Cone chimney on BK?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

cyberbackpacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
453
Location
Holland, MI
Based off of some discussion in this thread starting at post #23 (https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/gonna-build-electric-boiler-how-control-111749/) I raised the question below without any response...

"Doesn't your idea of a cone above the boiler jive with the professional breweries use of cones with chimneys on top of their coppers? I always wondered if professional breweries use this method, why couldn't a homebrewer do it as well, without the risk of DMS.

Additionally my knowledge of distilling is rather limited, but stills run a similar attached cone/chimney as a beer copper, and my understanding is that the condensate collects on the cone but then essentially is pulled out through the chimney.

So, I guess I am saying, why don't we use an attached cone top w/chimney on our home rigs- from the professional breweries it would seem DMS is not a factor using this method..."

Any input/feedback on the concept of a cone top chimney for our BK's? Am I wrong in my understanding of the professional copper boilers? Anything?

Thanks in advance.
 

McKBrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
8,186
Reaction score
43
Location
Hayden
Great question.

I can't offer anything, but I'm going to see what comes of this thread.
 

ClaudiusB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
625
Location
El Paso
I always wondered if professional breweries use this method, why couldn't a homebrewer do it as well, without the risk of DMS.
Here is one homebrewer


Condensate trap


Cheers,
ClaudiusB
 
OP
cyberbackpacker

cyberbackpacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
453
Location
Holland, MI
Holy moly Claudius B!

Okay, so I have seen your stuff, you definitely know what you are doing equipment wise...

So, what would one need to use to have a bare bones cone top? How/when/where should a condensate trap be used? Does the steam exit naturally, or do you have a fan or other device drawing it out?

Any suggestions,, or resources to figure this out, that you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

-Kevin
 

StoutFan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
921
Reaction score
7
Location
Wyoming
What if the lid drained condensation into a gutter along the rim of the kettle?
 
OP
cyberbackpacker

cyberbackpacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
453
Location
Holland, MI
What if the lid drained condensation into a gutter along the rim of the kettle?
good idea, however I am thinking you need to make sure that the buildup on the cone does not buildup to the point where it begins to drip down into the wort, before it can slide down into that rim.

I hope claudiusB has some insight or resources to understand the best way to integrate this idea.

I do not know if chimney length plays into the dispersion of the condensate or what... those are the types of things I am looking for.
 

Joe Camel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Messages
282
Reaction score
4
Location
Charlottetown, PE, Canada
I was thinking that the cone and chimney didn't have to be passive in moving the steam. I am considering building one of these when I move indoors.

It's essentially a powered vent but with a flexible hose and cone so that you can move it over the boil kettle and then move it away when cooling. We use them at work and call them elephant trunks



Cheers
Joe
 

bendavanza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2008
Messages
2,184
Reaction score
22
Location
Oak CLiff, TX
I imagine commercial breweries use cones to get the steam out of the building. Distilleries use the cone to collect and condense the steam, and the cone helps to reflux the lesser alcohol back into solution.
A homebrewer is usually trying to boil out nasties and boil down volume. If used indoors you can develop a lot of moisture without an exhaust fan.
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,581
Reaction score
189
Location
Oak Grove
The only reason for the cones is to reduce the size of the vent piping. If you are boiling 250 barrels, you can't vent indoors. They also tend to use powered vents.
 
OP
cyberbackpacker

cyberbackpacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
453
Location
Holland, MI
Good discussion and in the right direction... I am primarily interested as I am constructing my brew rig in my rathskellar, aka basement.

It is an electric rig, so I only need to worry about steam evacuation. The cone and chimney seemed to make sense (hooked to a powered exhaust) for this purpose as it would negate steam escaping out from under a conventional "hood".

Then, upon reading ChemE's math, it also appeared that it would help with raising/maintaining a boil as well...
 

ClaudiusB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
625
Location
El Paso
Early version brewkettle with damper control (belt drive) and condensate trap.



