With my 3 x tanks, all done and assembled…its time to move on to Part 2 of my setup. The HLT (Hot Liquor Tank) will be my main focus in this part and is probably the most important, and most difficult tank to build. It also contains the coil that gives my setup its name:
HERMS (Heat Exchanged Recirculating Mash System)
The HLT is used to boil the water for my brewery, but will also be used the heat up the mash temperature by circulating the wort through a coil in the HLT. So, the first thing I need to do is get a coil. Using a copper coil would have been a lot easier, and cheaper, but I wanted to stick to stainless steel for my entire brewery. I looked everywhere around SA, but couldn’t find any suppliers of 1/2″ stainless steel coil. I ended up ordering from NY Brewsupply (USA), along with some 1/2″ compression fittings. Not a cheap exercise and came to around $110 at the time. Shipping also took ages.
Here’s the coil the day it arrived.
I bought 3kg’s of salt and filled the whole coil with it…this is so that the pipe doesn’t get flat bends when bending it. I also hired a tube bender from my local hire-it store and started the bending.
OMG !! the most difficult task so far. I tried everything, but the SS coil is super hard and may have stuffed it with too much salt. The tube bender also didn’t help much, as it’s too big and impossible to get it the way I wanted. I ended up getting my Dad to help me, and along with 100 cable ties we managed to get the job done…we used a similar technique to that of the copper immersion coil. One person bends and the other cable ties it together to keep it in place.
This is my attempt…not perfect, but will do.
All I had to do now, is measure and punch two more holes in my tank…bend the two ends to fit through it and attach the compression fittings.
Here’s my completed HLT…
TIP: Just buy the already bent coil… I struggled for a week altogether…and not worth the time and effort. Mine didn’t come out perfect, and I’m actually a bit bummed about…
That’s it for Part 2…in Part3 ill be doing the element and electrical boxes.