Steam Boiler!

Any steam Cooking /Distilling Device

Moderator: Site Moderator

Steam Boiler!

Postby netman86 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:28 pm

I didn't fall off the face of the earth, I just had some other things get in the way of this particular hobby for another year...

Anyway, I just completed my mk1 steam boiler, complete with pressure gauge and safety blowoff (not yet directed to the ground)

it's going to make so much steam.... :)

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/873 ... .02.49.jpg
netman86
Novice
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Danespirit » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:32 pm

Could you tell us a bit more about how this is intended to function..?
I see two valves, one on top of the pressuregauge and one to the right side.
User avatar
Danespirit
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 2497
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby netman86 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:36 pm

Oh, certainly!

For those of you unfamiliar with blowoff valves, they only work one way. If you zoom enough, there's an arrow printed on it- but the little lever is the giveaway- it goes to a spring and a seal.

Pressure will build in the tank, and if the left/top valve is open, steam will flow out to wherever I direct it (think cooking corn, or lobster!)

If the OTHER valve is open, it will actually bypass the blowoff valve and dump the steam directly to the dump gate- which right now goes straight up, but will go over and down when I'm ready to test run it.

Assuming the dump valve is closed and the primary valve is open, steam will go out into whatever my application is. The gauge is 0-30psi, and that pressure relief is rated to "blow"/dump/bypass at 30psi as well.

Now I just need to add water and heat...
netman86
Novice
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Brutal » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:55 pm

Looks pretty good. You only need one valve though.
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
User avatar
Brutal
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 6:02 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby shadylane » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:10 pm

Deleted double post
Last edited by shadylane on Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 5402
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby shadylane » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:23 pm

User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 5402
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Jacksonbrown » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:33 pm

Looks like a Darwin award in the making to me.
What happens if the valves are both closed and the relief valve fails.
You've potentially got a very large bomb there so double redundancy might be a consideration.
Why do you need the isolation to the cooker? You could implode it even easier.

The safety valves probably should be protected from condensate and build up too. Mount them vertical.
Jacksonbrown
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Jacksonbrown » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:40 pm

You might also want to add a pigtail to your gauge.
Jacksonbrown
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Jacksonbrown » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:06 pm

Your 2 inch '"reducer" will probably be the first thing to break.
Working with steam is like working with electricity.
There's a very real potential for death if you have no idea what your doing.
Jacksonbrown
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby netman86 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:02 am

A bit more hate than I was expecting from this place...


The adapter from the keg to the plumbing is the "weak" point- it's not my standard kind of attachment where I'd want to be able to pick up the keg by it- with good reason. It's got a piece of flat stock soldered to a 2" pipe- should all else fail, that will blow long the keg. I wouldn't trust it past 100psi- not that I'd want to be anywhere near that thing going off, steam is scary stuff.

as for only needing one valve- technically I don't need any. The blowoff valve has a built in manual release- I could just have pipe out of the boiler to the cooker, T'd off into the relief- but what fun is that?
Instead I added a cutoff so I can stop the steam to the cooker (convenience...) and a valve for a dump gate- plus the safety blowoff has a built in manual dump gate as well as an automatic dump feature- since its spring loaded, it would start leaking by a little bit as the pressure got over its rating, and is capable of ramping up to dumping the steam equivalent of 500,000 BTU- far more than half inch pipe could move.

That's two manual dump gates, an automatic dump gate, and a built in fail-on-yeild, all before the utility of putting steam where I want it.


As for the comment on using it as a regulator, I guess I didn't explain it well enough- the only pressure regulation I intend here is via heat input- that valve is simply to make sure the boiler doesn't find itself under more than 30psi should I do something stupid- I don't think it should ever need to get over 15 for its intended use.

We all know that the boiling point of water goes up under pressure- so naturally steam under pressure carries more energy. This stuff is more dangerous than an open flame, so respect it.
netman86
Novice
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Brutal » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:09 am

I don't think anyone intended hate. People here get real nervous when you have a system that has enough valves to create a sealed output.

If a novice who doesn't know any better sees what you did here and replicates it without understanding how it works they are going to blow themselves up. One person blows themselves up and we all look bad, not to mention the loss of life or limb.

