Direct steam injection

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Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:00 pm

I built this a little while ago for cooking corn mash and It works very well.
The system is basically like using your thumper for a cooking pot.
It clamps onto the top of my keg and uses it for a low pressure boiler.
I used a manometer and the pot pressure was 12" WP + the depth of the wand in the mash.
The pressure is less than 1psi and just like a pot and thumper there are no valves between the boiler and the open end of the wand.
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DSCF0082 (800x600).jpg
And the end that goes into the mash to inject steam
DSCF0081 (800x600).jpg
the top part of the wand
DSCF0083 (600x800).jpg
The little valve on the left is opened before shutting off the boiler to keep a vaccume from forming. The bigger valve on the right is a 15psi steam pressure reliese valve.
DSCF0080 (800x600).jpg
Here's the steam injector connected to a keg.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby S-Cackalacky » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:48 pm

Does the wand just sit in an open pot, or do you have a vented lid on the cook pot? What type of hose are you using (red hose)? Can you give sources for the parts (pressure valve and guage)? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm interested in doing something similar.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby dirtymax731 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:06 pm

Shady that's cool. Same questions as cack
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby Brutal » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:15 pm

Nice! I was hoping you would post up about it. I want to see the other end where the steam comes out.
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: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:59 pm

S-Cackalacky wrote:Does the wand just sit in an open pot, or do you have a vented lid on the cook pot?


I cook in the fermenter so it's definitely vented.


S-Cackalacky wrote:What type of hose are you using (red hose)?


Even though only steam and not alcohol vapor passes through it, It's probably not the proper hose for this use.



S-Cackalacky wrote:Can you give sources for the parts (pressure valve and gage)? Sorry for all the questions, but I'm interested in doing something similar.


Give me a minute and I'll get the pressure valve info. The gage is new and belongs acetylene torch.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:09 pm

Apollo Valve 13-510 Series Bronze Safety Relief Valve, ASME Steam, 15 psi Set Pressure, 3/4" NPT Male x Female
Sold by Amazon.com LLC
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby S-Cackalacky » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:07 pm

Thanks for responding back with the info. I thought the hose looked like it might be for use with an auto cooling system. If that's the case, they are made for the heat and some pressure - should work fine.

I'll be bookmarking this thread for future reference. Thanks again.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:30 am

Brutal wrote:Nice! I was hoping you would post up about it. I want to see the other end where the steam comes out.


The end the steam comes out is the first picture. The end of the copper tube has V notches cut into it.
I tried drilling holes and other configurations but the V notches worked just as good and can't get plugged up.
Don't cap the end and drill holes in the tube. Small pieces of the corn get in the holes and swell up, plugging them.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby still_stirrin » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:18 pm

Great idea. I've often thought of firing my (brewing) kettle with steam. But steam under pressure is dangerous, both in temperature and enthalpy (energy). Safety valves for over-pressure are necessary, which you've got.

FYI - steam at 15 psig is approximately 250 F. Even at 1 psig its just above 215 F.

Be careful.

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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:56 pm

Cooking with direct steam injection is safer than running pot still with a thumper.
The boiler is filled with water, not alcohol so there is less of a fire hazard.
The cooking pot is open, compared to a thumper that is only vented through the condenser.
The boiler also has a safety relief valve, something that most pot stills are lacking.
As in all my stills a manometer is also used to measure boiler pressure and as an extra safety relief valve.
If the boiler gets more than 1psi it will blow the water out of the manometer and vent to the atmosphere.

Edited: Guess I should have included a picture of the manometer
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby Tap » Sat Oct 11, 2014 9:39 pm

Nice set up. I'm curious to know how your results have been from using this.

What volume of mash have you successfully cooked with this system?

I bet there's a bit of a learning curve when trying to find ur proper temps. Practice makes perfect I guess?

I'm interested to hear any more comments or observations that you would be willing to share.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:02 pm

shadylane wrote:
Brutal wrote:Nice! I was hoping you would post up about it. I want to see the other end where the steam comes out.


The end the steam comes out is the first picture. The end of the copper tube has V notches cut into it.
I tried drilling holes and other configurations but the V notches worked just as good and can't get plugged up.
Don't cap the end and drill holes in the tube. Small pieces of the corn get in the holes and swell up, plugging them.


The V notches will plug up! As a mater of fact everything I've tried can plug up.
Haven't had the 15psi safety relief valve pop off, but I have blown the water out of my manometer.
That's around 1psi. Not much above the pressure needed to blow bubbles in my mash barrel.
I'm reasonable sure that once a little bit more pressure built up, it would blow the plug of swelled up grain out, but I don't like it.
I'm going to try making a steam wand out of 1-1/2" drill a gazillion holes in it and leave the end open.
Even with a steam rated safety valve and a manometer to release any over pressure.
I can't recommend any one using direct steam injection to cook with.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:14 pm

Tap wrote:Nice set up. I'm curious to know how your results have been from using this.
What volume of mash have you successfully cooked with this system?

Around 25 gallons with 50 pounds of grain.


Tap wrote:I bet there's a bit of a learning curve when trying to find ur proper temps. Practice makes perfect I guess? .

