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Thread: Boiler/Steam curiosity (used 5bbl BOP)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Mississauga
    Posts
    3

    Boiler/Steam curiosity (used 5bbl BOP)

    I guess this is my introduction to the awseme group of folks who contribute to these discussions on a regular basis. I've spent several days here reading/lurking and have developed some courage to ask some stupid questions now

    The opportunity came about to buy the complete contents of a 'soon to be closing down' small, 600hl BOP business for a very reasonable price. Now that it's piled up in its future new home, someone has to figure out how to put humpty back together again...

    From the information I've been given, the previous owner was unable to obtain a proper boil with only steam and installed a direct fire system to the kettle. I'm hoping to eliminate the burner and return it to steam only operation when it's reassembled. I will be digging out the boiler next week to try and find the data plate and then figure out if it was simply an undersized boiler or perhaps improper installation in the first place.

    Stupid question: I understand the theory of supersaturated/superheated steam. If this boiler is producing 15psi steam, after entering the jacket (1.5" TC) at ~14psi, what is required at the jacket egress point, also 1.5" TC ?
    Of course the steam side will be farmed out to a professional but it seems to me that there needs to be some sort of pressure restriction in order to maintain the pressure within the jacket. The previous owner apparently just dumped the steam down a floor drain as he had free municipal water supply.

    Perhaps someone has a link to a block diagram of a typical steam plant for brewing?

    Thanks for any insight,

    Gary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    684
    You need to install a steam trap on the outlet. It has a float inside that allows condensate to pass but maintains steam pressure. Go to any boiler supply house and get them to draw out what you will need.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    105
    1.5" TC fittings on the steam jackets?? I don't think I'd like to be around when that puppy is fired up. I went 3" piping and the flanges that the contractor installed look very beefy. I don't think the 1.5" TC fittings would stand up, let alone meet code.

    As far as diagrams you could also look at boiler manufacturer websites like Weil MacLean.

    lol...I'd like to see the previous owner's utility bills if he had the thing installed without traps and just dumping steam down the drain (illegal where I am). The boiler would be firing non stop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    292
    Yep, a steam trap somewhere within couple of feet where the exit pipe leaves the kettle would work. They are fairly easy to find - I think the last one I bought was about $150. You will likely need one for each jacket/zone if you have more than one on the kettle. Condensate from the steam trap can either go back to the boiler feedwater/condensate return system (preferred) or piped down the drain where allowed.

    Are you sure the tri-clover ports are for steam? That just seems really odd, I would guess they were there for process rather than steam.

    The other issue that concerns me is that the kettle was "converted" to direct-fire. Other than an internal calandria, there is really no way to covert a jacketed kettle over to direct-fire without removing part of the jacket. It should be obvious if part of the steam jacket was removed to allow for DF.

    I think your best course would be to hook up with a boiler/steam professional with experience in process (rather than heating) applications. Hope that helps....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Mississauga
    Posts
    3
    Ihall: Thank You, that indeed is what I was envisioning... It just didn't make sense to have an open end coming from the kettle.

    grs: Thank You also. As far as TC's, they probably it aren't. I've only seen everything in total shambles all piled up in storage. I will check out the Weil site and research further. As for the utility bills, I'm assuming this guy was a bit wastefull as he wasn't paying for the raw water etc. My first addition to this system would be a HLT and hope to recapture some of the waste heat for that at least. As for the boiler firing non-stop, that doesn't surprise me in the least since he seemed to have money to burn.

    As an added bonus, the building we're in used to be a grain mill/co-op. There's a 6" water main aside from the main water feed... At least potable water won't be an issue. Not sure what to do with the 4 storey grain hopper yet



    This brewery's new home is in Arthur Ontario and will likely start out as a hobby with the potential for BOP/Brew Pub in a couple of years. Fortunately, we have a local supply of cracked malt as a mill isn't in the budget just yet.

    The saga continues

    Gary

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Mississauga
    Posts
    3

    Update

    The boiler is a gas, slant fin, steam. 100,000 BTU input, 80,000 out. Max operating pressure is 15psi. The kettle has a single jacket (sides only) and the original manufacturer no longer exists, the name of which is stamped on the bottom of the kettle and I've yet to flip/look... The in/out steam fittings are 1" ID stainless with a ~2+ inch flange/gasket. From what I've researched on this site as well as boiler sites, this boiler would be incapable of boiling 5bbl of wort even on a really hot summer day. Perhaps their original boiler died and they threw this one in hoping it would work. I'm thinking a 10HP unit would be a better bet since a HLT needs to be added down the road although we could just heat the water in the kettle and pump to the HLT and just hold the temp. I'd hate to oversize the boiler and have it cycling too often.

    The MT has no steam jacket so step mashing is challenge #2

    Gary

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3

    Boiler BTU/hr sizing question

    I have a related topic question. What is the proper formula to roughly compute the size of boiler (BTU/hr) that a brewery requires? I'm interested in spec'ing a boiler that would provide steam to the kettle and instant hot water to the HLT. I'm undecided at this point between a 15 bbl vs 30 bbl kettle.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    43

    Boiler Requirements.

    I have a 722,000 unit running my 7bbl AAA system. It works ok however I did learn that I have my unit too close to the brewhouse. The more piping or even installing an expansion tank will help cut down on cycling times with less pressure loss. Also I'm told that a 15 psi unit is supposed to cut out at 13 psi for obvious safety reasons.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    5

    Boiler sizing

    Just FYI, we have a 5 barrel Newlands brewhouse with a 300,000 BTU boiler, and it will bring 6-7 barrels to a rolling boil in nothing flat (less than 1/2 hour).

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