Safety

Any steam Cooking /Distilling Device

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Re: Safety

Postby rgreen2002 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:13 pm

FreeMountainHermit wrote:
rgreen2002 wrote:Could you also place a meter in the system to follow psi?


Assuming you mean gauge, RG.

Heck why not install a gauge, vent tube & 5,10, 15 psi weight from a pressure cooker on the boiler as an early warning system. EEZY PEEZY.



LOL...yes FMH I meant a gauge... I gotta stop staying up so late :crazy: .

I have one spot on the wand where my "L" sticks out and points up. I either mount a gauge or a PVR and I was thinking a gauge would be better. Something for me to watch and give more accurate info vs the PRV. Only downside is I don't have much experience with steam pressure gauges, i.e. which one to use, where to install it, etc.
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Re: Safety

Postby Truckinbutch » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:21 pm

I like FMH's idea of a pressure cooker vent and weights . You don't have a clinicly accurate measure of pressure . You do have a system open to the atmosphere that can vent overpressure . And it would give you some music akin to a thumper to keep you company .
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Re: Safety

Postby thecroweater » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:27 pm

Yeah most pressure cookers operate at 15 to 20 PSI, that is more than I'd feel comfortable with. You would need to know (test) if you system can safety maintain those pressures before running it with steam, not that hard to do I guess but once you got steam in it had want be be pretty sure you got some leeway I would think. Alcohols vapour itself is much more dangerous then steam but most stills are open to the atmosphere where as a steam wand is not directly and subject to blocking. I had a pot still block with a puke years ago, pretty scary and you don't get long to identify and react.
In this case I had a partial blockage which can be worse as it maybe not immediately identified, I knew I had something weird going on but it took a check over before the penny dropped and who knows how many seconds from death and destruction I was. Lucky that was a solid arsed arguably over engineered still with higher pressure fittings but I can easily see this same scenario with a steam wand. I'm not saying the idea is bad just that it might be wise to test it with say air or water pressure first.
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Re: Safety

Postby Truckinbutch » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:46 pm

thecroweater wrote:Yeah most pressure cookers operate at 15 to 20 PSI, that is more than I'd feel comfortable with. You would need to know (test) if you system can safety maintain those pressures before running it with steam, not that hard to do I guess but once you got steam in it had want be be pretty sure you got some leeway I would think. Alcohols vapour itself is much more dangerous then steam but most stills are open to the atmosphere where as a steam wand is not directly and subject to blocking. I had a pot still block with a puke years ago, pretty scary and you don't get long to identify and react.
One of our cookers has weights for 5#, 10# ,15# . I'd be nervous at anything over 5# . I'd probably manufacture/modify one to start venting at about 1 1/2# .
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Re: Safety

Postby shadylane » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:59 pm

Truckinbutch wrote:I like FMH's idea of a pressure cooker vent and weights

That's a thought :thumbup:
The downside is, pressure cooker vents have a little bitty hole, with a weight setting on it, for the steam to escape out of.
Makes me wonder why, food in a pressure cooker doesn't boil up and plug that little bitty hole.
Once again, cooking is more dangerous than distilling :roll: :lol:
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Re: Safety

Postby Tater » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:09 pm

When I use my boiler for steam 15 gallon keg unaltered with 3/4 tubing for use as wand. I use 2 springs and wire and a fishing scale to set my boiler to pop off at around 5-10 lbs if needed .In all years Ive done it this way it never has . my theory for doing it this way was that if blew would blow straight up and when reduced pressure would seal back.When using steam wand to cook grain I get water to temp first so wand is working before grain is added also use ell on bottom of wand thats pointed to right as I stir to right.I also keep wand close to 1 side barrel.
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Re: Safety

Postby Tater » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:16 pm

shadylane wrote:
Truckinbutch wrote:I like FMH's idea of a pressure cooker vent and weights

That's a thought :thumbup:
The downside is, pressure cooker vents have a little bitty hole, with a weight setting on it, for the steam to escape out of.
Makes me wonder why, food in a pressure cooker doesn't boil up and plug that little bitty hole.
Once again, cooking is more dangerous than distilling :roll: :lol:
Ive see results when pressure cookers blow up .Aint pretty. Sound like a good Idea though with proper sizing.
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Re: Safety

