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Commissioning my Banks Brewing E-HERMS Brewery

This has been a long time in the planning and I finally received my kettles and control box via 'special' delivery on Sunday straight from the workshop of Chris Banks. It was wired in by a sparky on Monday afternoon and I finally got a brew away on Wednesday night

I was absolutely blown away by the quality of this build. All I can say is that Chris is a perfectionist and his stainless work is exceptional. I won't hesitate to get more stuff from Chris in the future.

Anyway, the rig is based fairly closely around www.theelectricbrewery.com

I have had to source a fair few parts from the US - it was handy having a trip there a month ago. From the USA I got the 1/2" stainless Herms HLT coil, the 5.5kw ultra LD elements, hopstopper, stainless QDs, march pump, as well as ordering in the PIDs from Hong Kong. The PIDs came with some pretty rudimentary sensors that Chris has beefed up substantially. 

The has 5.5kw elements in the HLT and Boil Kettle running on a dedicated 32a circuit. An extraction fan has also been added to this circuit and the switch sits on top of the control box. The sparky has set up two switches on the wall to control the pumps on a separate 10a circuit. Full details on how the system works is found at the electricbrewery website. I was initially going to purchase the EB control panel and have Chris assemble it - though it was cost prohibitive and I decided we could strip away a lot of the features to have just two simple PIDs.

Anyway - let the pics do the talking!

Views: 2640

Comment by studio1 on December 16, 2011 at 12:31pm

Do the photos come up ok - they're linked from f***book

Comment by Chris P on December 16, 2011 at 3:49pm

What a mint set up! Did you win lotto or something? :P

Comment by Tilt on December 16, 2011 at 4:00pm

Yep - they come up a treat. Impressive looking system there Studio1.  See what you mean about the workmanship.   Bet you're looking forward to some hard core brewing over the summer!

Comment by Mike Neilson on December 16, 2011 at 6:03pm

Wicked!!!!!!!! Love all these new Brewerys.

Comment by JackoNZ on December 16, 2011 at 6:29pm

Truly awesome!

Comment by Pilgrim on December 16, 2011 at 7:20pm


Comment by jt on December 17, 2011 at 7:49am
That's shiney! But the big question is how did the Wednesday brew go?
Comment by Chris Mills on December 17, 2011 at 8:44am

That looks great in situ! I was admiring it in Poirirua last Saturday and if I were to re-design my brewery and go electric I'd want the same thing. Nice one!

Is there any insulation between the bench and the kettles? I could see a bit of cork tile going a long way towards keeping your hands and other things on the bench from getting too hot.

And where did you get all those lovely stainless quick-disconnect press-fittings? They looks heaps easier to use than cam-locks!

Happy brewing!

Comment by studio1 on December 17, 2011 at 8:56am

Thanks guys. Brew day went pretty darn good. I'm waiting on my new Thermapen which I have coming Monday to calibrate the sensors to exact temps. (I accidentally ordered 4, now have two spare if anyone wants one - $150) I was only able to use a glass thermo and not at the sensor points so I was shooting a little blind. Apart from that temp/mash control is a total breeze. For some reason this had always been my biggest issue on brew day - over 4 different rigs I've had. Gas direct fired was good but I had to stand there constantly making adjustments. This is just awesome - set and forget. Twin march pumps are awesome - flysparging started out straight away with even flow rates. Although I forgot to put the outlets on top with the pumps, I've now rectified this.

Everything is simple to use and works!

Took about 40min to get the boil going at the end of sparge. I'm going to get the element firiing much earlier next time so I should be not far off boil at the end of sparge. I couldn't believe how quiet it was. The counterflow chiller is great - I definitely prefer it over immersion. Hopstopper did a fantastic job too with over 300gm of hops. At the end of brew day cleanup is a cinch with the awesome Banks designed screw out falsie and hoptopper in the MT and BK.

Stainless QD fittings came from Morebeer

Comment by Chris Banks on December 17, 2011 at 9:26am

Thanks for your kind words Garrick!

Must say it does look the part all setup like that!

Chris Mills idea of insulating under the pots is sound advice especially from the point of view of stemming any extra heat loss.





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