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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Brew Stands > TRG's Steam Powered 1/3bbl brewsystem
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:37 AM   #11
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While the original tank may have been rated at 300 psi ambient temperature, you have changed the tank by cutting holes into it and welding new openings. The new safe operating pressure will not be anywhere near the original rating now. The other basic problem is still the heat source input, and thermal storage of the water in the tank, is too small to be useful. Yuri and others have already found this out years ago if you check older threads for steam injection systems.
The steam injection craze started back in 1995 with pressure cookers, and has resurfaced over the years since in variations on the same theme. To my knowledge they all suffered from insufficient output for large temperature steps, and the steam injection into the mash causing a lot of noise.

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Old 04-22-2013, 04:48 AM   #12
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Nowhere near its original strength by welding two fittings on? Do expand. Steel and temperature information is easy to find, and from what I found shows steel strength beginning to weaken above 500F. I'm not anywhere near that temperature, so I'm not sure what you mean about it being nowhere near its original rating.

I disagree that it is too small to be useful from the use I have put it through thus far. It worked very well to heat strike and sparge water as well as maintain mash temperature on two ten gallon batches for me now. I have read the older threads on steam systems. If noise is the only real factor holding this system back, then I'll just turn up the stereo while I brew.

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Old 06-29-2013, 06:29 AM   #13
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The tank was rated at ambient temperatures without being filled with steam. New corrosion mechanisms come into play in this scenario, such as stress corrosion cracking. I wouldn't use a propane tank as a pressurized steam boiler, and I'm usually pretty gutsy with winging it or giving the benefit of the doubt. I can't see why you need pressurized steam in your case anyhow. Are you boiling wort with it?

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Old 07-01-2013, 03:29 PM   #14
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I defintely don't "need" pressurized steam. But I like how well it works for heating the mash/strike water. That said, I've used this system about a dozen times, but am in the process of building a new flash boiler. So I am not worried about this tank failing in the next few brews, but I do agree, in the long term, this is not the best solution.

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Old 07-02-2013, 04:29 AM   #15
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Having built and used flash boiler brew systems, the upside is the brewing side water heating and steam for stepping work great, down side is it is easier to just direct fire the boil kettle as direct steam injection for boiling will not work. For boiling, internal coils and jacketed keg have been built and tested, both work but are a lot of effort to build and operate, and are not any faster than direct fire as boiler output is limiting factor. With the automated brew system it is about 4 minutes from cold start to dough in for a 6 gallon batch, 6 minutes for the older manual control brew system with the smaller boiler. manual control of the flash boiler is as simple as needle valve for water flow and needle valve for gas flow, flow meters are optional but advised for water flow into the boiler for repeatability.

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Old 07-03-2013, 04:54 AM   #16
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My kettle is electric fired, so I will not need steam for the boil. This is exactly why I think the flash is exactly what I need. Once I begin the build, I will start a new thread - thanks for all of the info Kevin.

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Old 07-18-2013, 01:49 AM   #17
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One plus side to propane/n.gas pressurized steam for boiling is that you could build a more efficient firebox/boiler for the steam. For many of us, n. gas is substantially cheaper than electricity, but we tend to throw most of the energy away with the burner-under-the-pot setup. It would be fun and interesting to boil with steam, but would only be more efficient if you were using gas and had a nifty boiler for the steam.

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