Aug 19

HERMS Improvement – Bypass Valves

My first few batches with my HERMS setup (even before I built the sculpture) had me messing around with the temperature of the hot liquor tank and swinging through a pretty wide range on my mash temps. That’s the opposite of what I’m trying to achieve so I did some hunting in the forums to see if there was an easier way to do it. Eventually I’d like to get to a digitally controlled, propane fired hot liquor tank that keeps everything on target but for now I’m willing to go a little more hands on. The pragmatic engineer side of me says to figure out what I’m want to achieve by doing it manually for a while then figure out how to automate the process.

The solution came to me in the form of some bypass valves ahead of the heat exchanger:

HERMS Bypass Valves

You can see that the two valves allow me to control how much of the continuous flow goes through the coil in the hot liquor tank and how much bypasses. The left side is a flow coming from the mash tun and the right side is wort returning to the mash tun. In this picture I’ve got the two valves half open so I’m getting some through the heat exchanger and some bypassing. The net result is that my setup is less sensitive to the exact hot liquor tank temperature and I can make gradual adjustments more quickly.

On a mostly unrelated note I’ve added a Celebrator Bock to my brew stand per Jamil tradition. Mine’s not blessed by the pope but it did help me have a nearly perfect brew session on Sunday:

Lucky Celebrator Bock

Happy brewing everyone,


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