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Want to move from a condenser to a stack. Need advice

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  • Want to move from a condenser to a stack. Need advice

    Hello All,

    I am considering moving from my steam condenser to a stack venting outside. The main reason for this is that the amount of water the condenser uses is unacceptable with an average of 215 gallons during a 60 minute boil. Seems like the simplest way to mitigate this usage is to eliminate it completely vs. recapture it for use later given that this water is not ideal for brewing. I am already recapturing my knock out water for brewing and cleaning purposes. This could potentially save 30,000 gallons of water per year. My ceiling is extremely low and resides approx 4.5' above my 7bbk kettle. I have included some pictures and I'm really looking for the best way to go about this. Cheers[
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  • #2
    While I prefer a straight kettle stack vent, why not just recirculate a small tank of water instead of spraying to drain? This should eliminate a significant amount of water usage without the retro-fitting. I have used this recirculation setup on pilot systems with great success in the past.

    If you have the ability, get a small jacketed vessel and glycol chill your condensing liquid for greater effect, but it really shouldn't be necessary. Just start with Cold Liquor (if you've got it).

    Otherwise, Sawzall and straight up. Add a drip ring for DMS that forms on the inside of the kettle stack and runs back down.


    • #3
      So we made the same move on a 5BBL system and it was worth the effort, less wasted water and energy and increased evaporation. It’s hard to see from your photos exactly what is above your current kettle vent. Use a plumb-@bob to see if you have an unobstructed path from your ceiling to the center of the existing condenser.
      ( Be sure to check the roof to insure there aren’t any other obstructions that will be in the way once the kettle stack goes through). If you have a straight shot, it should be fairly simple depending on that your roof deck is made of. Removing the vapor condenser looks like it will be a matter of just disconnecting the H2O supply and drain, removing the triclamp between condenser and kettle and then any bolts that may be holding condenser to straight side of kettle. From there, we had a fabricator make an approx. 8” tall straight spool with a tri clamp ferrule on each end. Around the inside circumference of the spool we added a 1/2” wide x 1/2” tall condensate collection drip ring with a 1/2” threaded FNPT coupling to allow condensate to drain to outside of the spool. We had a straight shot through our ceiling to the roof so we had 2@ 8’ long stainless spools made with tri clamp ferrules on each end. We drilled from the ceiling up through the roof to mark the center of the hole and then used a hole saw to cut the actual opening from the roof. Once the hole was cut, we clamped the 8” tall condensate collection spool to the existing ferrule on kettle, then fed the first 8’ spool up through from the brewery and clamped it to the the condensate spool. Second 8’ long spool was clamped on to the first from on the roof and then we finished it with a 90* elbow covered by a tri clamp gasket with a strainer screen to keep out any birds etc. Our stack ended up about 9’ above the roof line and is working fine. You should check local codes though to see if there are any restrictions or guidelines about required distances from other mechanical equipment, adjacent roof lines etc. You want to be sure there is no way for the stack to pull in combustion exhaust from another price of equipment. Finally we can plumbed the 1/2” condensate drain ferrule to the floor. DM if you want photos or have questions.


      • #4
        Thanks for the great advice and information! Do you have any idea what kind of contractor would be able to fabricate something like this?