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Thread: Steam Pipe Size Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Canada
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    99

    Steam Pipe Size Question

    I have a 10hp boiler making a 90ft run to the BK/MT, 10BBL Brewhouse, no HLT as I have an on-demand heated water mixing station.

    - My steam inlet is 3/4" on the vessels.
    - I had one engineer spec 2" feed and 1.5" return and
    - I had another engineer spec 3" feed and 2" return.
    - In the end in the mechanical drawing we settled with a 3" feed and 1.5" return. The return is on a full slope.
    - In my province anything over 2" needs to be welded pipe which adds notable cost.

    My latest issue is my boiler installer is questioning both runs. He thinks 2" feed is fine and 1" return is fine. He's concerned about the bottle neck to 3/4" at the vessel inlets feels a 3" feed a waste of money. The engineer requesting the 3" feed said I will need the 3" pipe for performance reasons with the long run and that the performance of 3" over 2" will be notable.

    With 3 different opinions its hard for me to make informed decisions, any comments or feedback would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Fort St. John, British Columbia, CA
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    25
    Sounds familiar with all the varied sage advice. We're trying to design and size our steam piping as well. We've have a one jacket 45 bbl HLT, a two jacket 15 bbl mash tun and a three jacket 20 hL boil kettle running on a 1,500,000 BTU Rite boiler. Trying to make it work where we can function with all three calling steam at once with priority to the boil. It's been interesting to say the least....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Slave Lake
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    27
    Not sure if you got this figured, but what we did was a 4" main line, and then came off our 4" with 2" needs that went to our HLT, MT, and BK, with a 30BBl HLT, and 15BBl MT & BK. All our ins of our HLT were 1", so we came off the 2", with a 1" to our steam valve, then to the tank. Then for the MT and BK, came off the 2" to our steam valve, then to tanks, all 3/4''. Then all the outs were the same, then back to a 2", which feeds our condensate return pump. Our boiler is about 50' at least, and its is a RITE 1,500,000 BTU. We have no issues with bottle necking, or heating up, or anything at all. Works great. Any other info just ask.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Canada
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    99
    Quote Originally Posted by DogIsland View Post
    Not sure if you got this figured, but what we did was a 4" main line, and then came off our 4" with 2" needs that went to our HLT, MT, and BK, with a 30BBl HLT, and 15BBl MT & BK. All our ins of our HLT were 1", so we came off the 2", with a 1" to our steam valve, then to the tank. Then for the MT and BK, came off the 2" to our steam valve, then to tanks, all 3/4''. Then all the outs were the same, then back to a 2", which feeds our condensate return pump. Our boiler is about 50' at least, and its is a RITE 1,500,000 BTU. We have no issues with bottle necking, or heating up, or anything at all. Works great. Any other info just ask.
    Ya we got it figured out, they did 2" and 1". Since we don't use an HLT (instant) and don't double batch its worked out well as our BK valve has to throttle to 65% or the boil is too aggressive even at 4k elevation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Slave Lake
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedi View Post
    Ya we got it figured out, they did 2" and 1". Since we don't use an HLT (instant) and don't double batch its worked out well as our BK valve has to throttle to 65% or the boil is too aggressive even at 4k elevation.
    Thats perfect!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Canada
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    99
    Quote Originally Posted by DogIsland View Post
    Thats perfect!
    Ya what's even better is with the 2 instant water heaters, during sparge mode I set one to 185 and one to 160 and use my mixing station for a little bit of cold blend and we get perfect sparge temps on demand every time!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    18
    Steam line sizing is done so that you minimize the pressure loss in the line from the boiler to your point user(s). Your engineer was probably looking at the pressure loss, and resulting energy loss, and evaluating the energy savings by going with a slightly larger line. Yes its more than you probably needed, but sometimes you want to make sure you oversize for future expansion. The return line should be sized such that when your steam trap opens, you have room in the line for water and some steam. So assume at least 50% full of water. You also assume all of your steam traps are open at the same time.
    Homebrewer/Future part-time brewer
    but I do have 1 professional brew under my belt and on the books, and its still on the menu at that particular bar even though its not being served right now.

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