Using steam to heat mash

Boiler, burner and boiler modification talk.

Using steam to heat mash

Postby RuddyCrazy » Fri Sep 08, 2023 6:25 pm

G'Day Guy's,
Just spent a bit of time doing a search to see if this has been done before on the forum and nothing came close to what I'm going to do.

First a bit of history back in the days before I even found this forum I made a project where I turned a 5hp B&S motor into a 2 stroke by mig welding a new cam on the crank shaft :laughing-rolling: Then I made a flash boiler to run it but found I couldn't get enough steam to run the engine. Running on compressed air worked nicely so my idea did work in a ways.

Fast forward a decade :scared-eek: and I did do a trial run with the flash boiler using that bd burner I made while doing that tutorial and man did the steam flow :handgestures-thumbupleft: and keeping water upto it was a problem :angry-banghead: So point proved and nothing done from there as a new base for the flashboiler is needed to raise the height for this BD burner to under.

I do have a flow meter and got some DC pumps for the water feed as once the litres/minute is set I can use the smallest pump and run directly off a solar panel and bank of super caps :handgestures-thumbupleft:

So for the flashboiler it's just 63 turns of 3/8" copper pipe sitting in some 4" copper pipe where the lower turns are close together and as it rises the tubes grow in gap and it's all enclosed in a box using sheep wool as the insulation.

Now my idea so this flashboiler can have a new life is to setup my 50 litre mash tun and put 30 litres of water in and see how long it takes to boil and if I'm right there will no increase in the volume of water as pure steam will be injected. For the steam injector nozzle I'll use that spare 30 micron SS filter I made for siphoning the fermenters, as it's only soft soldered it won't beak down as the temp won't get high enough in the fluid to melt the soft solder and I do think it will spread the steam nicely :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Just logging my thoughts tonight while enjoying some of my craft beer coupled with pales and this weekend pic's will come as I do think this is a project where a How-To can be done.

Now with this new phone thing I have that does it's own thing I may be able to make a video of of this but I may need to use my daughter to do it :laughing-rolling:

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby harold01 » Fri Sep 08, 2023 8:49 pm

I have just ordered a mash tun which is jacketed and steam heated, I haven't got a clue about steam but need to force myself down that path as I believe it is the way to go
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby RC Al » Sat Sep 09, 2023 9:01 am

You will add volume mate

If the steam is so hot and fast as to completely escape, it won't have passed any energy (heat) into the mash. You will have to take into account your injected steam to your mash volume.

How much area of mesh are you going to use? Ive only done steam stripping, but In my experience large single outlets will block from baked on crud.

Over on HD a 4 rail head covered with ss braid seems to be the go, i just use a 3/4" tee with 6" arms with no dramas, more smaller holes would be more efficient of course.

I have to ask, how loud is the diy air drive?

Harold, a very deep end to jump into lols, please do share your journey, please do it safely, in my book steam is significantly more dangerous than the pointy end of a still.
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby harold01 » Sat Sep 09, 2023 9:46 am

Its not injected, the steam is contained in the outer jacket
mash.jpg
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby hjubm2 » Sat Sep 09, 2023 10:30 am

I was looking at getting one of them to use as a mashtun as well before I got the milk tank. My plan was to use Propylene Glycol in the jacket like I do in my boiler instead of steam. Would be a bit slower but a lot safer then steam.

We have a steam boiler at work that is used on a similar jacketed container for melting wax, when using it the steam is passed into the jacket on one side & allowed to escape the other so there is no pressure build up. It works well but you need a decent size boiler and you end up with a shed filled with steam... great heating in winter though :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby harold01 » Sat Sep 09, 2023 2:56 pm

I will try and run the exhaust steam through a condenser and recycle the water so I don't end up with a sauna
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby RuddyCrazy » Sun Sep 10, 2023 4:20 pm

G'Day Guy's,
Well what a fun day to find out the wasps had decided to call home inside some 3/8" pipe :angry-banghead: managed to get the block cleared and water running thru the outlet :handgestures-thumbupleft:

So fired it up and saw a good stream of steam come out then with the extra heat from the BD burner I use on my boiler saw the insulation was burning :angry-banghead:

Anyway saw it was lunch time and the yard arm wasn't far away :laughing-rolling: so I made up the 1/2" outlet and half filled my mashtun with water and found in 3/4's of an hour the temp went from 20C to 52C :handgestures-thumbupleft: but the insulation burning was getting too intense with the smoke so turned everything off and doused the old flashboiler with water at the top to put out the internal fire :laughing-rolling:

As this rig was well over a decade old it's last throw did give some good pointers for the next build which will be out of 1/2" copper tube

A. don't insulate it as due to the high temps it will burn :laughing-rolling:

B. When not in use seal the ends to stop the wasps from making a new home :angry-banghead:

C. Place the riser tube away from the column so it doesn't melt :angry-banghead:

D. forget the flow meter as it's only a restriction and not needed :handgestures-thumbupleft:

E. Use a positive displacement pump as the magnetic pump was useless

F. Use copper or steel pipe for the water entry atleast for the first metre

Now using the riser tube is a good indicator of the level of water as it rises so it's good to have one on there, back when I made this I did have a read of a Model Engineering article describing the way to use a flashbolier and it did say to use that riser tube. I will see if I can find that article again but as I have a half a century of those magazines it may take awhile to find it again :laughing-rolling:

So honestly in distilling using steam having steam on demand is a good thing where it can be turned off and back on again when needed and no real pressure is needed so the biggest risk using steam is avoided. I mean by using a keg with an element to make a boiler does have a potential for an event we don't ever want to visit and anyone using this method should do the research first to the risks involved.

Guy's I learnt to use steam in my younger years and my first project with my Dad was making a live steam engine where we won awards with the build :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby hjubm2 » Sun Sep 10, 2023 5:15 pm

You should have told me you were making homes for insects, i would have brought some bees around so atleast something useful would have been in it :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby harold01 » Fri Dec 08, 2023 11:05 am

harold01 wrote:I have just ordered a mash tun which is jacketed and steam heated, I haven't got a clue about steam but need to force myself down that path as I believe it is the way to go

Tun just turned up
IMG_1604.JPG
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby chipboy » Fri Dec 08, 2023 5:42 pm

Thats a big box.
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby hjubm2 » Fri Dec 08, 2023 5:45 pm

Oh that's so nice that you got me that for my bday harold01 :laughing-rolling: we'll need more pucs once you open it, let us know how you get on with it
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby Wellsy » Sat Dec 09, 2023 6:12 am

And Daisycutter thought he was going to have issues with extension leads all over the place :laughing-rolling:

Merry Christmas mate you are going to have a wonderful one playing with that :)
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby harold01 » Sat Dec 09, 2023 10:11 am

DSCN5104.JPG
DSCN5105.JPG

waiting for the centrifuge, the last piece of the puzzle
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Re: Using steam to heat mash

Postby harold01 » Thu Feb 15, 2024 4:17 pm

IMG_1656.JPG

the last piece
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