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Old 03-26-2007, 05:37 AM   #71
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No problem Yuri. Let us know how you make out. Pictures too !

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Old 03-26-2007, 01:15 PM   #72
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One other thing to consider is that the superheated water expands roughly 1400 times the volume of water involved when it flashes to steam. Contemplate the results of heating 4-5 gallons of water to 240 degrees and having a pressure vessel rupture while you were in the area.

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Old 03-26-2007, 01:22 PM   #73
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Its standard boiler practice to test at 2x working pressure. Me saying 3x is just adding a safety factor. As long as a flame isn't used on the vessel, the temperature of the steel/materials stays low enough that metalurgical effects don't need to be considered.

If you are really worried about your vessel, buy a pressure cooker.

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Old 03-26-2007, 01:24 PM   #74
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Its standard boiler practice to test at 2x working pressure. Me saying 3x is just adding a safety factor. If it doesn't leak at 3x the working pressure, it isn't going to burst at the working pressure.

As long as a flame isn't used on the vessel, the temperature of the steel/materials stays low enough that metalurgical effects don't need to be considered.

If you are really worried about your vessel, buy a pressure cooker.

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Old 03-26-2007, 01:59 PM   #75
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So I'm considering this... I have access to a 40 quart pressure cooker that could be repurposed exclusively for this project. From what I'm reading, that should be plenty big for 10 gallon batches.

I'm thinking about tee'ing off the steam with two solenoids connected to a pair of Rancos. One for the mash tun, the other for the HLT.

The biggest unknown to me is maintaining the pressure in the pressure cooker. I'd like to be able to automate that as well as use propane to heat it. Does Ranco or any other manufacturers have a model with setpoints above 220?

I guess the water in the pressure cooker should be really high quality? Since all the impurities will be boiled off into the steam?

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Old 03-26-2007, 04:36 PM   #76
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For the boiler use a pressure switch to operate the heat source, steam boilers typically use pressure switches with a 3-5 psi deadband. Using temperature might get to be exciting on first warmup as the dissolved air in the water would make pressure rise faster than expected.

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Old 03-26-2007, 06:04 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladue
For the boiler use a pressure switch to operate the heat source, steam boilers typically use pressure switches with a 3-5 psi deadband. Using temperature might get to be exciting on first warmup as the dissolved air in the water would make pressure rise faster than expected.
I like that suggestion...and I just noticed that my Ranco only goes to 220 degrees anyway.
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:24 PM   #78
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Quote:
Using temperature might get to be exciting on first warmup as the dissolved air in the water would make pressure rise faster than expected.
Its no big deal. It just blows the pressure relief then. When I start my pressure cooker, I run it without the weight on and get it blowing a bit. Then I put on the pressure weight.

I really think it would be worthwhile to borrow, beg or steal a pressure cooker and just play with it a bit before going wild and building stuff. All it takes is a pressure cooker, a nipple, a T and a piece of hose and you can be injecting steam into just about any mash vessel.
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:55 PM   #79
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I've always been intrigued by using steam, but without the ability to "steam jacket" my kettle/MT/HLT I figured I was dead in the water. Thanks for all the great ideas!
I'm nowhere near being able to calculate the thermodynamics and other math you've done but I do want to incorporate this into my brewery.
I've got a big spare pressure cooker that I can utilize for my 10gallon batches. I'll be using gas to heat the cooker.
I've recently converted to a semi-herms set-up. I say semi because I don't have the heat exchange part, just the recirculation.
There are two ways I think I can incorporate this in the mash, but which do you think would be best?

1) It would be simple to make a T and have steam enter the recirculation but will this damage the wort due to the hot temp? Should the steam be injected before or after the pump? Before could mean possible pump issues, After possibly incomplete absorbtion...

2) My falsebottom is pretty much just SS window screen, I'm guessing if you inject steam under the screen the fine mesh will break up the "bubbles" and make it easier for the mash to absorb the heat. This way you don't have to worry about the flow of the steam (too much). You should also be able to alleviate superheating the grain depending on how much space is underneath the false bottom.

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Old 04-06-2007, 09:05 PM   #80
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I suggest that you try making up a manifold to put under your SS screen. Should work really well because the screen will hold the grain above the heat source. See my sig for some pics of how I made a very simple manifold.

And I really wouldn't worry about scorching the grains -- the heat dissipates really quickly. I could actually hold my hand within about 1/4" of the steam jets on my manifold before I could really feel intense heat from the steam.

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