RIMS vs. HERMS: Which is Better?

Unleash your inner engineer and start brewing with impeccable accuracy! If you have an eye for detail, now’s the time to pursue your passion for beer-making.

Unlock the potential of two brewing systems that will revolutionize your mashing process. Through this article, you’ll be able to decide which is superior between RIMS or HERMS—resulting in a beer with an unbeatable taste!

RIMS vs. HERMS: An Overview

Heating System RIMS HERMS
Cost More-Costly ($5,000-10,000) Less-Costly ($5,000-6,000)
Cleaning and Maintenance Less Maintenance More Maintenance
Portability Portable Not Portable
Heating Direct Gradual

Advanced homebrewing systems such as RIMS and HERMS remain daunting to many homebrewers. It’s because they are quite more intricate than typical beer systems. Further, they come with a multitude of parts that need regular upkeep, making them even less appealing for those looking for an easy process.

Given their automated nature, they are highly sought-after. With this thorough comparison, you can securely invest in the best system for your specific needs.



Many microbreweries find RIMS systems more costly than HERMS systems due to their complexity and the extra components necessary for operation.

If you want to make beer in smaller batches, investing in a RIMS system is your best bet. Not only are they more costly than HERMS systems because of their faster process and extra parts, but it’s also an intelligent choice for anyone whose particular about their heat.

Cleaning and Maintenance

To ensure each beer batch is pristine and of quality; cleaning and maintenance of both systems are vital. As a general point, most HERMS unit needs more care and care than RIMS. The HERMS’ heat exchanger demands more frequent upkeep than other brewing systems.


Choosing the right size for RIMS and HERMS systems can be a daunting task due to the huge selection available. Size and capacity vary wildly between systems, making it tricky to decide which is best for you.

With that said, RIMS units have more portability in mind.

A hot liquor tank is present in a HERMS system. As a result, it increases the weight of the machine. It should be factored in when considering whether or not a HERMS system is the right choice for you.

RIMS Brewing System: How it Works?

RIMS Brewing System How it Works

With a Recirculating Infusion Mash System RIMS, the wort’s cycle starts on the base of your mash tun. Then, after it passed by a heater it will go back to its original destination near the top. This recirculation process clarifies and refines your brew by sieving it through grains during mashing.

Not only does it help stabilize the heat through the mash, but brewers may also find that they can increase or reduce their mash temp easily.

The RIMS system is an automated heating solution that eliminates the need for manual temperature control and observation.

The RIMS tube’s technology removes all the stress of keeping even heat while brewing, allowing you to focus on other aspects of the process. As a result, the risk of burning your grains and ruining your mash is significantly reduced or even eliminated!

HERMS Brewing System: How it Works?

HERMS Brewing System How it Works

HERMS, the Heat Exchange Recirculating Mash System, is the brewer’s key to producing superior results each time. This brewing system uses its heat exchanger in the hot liquor tank (HLT) for optimal mash heat control. With HERMS’ precise process, you can be sure your brews will always come out perfect!

A pump transfers the wort from the mash bottom to a heat exchanger in the HLT, where it is heated before being returned back on top of the mash.

You can adjust and maintain its heat by switching off/on the power supply for this pump with help from a particular controller that monitors both your set point and actual temperatures.

What is the Difference Between RIMS vs. HERMS?

Though HERMS and RIMS share the same principle of pumping wort that is heated when being outside of the mash, they have one significant distinction. A RIMS system features a constantly running pump while its heating source cycles to regulate the mash’s temperature.

With RIMS, you can choose either electric or gas when selecting a heating source for your brewing operation.

In the direct-fire method, both are used to heat pipes that wort flows through. Alternatively, in HERMS systems, heated water from the HLT is circulated and runs alongside the wort, so heat remains even through the process.

RIMS vs. HERMS: Which is Better?

Heating System Pros Cons
RIMS · Faster Heat

· Temperature control

· Cost-effective

· Complexity of the System

· Heat retention

· Scalability

HERMS · Consistent Temperature Control

· Efficient Heating

· Large-scale Brewing

· Beginner-friendly

· Cost

· Maintenance

· Space

Comparing a RIMS and a HERMS’s relative merits largely depends on your brewing needs. Neither mashing system can be a “one-size-fits-all.” Each has its own particular pros and cons. So, a unit that will best fit your needs is vital.