Postby shadylane » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:45 pm

The idea of using an over sized pressure cooker "rattler" hasn't been explored yet :lol:
If there's only water in the boiler, I figure some were around a 3/8" to 1/2" hole might work.
What weight would be needed for 3 psi venting :?:
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Re: Safety

Postby Truckinbutch » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:02 pm

shadylane wrote:The idea of using an over sized pressure cooker "rattler" hasn't been explored yet :lol:
If there's only water in the boiler, I figure some were around a 3/8" to 1/2" hole might work.
What weight would be needed for 3 psi venting :?:
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Re: Safety

Postby bronctoad » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:27 am

if we're only talking of 2 to 3 psi of pressure on a steam rig. that equates to roughly 7' give or take for a manometer. if an over pressure situation occurs one of those could be hose directed out of the immediate area. as long as flow path stays on a decline from the exit of the tube. also with a easily visible manometer there is plenty of visual information available that you cant get with inexpensive gauges or have at all with pop off valve. I run a 40'' manometer on my pot (its only 3/8 id) that showed me a puking situation before any thing came close to going bad. I normally run (with my thumper) 4 to 6 inches but the puke push it up to 14 it did happen quick but I had plenty of time to lower the heat and wait it out with out shutting down. they are pretty simple, almost bullet proof and something to view that if vented right blows any steam/ethanol/nasties out of your immediate area.

does any one running a steam mash rig know what pressure they are running? I see gages in picts but not running or no deflection of needles. has anyone run a manometer on a rig? in all the threads I've read there is no mention of operating pressure just pop off/relief valve pressures. wrong place for these q's :|
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Re: Safety

Postby shadylane » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:35 pm

"does any one running a steam mash rig know what pressure they are running?"
My mash cooker is about 24 inches deep, when running 5500w the boiler pressure is a little over 26" WP or 1 psi
When the injector/wand starts to plug up the boiler pressure will rise.
If I shut off the boiler and some of the mash sucks back into the injector ---bad idea---
When I restart the steam, the mash will plug the injector and boiler pressure will rise quickly until the holes clear out.
Or the water blows out of the 6' manometer, that's 2.6 psi
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Re: Safety

Postby shadylane » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:49 pm

Just a thought
Somebody needs to make 2 lists
1 for good ideas and another for bad ideas :lol:
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Re: Safety

Postby thecroweater » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:55 pm

A couple of the wands I saw while in the states had a tap tee off so this could be opened before shutting off. It seemed like a very sensible inclusion to me.
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Re: Safety

Postby shadylane » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:05 pm

thecroweater wrote:A couple of the wands I saw while in the states had a tap tee off so this could be opened before shutting off. It seemed like a very sensible inclusion to me.


I have one of those valves, and have a bad habit of forgetting to open it and vent the boiler on shut down
Then the 1 or 2 psi vacuum will suck mash into the wand :oops:
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Re: Safety

Postby rgreen2002 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:08 pm

shadylane wrote:"does any one running a steam mash rig know what pressure they are running?"
My mash cooker is about 24 inches deep, when running 5500w the boiler pressure is a little over 26" WP or 1 psi
When the injector/wand starts to plug up the boiler pressure will rise.
If I shut off the boiler and some of the mash sucks back into the injector ---bad idea---
When I restart the steam, the mash will plug the injector and boiler pressure will rise quickly until the holes clear out.
Or the water blows out of the 6' manometer, that's 2.6 psi


I don't know the pressure but i can say much like yourself when the mash is cooked and I open the release valve (similar to what crow is talking about)...there is a release of pressure there...
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Re: Safety

Postby Mudturtle » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:01 pm

I would recommend water level gauge. Cause you don't want to run dry and then melt gasket material all into your keg and blow it thru your copper lines into your sweet feed mash. I am so pissed right now.

