Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Steam Injected Mash System

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-28-2006, 02:40 PM   #21
Sir Humpsalot
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Sir Humpsalot's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,043
Liked 81 Times on 65 Posts
Likes Given: 22

Default

I don't understand any of this, but I will certainly bookmark it and check out the links when I have some quiet time... Sounds awesome!

__________________
Sir Humpsalot is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-28-2006, 09:46 PM   #22
DrewsBrews
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
DrewsBrews's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 283
Default

Don't know if he's already chimed in on this thread, but Sudster uses steam injection to heat his mash. I picked his brain (eww) a while back and he's very pleased with the success of his system. Pretty simple concept...

Here's a pic of his pressure cooker steam "generator". http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=6

__________________
So long, and thanks for all the beer...

Tap 1:
Tap 2:
Tap 3:
Bottles:
DrewsBrews is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2006, 01:27 AM   #23
jcarson83
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
jcarson83's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 942
Liked 14 Times on 9 Posts

Default

I like the automation with computers and it seems like you could build on this as time goes on. After a few years you might be able to flip a switch when you go to bed at night and wake up with a bubbling carboy of fermenting beer.

__________________
jcarson83 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2006, 02:06 AM   #24
kladue
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Turner, Oregon, Oregon most of the time now
Posts: 2,306
Liked 47 Times on 43 Posts

Default

Here is an alternate approach to steam use and generation, propane fired flash boiler that is used to inject steam into the recirculated wort for heating. Same boiler is used for heating strike water at higher flow rate, generate steam for temperature increase, and heat sparge water to 175 deg. Materials used were a 30K 6" burner, 6" stove pipe, and 4-10' long pieces of 1/4" stainless steel tubing wound around a 2" pipe. this setup requires some method of feeding water to boiler, and a recirc pump for the wort.

__________________
kladue is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2006, 02:25 AM   #25
brewman !
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,227
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
I don't understand the pros and cons of wet, dry, saturated, and superheated steam, and why one would want one versus the other. Do you know?"
Yes. Lets leave those terms out of it and talk about superheated water.

Superheated water is water heated above its normal boiling point (212F) but kept as water by applying pressure to keep it from converting to steam. If we keep the water under about 10 PSI of pressure, we can heat it to 240F without it boiling.

So at 240F and 10 PSI, I will have a boiler full of water. There won't be any steam. The reason I want this is because water is very dense compared to steam and thus I can have my boiler hold a lot of energy.

Now, when I open the valve on my boiler, the pressure drops. And when the pressure drops, that superheated water starts to boil. In effect, the liquid water under pressure releases energy as steam. It will go from 240F down to 212F as the pressure goes from 10PSI down to 0 PSI. It will reach equilibrium at 212F and 0 PSI. The energy lost between going from 240F to 212F is the amount of steam energy it will release.

The difference between storing superheated water and generating steam by boiling water is that superheated water stores energy that can be used to heat the mash quickly. When I open the valve on my boiler, all the energy in the water from 240F down to 212F will be released as steam, plus the energy of the element if it is on.

When one boils water in a pot without any backpressure, there is no superheated water and there is no pressure change. Very little energy is stored. The energy you get is that of the heating element and that's it.

Superheated steam is steam heated above its boiling point. Steam will absorb more energy than it does at its boiling point. So we could superheat steam at 0 PSI to 240F. (Normal boiling point is 212F, so we get 28F of superheating. The problem with superheating the steam is that steam is very light compared to water and it would take a very large vessel to store enough steam to absorb the same amount of energy as superheated water. In fact, steam takes 1600x the volume that water does for the same weight. (Steam stores more energy per pound though... but it still takes tons more volume to store energy as steam than as superheated water.)

Quote:
I like your corny steam vessel idea, but I just wonder if it will be safe enough... and there are a lot of commercially produced items that might be as effective and possibly safer since they were designed to make steam rather than to serve beverages.
A corny keg is a pressure vessel. 240F is way below the temp at which stainless steel or brass or copper or even plain steel starts to weaken. The nice thing about using an electric heating element is that there are no electric or flame burners heating parts of the keg up to 5 or 600F or 1000F or higher, because those sorts of temps can change materials over time and make them subject to failure.

Standard testing procedure for steam pressure vessels is to pressurize them with water to 2 or 3x their working pressure and watch for leaks. Once everything holds that kind of pressure, the vessel is considered sound and rated for the working pressure. Model railroaders test their steam boilers this way.

The relief valve and shutting the element off when the water reaches a maximum safe temp (240F) will ensure the vessel never gets over pressured. The maximum pressure vaporized water can make at 240F is 10 PSI.

Liquid water is another matter ! If the corny was filled entirely to the brim with no air space and then heated to 240F, it could generate enormous pressures because water is incompressible. Luckily we have a pressure relief valve to limit the pressure is these sorts of circumstances. However, with a void space above the water, the liquid water can expand and the vaporized water (steam) will only generate 10PSI of pressure.

There are 2 sorts of things that could go wrong with my steam vessel.

1) leakage or failure at rated pressure, 10PSI. Corny kegs are rated to 130PSI. I'll be pressure testing mine to 30PSI. People carbonate beer at 15 PSI all the time. When was the last time you heard of a corny failing doing this ?

2) failure because of over pressure. My kegs setup will have 3 things to prevent this. 1. A pressure relief valve. 2. A temperature sensor 3. A mechanical pressure gage. Multiple things have to fail and the temperature would really have to rise before my corny would get to an over pressure situation.

I think my steam boiler will be a lot safer than working under an HLT suspended 6 feet in the air.

