RIMS vs. HERMS Brewing Systems: What’s the Difference?

RIMS vs. HERMS Brewing Systems: What’s the Difference?

Are you considering upgrading your brewing system? With HERM and RIMS on the table, it’s time for a closer look at these two systems. Weighing up their distinct advantages and disadvantages in detail can help make an informed decision about which one is perfect for you!

What is RIMS brewing?

The RIMS System is a unique mash system known for its ability to precisely control temperature while pumping hot wort passed direct heat sources – preventing scorching. The pump must be operating at an ideal rate and the heat source appropriately regulated in order to avoid undesired charring, as this would burn essential sugars and create undesirable coloring.

How do RIMS work?

With a RIMS system, you are able to efficiently heat the wort as it passes through – directly connecting the heating element with your mash tun. This is an alternative option that gives brewing experts direct control of their temperature for maximum results.

What is HERMS brewing?

HERMS systems provide a revolutionary way to maintain or change the temperature of your wort – an immersion heat exchanger. Much like an immersion chiller, this setup consists of copper tubing submerged in hot liquor tuns and equipped with pumps that transfer the wort; ensuring no direct contact between it and the heat source which eliminates any risk for scorching.

How does HERMS work?

HERMS (Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System) is a brewing method that utilizes a HLT, or hot liquor tank. This vessel contains an inner coil that circulates heated wort from the mash tun and back for consistent temperature control – similar to how a wort chiller operates in reverse by returning warmed liquid into the kettle instead of transferring cooled product out. HERMS enhances the mashing process with efficient heat transfer capabilities.

What’s the difference between RIMS and HERMS systems?

Brewers looking to take their craft to the next level may soon find they need a system that can handle larger batches. A Recirculating Infusion Mash System (RIMS) or Heat Exchanged Recirculating Mash System (HERMS) offers an effective solution, enabling brewers to move hot wort more easily and recirculate it through the mash using brew pumps.

Temperature and clarity control of your wort is made easier with recirculating mash systems, such as HERMS and RIMS. These brewing methods both feature a pump to cycle the liquid through the grain bed – which eliminates any hot spots in order to provide an even temperature distribution throughout. As they also contain their own heat sources, using this system allows you to skip insulation on your mash tun altogether.

A RIMS system presents an effective and efficient way of heating wort during the mashing process. The pump continuously recirculates hot liquid from the bottom to the top of a mash tun, while direct heat generated through either electric or gas elements regulates temperature according to settings set by a simple electronic controller with an accompanying probe.

HERMS systems feature mash recirculation from the bottom to the top through a coil submerged in an HLT. The pump is controlled by a simple controller for precise temperature regulation, all without having to adjust any heating elements.

RIMS systems maintain a steady circulation of wort in the system, with variations on heat sources. Meanwhile, HERMS relies upon periodic pumping activity to regulate temperature and its warmth is derived from one constant source – like your Hot Liquor Tank (HLT).

The benefits of RIMS and HERMS system

Both RIMS and HERMS brewing systems have their own benefits that make them attractive to different brewers.

  • Brewmasters know that temperature consistency is key to unlocking a recipe’s full potential, and both systems do an impressive job ensuring this. They can help you refine your mash temperatures from one batch to another until you achieve the flavor profile – or “character” as we call it – of beer with perfect accuracy thanks to their strict control over Beta-Amylase & Alpha-Amlyse activities.
  • These circulating systems guarantee consistent temperatures from batch to batch, no matter the outside environment. So you can kiss goodbye to any difference in mash temperature due to changing ambient conditions and say hello to repeatable quality results.
  • With these systems, you have the unique ability to employ mash schedules or “step mashing” for a more tailored and customized brewing experience. This technique of alternating between Beta and Alpha temperatures allows brewers to create flavor profiles that are rich in complexity from both enzymes’ contributions.
  • As they operate without interruption, these systems result in a more refined wort with greater clarity and smoothness in the resulting beer.

How to choose the right system for you

The right brewing system for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you are looking for a simpler system that is easier to build, a RIMS system may be the right choice for you. If you are looking for more control over the brewing process and better results, a HERMS system may be the right choice for you.


When you are deciding between RIMS and HERMS systems for your brewing experience, there is no straightforward winner. Both of these reliable options come with distinct advantages to consider before selecting the right one for you. Carefully evaluate their accompanying costs, manuals, installation instructions, and necessary space allocations so that when it comes time to choose a system – you can do so confidently!


Are HERMS and RIMS Systems Expensive?

RIMS brewing systems are typically less expensive than HERMS systems. However, both types of systems can be expensive to build depending on the specific components you choose.

Can I Use a RIMS System for Step Mashing?

Yes, you can use a RIMS system for step mashing. However, HERMS systems are typically better for step mashing because they provide more consistent temperatures.

Can I Use a HERMS System for All Grain Brewing?

Yes, you can use a HERMS system for all-grain brewing. In fact, many commercial brewers use HERMS systems because they provide more control over the brewing process.

Are RIMS and HERMS Easy To Clean?

Yes, both RIMS and HERMS systems are easy to clean because the wort only comes in contact with stainless steel.

Do I Need a Pump for RIMS or HERMS?

Yes, you will need a recirculating pump for both RIMS and HERMS brewing systems.

Do I Need a Heat Exchanger for RIMS?

No, you do not need a heat exchanger for RIMS brewing. However, you will need a heat exchanger for HERMS brewing.

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