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Ask the Experts: The difference between RIMS and HERMS systems for all-grain brewing

Homebrew expert Brad Smith, author of the Beersmith homebrewing software and the voice behind the Beersmith podcast, answers a question on RIMS vs. HERMS systems.

Brad Smith Aug 22, 2018 - 3 min read

Ask the Experts: The difference between RIMS and HERMS systems for all-grain brewing Primary Image

A Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine reader recently asked us the following question:

What’s the difference between RIMS and HERMS systems for all-grain brewing?

Recirculating Infusion Mash System (RIMS) and Heat Exchanged Recirculating Mash System (HERMS) brewing systems are both recirculating mash brewing systems. Once your brewing system gets to about a 10-gallon (38 l) size, it becomes difficult to move large (100 lb/45 kg) pots full of hot wort around, so most brewers incorporate a brew pump to transfer wort. Once you have a pump available, you can also use that pump to recirculate wort through the mash.

Recirculating wort through the mash lets you control the temperature of the mash. It also reduces hot spots in the grain bed and aids in wort clarity. RIMS and HERMS systems both use a recirculation pump to help control the temperature of the mash and vary only in how they heat the wort and control the temperature. Since both systems also incorporate a heat source, they can be operated without an insulated mash tun.

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