Quote:
For example, check out the JR/AR 1.5 to 8KW steamers on the Reimers Inc site. Like I wonder if the little 1.5KW version of this one would do the trick. Of course, unless found used and for a steal, it is likely to be a lot more expensive than your solution.
There is nothing wrong with using a premade steam generator. A pressure cooker heated by a 1.5KW stove element will provide 1.5KW of energy to the mash, less the heat lost from the burner and tubing and steam leakage loses.

My corny will have a 4.5KW element in it. So even if I didn't store any superheated water, I'll be heating my mash with 4.5KW of power, less any losses. That is nothing to sneeze at !

Storing the superheated water is icing on the cake. I'll dough in and do a protein rest while the heating element in my boiler is getting the water up to temp. Then, when its time to do a mash step, I open the valve and release heat at the rate of 10 to 15KW into the mash. I'll be able to raise the temp of my mash very quickly, all without exposing it to temps any higher than 240F ! That is a very gentle heat compared to a RIM system.

I dislike 3 things about using a flame to make steam. 1) It is possible to generate very hot super heated steam. In my system the steam will be at 240F maximum. As soon as it touches the cooler mash bed, its temp will be lower. Its a gentle heat, good for the wort and mash bed. 2) flames and electric burners generate high temperatures which weaken the boiler and tubing materials over time. The 240F water in my system doesn't get hot enough weaken anything. A flame easily does and without proper materials engineering, vessel or tubing failure can occur. 3) the flame chemistry comes into play. Using a flame with excess oxygen to heat metal things can really affect the metal things over time.
__________________

Getting back into brewing...


Last edited by brewman !; 12-29-2006 at 02:38 AM.
brewman ! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2006, 03:15 AM   #26
kladue
Senior Member
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Turner, Oregon, Oregon most of the time now
Posts: 2,306
Liked 47 Times on 43 Posts

Default

Flash boiler was built about 4 years ago as an alternative to lifting 5+ gallons of 180 deg water to top of gravity stand. Since initial construction have installed flowmeter and thermometers to monitor process temperatures. The output from the boiler is tee'd into the wort flow to the mash tun with no valving in the discharge line. Temperatures are regulated by needle valve in gas to burner and needle valve in water to bottom of coils. Have experimented with steam temperatures to 300 deg but found that it was the quantity of steam delivered that counted not the temperature. The secret to steam mixing quietly is copied from commercial steam/water mixers, perforated steam diffuser and moderate flow rate past diffuser. The current system is able to raise 1 gpm of wort from 125 to 148 degrees with no signs of scorching, as the steam temp was 219 deg at start and dropped to 212 at end of 11 minute step as gas was throttled to control wort temp.

__________________
kladue is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-29-2006, 03:30 AM   #27
brewman !
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,227
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

Quote:
Does your 4.5KW heater require 220 volt service or can it run on 110?
The 4.5KW elements I've found are 240VAC.

The max current for a 120VAC circuit is 15A as far as I know, unless one goes to an RV plug. One could get 3600 watts by running 2 1800 watt 120VAC elements, each on its own breaker, of course. One would have to run 2 solid state relays to control each circuit to do that, if one wanted computerized control.

Quote:
How will the heating element be mounted in the corny keg?
Drill a hole in the bottom and bolt it in. Thus the 30 PSI pressure test. There are heating elements that could be put into the keg through small compression fittings, but they are more expensive.

Quote:
Isn't this another possible point of pressure failure? Or is it on the outside?
It is a point of pressure failure, yes. One could use one of several external wrap around heating elements from McMasterCarr as well. Hmmm... you have me thinking now.

Quote:
(You may have covered this, already, just tell me if so and I'll go back and read the thread from the beginning.)
There is no such thing as a dumb question ! I've gotten a lot of ideas from the comments and such that people have made along the way.

Edit: I just checked McMasterCarr. Item #35765K187 is a 2160 Watt 12 x 18" heat blanket. $80.56 ea. You'd need 2 of them to equal the power of my hot water heater element. 2 would just fit. Item 3671K162 is a 1500 Watt band heater. $46.88 ea. You'd need 3 of them. Pretty hard to beat 35555k32 water heater element. 4500 Watts, $6.50 ea. Uses 1" NPSM threads.

I'll let you know how the drilling and pressure testing goes. I'll do the element hole first.
__________________

Getting back into brewing...


Last edited by brewman !; 12-29-2006 at 03:47 AM.
brewman ! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2007, 05:13 AM   #28
brewman !
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,227
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

I finally got to work on my mash steamer boiler. You can see the pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/beermeister1/MashSteamBoiler

__________________

Getting back into brewing...


Last edited by brewman !; 01-04-2007 at 05:17 AM.
brewman ! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2007, 06:04 AM   #29
brewman !
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,227
Liked 14 Times on 13 Posts
Likes Given: 16

Default

I guess this is kind of a DIY project and should probably go in the DIY area. Can a moderator move it there ? Sorry for posting in the wrong forum.

__________________

Getting back into brewing...

brewman ! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-04-2007, 10:29 AM   #30
fifelee
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
fifelee's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Vaughn, MT
Posts: 1,102
Liked 33 Times on 24 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

Great pics brewman. Looks like you have a great shop. I can't wait to get back home to all my tools. Please keep us updated. I am very interested in how it works out.

__________________
fifelee is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Easy Steam Infusion Mash System FlyGuy DIY Projects 225 06-07-2014 03:24 PM
DIY Steam Mash System by Yuri Yuri_Rage DIY Projects 43 12-31-2011 12:55 PM
Steam injected into copper drain manifold... tireater DIY Projects 15 04-24-2009 02:25 PM
All Electric Brewing System with Steam whitehotdawn Equipment/Sanitation 43 03-28-2009 01:28 AM
My idea for a Steam Mash system in a Bucket mew All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 02-13-2007 05:18 AM