Im sure the keg is gone, but any ideas on what I can soak all my copper piping in to get rid of the residue? or Am I just boned there too?
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Re: Safety

Postby Truckinbutch » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:46 pm

Mudturtle wrote:I would recommend water level gauge. Cause you don't want to run dry and then melt gasket material all into your keg and blow it thru your copper lines into your sweet feed mash. I am so pissed right now.

Im sure the keg is gone, but any ideas on what I can soak all my copper piping in to get rid of the residue? or Am I just boned there too?
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Re: Safety

Postby bronctoad » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:15 am

shadylane sorry about taking so long to see your post. thank you very much for the info with explanation. sounds like your rig is about what I'm envisioning for my build, when ever that bridge gets close enough to cross. THX again
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Re: Safety

Postby rgreen2002 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 7:43 am

So how about something like this?

PRV.jpg
8 psi Set Pressure, 3/4" NPT Male x Female


Placed here...

Old PRV.jpg


Where the cork is at the bottom has been replaced with another short copper segment and a 90 degree elbow pointing up that houses a rubber cork.

I know the picture shows 20 psi but the ad is for 8psi and I would be sure of that.

Or this.....

gauge.jpg
Stainless Steel 304 Dual Scale Liquid Filled Pressure Gauge


in the same position.
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Re: Safety

Postby rad14701 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:00 am

rgreen2002 wrote:So how about something like this?

8 psi is still pretty high for steam pressure release IMHO... You'd be amazed how long that valve would vent if it were to trip... Some valves only trip and vent until the pressure drops to within manufactured range while others vent until there is zero pressure left in the vessel being protected and must be manually reset...

I just replaced my water heater after it ruptured due to a defective pressure switch for my water pump even though the year old pressure relief valve was working properly... The old water heater tank just couldn't handle the sudden spike from the calibrated 50 psi to 80 psi... The pressure was building faster than the relief valve could dump it so the tank ruptured... Luckily, it wasn't a catastrophic rupture...
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Re: Safety

Postby FreeMountainHermit » Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:35 am

8 psi is still pretty high for steam pressure release IMHO... You'd be amazed how long that valve would vent if it were to trip... Some valves only trip and vent until the pressure drops to within manufactured range while others vent until there is zero pressure left in the vessel being protected and must be manually reset...


Before purchasing a PRV or another method of evacuation HD members should consider the rate at which the device is capable of doing its task as the vessel size should be taken into consideration .
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Re: Safety

Postby rgreen2002 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:39 pm

I chose the 8 psi because for some crazy reason the 5 psi one is practically double the price. Since I have a manual valve for pressure release and I am always there when the mash is steaming anyway... maybe a gauge is better for me... I want to see what more people think before I pull this trigger!
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Re: Safety

Postby cob » Thu Oct 20, 2016 12:59 pm

FreeMountainHermit wrote:
8 psi is still pretty high for steam pressure release IMHO... You'd be amazed how long that valve would vent if it were to trip... Some valves only trip and vent until the pressure drops to within manufactured range while others vent until there is zero pressure left in the vessel being protected and must be manually reset...


Before purchasing a PRV or another method of evacuation HD members should consider the rate at which the device is capable of doing its task as the vessel size should be taken into consideration .


real life example. I have a large air over water tank that operates between 55-75 lbs.

blew it down to do some work and when the gauge read 2-3 psi I unscrewed the 1.5"

air bleed valve from the tank, and it was promptly shot through the wall

it took about 2 minutes to equalize to atmospheric pressure through that 1.5" hole.

this is a cold water tank not a steam generator.

err on the side of caution.
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Re: Safety

Postby FreeMountainHermit » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:27 pm

cob wrote:real life example. I have a large air over water tank that operates between 55-75 lbs.

blew it down to do some work and when the gauge read 2-3 psi I unscrewed the 1.5"

air bleed valve from the tank, and it was promptly shot through the wall

it took about 2 minutes to equalize to atmospheric pressure through that 1.5" hole.

this is a cold water tank not a steam generator.

err on the side of caution.


Many years ago a coworker was killed opening the hatch on a RR tanker that had been in the hot sun. Size does matter and when in doubt ASK !!!!!
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