Buying, building and using brewing equipment and apparatus. Product reviews and questions.

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Postby Jerimi » Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:14 pm

Hello my Beer Tools friends I need some help. I am going to build a system and need some input. I have been brewing extract and am planning to make the switch to all grain. I can get a 15 and a 55 gal stainless steel drum as well as aluminum kegs. I may use the 55 gal drum for storing my treated water. I have read that HERMS isn't the end all be all that there are draw backs and limitations to booth. I brew mostly ales but hope to branch out to wheat beers and lambics. if anyone can share there experience with either system. also does anyone have a suggestion for a good roller mill or plans for one.
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RIMS or HERMS ... or Tiers???

Postby billvelek » Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:23 pm

You seem to limit your choices to RIMS or HERMS ... and you don't mention a simple tiered system. I don't have any of the above, although I will eventually get around to building one; I've been studying and planning and just don't have the time ... so it might be in my retirement years.

Anyway, I've read pros and cons for each system. I'm not going to insult your intelligence by explaining how any of them work, because I assume you already know that much. But since you didn't mention a simple tiered system, let me say that, from what I've gathered, there really isn't as much of a difference -- dramatically speaking -- between a RIMS and a HERMS than there is between them and a simple tiered system, and perhaps you should also be considering that as a possible alternative. I already make wonderful beer without any of the above. I'm really not sure how much easier a system would be, but I only do 5 gallon batches right now, and I'd imagine moving a 10 gallon batch around would be a royal pain in the butt, so when I eventually go to a converted keg, I would imagine that some sort of a system would probably save me from a hernia. But what do you really gain from a RIMS/HERMS over a simple gravity-fed tiered system? More control over your mash schedule, for sure, but my schedules aren't that complicated, and with BTP I'm hitting close enough that I can't imagine the fine-tuning of temps available with RIMS/HERMS is going to be all that much better. But I sure don't want to rain on anyone's parade, and I dreamed of a HERMS for a long time -- and still might decide to build one some day.

Anyway, I don't know how many brewers in this forum have experience with any of them. If you don't find an answer here, let me suggest that you visit my Yahoo Group which is exclusively about brewing equipment. I can guarantee you that there are a LOT of very sophisticated systems built and operated by our members (we currently have 623 members, and you should see the photos of some of their gear). If interested, please visit us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BrewingEquipment

I'm not trying to take anything away from this group, but I've found that by specializing in an area, you can gather much more experience than trying to visit the 50 or 100 or however many homebrewing forums are out there. And by specializing, membes still need to go elsewhere for their other brewing questions, so they continue to participate in their original forums.

Good luck, and now I need to get back to my brewing project that is underway. Just sat down while my strike water heats up.


Bill Velek
Visit www.tinyurl.com/bvelek - portal to my brewing sites: 3,100+ members on 'Grow-Hops', and 1,350+ brewers on my 'BrewingEquip' group.
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roller mill

Postby slothrob » Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:44 am

As for mills, I have a Barleycrusher with which I'm very happy. The rubber washer that drives the second roller didn't survive my fine tuning of the gap, but my understanding is that it's superfluous and my experience seems to support that.

Everyone seems to be happy with their roller mills, so I don't think you can really go wrong. I would suggest getting one with an adjustable gap, though. That will help you optimize your crush and your efficiency.

If you want a slightly higher end mill, the 3 roller mills are supposed to be particularly good. Supposedly, they give you much of the efficiency advantages of a double-crush with less husk damage.
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