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Boil kettle condenser - no overhead ventilation needed

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aeviaanah

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You could get creative and pump the spray/discharge water through a radiator/fan as an liquid:air heat exchanger. It will create local heat but if you put that remote to your working space, it would work. You could use a grant (or bucket, etc.) which can overflow into a drain as you boil off the 10 gallons. That would only require a few gallons of water to start with.

Alternatively, you could pass the through a steam through a high flow liquid:air radiator directly I suppose!
At this point an exhaust fan is looking more and more attractive!! Thanks for all of your help, I appreciate it.
 

Bobby_M

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Looks like Bobby might be offering up a kit soon for this, his Instagram had a "prototype" in action. Would be great to buy it all in one stop.
Good eye! The picture is pretty close to the finished design but I'll post some pics of the final one very soon. The tee is more like an instrument tee, but the side port is closer to the top to leave more space for the condensing. The bottom skips the TC flange, clamp and gasket and just has a 5/8" hose barb welded. Instead of a compression fitting as shown on the top, there will be a 90 degree shutoff valve with a push to connect fitting for the water supply. I'm planning to include some length of PE tubing and a female garden hose fitting on the far end. The sprayer tip is threaded in to a tube that is welded to the TC cap/adapter. The whole plan was to make it as compact and inexpensive as possible. I had great success running the 6gpm @ 40psi and reducing my normal power input of 60% down to 30%.

steamslayer.png
 

Mybuddypete

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Good eye! The picture is pretty close to the finished design but I'll post some pics of the final one very soon. The tee is more like an instrument tee, but the side port is closer to the top to leave m...
I'll pretty much buy one as soon as it is available Bobby. I bought the 18" RIMS tube with the welded cam lock fitting you sell last week and just used it yesterday for the first time and I am very impressed with the quality.
 

kal

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Great article BrunDog! BYO had asked me back in May to 'review for technical accuracy' and frankly I couldn't find very much to comment on (other than an extremely minor typo or two). ;) Congrats!

Kal
 

TANSTAAFB

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Good eye! The picture is pretty close to the finished design but I'll post some pics of the final one very soon. The tee is more like an instrument tee, but the side port is closer to the top to leave more space for the condensing. The bottom skips the TC flange, clamp and gasket and just has a 5/8" hose barb welded. Instead of a compression fitting as shown on the top, there will be a 90 degree shutoff valve with a push to connect fitting for the water supply. I'm planning to include some length of PE tubing and a female garden hose fitting on the far end. The sprayer tip is threaded in to a tube that is welded to the TC cap/adapter. The whole plan was to make it as compact and inexpensive as possible. I had great success running the 6gpm @ 40psi and reducing my normal power input of 60% down to 30%.

View attachment 577652
Awesome, please let us know when it's available!
@BrunDog I was wondering if that was you! Great job on the write up, I've been following this thread for a minute and still had some head scratchin that the article cleared right up. And Bobby taking it and simplifying things makes it even easier (and cheaper [emoji6]) than sourcing and building. Plus, despite some entitled a$$hats out there [emoji85] [emoji86] [emoji87] I know his customer service is top notch!
 

skidmark

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... The tee is more like an instrument tee, but the side port is closer to the top to leave more space for the condensing. The bottom skips the TC flange, clamp and gasket and just has a 5/8" hose barb welded ...
View attachment 577652
Bobby - Is this going to be a 1.5 or 2.0 TC body, or will size be an option? Also, what size will the kettle port be? I'd like to get ahead of things while I'm installing other items into my kettle pending release. Any idea on ETA?

Thx!
 

siestakey

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I posted these pictures over at kal's forum, but thought I should also post them here since BrunDog is the originator. I have to say, this thing works great! I'm very happy with how it turned out and can't thank BrunDog enough! I've brewed 5 batches with it, and have had no issues with off flavors. I brew in my basement without any ventilation and have had no problems so far. If anyone has any requests for other pictures, let me know!

