Steam Injection Attachment

Any steam Cooking /Distilling Device

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Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:32 pm

I wanted to go all grain but I didn't want to do small batches. If I'm gonna go the extra mile to mash grains I want some good return on my time investment. So I came up with a steam injection rig that attaches to the same cross over "lyn arm" That I use for my thumper. I fill the boiler with water and it becomes a steam boiler. I use it to cook grains in a big food grade barrel. I think it's pretty cool.

Guys... you're going to have to scroll to the bottom of the post and read through the pictures going upwards for them to be in order. It's the way she goes.
Attachments
1InBarrel2 (Custom).jpg
My barrel is sharp enough to cut you if you lean on it. Put this on there to protect me.
1InBarrel1 (Custom).jpg
In the barrel about ready to run.
1ElecBoiler (Custom).jpg
Here's my electric boiler. 5500 watt element and controller is nearby. I threw some insulation on it for this and filled it with water.
1Assembled (Custom).jpg
Here is the whole unit assembled and ready to be put in the barrel and hooked up.
1SteamHead1 (Custom).jpg
I didn't want to use worm drive clamps. I hate worm drive clamps. I attempted to solder the braided tubes in place and failed so miserably I went and bought some stainless worm drive clamps and just let it ride. Works perfectly. I also drilled one hole and used a copper wire to hold the head onto the rest of it. This makes it a lot easier to clean.
1AboutToAssemble (Custom).jpg
Here I had soldered and cleaned all the fittings that make up the rigid structure of the unit. The Stainless tubes are from a set of braided stainless washer hose hook ups. I cut the ends off and took the rubber hose out like the beer guys do to sparge.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:38 pm

More pics:
Attachments
1SteaminCorn1 (Custom).jpg
Here she goes steamin' the corn!
1WholeThing1 (Custom).jpg
This is the whole thing assembled and ready to mash. I intentionally made that cross over pipe longer than needed because I thought I'd want it that way for the steam rig. Well I don't. Instead of cutting it I'm just going to make another one that's shorter. Save this one in case I want it one day.
1SafetyValve1 (Custom).jpg
A good pressure release valve is probably a good idea for one of these. I don't have one of those. I have a cork stuck lightly in a hole.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:49 pm

Running it was pretty easy. Set everything up and leave the ball valve open to the atmosphere. Let the boiler come up to temp and when it does steam will start coming out the top. Once you see that turn down the heat and close the ball valve. At first its hard to tell if it's working or just building up pressure. I plan to install a pressure/vacuum gauge soon so I can monitor it and be able to run very slowly without sucking mash up it. The reason you can't hear it well at first is because the steam is all condensing before it leaves the copper. It's hitting the sides and the fluids that are inside and dropping it's heat there. After the copper comes up to temp a little you will hear the thumps and bubbles coming from steam entering the mash. Stirring is important but no where near as important as when cooking mash over a fire. The worst that can happen is you can over shoot your target temp in the middle of the mash before the sides heat up. When it's time to stop the heat just open the valve first, then turn the boiler down/off.

I mashed 50 pounds of corn last weekend with this rig. It took about an hour for my boiler to get to temp, and maybe another hour and a half to get the mash to 190. It was pretty painless as far as heating was involved. I'm really happy with it!
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby firewater69 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:03 pm

Very cool Brutal, is the corn in the barrel dry before you hit it with steam, & do you presoak it?
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:18 pm

I steeped it for a day and a half. I would have used backset if I had it. I just filled the water about 5 inches above the corn and added about 3 teaspoons of lactic acid. This was dry cracked corn from the feed store. No grinding. I used the Sebstar and Sebamyl enzymes. There were no solids left in that mash except partial hulls and germ.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby firewater69 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:39 pm

I like it!! Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby WhiteDevil504 » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:41 pm

This is great brutal, thanks for the write up!
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby shadylane » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:13 am

Direct steam injection and enzymes !
All you need now is a mixer that clamps to the top of the barrel.

Here's something you might be interested in. I also saw one with a 8 psi set point.
http://www.amazon.com/Apollo-Valve-13-5 ... B002KTZARW
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:52 am

That is very nice, thanks for posting!! :thumbup:
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby myles » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:03 am

shadylane wrote:Direct steam injection and enzymes !
All you need now is a mixer that clamps to the top of the barrel


Sorry shadylane but you are hitting a sore nerve now.

Anyone using steam injection has no need at all for mixer or agitator. Let the steam do the work. With the right combination of steam injectors and flow rate, agitation is no problem.

Sorry, will get off my soapbox. :lol:
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Dan P. » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:05 am

very
cool
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby shadylane » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:13 pm

myles wrote:
shadylane wrote:Direct steam injection and enzymes !
All you need now is a mixer that clamps to the top of the barrel


Sorry shadylane but you are hitting a sore nerve now.