I am a big proponent of steam cookin'. I think I see why you put the top valve in, so you can cut the flow to the steam arm and therefore keep mash from flowing back into the arm to a point. If that is why you did it then I can see some value in it. For me it would not be enough value to actually keep the second valve though. Allow me to explain.

I am a pretty smart guy. I'm no engineer, but literally everybody comes to me for help. Help fix my car, help fix my computer, help fix my gun, help rebuild the transmission in my motorcycle, etc. Despite being a "sharp guy" I know that one day I will leave both of those valves closed when I didn't mean to. It might only be for a few seconds, but to me it's not worth it. 15 psi on 10+ gallons of boiling liquid is nothing I want any part of. Especially on an illegal moonshine project in my garage using modified beer kegs and plumbing supplies. So the potential danger outshines any small benefit from that valve.

Don't take criticism here personally. These guys only have your safety in mind, and the safety of others who will mimic your design in the future. Don't let it keep you from posting up either. I and many others here love steam and want to share your progress.
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
User avatar
Brutal
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1337
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 6:02 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby yakattack » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:51 am

+1 to brutal. We're not hating on you m8. Just keeping your safety in mind. Besides look at it this way. We have no idea the level of technical experience that you have. So we question and discuss for the sake of safety and knowledge. Keep the info coming. I'm a huge fan of steam injection and use it myself so kudos.

Yak
HDNB wrote: The trick here is to learn what leads to a stalled mash....and quit doing that.
yakattack
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1755
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:37 am

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Danespirit » Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:55 am

+1 Brutal..you hit the nail right on top..!

We are a small forum, and we all try the best we can not to look like dumbass rednecks in certain TV series.
People should not see us like idiots, producing crap on equipment that's a threat to neighbourhood.
There are some threads in here involving steam as well as vacuum stills.
But we should bear in mind, it adds another potential dangerous issue to what's already risky.
I am sure you have done research and a lot of thinking is put into your project, so no one is going to be a naysayer just to contradict.
We just (as with every still) want to ensure your construction will be "safe" to operate.
As safe as it can be to boil alcohol..
Looking forward to see your progress. :)
User avatar
Danespirit
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 2497
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby netman86 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:10 am

cheers guys, I'm feeling better after reading the followups :)


I happen to be an engineer- and everyone comes to me for help, too. Had I built this for someone else, it would be a lot less complicated- but I built it for me, so I built it to meet my specifications. The valve to the cooker is multi purpose- say I want to disconnect the cooker, I can open the dump valve and close the cooker valve- now I've got a pipe that, while still hot, isn't getting any steam through it. Nice and safe to work on.

Having said that, I'm not immune to mistakes- I could close both those valves and then get a phone call or something- but that's not a consumer grade relief valve, either, and I have full confidence that it will slowly start to open at 30psi- long before my copper hat fitting blows.

Looking forward to a test run sometime this week!
netman86
Novice
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:25 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby shadylane » Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:54 pm

Just a thought, A manometer is a very accurate way to measure boiler pressure.
And if the pressure exceeds the water column height, the water will blow out and vent the boiler.
User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 5402
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Jacksonbrown » Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:03 am

My comments were intended to be constructive criticism, not hate.

I don't let pride hold me back, I'd want and expect exactly the same if I put a flawed design up.

Those safety valves are intended to be a last resort and often don't reseal properly after they break once they get gummed up with use, so your dedicated bypass valve is a good idea.
If the other valve was to stop supply to the boiler then opening your bypass will pretty much do that. The liquid level in the mash tun will force most of it out to your vent. You'll just build up a little bit of condensate in the line.

As others mentioned, on cooling, the steam in the boiler will condense and create a powerful vacuum that could suck the mash tun contents into the steam generator.
The bypass valve will fix that too.

