My first RIMS plant

Post #1 made 2 years ago
Hi everyone,

I've recently completed my first RIMS plant. Mostly ordinary stuff, the usual heater element and recirculating
pump.

The plant is managed via WiFi and smartphone.

I have attached a couple of pictures.

Cheers!
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Post #2 made 2 years ago
That looks awesome! I am planning on adding an eRIMS to my system. Did you build your controller? Is it Pi based? Any info appreciated.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T337A using Tapatalk

Post #3 made 2 years ago
Thank you! Yes I have built the controller myself.
Considering the few things it has to manage a RPi was an overkill for my plant, so
I opted for an arduino like based solution.

The controller is a Photon from Particle.io. It has plenty of juice and wifi on board!
It has 8 digital I/O, some of which PWM, 8 analog pins, one of them being a DAC.

If you go to particle.io site you'll find all the specs there.

The fact that it's arduino compatible allowed me to reuse some of the libraries (although I had to tweak something due to small bugs).

The SW takes care of PID and recirculation, it has a tiny web server on board which I will use for the web app that will be the definitive UI for it.

In order to use it, I toom advantage of Blynk.cc's great app and framework. The screenshot I have attached in my previous email has been implemented thanks to it.

All that considered, it is really nice to control the mashing while taking the kid to school! :lol:

Cheers!

Post #4 made 2 years ago
Looks like you have done a great job there Carmine :clap:,

The main problem with a RIMS system is ensuring that the recirculating results in washing all the grains not just a bit of it, so keep your eye on that.

The only other problem (sorry, I always tend to point out problems :dunno:) with automation is that you have a lot of parts. 'Cleaning in Place' (CIP), can do a lot and is used, of course, in non-home breweries. They still, though, will have a regular maintenance program that includes the breaking down of all parts.

In an automated home-brewery, we have the same number of parts as a huge brewery but, we are not using it continuously like they are. This means there is far more opportunity for things to stagnate or fester. Do 'nostril tests' before each brew and, if in doubt, clean it out! (In other words, break everything down). If you do that, you will have no worries :party:.

Good on you,
PP
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Post #5 made 2 years ago
PistolPatch wrote:Looks like you have done a great job there Carmine :clap:,

The main problem with a RIMS system is ensuring that the recirculating results in washing all the grains not just a bit of it, so keep your eye on that.

The only other problem (sorry, I always tend to point out problems :dunno:) with automation is that you have a lot of parts. 'Cleaning in Place' (CIP), can do a lot and is used, of course, in non-home breweries. They still, though, will have a regular maintenance program that includes the breaking down of all parts.

In an automated home-brewery, we have the same number of parts as a huge brewery but, we are not using it continuously like they are. This means there is far more opportunity for things to stagnate or fester. Do 'nostril tests' before each brew and, if in doubt, clean it out! (In other words, break everything down). If you do that, you will have no worries :party:.

Good on you,
PP
Thanks for the advices and compliments, PP!
Indeed, there still are a lot of moving parts to clean before and after. In fact, I believe there's a mathematical
correlation between the degree of simplification I aim for and the proliferation of stuff I have to clean which keeps
growing at every step! :lol:

For the "nostril test" I exploit my wife's, she's got a Jack Russel Terrier's nose which usually terrifies me,
but has proven quite useful for that purpose :lol:

I have to add a "device" to better wash all the grains indeed, but the pilot batch I did a couple of weeks ago left me
optimistic (hops disaster aside :blush: ).

Considering I'm doing no-sparge with thin mashes, do you still advise for a bit more of an effort in washing grains?
Last edited by CarmineM74 on 24 Mar 2016, 21:06, edited 1 time in total.

Post #7 made 2 years ago
[Looks like Carmine is going to fit into this community very well :)]

Top post Carmine :). I think humour just might be a key ingredient in all our brews ;).

As for your question, I like MS's answer. Doing that, over a few brews, will be the only way to get a definitive answer.

In the meantime, the only thing I can think of, is to use your own common sense, and, people with a sense of humour, tend to have that. In other words, poke your head in the kettle and look. Is that recirculation only washing one bit or is it washing it all?

The thin mash (full-volume brewing you are doing), I think is not the question. Sorry, going to have a bit of a ramble here...

...

Some brewers full volume brew (pure BIAB - single vessel) but never agitate their brew during the mash period. They just leave it alone. They are good brewers but I'm trying to think of any of them that have published their brew results. I'm sure they are here somewhere but just can't think where to find them. So, on one hand, maybe you don't need to agitate? BUT...

There have been numerous instances where a brewer's low kettle efficiency has been solved by simply agitating the mash. For me, this means it is best practice.

Also, a well-designed RIMS should be washing the whole grain bed, otherwise, there is not much point to it.

If I were in your position, I wouldn't change anything yet, just observe and record your findings as MS mentioned. Wait for a few brews to see if any patterns emerge.