Anyone using steam injection has no need at all for mixer or agitator. Let the steam do the work. With the right combination of steam injectors and flow rate, agitation is no problem.

Sorry, will get off my soapbox. :lol:


Don't get off the soap box yet. I have some questions to throw at you, on how to do it. :D
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Truckinbutch » Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:50 pm

Myles , get back on that soap box ! Many of us need to know more . I've been on the edge of AG for quite some time now and this rig looks like it might fit my program/time frame . The more info I/we get ,the more likely we will be to dive into AG .
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:33 pm

Fellas, I did AG so y'all better get on it. This rig as an attachment cost about 80 dollars US. You could save 10-15 bucks by using 3/4" tees instead of 3/4" to 1/2' reducing tees. The stainless mesh can be pushed together and it will expand and fit. I'd bet you could get away with less passes of the ss mesh too. You could find a better price than retail as well.

Myles, I'm humbled to have you post in my thread. I've admired your work for years. In my *short* experience so far I did not get the mash to flow and convect well enough with just the steam to negate the need for an agitator. I saw temperatures of 5 degrees Fahrenheit difference from the center to the edge of my barrel. I believe that is enough to denature enzymes.

Next time I plan to make a 5 grain bourbon recipe with about 75 pounds of grain. I plan to use more water and just deal with it if it dilutes my starting gravity. The only down side to this is more runs. I love to run. If the addition of water will make the whole mash "flow' better and negate the need for an agitator I'd love it.

Please post any knowledge you have on making the steam injection unit less reliant on an agitator. It can only add to the thread and our knowledge base.

Thanks for the kind works folks! I hope to see more steam injecting in the next year!
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Truckinbutch » Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:29 pm

Brutal , I have the supplies on hand to do this large except for the stainless mesh . At the risk of being flamed for lack of reading (seems I remember reading somewhere about perforated cross tubes being less than ideal) will perforated solid cross tubes work ?
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby shadylane » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:58 am

I'm curious about using single long SS mesh tube and a concentric thumper head.
That way a keg can be used as a steamer rig.
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mesh tube snake in a keg.png
mesh tube snake in a keg.png (7.74 KiB) Viewed 5763 times
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby shadylane » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:45 am

Brutal wrote:
I did not get the mash to flow and convect well enough with just the steam to negate the need for an agitator. I saw temperatures of 5 degrees Fahrenheit difference from the center to the edge of my barrel. I believe that is enough to denature enzymes.


I've been using a drill powered mixer to stir the mash, it doesn't take much mixing since there's not any risk of scorching.
Adding alpha before the mash gets hot enough to denature the enzymes, helps to thin the cooking mash down.
I don't add anymore alpha until the mash has been cooked and cooled back down to the right temp.


Brutal wrote:Next time I plan to make a 5 grain bourbon recipe with about 75 pounds of grain. I plan to use more water and just deal with it if it dilutes my starting gravity. The only down side to this is more runs. I love to run. If the addition of water will make the whole mash "flow' better and negate the need for an agitator I'd love it.


That's also my game plan. More water, a thinner mash, a lower SG and more distilling. :D
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:06 am

TB, the perforated tubes seems to work for some, but they can clog up. I think one good way to deal with this is to mash in such a way that you only have to heat up one time. So in doing this you would turn on the steam and then not turn it off until you were at a boil and done boiling. Deepsouth mentions doing it this way. He adds the enzymes after that and then waits until its the perfect temp to do the actual mashing at 150. His steam rig could be clogged then but it doesn't matter unless you turn it back on. I wanted to be able to turn mine off and back on as many times as I want to. That way if I don't feel like a part of the conversion is complete enough I can maintain temps and work on it until it is. I can also boil the whole shootin' match when I'm done like the beer guys do if I want to. If you walk around a big home improvement store you will find various stainless braided hoses. As long as they are stainless any of them could be used for this. I'm sure I overdid mine. I'd bet 2 passes of the smaller hose like for a toilet feed line would work fine.

I made mine the shape I did so it would be supported and the ss hoses wouldn't move around and get caught in my drill agitator.

Shady, I'm sure your idea would work, but I thought it was unnecessary. I haven't done it yet but I've heard of people loading grainy mash into their thumper and running it with no modifications. I was just going to make sure my input tube was about a quarter inch off the bottom before I start.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby shadylane » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:52 pm

Brutal
Is the SS mesh showing any signs of plugging up?
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Bohunk » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:25 pm

Nice post Brutal, lots of info here. My question is this, what is the vertical pipe for, seems to me you have a pipe rising up from the valve quite a ways, is that necessary ?? As far as clogging, I have a similar setup in my beer boiler, and that stainless mesh can get pretty funky and hard to clean, but probably better than holes drilled in the pipe.
Thanks again for the excellent post
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:19 pm

Shady, None at all.