The mash temps are the same, just easier to get up to and maintain.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby Brutal » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:52 pm

I still haven't assembled mine, but I plan to wrap the part with the holes/slots with stainless mesh. Like what would be used for a screen on a window. I think a few layers of that could keep it from clogging up.
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: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:36 pm

On the beer brewers forums they use SS braiding for use as a mash tun filter.
That should work for what we need. Instead of using it for a filter, blow steam through it.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby razerhawg » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:51 am

Just a little note. You can get steam rated hose from McMaster - Carr although it is expensive. You can also find Honeywell "pressuretrol" very accurate low pressure switches that you could connect to your mash tun to shut down the steam boiler or to open a vent valve into a bucket of water. Again These fairly expensive but have an excellent reliability factors.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby jedneck » Sun May 17, 2015 7:33 am

Cooked 23# of flours in 10 gallons water last nite. Brought up to boil and boiled for 1.5 hours. Colled to 150 added malt and tucked into bed for 9 hours. Full conversion on iodine test and sg og 1.1 temp corrected. Will be watering down to 1.07.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby joemama » Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:16 pm

@shady, what did you use for the 2 inch triclamp flange here? Did you solder to a disc cut out of copper sheet?
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:46 am

The disk was made out of a piece of copper tubing that was split open and hammered flat.
A hole was drilled in it and a piece of tubing soldered.
It works real good.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby joemama » Tue Mar 29, 2016 9:47 pm

Here's my copy.

steam_tree.jpg


steam_wand.jpg


I just finished soldering it up and did a quick test with water in the cooking kettle. Everything seemed to work great, no leaks or anything, but once it gets going it makes this really loud hammering/popping sound. Is that due to the stainless mesh used as a manifold? Is it not going to be as loud with cracked corn in the mash? I'd be worried about attracting the neighbors with the loud noise going on.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Wed Mar 30, 2016 12:19 am

It gets much quieter as the mash heats up.
It noisiest when blowing steam into cold water.
Putting a piece of insulation under the keg keeps it from ringing and helps with the racket. :lol:
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby Kegg_jam » Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:11 am

Cold water is the worst. When doing corn I always heat up my water in the boiler first and use that to pre-soak the grains, then re-fill the boiler for the steam session.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby joemama » Sun Apr 03, 2016 3:42 pm

That's what I ended up doing, soaked corn in boiled water first, then after it cooled for a few hours I heated it back up using steam. The knocking noise was not a problem with hot corn mash. Overall it worked well and I was able to improve my extraction efficiency. I did have a little trouble with the simple braid manifold wanting to float up out of the mash, so I'm going to make a drilled copper tubing manifold covered in stainless braid to give it more structure and hold it down.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby Burner61 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:32 am

Apologies if the answer is out there, but I've tried searching and I keep returning to the same point. I'm new and have yet to build a still, but I'm trying to wrap my head around some of the concepts. When talking about direct steam injection, is it literally an open butt of pipe and the steam flows into the mash and that's how it's heated? Or is steam pumped through a coil and the coil is heated to 212°? When I search, I find conversations about direct steam and how to build, or mention of using steam or hated by steam... But I not sure of the concept. I understand you can heat a mash by open flame or electric hot plate or an internal electric wand. But the steam thing has me confused. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby shadylane » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:12 am

Steam bubbles heat the mash
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby Kegg_jam » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:13 am

Yes, in this case steam goes right into the mash and bubbles up through it transferring heat.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby Burner61 » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:09 pm

Thanks! I appreciate it.
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby Fart Vader » Mon May 16, 2016 5:17 am

Hey shadylane (and Brutal), I've been following in your footsteps and built myself a steam wand.
Did my first Booner's this weekend using the wand. Worked great!

I have a question however regarding performance.

I have a 50L keg with a 5500W element, my injector is 1/2" copper 'cause that's what I had in hand.
It took me 2-1/2 hours to get from 12C to 85C, roughly 0.5C per minute for 35 gallons (130L) of water with 70lbs of corn.

Is this in line with the performance you guys are getting ?
Thanks.
My double walled boiler build: The Mashimizer. https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=64980
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Re: Direct steam injection

Postby Brutal » Mon May 16, 2016 7:32 am

Yea you're doing fine. You have to remember the power that is actually transfered to the mash is 5500w minus all heat lost in the process. On these larger batches it's going to take time. One thing I will tentatively recommend is an aquarium heater. If you soak your grains for even just one day, throw the aquarium heater in with them. Mine has a maximum setting of 88 Fahrenheit. It takes less time to get to full temp if the water is warm to start. Adds less water from the steam too.

Post us up a pic of your steam set up if you get the chance!
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: Direct steam injection

Postby Fart Vader » Mon May 16, 2016 7:51 am

Excellent, thanks Brutal.

Brutal wrote:Post us up a pic of your steam set up if you get the chance!


Here's a shot of my setup. In case you're wondering, that black frame thingy is my beer elevator. This is it's inaugural run too!
The idea is to crank up the mash tun so I can easily siphon out to multiple 5 gallon buckets to allow everything to settle. Once the buckets have settled I'll put two on the elevator, hoist them up and charge up the still. No more lifting and/or ladling for me!
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Distiller's Friend.
My double walled boiler build: The Mashimizer. https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=64980
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