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Thread: Direct Fire Won't Boil, experts out there?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5

    Direct Fire Won't Boil, experts out there?

    Hello all,

    Long one here but we need to get this resolved...

    We have a 5bbl direct fire system from Stout Tanks and Kettles. Everything else works great but the kettle wont get to a boil. We have been troubleshooting all week and are at a loss. Our HVAC guy cannot figure it out either. Here's the details.

    330,000 btu burner from Ward Burner. Natural gas feed line is capable of 1.5 million btu. Regulator capable of 480,000 btu. we had it set at about 400,000 but raised it to full open because it wasn't boiling. The burner is set where we were instructed to place it: on the provided mounting bracket about 13 inches away from the bottom of the kettle. There is a heat shield mounted between the burner and the kettle bottom, with a circular hole cut in it for the burner to shoot flame through. (The idea being to concentrate heat closer to the kettle bottom and also to protect the wires leading to the burner). See attached pic.

    When we first fired it up, we noticed the flames didn't touch the bottom of the kettle. They were a few inches away in fact. It wouldn't get past 208F. We tried raising the burner up 3 inches or so but the oxygen intakes on the nozzles were above the heat shield and it was starving for O2. We tried opening up the outside kettle skirt to allow more O2 flow. This stopped the burner from starving but still didn't raise past 208F. Probably losing heat out the side? We tried opening windows and gently blowing a fan under the burner to make up O2, but same results. It stopped at 209F this time. We removed the outside cap from the top of the flue stack all together in an attempt to maximize air flow and lowered the burner so the O2 intakes were under the heat shield and the burner nozzles were above it and we got to 211F. We now have a 1 million btu regulator on and it's not doing anything different. It takes us about 3 hours to get to a "near-boil".

    We have an 8 inch flue, class-A stainless, 29 foot total height with two 45 degree bends near the top and six feet in between them. Flue temp runs around 650-700F where the burner is now. We still can't get to a boil. At this point I have no idea whats up. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Ryan
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Verdonry; 11-09-2018 at 01:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Portland, OR USA
    Posts
    1
    Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for your information. I apologize for the inconvenience with your burner.

    We just spoke with Mark at Ward Burners in an effort to work toward solving your problem.

    He will be reaching out to you shortly to run through further troubleshooting. I will call you after you have spoken with them to follow up.

    Direct fire burner setup is sensitive to many factors, such as make-up air, venting, wire length, wiring, and so on – it sometimes takes a few tries to get everything dialed in.

    Cheers,

    Tyler

    Sales and Support
    Stout tanks and kettles, LLC
    www.stouttanks.com
    support@stouttanks.com
    503-372-9580 (Main Office)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Stouttanks2 View Post
    Hi Ryan,

    Thank you for your information. I apologize for the inconvenience with your burner.

    We just spoke with Mark at Ward Burners in an effort to work toward solving your

    He will be reaching out to you shortly to run through further troubleshooting. I will call you after you have spoken with them to follow up.

    Direct fire burner setup is sensitive to many factors, such as make-up air, venting, wire length, wiring, and so on – it sometimes takes a few tries to get everything dialed in.

    Cheers,

    Tyler

    Sales and Support
    Stout tanks and kettles, LLC
    www.stouttanks.com
    support@stouttanks.com
    503-372-9580 (Main Office)

    Thanks Tyler,

    We drilled out the orifice of each nozzle now and are about to try it again. Really appreciate all the help from you and Mike! I think we are getting close.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Minocqua WI
    Posts
    792
    Typically in a direct fire setup you have an outer shell so that the entire tank get heated not Just the bottom, is this the case here? Perhaps you could add a brick exterior like old Peter Austin systems. Note that under the outer layer is a full layer of fire brick.

    https://www.pugsleybrewing.com/4mile.php
    https://www.pugsleybrewing.com/woodstock.php

    A stack or feed fan on a VFD could be added to adjust air flow.

    The below is data from a excel I have for estimating boiler size. As you see, if you were getting those results you are only getting 1/3 the heat you need and about 1/7th of what your burner is rated. It be interesting to know during that 3 hours trying to get to a boil, how much gas are you burning?

    Water Gallons 124
    Water Start Temp 55
    Water End Temp 209
    Time-hrs 3
    Btu/hr 52,832.27
    BTU total 158,496.80
    Boiler HP @ 75% 1.97

    Water Gallons 124
    Water Start Temp 55
    Water End Temp 212
    Time-hrs 1
    Btu/hr 161,584.40
    BTU total 161,584.40
    Boiler HP @ 75% 6.03
    Last edited by Ted Briggs; 11-14-2018 at 08:28 AM.
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    tbriggs@minocquabrewingcompany.com
    "Your results may vary"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Briggs View Post
    Typically in a direct fire setup you have an outer shell so that the entire tank get heated not Just the bottom, is this the case here? Perhaps you could add a brick exterior like old Peter Austin systems. Note that under the outer layer is a full layer of fire brick.

    https://www.pugsleybrewing.com/4mile.php
    https://www.pugsleybrewing.com/woodstock.php

    A stack or feed fan on a VFD could be added to adjust air flow.

    The below is data from a excel I have for estimating boiler size. As you see, if you were getting those results you are only getting 1/3 the heat you need and about 1/7th of what your burner is rated. It be interesting to know during that 3 hours trying to get to a boil, how much gas are you burning?

    Water Gallons 124
    Water Start Temp 55
    Water End Temp 209
    Time-hrs 3
    Btu/hr 52,832.27
    BTU total 158,496.80
    Boiler HP @ 75% 1.97

    Water Gallons 124
    Water Start Temp 55
    Water End Temp 212
    Time-hrs 1
    Btu/hr 161,584.40
    BTU total 161,584.40
    Boiler HP @ 75% 6.03
    Thanks! My buddy has the identical kettle but without the heat shield under the kettle and his burner is 13 inches away and he can boil easily. Sometimes into his condensate stack. We have gas company coming today. Fingers crossed. Thanks again.

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