Author Topic: RIMS Tube - Looking for Advice  (Read 27247 times)

Offline philm63

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RIMS Tube - Looking for Advice
« on: September 07, 2013, 06:14:37 PM »
It's time for an upgrade. Thinking of setting up a RIMS with a control panel and hoping to stay with a standard 120 V, 15 A circuit. My main concern is whether or not a 1650 W heating element will allow me to step my mash quickly enough.

I currently use a 10-gallon cooler for 5-gallon batches - and will be using a chugger with 1/2" fittings and 1/2" i.d. hoses to get good flow through the RIMS tube - I suspect I should be capable of getting between 1-2 GPM without compacting my grain-bed. I also plan on using a good PID temperature controller and may add timer functions as well.

Anyone have a similar set-up, or can confirm whether or not a 1650 W element would allow a reasonably quick step? (around 2 F / Min would be acceptable)
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Fermenting: Air
On Deck: Kolsch

Offline grathan

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Re: RIMS Tube - Looking for Advice
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 02:59:18 PM »
I've used a 1500w element to heat water before.  It takes a long time. I have never used a rims tube, but I wonder.. How does this not denature enzymes as they pass over the element?

Offline philm63

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Re: RIMS Tube - Looking for Advice
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2013, 03:37:11 AM »
It's a function of a combination of maintaining a minimum flow rate, power to the element, and the watt-density of the element. The watt-density of the element in the RIMS tube is important in reducing the intensity of the heat that contacts the wort - lower watt-density = "softer" heat and less chance of scorching the wort.

As long as the wort is flowing at a constant minimum rate and power to the element is tightly controlled, you can maintain a precise temperature throughout the mash without risk of denaturing the enzymes. The trick, seems to me; is stepping from, say; a protein rest to sacc, or from low-sacc to high-sacc rests, or from sacc to mash-out - the element power must go up to effectively raise the wort temperature flowing through the tube.

The rate of temperature rise depends on element power and flow rate. Flow rate is going to be limited by the permeability of your grain bed and once you've determined that factor, you can apply enough power to heat the wort to the next step without denaturing or scorching, if you've done your math.

If you apply the heat in a careful manner, scorching or even denaturing will not be a concern, and a very stable and consistent mash temperature may result. Also, stepping to mash-out with enough heat to get there quickly while preventing scorching will denature the enzymes faster than a typical boiling water infusion thus increasing your chances of "locking-in" your fermentability right where you want it, consistently.
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Fermenting: Air
On Deck: Kolsch

Offline gevans

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Re: RIMS Tube - Looking for Advice
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2013, 06:51:30 AM »
I have been looking into this as well.  Stouts and Kettles makes a nicely designed tube, but the articles I have read seem to indicate you want a 5500 watt unit, but run it at 120 volts.  I would think you are on the right track and stay with 120 volt, low density plated elements.

Curious why you decided on the electric design vs. a gas fired Tun design?  As I am looking at that design as well.

Offline philm63

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Re: RIMS Tube - Looking for Advice
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2013, 09:34:36 AM »
@ gevans - I'm merely toying around with the idea at present. I use a 10-gallon plastic cooler for my MLT now, and I'm not looking at changing to a metal direct-fired MLT yet - just wanted to test the waters to see if a practical RIM System could be built for 5-gallon batches at 120 V, and using a picnic cooler for the MLT - I've seen photos so I know folks are doing this...

Running a 5500 W element at 120 V would be a good strategy (I am assuming it is a 240 V element), your resulting max power at 120 V should be somewhere around 1375 (rough estimate). What I'm looking to do is to maximize the total power I can get (safely) out of a 120 V, 15 A circuit to see if such a system would have a real practical application in my present home brewery, and so far I have found a 120 V, 1650 W water heater element on Amazon for just over $12.

A 1650 W element would put me right around 13.75 A at full power (used only for stepping such as mash-out - most of the time it would be running below 50%). This leaves me just enough room to cram a few control modules (temperature, timers, etc.) into that 15 A circuit without violating the Electric Code (yes, I'd upgrade the cord and plug appropriately, or permanently connect).

I guess the $64,000 question is this; would 1650 Watts of power in a RIMS tube be enough to step a 5-gallon batch quickly enough to make it practical? (20 F in 10 minutes would be practical enough, IMHO).
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout, IPA
Fermenting: Air
On Deck: Kolsch

Offline ihikeut

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Re: RIMS Tube - Looking for Advice
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 12:51:50 PM »
About a year ago I was deciding to build a RIMS or HERMS system. After reading several online articles on the two system, there less change of damaging the wort with the HERMS system. Anything that reduces  the flow of the wort threw the RIMS tube can burn the wort. I'm running a 110 volt 2000 watt heating element on a 20 amp circuit without any problems, in my HERMS system. I'm starting to upgrade to a 220 volt 5500 watt element. TheElectricBreweing.com has nice plans to copy or buy.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 07:31:28 AM by ihikeut »

Offline Pirate Point Brewer

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Re: RIMS Tube - Looking for Advice
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 04:45:42 AM »
I brew electric but do not currently do RIMS or HERMS. However
I use (2) 2000 watt, 120 volt low watt density elements in my two vessel system.
The only place I could find these was at Boston Heating Supply.
http://bostonheatingsupply.com/
In the past using the locally available 2000 high watt density elements, I have experienced scorching
and element failure when boiling high gravity, high gluten worts such as high concentration Rye or Wheat
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