When selecting between RIMS and HERMS, identifying the goal for your brewing operation is needed. Your decision should be based on a variety of criteria such as size, accuracy level desired, budget, and available space. It’s critical to carefully weigh all these factors when picking the best choice for you.

RIMS vs. HERMS: Which is Better?

Pros and Cons of RIMS

Pros of RIMS

Here are some of the parts and features that make RIMS an excellent brewing system:

  • Faster Heat: The RIMS systems provide brewers with a constant heating process by utilizing a direct heat source. It allows them to operate at a faster rate than the HERMS system while still achieving almost the same results.
  • Temperature control: Temperature maintenance is essential for the perfect wort and beer. With RIMS’ thermometer, you can always be sure that your mash has just the right temperature and never too much or too little heat. You may even adjust its heating elements to guarantee peaks in temperature are non-existent. This feature prevents any risk of burning during production!
  • Cost-effective: Craft breweries, on a small-scale or home level, should look no further than the RIMS brewing system. Not only is it intuitive to use and requires minimal space, but its cost point rivals retail systems in both purchase price and operational costs. Although it can have more initial costs, It’s considered one of the best options for amateur brewers. It’s due to the system’s control, accuracy, and affordability.

Cons of RIMS

  • Complexity of the System: Despite its initial ease of use, configuring and running a RIMS system can be tricky. Further, the complexity increases when attempting to integrate a recirculating pump and heating element. It requires careful maintenance and repair to keep things functioning correctly—maybe more than a beginner can handle.
  • Heat retention: RIMS systems struggle to keep a large amount of mash at a stable heat, as it relies on direct heating. It usually results in an inconsistent and unstable mash quality. You will also have a larger risk of burning your grains.
  • Scalability: For smaller batch brewing operations, RIMS systems are a perfect choice. However, for larger-scale breweries that wish to produce higher volumes of beer in one single batch, HERMS may be more fitting. Although direct heating generates heat that reaches optimal temperatures, increased mash size and volume demands on large batches limit what is possible when using a RIMS system.

Pros and Cons of HERMS

Pros of HERMS

  • Consistent Temperature Control: The use of non-direct heat allows for even heat control during the mash process. It helps to produce high-quality and uniform beer through it’s limited risk of burning.
  • Efficient Heating: With a HERMS system, the heating process is effortless and gradual, so you can relax knowing that it will most likely not burn your grains. Also, brewing temperatures are monitored even in your absence for optimum results every time—perfect for those busy days!
  • Large-scale Brewing: For large-scale breweries, HERMS systems are the ideal choice. Not only do they have the capacity to handle plentiful amounts of mash, but they also supply a great amount of beer in short order.
  • Beginner-friendly: Compared to RIMS systems, HERMS set-ups are simpler and require less expertise to manage. Although it needs more cleaning and upkeep, an amateur can setup one with some elbow grease.

Cons of HERMS

  • Cost: Getting and using a HERMS system can be expensive. It’s especially true for smaller-scale breweries. The investment does include not only the initial purchase of the system but also any repairs that may be necessary for the future. It also uses a lot of energy to heat up the liquid tank. It results in a higher bill and higher overall cost than RIMS.
  • Maintenance: To ensure a HERMS system is functioning optimally, regular maintenance and cleaning are non-negotiable. Although it increases the time and money invested in running the system, these costs have to be factored into your expenses for the best results.
  • Space: HERMS systems can be sizable and take up a decent amount of space; thus, it could be impractical for some breweries.In summary, Herms systems are capable of producing high-quality and consistent beer. It’s well-suited to large-scale brewing operations. However, they can be complex, costly, and require significant maintenance and space.

In Summary

Now that you have examined the distinctions between RIMS vs. HERMS, you are now ready to decide which set-up is most suitable for your brewery. Whether it’s a small-scale home brewing or a professional operation, one of these systems will certainly work perfectly!


RIMS vs. HERMS Which is Better

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