Bohunk, I made that pipe higher than my head for safety when I vent the steam. I don't want any chance of being hit in the face with it. This brings up another thing I forgot to mention. When you vent the steam that vertical pipe is cool, and the steam condenses inside it. You can hear it bubbling and gurgling going up. I was concerned that it might overflow near-boiling water out the top.. It never did but under the right conditions it might be possible. It would have to pretty damn cold out, and have a breeze probably. I may try to get it to erupt just to see what it takes under a controlled condition when I'm expecting it.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Bohunk » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:56 am

Thanks for your quick response Burtal, I kind of thought that was the reason, but wasn't sure. I'm going to make a similar setup real soon, I now use a keg, and it's only 15.5 gallon, not enough when you add grain. Is there anything special about your barrel, is it just a plastic barrel ??
Thanks for all your time answering my dumb questions
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:38 am

That big ass barrel was used to ship olives. It's larger than a 55 gallon but I'm not sure exactly how much. It's a food grade barrel and from what I can tell any food grade barrel should be ok for this. I haven't tried one of the more common blue ones. But people mash in them and the only difference here is heating it to 200 f.

I was a little worried about using a plastic barrel for this. The more I read about all grain though folks are dumping boiling water into coolers all the time. In researching the plastic used in coolers I don't think it's #2. At least food grade barrels are #2 HDPE. According to Google HDPE melts at 115–135 °C - 239–275 °F Lower than I'd hoped but still impossible to reach if filled with water.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby ShineRunnah » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:37 pm

This is awesome! My concern was with heating the barrel and not knowing if this would cause it to release anything harmful or that may affect taste.

I've got an olive barrel kickin around, think I'm gonna clean it up and make something like this. Give me a chance to try out the electric heating in my keg too. Anxious to see how well 11,000W heats a keg! :lol:
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby LBHD » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:24 am

My condenser has a hand screw-off connection in copper. Problem is, it is at a non-standard angle for collection purposes.

If it is only being used for WATER + steam, is there any issue with using high temp foodsafe silicon hose in the middle instead of copper, then clamped onto the same kind of bottom piece?
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby hellbilly007 » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:21 am

Nice build on your steam injection rig, Brutal. I would've never thought to use the braided SS mesh. Was just planning to use enough holes to equal at least 1.5-2x the diameter of the hard line (no scientific data behind this reasoning, other than a hole or few possibly clogging). This is definitely on my to do list. Thanks for sharing with us.
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:13 am

SR, thanks man. I am no expert on plastics. It's not being exposed to high temp, high proof ethanol or it's components. During the mash there is no alcohol yet. By the time there is its at room temp and no more than 5-8% so I think it's fine. Lots of people use these for fermenters. Oh and 11,000 watts?? Damn! Be careful with that man. I was able to run mine full throttle at 23 amps but I worked my way up to it gradually. Also when first closing the valve I intentionally used only enough power to create a slow plume of steam out the top to avoid a pressure spike. Probably around 6-9 amps to start.

LBHD, I don't know the answer to that one. I know automotive heater hose is rated for 30 psi usually, but the smell of it is terrible. I can't think of any flexible "rubber" hose that I would want to use for this. I have seen where some folks use a flexible copper pipe like the one going to your water heater. If you try it let us know. PIc: Image

Hellbilly, thanks man.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby ShineRunnah » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:16 am

LBHD wrote:My condenser has a hand screw-off connection in copper. Problem is, it is at a non-standard angle for collection purposes.

If it is only being used for WATER + steam, is there any issue with using high temp foodsafe silicon hose in the middle instead of copper, then clamped onto the same kind of bottom piece?


I'd look at what Brutal posted, or look into SS gas line. The stuff is cheap, flexible and inert. Seems like a good choice to me!
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby ShineRunnah » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:26 am

Brutal, my keg is used mainly for stripping, and it takes 6-8 runs to fill my copper boiler. I went twin element to speed heat-up more than anything, and used ULWD elements in hopes they don't scorch anything. When you've got 2 days of stripping runs, anything to make it go faster is great!

Need to finish soldering my condensers for the new stripping head and see how it runs. 2" x 16" column split at the top to twin 2"x 32" shotguns. I'm thinking it should knock down whatever I throw at it. :twisted: Hoping I can cut my stripping time just a touch with it. We'll see how it goes! At worst, I go to a single shotgun and have a spare.
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Re: Steam Injection Attachment

Postby Brutal » Mon Dec 22, 2014 11:33 am

Holy shit Sir! That's some stripping! You're gonna be striping more than Anna Nicole Smith at an old folks home.
Steam injection rig http://tinyurl.com/kxmz8hy
All grain corn mash with steam injection and enzymes http://tinyurl.com/mp6zdt5
Inner tube condenser http://tinyurl.com/zkp3ps6
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