Cheers,
PP
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Post #8 made 2 years ago
Indeed I have planned 3 batches to get acquainted with the new plant and learn how best conduct a brew session with it.

Initially I was mostly concerned with system's thermal behaviour, but it looks like it copes with temperatures very well.
The first batch tragedy has happened because I had to introduce an unexpected variable to the mix (read: no-chill)
due to my plate chiller kissing me goodbye, and adjusted hops' schedule using (blindly) a table I found on homebrewtalk.
This first experiment result has been a great and "sweet under carbonated spectacularly clear sirup" ... :blush:

This time I plan to keep my original hops schedule and still use no-chill.

Cheers

Post #9 made 2 years ago
I don't know what size kettle or batch size you're looking to do, but I used a #3 for my offset strike temperature in BIABacus. Worked great. At strike, I turned off element and pump, doughed in, stirred (actually use a potato masher) up and down, waited 5 minutes before turning back on element and pump. I hit mash temp perfect.

Take a look at my file here and my photos in my signature link.

Hope this helps.

http://biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=7 ... =50#p52794

MS

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Brewing with MS; https://goo.gl/photos/puZUgG8QRp7p8gLd9
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Post #10 made 2 years ago
Mad_Scientist wrote:I don't know what size kettle or batch size you're looking to do, but I used a #3 for my offset strike temperature in BIABacus. Worked great. At strike, I turned off element and pump, doughed in, stirred (actually use a potato masher) up and down, waited 5 minutes before turning back on element and pump. I hit mash temp perfect.

Take a look at my file here and my photos in my signature link.

Hope this helps.

http://biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=7" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... =50#p52794

MS

Sent from my XT1053 using Tapatalk
Many many thanks!
I do really like the way you have connected the pump, is
There any particular reason, or it's just a mattere of preference?

The first batch I kept the pump always on and did a few stirs in the first 10 minutes, and
The temperature was sitting where expected, and Beersmith2
Suggested about 3 degrees above my desired target.


It's 6:00 AM here, and staring at the beer in your photos made me thirsty! Think I've
Got a problem here :lol:

Anyway, I'm so excited because today it's brewday :champ:

Cheers!
Last edited by CarmineM74 on 25 Mar 2016, 13:23, edited 1 time in total.

Re:

Post #11 made 2 years ago
CarmineM74 wrote:Thank you! Yes I have built the controller myself.
Considering the few things it has to manage a RPi was an overkill for my plant, so
I opted for an arduino like based solution.

The controller is a Photon from Particle.io. It has plenty of juice and wifi on board!
It has 8 digital I/O, some of which PWM, 8 analog pins, one of them being a DAC.

If you go to particle.io site you'll find all the specs there.

The fact that it's arduino compatible allowed me to reuse some of the libraries (although I had to tweak something due to small bugs).

The SW takes care of PID and recirculation, it has a tiny web server on board which I will use for the web app that will be the definitive UI for it.

In order to use it, I toom advantage of Blynk.cc's great app and framework. The screenshot I have attached in my previous email has been implemented thanks to it.

All that considered, it is really nice to control the mashing while taking the kid to school! :lol:

Cheers!
Is there a tutorial for this type of (controller) build I could read? I don't have much experience with electronic builds but with some explanation and instruction I feel confident I could manage. If you have any links about arduino or builds like yours I would be very grateful. I searched the forums but haven't found much.

Thanks,

Kyle

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-T337A using Tapatalk
Last edited by Wright3599 on 27 Mar 2016, 01:25, edited 1 time in total.

Post #12 made 2 years ago
Well, there are a lot of tutorials for building such a device, even though not all related to brewing.

Fundamentally, it's just a controller which handles a pump and a heater and implements a PID via software.
The pump part is just an on/off control which activates/deactivates the pump.
The PID controller is more complex but, luckily, there are many libraries available which will spare you
some maths and pain along the process.

You can start looking up for "open ardbir" which is an open source project originated from brauduino (if I
recall correctly).

Anyway, a search for "arduino PID controller" should produce enough results to make you acquainted
with the stuff.

Now, for a few links on the topic of Arduino + PID:

http://www.maelabs.ucsd.edu/mae156alib/ ... rdunio.pdf

A must read which explains PID from the very basics:
http://brettbeauregard.com/blog/2011/04 ... roduction/

https://learn.adafruit.com/sous-vide-po ... iduino/pid

Hackster.io is a great source of projects using various kind of embedded hardware
https://www.hackster.io/acid-phreak-3/a ... sso-7101f0

Here there's another step by step about an arduino PID
http://www.taydakits.com/instructions/a ... ler-shield

Should you have any question, please feel free to ask. I'll be glad to help.

Cheers!
Last edited by CarmineM74 on 28 Mar 2016, 02:56, edited 1 time in total.
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