Condensate drain pipe below main vent pipe

Pictures by:Halbriter-GmbH

The trap is required to prevent condensate flow back from the exhaust pipe only.
The older breweries I have seen do not require an exhaust fan, works like any chimney.

My systems vent run is around 10 ft., the steam shoots out of the pipe with some condensate. To me the cone with it's large diameter and smaller exhaust pipe orifice creates like an air amplifier pushing the steam at high speed through the vent.
My condensate trap catches all the back flow.
Boil off rate is around 10%.
The newer setups use heat exchangers to recover some of the energy going up the pipe.

Cheers,
ClaudiusB
 

michaelm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
142
Reaction score
2
Location
Franklin,Ohio
The newer setups use heat exchangers to recover some of the energy going up the pipe.

Cheers,
ClaudiusB
You know I bet you could really heat up alot of sparge/strike water if you where to do back to back brews with a heat exchanger in the exhaust pipe.... pretty smart that is... Or even heat up water for cleanup.... hrmmm....
 
OP
cyberbackpacker

cyberbackpacker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
2,168
Reaction score
453
Location
Holland, MI
ClaudiusB,

First, do I have the condensate trap labeled properly below (i.e. the small pipe below the large chimney)



Secondly, for a homebrew rig, does the condensate trap need to be sealed, or can it be open to a "condensate collection" vessel (like below- excuse the crude drawing)



Third, from the sounds of it, your exhaust is not powered? If I understand correctly you believe the narrower "chimney" acts as a great natural draw and forces/pushes out the steam just fine?

Any other input/advice for me to consider in my setup? Thanks for your knowledge, and sharing it with us.
 

ClaudiusB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
1,560
Reaction score
625
Location
El Paso
First, do I have the condensate trap labeled properly below (i.e. the small pipe below the large chimney)
Yes

Secondly, for a homebrew rig, does the condensate trap need to be sealed, or can it be open to a "condensate collection" vessel (like below- excuse the crude drawing)
Condensate collection vessel is just fine, like my setup.

Third, from the sounds of it, your exhaust is not powered?
Correct

If I understand correctly you believe the narrower "chimney" acts as a great natural draw and forces/pushes out the steam just fine?
Yes
I don't know the perfect ratio.
Based on the commercial brew kettle diameters and vent pipe, my setup comes close.

excuse the crude drawing
I have no idea to how to make a drawing.:D

Thanks for your knowledge,
Thanks
I know I don't know much.
You find a lot more talent on this board.


Cheers,
ClaudiusB
 

giligson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
758
Reaction score
4
Location
Vancouver Area - Canada
I brew in the garage. I don't need steam covering everything so I have modified the lid to my kettle by attaching a 5" flex duct that runs to a heating duct booster fan that vents out my window. The lid seals tight and I am certain that the 300CFM fan pulls enough to create a very mild vacuum because since I have been using this system my evaporation rate has gone up. I have had no trouble with DMS even with pilsen malt nor do I expect to since the temp of the lid is high enough that condensate does not have a chance to form.
Sure a cone would be more efficient but this is what I do with the equipment I have.
Sometimes In the winter I have a very impressive plume of steam venting out the side of the garage - I wonder what the neighbors think?
 

mschrock

Active Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
39
Reaction score
2
Location
Central Virginia, USA
I know I'm reviving an old thread, but I need to do something exactly like this. Would you think that it would be ok to simply cut a hole in my flat kettle lid for the exhaust pipe, or does it require a dome or cone shape? Scared of DMS. Thought I'd ask before wasting my time.

Thanks,
Marlin
 

ScubaSteve

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
3,673
Reaction score
91
We love to think about stuff like this! Always a good idea to discuss before pulling out the jigsaw.

1. Don't be afraid of DMS.
2. Be afraid of boilovers....this will increase their tendency....consider fermcap.
3. I don't think the cone is SUPER important, it just makes things more efficient.
4. Whatever duct you use make sure it won't rot/rust due to moisture, etc.

Why do you NEED to do this? Evaporation management? Increase efficiency of boil?
 
Top