Steam

Steam powered cooking and distillation devices.

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Drunk-N-Smurf
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Steam

Post by Drunk-N-Smurf » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:35 pm

Ok, I've been doing quite a bit of reading on whatever is available on the forums about steam.

My question is....what is the advantage of steam injection over steam heating?

I have a design in mind to heat one of my boilers using electrically generated steam, but am curious, would the steam be better used as a steam injection, or as a constantly recirculating steam/condensate system with a coil inside the boiler?
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DAD300
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Re: Steam

Post by DAD300 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 7:40 am

Steam injection is more efficient at delivery of heat and coil is less likely to burn while not adding water to boiler.
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Re: Steam

Post by shadylane » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:10 am

A boiler at high pressure with a pump and heating coils is the best way. But I'm too cowardly to build something like that.
I can use my still to boil water at slightly above atmospheric pressure to blow steam bubbles into the mash.
So for use on a hobby sized still, the steam injection is safest, easiest and cheapest..

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Re: Steam

Post by Drunk-N-Smurf » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:27 am

shadylane wrote:A boiler at high pressure with a pump and heating coils is the best way. But I'm too cowardly to build something like that.
I can use my still to boil water at slightly above atmospheric pressure to blow steam bubbles into the mash.
So for use on a hobby sized still, the steam injection is safest, easiest and cheapest..
The design I have in mind is based on a gravity condensate setup, where controlling the rate of condensate return one can control the amount of steam allowed to pass through the coil. No pumps needed in my plan.

It looks good on paper, and our engineer at work Had a look at it and figured it would work if I can build it. So I guess the next step is to gather my materials and put it to the test. Of course safety is paramount as steam can be a bomb, so I've incorporated methods that prevent steam pressure from building to dangerous levels.

If I get a chance, I'll post some drawings of my design for feedback.
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shadylane
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Re: Steam

Post by shadylane » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:32 am

"Gravity condensate" is this similar to a thermosyphon.

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Re: Steam

Post by Drunk-N-Smurf » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:09 am

shadylane wrote:"Gravity condensate" is this similar to a thermosyphon.
No.

I'll draw it out, and post it when I get home.
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Re: Steam

Post by DeepSouth » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:12 am

In conventional steam boilers, you do not control the condensate return to control your heat input to your process. You control the amount of steam that passes through the coil in your still by opening a valve allowing a set flow rate of steam to pass. This can be as simple as simple as a hand operated ball or gate valve, but a globe valve is better. For a system like you are proposing, a condensate pump would probably not be necessary either, and you could actually get away with the condensate traveling up hill a little bit even. The pressure of the steam that is behind the condensate will push the condensate back into the boiler (1 psi can push water vertically 2.3 ft).

You need a control system that allows the boiler to come up to a set pressure, say 10 psi for example. Anything higher than this is not necessary for heating a still and adds a much higher level of safety and engineering concerns. If you wanted to maintain a constant 10 psi in your boiler for example, you could do this by actually monitoring the temperature of the vapor in the headspace. 10 psig steam has a temperature of about 239 F. You could have a PID set to monitor this temperature and control an internal heating element. As you draw off steam to your still, the pressure would drop in your boiler as well as the temperature of the steam. The PID would trigger the internal element to turn on which would create more vapor and raise the pressure back up.

You would also need a safety blowoff valve in the case that relay controlling your element was stuck closed. A vacuum breaker would also be a necessity. A pressurized steam system isn't something to take lightly, but can be built safely if you know what you are doing. One of the biggest hurdles would actually be installing an internal steam coil or external steam jacket to your still. If you built a copper pot from scratch, that would be the easiest way to install an internal steam coil.
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Re: Steam

Post by Drunk-N-Smurf » Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:33 am

In the words of doc brown, keep in mind this is not to scale.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9apy3an7358sf ... 6.jpg?dl=0

I just drew this up quick, and probly forgot a few things from my original, but should give the idea.
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Re: Steam

Post by Bohunk » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:51 pm

Guys first off thanks a lot for the info. I have been thinking about doing this same thing, but -- since my keg/boil pot is open at the top, I thought I would run the steam in the top of the pot, down to the bottom, into a coil, through the coil back up and out the top again. I will be using this setup to cook mash, and if 1 PSI of steam will push water 2.3 feet, then I should be able to push water out of the coil to the top of the keg. NO ??? Is my thinking wrong ?? If I had to, I could leave the top end of the coil open, and simply let the steam escape, I would only be cooking for about one hour, so should have plenty water to do that.

I am really getting into this thread, keep it going....

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Re: Steam

Post by Drunk-N-Smurf » Thu Feb 19, 2015 1:47 pm

DeepSouth wrote:One of the biggest hurdles would actually be installing an internal steam coil or external steam jacket to your still. If you built a copper pot from scratch, that would be the easiest way to install an internal steam coil.
I plan on tackling this by cutting the top off the keg I'm going to use, installing the coil and tig weld the top back on. My welder is b-pressure certified and has assured me it's no problem. I would of course pressure test it again to ensure no pressure issues result.
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