Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

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Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby WhiteDevil504 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:35 pm

Hey guys, so I have been reading Jed's walk down the road to steam filled glory and I am jealous...what I'd really love would be a way to bring my big brute fermenters to asking temp that doesn't involve me tipping a large pot of boiling water in.... While I am reasonably confident I am done breeding it doesn't mean I want boiling water to encroach upon my valuables. So I had a thought, perhaps a dumb, niece thought but I wanted to get feedback before building and finding a fatal flaw in the event someone else has tried.

My thought is to take a 2" copper plate, silver solder (or perhaps find a more secure system involving a few nuts) a length of 1/2" copper tubing to it with a series of holes drilled along its last few feet. Then use a 2" stainless ferrell to attach (sandwiched between the two pieces with triclamp fittings like a bubble plate would) it onto the 2" stainless coming off the keg boiler.

My concerns are mainly my ignorance in regards to pressure rating on those plates, does anyone see a compelling reason this wouldn't work, or a reason it would be hazardous to mock up and test?
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby Kegg_jam » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:43 pm

Have you checked out brutal's steam rig?

I've been contemplating something flexible. Maybe csst or something.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby jedneck » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:48 pm

+1 on brutal looking at brutal's setup. And steam injection is the shiznit for cooking grain.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby shadylane » Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:49 pm

I've tried several designs for a steam wand and all of them had a tendency to plug up except for this.
It ain't pretty but it was the best,
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby WhiteDevil504 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:13 pm

Yea I really like brutals build, and maybe I should just bite the bullet and go that direction. My initial thought was that the coil of tubing would make it easy to adjust to different shape/depth fermenters... But maybe I am solving a problem that doesn't have to be solved to be successful. I do like that braided line, I will have to see if I can find it locally.

Bearriver had posted a link to a steam generator (used for steam showers up to 450 cubic feet) that was between 4-9kw depending on the model..that's got me somewhat intrigued... Anyone check these out? They are pretty reasonably priced....

SMTHouse Steam Generator Sauna Bath Steamer 4 KW for Home SPA Shower with Digital Controller Temperature and Timing https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011TXKS6M/re ... 6vb5Q3X8JD
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby Kegg_jam » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:30 pm

My steam wand is similar to shady's, but I drilled a bunch of holes in some csst tubing. Some of the holes do get clogged.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby Truckinbutch » Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:12 pm

I do like that braided line, I will have to see if I can find it locally. I think what Bear river did was strip the braid off clothes washer supply lines . I hope I'm not wrong on that as that is my plan for a steam cooker .
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby bearriver » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:25 am

Truckinbutch wrote:I do like that braided line, I will have to see if I can find it locally. I think what Bear river did was strip the braid off clothes washer supply lines . I hope I'm not wrong on that as that is my plan for a steam cooker .


Wasn't me, but that is what I'm doing by some odd coincidence.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby Brutal » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:26 am

He was thinking of me. Brutal, Bearriver, close enough lol.

There are a lot of ways to do this. The ss braid I used was from washer hook ups. I think it's a great thing to use for most set ups. It pretty much guarantees you will not experience a clog.

I am going to build another design soon. It's going to forgo the ss braid, and have the ability to stir the mash through steam power. It will also be slightly more dangerous. I will be running a pressure/vacuum gauge on it and expect about 1-3 psi pressure in the system. I believe that pressure will be needed to create the stirring effect.

To the OP. I recommend building one similar to mine. You can use smaller ss braid and I don't think 4 passes of it are necessary either. Just build it so it cannot pose a restriction even at full power. That will make it the simplest and safest. The only draw back is you have to stir it yourself to heat evenly. I kind of enjoy whipping it all up with the drill lol.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby Truckinbutch » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:08 am

My bad , Brutal . I apologize . :oops:
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby bearriver » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:15 am

For those that need to use a shovel on grain out, consider a slotted copper tube with Brutal's recommended braided tubing for an outer sleeve. That will keep the grain from crushing the manifold under its weight, and still provide the same anti clogging capabilities. This type of steam injector manifold can also double as a false bottom for those not distilling on the grain.

