Monday, June 21, 2010

HERMit the Frog

Geek alert. Turn around now if the scientific method makes your head hurt, and come back Wednesday.

Today marks the completion of my HERMS system! I performed a boil test today, and I mark it a success. I have a few leaks to tend to, but I'm ready to brew! So here's the setup:

I've got my orange mash/lauter tun, and my hot liquor tank keggle. The burner that I modified to fit the keggle works like a dream. On the initial startup I had a little trouble getting the pump primed, but once I got the air bubbles out of it we were flowing nice and good. I noticed two small leaks, one where the bulkhead fitting goes through the bottom side of the keg, and one where the coil inside the keg connections to my valves. Nothing a little teflon tape wont fix. I'm also planning on covering the insulation that's exposed where i put the hole through the side of my mash tun. I don't want all that foam to get moldy and nasty.

My test for a proof of concept was to bring the mash water from 85 to 100 degrees, and see how long it would take. The hot liquor tank was at 120 when I started the test. and in 6 minutes, I hit my target temperature. Considering the narrow 30 degree temperature differential, I am very pleased. The hotter the hot liquor tank runs, the quicker the response will be. So when my hot liquor tank is running at 200, and I'm going from a mash temp of 130 to 160, It should work in no time flat.

I plan to brew this weekend. I'll keep ya posted!

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