 
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I posted these pictures over at kal's forum, but thought I should also post them here since BrunDog is the originator. I have to say, this thing works great! I'm very happy with how it turned out and can't thank BrunDog enough! I've brewed 5 batches with it, and have had no issues with off flavors. I brew in my basement without any ventilation and have had no problems so far. If anyone has any requests for other pictures, let me know!
Glad it's working well for you! Nice looking build!
 

skidmark

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How critical is having the lid sealed? I'm looking at my hop basket, and it looks like the hooks are about 0.050 inch (not quite ready to go the magnetic route). Would the air drawn in scavenge the steam adequately if the basket is 180 from the condenser?
 

ancientmariner52

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How critical is having the lid sealed? I'm looking at my hop basket, and it looks like the hooks are about 0.050 inch (not quite ready to go the magnetic route). Would the air drawn in scavenge the steam adequately if the basket is 180 from the condenser?
I've been wondering about the same thing. I believe I'm going to add a stainless steel eyebolt to the underside of the lid, to hang the hop basket from. I use a Boilcoil, so I need to keep the basket centered anyway, and the weight will help seal the lid.
 

Woodbrews

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How critical is having the lid sealed? I'm looking at my hop basket, and it looks like the hooks are about 0.050 inch (not quite ready to go the magnetic route). Would the air drawn in scavenge the steam adequately if the basket is 180 from the condenser?
I've been wondering about the same thing. I believe I'm going to add a stainless steel eyebolt to the underside of the lid, to hang the hop basket from. I use a Boilcoil, so I need to keep the basket centered anyway, and the weight will help seal the lid.
I added a stainless steel eyebolt to the side of the pot and punctured a small hole in the mesh screen of my hop basket. It's close enough to the rim of my pot that it won't leak and I can detach it without scalding myself.
 
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just curious is there an exact position for that spray adapter to be in proportion to the side T
Its not super critical, but I think the best would be high enough that the spray cone hits the wall just below the inlet. This way, the steam travels the shortest distance, the sprayer doesn't spray water back out the inlet, the pressure created from the jet is helping create vacuum, and the maximum volume for condensation is provided.
 

Bobby_M

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Its not super critical, but I think the best would be high enough that the spray cone hits the wall just below the inlet. This way, the steam travels the shortest distance, the sprayer doesn't spray water back out the inlet, the pressure created from the jet is helping create vacuum, and the maximum volume for condensation is provided.
That's how I set mine up and also why I'm customizing the tee to move the side port up as high as possible. I dont know if making the mixing chamber larger would matter much.
 

skidmark

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... I dont know if making the mixing chamber larger would matter much.
I ran the numbers last night. If I did the mathematical gyrations correctly (always questionable ...), the conical area of an 80deg nozzle in a 2 inch tube is 1.75x vs. a 1.5 tube. I just ran the numbers based on the nominal tube diameters, not the actual.

EDIT: Ran the numbers again, this time with pen and paper, and using the actual ID of each tube. The 2 inch TC generates 1.85x the spray area of the 1.5 inch tube.
 
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That's how I set mine up and also why I'm customizing the tee to move the side port up as high as possible. I dont know if making the mixing chamber larger would matter much.
The chamber needs to be large enough to ensure all the steam is mixed and converted. The problem is we can’t really determine when mixing is complete. But we do know water being sprayed upon the tube walls is just wasted. So the only way to really know is to conduct comparative tests. I went with a 2” tube since it was a mix of practicality, cost, and empirically large-enough size. I know it works well and will vouch for it, but can’t for smaller sizes. I would be confident Bobby wouldn’t sell an ineffective product.
 
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That's how I set mine up and also why I'm customizing the tee to move the side port up as high as possible. I dont know if making the mixing chamber larger would matter much.
The chamber needs to be large enough to ensure all the steam is mixed and converted. The problem is we can’t really determine when mixing is complete. But we do know water being sprayed upon the tube walls is just wasted. So the only way to really know is to conduct comparative tests. I went with a 2” tube since it was a mix of practicality, cost, and empirically large-enough size. I know it works well and will vouch for it, but can’t for smaller sizes. I would be confident Bobby wouldn’t sell an ineffective product.
 

mikehoover

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Thanks BrunDog for posting this great idea! After reading the whole thread I decided to give this thing a go. I went with 1.5" TC fittings and the 6.32psi/@40 brass fitting. Given that it was mentioned above that the 2" TC gives 1.85 more spray cone surface area, that's something to consider.

My set up is a 25 gallon kettle (Update International) with a 240V boil coil for heating. In past uses, I experience about 3.8 gal/hr of loss due to evaporation (open kettle). I added up the required pre-boil volume based on final volume requirements, losses to the system, etc. I figure about 5 gal loss for a 75 minute boil and, having faith that the condenser would save some boil off, I cut that in half to figure into my pre-boil volume. Also, I decided to run it for 90 mins instead of 75, and then a 30 minute "whirlpool" once power was cut off at the end of 90 mins, for a total of 120 minutes of condenser use. I did not actually run the whirlpool pump, just let the kettle sit.