Steam strippers need not apply for the available false bottom position.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby Truckinbutch » Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:21 am

I like that idea a lot .
If you ain't the lead dog in the team , the scenery never changes . Ga Flatwoods made my avatar and I want to thank him for that .
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby WhiteDevil504 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:07 pm

Brutal, thanks for chiming in, I look forward to watching that build. Way above my pay grade but sounds really interesting. Can you get enough thrust from that low of a psi to stir the mash without also leaving yourself prone to a catastrophic plugging?

BR- now that's a great idea...glad you brought it up, I think I will incorporate this into the build... It all also provide a little extra resiliency to an over zealous application of stirring with the mortar mixer....

I am still really interested in those steam generators you found, curious to hear if they work as well as I like to imagine they would. I am curious what pressure they would tolerate, generally speaking I don't think they have resistance so I wonder if the back pressure from having the output submerged would trip any safety mechanism...
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby bearriver » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:14 pm

Won't know if they are worth a spit until I buy one. I'll bypass the tempature controller when I do.

I'm curious what kind of steam output a 4kw steam generator will produce compared to a 4kw element in a BOP... I can all but guarantee there is a formula to calculate it. I'll see what I can dig up on the internets. :think:
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby jedneck » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:14 pm

My first gen steam head would almost get the whole pot stirred around but the way it was built it was a bitch to clean. I'll get a picture in a bit. I believe that if the steamwand went down the side of the pot and had a 90 going along the side it would create a vortex and stir it. But would probably still need to stir it but not as often.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby WhiteDevil504 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:21 pm

Interesting Jed, did you ramp the output down to a modified nozzle to get enough force or was the steam off the pipe enough to do it without increasing pressure? What diameter pipe did you use?

BR I will be anxiously watching for a thread when ya get to tinkering with it. I am hoping to build something this fall along these lines (once the outdoor projects ramp down)
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby jedneck » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:31 pm

Here is my first steam head. It is 3/4". At first all four ends where open but too would get in it and it was a bitch to clean. Gen two was capping the two down pointing ends, still a bitch to clean. Now I just use 3/4 necked down to 1/2 with a 1/2 to 3/8 reducer on the end. I hit it with the morter mixer in the drill every couple minute to stir. I am lazy and got the shits of cleaning copper when i should be makin likker.Stupid easy to clean, hook it up to a hose and blast water through it.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby WhiteDevil504 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:05 pm

So am I understanding right that you're using a single 3/8" output? Are you running from a 5500watt keg? What are you using as an over pressure safety?
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby jedneck » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:14 pm

I'm running 4500 watts and for over pressure I use a cork in a 1 inch fitting in the lid on the boiler. And the 1/2" is slip fit into a union and wrapped with Teflon tape.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby WhiteDevil504 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:24 pm

Smart.... Much smarter than my idea of a plumbing trap full of molten aluminum (to increase the excitement)... I like it. Hope ha don't mind but I am totally going to steal that.... Man my molten aluminum provider is going to curse you....
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby Kegg_jam » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:34 pm

Here's one I've been using for my little 5 gallon pot.

It does fine keeping the pot agitated. Some holes do get plugged up but there's lots of them so it doesn't appear be a problem. I think the braid is a better way to go.

download/file.php?id=36646
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby jedneck » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:34 pm

Another option would be a manometer. shadylane has one on here somewhere.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby Kegg_jam » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:42 pm

I use a cork in a 3/4". Probably not ideal. Been thinking about the manometer.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby shadylane » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:47 pm

jedneck wrote:Another option would be a manometer. shadylane has one on here somewhere.

Thanks for mentioning it jed. My opinion is, for safety, every boiler needs a manometer.
Especially when using the boiler to generate steam.
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Re: Making a steam wand for heating in fermenter

Postby bearriver » Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:55 pm

I know you have a thread on another forum Shady, but do you have a thread about it here?
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