasting money by getting an additional smaller pot, or would you consider this the way to go?

All opinions very welcome! :thumb:
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby Joe1002 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 19:58

From what I understand a much smaller (kitchen kettle size) pot is required as it will react to the temperature changes more rapidly. Makes sense really, less water to heat so it will do it a lot more quickly.

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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby Gethin79 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 20:03

That's what I was thinking. Was looking at a lot of HERMS builds that use the HLT, but just couldn't figure how that quantity of water could react quick enough.

I think I'll look into a smaller pot...stainless, of course!! Cheers mate!
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby Rolfster » Mon Apr 03, 2017 22:14

I think an asparagus pot is a good pot. I think it's because it's small but quite tall so you can get quite a few turns of coil in it.

I saw something that looked quite good in aldi the other day! But I'm not in the position to pimp my brewing equipment after up scaling to 100 liter vessels....
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby Gethin79 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 22:20

I'll take a look, cheers. :thumb:
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby PhatFil » Tue Apr 04, 2017 03:21

Jabba over on Jims made a small copper coil that dropped neatly into the kitchen jug kettle, he then applied a pid to control the kettles power and had a tiny volume uberfast to respond to changes herms coil for a bargain basement cost.

If your on a shiny Kick ;) spend money on a SS coil as thats what the beer runs through ;)
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby pittsy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 07:10

I use a tall asparagus pot for mine , works a treat .But I only have 2 vessel plus small pot so no real hlt . It runs off a pid and I have the mash recirculating throughout the rest .When mashing you should raise the temp around 1c per minute btw .
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 07:46

PhatFil wrote:Jabba over on Jims made a small copper coil that dropped neatly into the kitchen jug kettle, he then applied a pid to control the kettles power and had a tiny volume uberfast to respond to changes herms coil for a bargain basement cost.

If your on a shiny Kick ;) spend money on a SS coil as thats what the beer runs through ;)


That idea is bordering on genius - I can see a cheap way into this and might well try it.

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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby Aleman » Tue Apr 04, 2017 09:42

There are several designs on here using a kettle as a HERMS pot. I still need to work on my 6L Thermobox conversion to a HERMS pot. Bear in mind that you don't actually need a huge length of copper in the coil, 1 to 2 metres is plenty :thumb:

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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby thepatchworkdoll » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:54

www.dropbox.com/s/ww4l8xgyj4lxhyt/DSCI0003.JPG?dl=0
Heres a picture of my Herms in a Tesco cheap kettle
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby john luc » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:25

Don't go down the road of putting the HERMs coil in the HLT as it does not work unless you have a shit load of energy to drive the temperature of the HLT. A small pot of a few liters of water is best as you can effect a quicker change of temperature in the wort in the coil as it passes through. I know a lad who built a fantastic shiny Stainless Steel 3 pot set up and had his coil in his 50 liter HLT,he does not like it when I refer to the fact that the street lights dim when he switches on his 11 Kw's to run it along with his 5.5 Kw's running his Boil Kettle. :rofl:
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby PeeBee » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:41

If you want another way of going about it...

I too was having concerns about the most versatile build when putting together my brewery a couple of years ago. I was also thinking about whether RIMS was a better way to go. Small HERMS pots just seemed like more paraphernalia to have cluttering the place up. And at the time I was troubled how I was going to fit a fairly large calibre coil (15mm, I was convinced 10mm would just bung up) into the HLT.

My solution was to fabricate the heat exchanger externally to the HLT with a jacket into which water from the HLT (or mains, so as to be a cooler too) was pumped. And the heat exchanger incorporated an element so it could be run as a RIMS system too (or "hybrid").

Results here http://forum.craftbrewing.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=10464 which might spark off some ideas?
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby Gethin79 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 19:50

Cheers all. I've taken a look on Amazon and found some fairly decent asparagus pots that I reckon would do the job nicely.

In particular a 3l or 4.2l one. I think I'll go for the slightly larger one to make sure I can get everything in it! Last question (probably, but maybe not..) what size pipe should I be looking at using for the HERMS coil. Obviously smaller microbore copper tubing will be easier to form, but will that allow enough flow?
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby pittsy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 20:16

You want 10mm , its the biggest you can reasonably use . In a perfect world you'd have 15mm pipe with full bore fittings and 15mm silicone so as not to create bubbles from the pump but 10mm will do fine .
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Re: HLT or HERMS pot?

Postby Gethin79 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 20:19

Perfect. Cheers mate! :thumb:
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