Originally Posted by mandoman
chillhayze, great name - my bandmates and I go by that name sometimes.
I could really use your expertise. I'm seriously considering a teeny 'pro' brewery operation. I have completed several business plans and I even have one with my basic keggle system. Of course, the smaller the system the more work so I'm trying to figure out how to fill a fermenter big enough for about a 1 bbl batch and 55 gallon kettle, mlt, and hlt would work perfectly. My biggest stumbling block is how to do it indoors without crazy $10k worth of ventilation. The 55 gallon kettles average around 24" diameter outside and about 28 inches tall. I'm very interested in the internal heating as jacketing something sounds difficult and expensive. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!
If the tube heat exchanger is a route you might want to take there are essentially 2 options: One is to build the heat exchanger yourself. This would require some knowledge of gas combustion, burner design, etc. There is a publication called "The fundamentals of Gas Combustion" it is about $70 but well worth it if undertaking a project such as this.
The other is to call Heatco, give them your information. They do the calculations and quote you on a system. $$$$
The design of this works similar to your household furnace, if gas or oil. Gas is fed to a burner at low pressure (less than one psi) and is forced thru an orifice at this point, the air is drawn in and mixed with the gas. In the presence of heat from an ignition source, the mixture is ignited. These burners are firing into long U-shaped tubes about 2-3" dia. A draft inducer blower is used to pull these hot gasses through the tubes (heat exchanger). Your heat exchanger for this application would need to be appropriate for food applications so you are looking at some 400 series SS ($$$) If the blower did not run, the system would be out of balance and cause many problems which is why if the blower is inoperative the gas cannot ignite due to safety controls. Exhaust is directed through the blower and then outside.
Your setup would involve the tubes running through a kettle. Likely through the side so as to be completley exposed to the wort.
All this boiling would make a lot of steam to get rid of. So much you would need make-up air and a type 2 exhaust hood. Making and installing it yourself wouldn't run more than a few hundred dollars. Might look ghetto but would work just fine for home use (Check NFPA 96). A professional install may run $5-10k.