Something like this would be simpler and safer too.
steam.png
steam.png (14.76 KiB) Viewed 3210 times

Don't pipe the safety valve to the vent just point it backwards to the wall.
Three tees and no 90s. Much less fittings required and you could continue past the pigtail to a manometer or even a cork for double redundancy too.
I had a thread on bursting disks a while back. One benefit they have is to provide just as much under pressure protection as over.
Keep in mind a manometer type pressure relief would need a fair bit of liquid height to work in this instance.
Jacksonbrown
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby S-Cackalacky » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:06 am

An ignorant persons viewpoint -

My mind rejects any notion of pressure build up in any kind of enclosed container. For that reason, I won't even use a pressure cooker for cooking food. One of the most basic safety premises promoted on these forums is the "open-to-the-atmosphere" premiss. It's my contention that talking about doing this is as egregious a policy infraction as using plastics, undersized tubing, greater than 25 gallon boilers, selling, talking politics/religion, et al. There are plenty of steam injection methods used by members here that adhere to the open-to-the-atmosphere policy. There are probably only a handful of members with the knowledge to implement any kind of pressurized steam apparatus. And, I would bet that their understanding of it tells them that it's not a good fit for this hobby. And, certainly not a good fit for any novices who might come along and want to try to duplicate it.

Not hating on it. Just concerned about the safety of everyone here. If you want to do it, have at it, but you're doing a disservice to the members here by presenting a potentially deadly method.
S-Cack,
Forum Contrarian

Every new member should read this before doing anything else:
User avatar
S-Cackalacky
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 5881
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:35 pm
Location: The Dark Corner

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby bearriver » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:32 am

I'm with Cack %100.

Edited: Misdirected my comments.
Last edited by bearriver on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
bearriver
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4449
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:17 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Jacksonbrown » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:44 pm

An ignorant persons viewpoint -

My mind rejects any notion of pressure build up in any kind of enclosed container. For that reason, I won't even use a pressure cooker for cooking food.


A pressure cooker is no different to a normal boiler. It’s just a pot with a sealed lid and most importantly a hole in it to let the vapour out.


One of the most basic safety premises promoted on these forums is the "open-to-the-atmosphere" premiss. It's my contention that talking about doing this is as egregious a policy infraction as using plastics,


Again, a shallow minded ‘rule’

Plenty of wars have been fought over it here but the fact is there are plenty of suitable plastics for low wine, azeo, and even hot vapour.

Teflon tape regularly gets recommended on here.

undersized tubing, greater than 25 gallon boilers,


Has absolutely nothing to do with boiler size and everything to do with power input
selling, talking politics/religion, et al.


I agree with you there, should probably add sex and ethics to that list too.


I think his system is meant to be open (other than the fact it injects under the surface of the mash, which is common to all)

I’m all for safety but ignorance shouldn't hold the forum back. The more knowledge everyone has the safer we can all be.
That's the whole point of the forum, to learn and share knowledge. Seems a lot on hear are convinced they have nothing further to learn and if they don’t understand a concept it must be wrong or pointless.
The forum would never have kicked off if the current attitudes were around back then.

Engineers made HD what it is long before most of the current crop of regular members started their witchhunts.

PS Dunning–Kruger effect? Like a shiner who learned everything he knows of one website? That's a bit rich.
Last edited by Jacksonbrown on Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jacksonbrown
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby bearriver » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:02 pm

PM sent. I mixed up you with the OP and misdirected my post towards you. I deleted it. Sorry for my misunderstanding. Like I said we have engineers positively contributing here regularly. I don't dismiss your input Jacksonbrown and found your advice in this thread to be sound.

Many engineers have struggled here in the past for that very reason. I don't think you or the OP are one of them. My mistake.
User avatar
bearriver
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4449
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:17 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Jacksonbrown » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:07 pm

:) No dramas
Jacksonbrown
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:00 pm

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby copperlover1 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:11 am

Jacksonbrown, What is the pig tail for on the gauge?
copperlover1
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 246
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:59 am

Re: Steam Boiler!

Postby Aussiedownunder01 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:38 pm

copperlover1 wrote:Jacksonbrown, What is the pig tail for on the gauge?

Pig tails on gauges stops hot steam from reaching and destroying the gauge steam condenses and form a water barrier between hot and cold
Aussiedownunder01
Bootlegger
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:05 pm


Return to Steam Mashing and Distilling



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest