Ask Mr. Wizard

RIMS systems


JC Converse • Aliso Viejo, California asks,

I have talked to some friends about building a RIMS unit into my newly purchased MiniMash system. The reason I want to add this component is because I’m not able to hit my strike temperature consistently (as I don’t know the mash tun thermal mass, even after contacting the manufacturer). They say to just pre-heat the tun with hot water and the thermal mass will be zero. They are discouraging me from adding this equipment for the following reasons: extra expense, more equipment to clean and maintain, more time required to mash and more complications hitting mash temperatures when compared to infusion mashing. When they talk of commercial breweries, however, they say that everyone vorlaufs in order to hit mash temperatures and clarify wort. Isn’t that the same thing as incorporating a RIMS? I’m just looking to have better control over the mash temperatures and RIMS has to be easier than step mashing with additions of hot water, right?

I must confess that I am one of those particular brewers who likes nailing my target temperature and appreciate the gadgets of modern brewing. I have a mash mixer where I work
Response by Ashton Lewis.