My notes from yesterday's water-only test:

Kettle size: 25 gals.
Element: 240V 5750 Watt BoilCoil
5 foot 1/2" ID silicone hose from condenser to catch bucket
Pre-boil volume: 20.5 gals.
Boil time: 90 mins.
Whirlpool time: 30 mins.
Hose water temp: 84F
Time to boil: ~1:20 @100% power
Power setting: 40% (I cut back power to 80% then 60% and settled at 40%)
Time condenser started: 2:22 PM
Dumped 5 gals of waste water at 2:50 PM (28 mins.)
Dumped 5 gals of waste water at 3:19 PM (29 mins.)
Dumped 5 gals of waste water at 3:47 PM (28 mins.)
Dumped 1 gal of waster water at 3:52 PM (5 mins.)
Shut off heat element at 90 mins.
Dumped 5 gals of waste water at 4:22 PM ( 30 mins.)
Total waste water: 21 gals.
Shut down condenser.
Let stand for 20 mins. (something about drinking a beer). At 4:42 PM, measured 19.833 gals. Temp around 200F+ (no note on this).
I waited until the next morning to measure volume again to give a more accurate reading. The water was still at 110F. Measured 19.167 gals.
200F - 110F = 90 degree delta. 20.5 gal - 19.167 gal = 1.333 gal loss, or 0.0148 gal/degree. If I can use that to calculate at the original hose water temp of 84F: 200F - 84F = 116 degree delta. 116 degrees x 0.0148 gal/degree = 1.717 gal. of kettle loss.
I had a small slow drip in the drain valve, so that will skew results a little. So the kettle loss to evaporation is likely a little less than my calculation.

Anyway, if this condenser takes me from 5.7 gals of loss for a 90 min boil (open kettle), down to 1.717 over the same period, and I can do it indoors, then - success!

I did notice that the catch bucket had vapor coming out of it and the water was very hot. So there is some vapor to deal with. If the idea is to get the waster water down to a temperature to stop any visible vapor then a larger spray nozzle and more water will be needed.

The lid sealed nicely once the condenser was running. There was bubbly steam seeping out around the edges and I could spin the lid easily. Once the condenser was turned on, the lid became tight, so there was the expected negative pressure. I had used two bricks initially to weight the lid down but that actually warped the lid and made it leak, so I took them off.

Considering my original pre-boil volume and potential boil over concerns, I can figure in a bit less boil off so that will help a little. I might assume that at hot break I will get some puking into the catch bucket since the bulkhead reduces my kettle volume from 25 gals down to around 22 gals. Can't wait to try it on a brew soon!

Here are some pictures on my home-brew blog:
http://hangar92brewery.com/blog/2018/07/30/kettle-condenser-test/
 
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Nice! Two comments:

1. Use fermcap. It *is* the best thing since sliced bread and should be in every brewer's arsenal. Boil-overs become a distant memory. That said, the nice bonus of a side-mounted condenser is it should mitigate boil-overs too. I don't know if it will effectively control one in a big kettle with lots of heat, but it should help. That that said, you really don't want to test that - you put ingredients into your beer on purpose, and dumping them accidentally is never desired!

2. The 6 gph might be a little small for your kettle. You may benefit from the larger one, though you would have to test it. You dumped 21 gals, less the ~2 boiled off, so 19 gals/90 mins = ~13 gph, which indicates your house pressure is probably up there. The 1.5" TC hardware might be the limiting factor - I can't say for sure. If you can live with the little bit of vapor coming out of the bucket, then leave it alone. You will find it way less than you currently exhaust.
 

Bobby_M

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OK, now we're....1-2 weeks?

Bobby, I'm your first customer for this. Can we pre-order it? I have just the setup and application for it. All I need to do is add a port to the top of my brew kettle and I'm good to go.
Yes closer to 2 weeks last I heard. No need to preorder. We are making 100 units for starters. I have 5 batches logged on it so far and I'll be using going forward. No DMS detected at all.

I did overflow my 6 gallon catch bucket once so I'm looking for a 10 gallon barrel. If you use a small bucket, get into the habit of setting a 30 minute timer.
 
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