Steam Questions

Any steam Cooking /Distilling Device

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Steam Questions

Postby aircarbonarc » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:56 pm

I'm currently packing for a big move in the next few days, my new house doesnt have a garage fit for a race car, but does have a garage and insulated seperate shed fit for a propane powered steam boiler. My questions are...

1. I'll need Steam, and enough of it, but not too much. Most steam rigs I've seen people using are a keg with a steam line attached. That's damn simple and easy, except I like making things hard. I'm thinking I'll be building a propane boiler. I work on industrial boilers and have worked on coal fired giants to building boilers in a shop. I was considering building a simple upright fire tube boiler, saves space and they are simple. I have the idea of a water feed system, air heating, and more. I can run a chimney outside and I have very good ventilation. After some YouTube research and googling I found plans for hobby sized boilers for steam engines. I'm going to be upping my still to about 25-30 gal, and cooking 105bs of corn at max. How can I figure out the amount of steam I need as in psi and volume.

2. Transferring heat: steam injection, steam coil, steam jacket, or a classic scotch still style heating cylinder?

Steam injection seems the most badassed, but they are noisy and can have some safety issues so probably not.

Steam coil could be ok except they can be a bit of a pain to clean off the over cooked grain bits. Simple and easy to make, got the copper. Already.

Steam jackets are great and could be easy as I'm building my tank at a friend's shop and can easily toss a on a steam jacket while at it. The cost though is my biggest concern.

And finally steam cylinder just to be cool, scotch stills have them, they are easy to clean and very efficient. Also less scorching. Except I would have to fabricate one and step into unknown parts.


Thanks and I'll think of more questions once in done moving..
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Re: Steam Questions

Postby zapata » Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:23 pm

If you go with jacket no need for the separate steam boiler, might seem expensive till you figure it's just one pot.
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Re: Steam Questions

Postby aircarbonarc » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:44 pm

zapata wrote:If you go with jacket no need for the separate steam boiler, might seem expensive till you figure it's just one pot.


I'm going with the steam boiler because I want to be able to steam rice and corn with ease, then make 25gallons of water boil
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Re: Steam Questions

Postby zapata » Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:32 pm

Which is easy in a steam jacketed boiler. I have one and love it. Mine is self contained, though some do have a separate boiler. I only see the need for a separate boiler in a pro setting where you may need steam for several vessels simultaneously.

But then again, I bought mine and really have no idea of the skill or trouble required to make a pressure capable jacketed vessel. Maybe there is no material or labor savings in it. But there will still be space saving in having a self contained jacketed vessel. You also won't have to deal with a lot of the details of a separate boiler or calculate steam volumes or anything as it's all in the one unit.

But I'm totally biased. And you are right, a scotch style steam heater would be pretty cool and I dont remember ever seeing a hobby scale one done diy. I'll eat some popcorn while you build it :)
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Re: Steam Questions

Postby zapata » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:39 pm

Lol, oops. I see what you mean by "steam rice and corn" you mean you actually want to inject steam, not just cook them in a pot that may be heated by steam. Well then yeah, obviously you'll need a separate boiler.

Just curious why? I built a steam generator for other uses (a pasteurizer) and never got to use it much for mashing before I stumbled across my kettle. In fact the only mash I remember using it on was a smaller beer mash. Am I missing out on some benefit of the steam over just mashing in my kettle?

Thinking about it, it wouldn't be hard to use a self contained pressurized steam kettle as a steam source for direct injection of the pot or something else. Looking at my kettle I could put a Tee in before my safety valve and attach a valve and a steam wand. It does make me wonder if I would ever want to both heat the kettle with steam and inject it into the pot? Cant immediately think of a benefit. That wouldn't be very portable of course if you ever wanted to use it say steam clean an engine or pasteurize some compost or wood chips in the garden. ..
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Re: Steam Questions

Postby shadylane » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:50 pm

Here's a Baine Marie I build awhile back, there might be some ideas you can use.
viewtopic.php?f=83&t=59138
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Re: Steam Questions

Postby aircarbonarc » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:01 am

The steam generator I want to build is called a fire tube boiler and steam engine hobbyist built them to run model engines. They do generate steam really well and can run at a few psi. I used to weld units like this and can easily roll tubes into the tube sheet and do pressure welds on the shell. My question is how much steam I'd need so I can figure out the size of my unit.
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Re: Steam Questions

Postby shadylane » Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:32 am

If I were making a propane fired steam generator, a monotube boiler would be an option
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Re: Steam Questions

Postby aircarbonarc » Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:25 am

shadylane wrote:If I were making a propane fired steam generator, a monotube boiler would be an option


I am keeping that as an option and I looked up some nice plans for monotube boilers. I was going to go with the fire tube because of the simplicity of the design and build. Water tube boilers are great especially when you want some pressurized steam and even with super heating elements you can really get steaming. Once I figure out how to post pictures I'll upload some drawings. I just can't figure out how much steam I need yet to bring 40+gal of water to boiling temp.

Also the Scotch style heating cylinder are simple build only really a couple stainless tubes 4" with 3.5" inside and some baffled.
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