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Author Topic: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?  (Read 139 times)

Offline DanJ

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BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« on: June 29, 2020, 02:50:11 PM »
I have been considering building a HERMS kettle system in my spare time, but that is proving to be a bigger challenge than I expected, especially when it comes to building the control panel.  As a result I have been considering just going with a Spike Solo or a Clawhammer Supply BIAB system, but the price point seems to be pretty high. 

Anybody have any experience with these systems to similar ones?  I do know that efficiency will likely go down with a BIAB setup, but a manufactured BIAB system is sounding a lot more appealing than a homemade HERMS system right now.

Offline Roger

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2020, 03:43:19 PM »
First let me say I have no experience with those at all.
But I was planning the same thing. Building a HERMS system that is.
I was very focused on efficiency when I first built my electric brewery. So I thought going with a HERMS set up it would give me the best efficiency. But it turns out my brewhouse efficiency is routinely between 80-90%. The only thing that I have any problem with is mash-out but even if I don't hit mash out temp my beer doesn't suffer for it.
I used stainless steel kegs and made a very simple control panel it just has a PID,  thermometer and on/off switch. I just unplug the HLT and plug in the kettle so there's no need to build an overly elaborate panel with multiple switches, knobs and alarms.
You might be surprised how easily you can put something together. Another benefit to building your own brewery from scratch is you can easily fix anything that might break down...
Good luck! :cheers:


Offline Roger

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2020, 09:43:11 PM »
You could give that a try. It's only 15 amp though. I don't know what your using it for but most electric breweries use a 240v/5500w/23amp element.

Offline Kyle

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2020, 10:58:30 PM »
Back in the day, I had a totally DIY E-HERMS before most of the "modern" kits were available. I strongly suggest avoiding the 15 amp one. High Gravity Brewing has some simple pre-built control panels that can handle a 5500 watt element. The prebuilt panels are widely available now, and you don't need to spend 2 grand, but probably at least 400 bucks for a basic one. The one I built years ago was based on Kal Walner's book, but scaled down for one PID and some switches. If you use good quality parts, you will still spend a fair chunk of change on it. A PID is great, but not absolutely necessary. A simple stove-type infinity switch with a contactor is also a popular choice.
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Offline shazapple

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 08:38:16 AM »
This is what I have
https://www.highgravitybrew.com/store/pc/Wort-Hog-5-10-Gallon-BIAB-240V-445p3987.htm

I'm very happy with it. It's about 4 hours start to finish for a 10 gallon batch. about 20 minutes to get up to mash temp, and the same for mash to boil. Single crush and no sparge will consistently get 72% efficiency. I end up sparging in some fashion because the pot is a bit too small for all the grain and water during mash.

The only downside is the weight of the grain basket and how it's held in the drain position. They provide a S hook that you put on the pot rim to hold the basket. It's kind of janky, especially to try to heave the basket out on my own. I'm figuring out some sort of ceiling hook and pulley system before I have a hernia or fall into the pot.
Lee

Offline DanJ

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 10:14:23 AM »
I was looking at the options from High Gravity, but was a little worried about the shipping and duties that would be applied.  They ship out of Oklahoma, right?  If they are all North American made parts, then there should be no duties as being exempt under the North American trade agreement, but I always seem to get stung when it comes to that argument. 


Offline Kyle

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 11:20:05 AM »
Duty is a major problem. If they use FedEx it will be potentially a lot by the time they add their fees. If you can get it sent USPS it is usually better from duty perspective. Also try Auber Instruments. They sell kits that are worth way less than assembled panels, so less duty.
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Offline pliny

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 04:53:40 PM »
Many interesting options mentioned above. I'm on an electric system as well and I love it. You can keep things simple and still make some pretty awesome beer. There is nothing wrong with BIAB.
This may sound off topic and not related to your original question - but a person getting into this with limited financial means should spend more money on fermentation than on anything else on their system, given the choice.

Offline Roger

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2020, 08:25:56 PM »
@pliny makes a good point about fermentation. There's plenty of ways to get your wort made. But if you can't keep your yeast happy the end results will likely be disappointing.

Offline ECH

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 02:03:55 PM »
Clawhammer system looks the bomb, but yeah, that price. $1500US for the 240v system, probably about $2000+ once you factor in exchange....the free shipping is likely only within the US. I do have a PO box in Houlton, for all the good it does right now.

The 120v system is $900....but how long does it take to heat up that much water?

Offline ECH

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 02:09:44 PM »
Just reading up on the Clawhammer 120v. 60min to strike temp, 45 to boiling.

So 60min to strike, plus 60 min mash, 45 mins to boiling, 60 min boil, then your cool down.

Have never timed my propane burner to get up to mash and then get up to boiling, but pretty sure it isn't that long. Maybe it is and I just didn't realize as I am usually having a few beers and shooting the breeze with friends

Offline shazapple

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2020, 09:25:05 AM »
I was looking at the options from High Gravity, but was a little worried about the shipping and duties that would be applied.  They ship out of Oklahoma, right?  If they are all North American made parts, then there should be no duties as being exempt under the North American trade agreement, but I always seem to get stung when it comes to that argument. 

In normal times I would ship things to a mailbox in Houlton and drive up and get it to save on the shipping and duty, and then pay taxes when I cross the border
Lee

Offline ECH

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2020, 12:39:32 PM »
I was looking at the options from High Gravity, but was a little worried about the shipping and duties that would be applied.  They ship out of Oklahoma, right?  If they are all North American made parts, then there should be no duties as being exempt under the North American trade agreement, but I always seem to get stung when it comes to that argument. 

In normal times I would ship things to a mailbox in Houlton and drive up and get it to save on the shipping and duty, and then pay taxes when I cross the border

As a business owner that relied on that method for product for my own business, I know exactly where you are coming from. I have had to seek out Canadian suppliers for the same. Managed to find maybe 85% of what I was normally bringing in. It will have to do.

Offline Dave Savoie

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Re: BIAB System or HERMS Keggle system?
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2020, 04:07:24 PM »
At some point Ill be putting in a Blichmann boil coil 4500w and the 240v Blichmann basic controller both pretty well priced there do seem to be some nice BIAB systems out there now too be a tough call and what setup to run
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 04:09:05 PM by Dave Savoie »
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