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Thread: Steam Control to Brew Vessels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1

    Steam Control to Brew Vessels

    We are in the process of designing the steam supply to our HLT, mash/lauter vessel and brew kettle and never having brewed on a steam system we were hoping to find out how other breweries have set up (or wish they had set up) their steam control and valving to each vessel to make sure we do not over-design and complicate the system.

    We have a 9 BBL system with a side jacket HLT, side jacket mash/lauter and bottom/side jacket kettle. The brewhouse control panel has PID controllers for the kettle and HLT temperature with on/off switches. No controller or pre-installed temperature probe for the mash/lauter.

    Our plan for valving is as follows (I have left out steam traps, pressure gauges, vacuum breakers, air vents, etc.):

    HLT: From steam drop, isolation valve -> actuated ball valve connected to HLT controller -> manual globe valve -> side jacket.

    Mash/Lauter: From steam drop; isolation valve -> manual globe valve -> side jacket.

    Kettle: From steam drop; isolation valve -> actuated ball valve connected to kettle controller -> split to each jacket -> manual globe valve on each jacket leg.

    The controllers would open/close the automated ball valves as required to meet temperature set points and the manual globe valves would be used to fine tune steam supply to each jacket and accessed from the brew platform. Is on/off control with manual valve for adjustment the standard set up for this size of system? We had originally planned on modulating control valves instead of actuated ball valves and manual globe valves. We could then place the modulating valve in manual and set the valve opening % to maintain temperature or boil off rate but believe that it might be overkill for such a small system.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Palau
    Posts
    1,977

    Maybe not ball valves....

    Ball valves are awful for continuous control purposes, so don't do that. Fine for on-off, but not for feathering with a PID. Most folks on a system that small would stick with pilot-operated solenoids (not the best), or angle-pattern pneumatic piston valves (much better) with simple on-off control. Actuated ball valves will work OK for on-off as well, but I really like those piston valves. HLT will not need your globe valve to adjust any heat. Simple on-off at full blast. Assuming that you use kettle for boil only and not cooking: Kettle will need a bit of adjustment to get your evaporation rate right, but should not need continuous adjustment from the brew platform, let alone a controller. Should be set and forget. Actually, set and monitor would be the right way to go--you get the picture. You don't need a controller to tell a valve what % to open if you can do it by hand. And lauter tun with no temperature probe won't need any heat if you do simple infusion beers. Why would you have a jacket on MLT without the corresponding probe/controller? Must you have heat? If so, you also need a mixing method. And if you have that and must have heat, then get a nice valve as it is the most sensitive control point for steam. For use with PID, I suggest Spirax-Sarco PM61-3NC. Rugged, reliable, accurate. Also don't forget about other critical elements like a keep-warm trap, strainer, and vacuum breakers & air vents at top of jackets. Good luck!
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Moab, Utah
    Posts
    520

    Setup

    Quote Originally Posted by PassBeer View Post
    We are in the process of designing the steam supply to our HLT, mash/lauter vessel and brew kettle and never having brewed on a steam system we were hoping to find out how other breweries have set up (or wish they had set up) their steam control and valving to each vessel to make sure we do not over-design and complicate the system.

    We have a 9 BBL system with a side jacket HLT, side jacket mash/lauter and bottom/side jacket kettle. The brewhouse control panel has PID controllers for the kettle and HLT temperature with on/off switches. No controller or pre-installed temperature probe for the mash/lauter.

    Our plan for valving is as follows (I have left out steam traps, pressure gauges, vacuum breakers, air vents, etc.):

    HLT: From steam drop, isolation valve -> actuated ball valve connected to HLT controller -> manual globe valve -> side jacket.

    Mash/Lauter: From steam drop; isolation valve -> manual globe valve -> side jacket.

    Kettle: From steam drop; isolation valve -> actuated ball valve connected to kettle controller -> split to each jacket -> manual globe valve on each jacket leg.

    The controllers would open/close the automated ball valves as required to meet temperature set points and the manual globe valves would be used to fine tune steam supply to each jacket and accessed from the brew platform. Is on/off control with manual valve for adjustment the standard set up for this size of system? We had originally planned on modulating control valves instead of actuated ball valves and manual globe valves. We could then place the modulating valve in manual and set the valve opening % to maintain temperature or boil off rate but believe that it might be overkill for such a small system.
    Its beyond me why so many people at large think they need motorized ball valves for any brewery application. They are mosty, fully uncalled for.
    Spirax Sarco, Magnatrol and others make general purpose Steam Solenoid Valves that are rugged and very reliable. We have Magnatrol brand in this plant and they run long.You have to Spec the right valve for your application.
    Spirax has all kinds of " Correct Piping Procedures for Steam " available in books and on line. As Phillip has stated Globe valves are generally for control and they can also tend to be restrictive compared to the same size gate or full port ball valve. For redundancy on your servo, go with gate or ball valves. Also you need a Wye strainer fitted with blowdown before you servo and you need to install blowdowns on your Steam trap bottom ports. If your boiler is distance away, a Gauge on your main header is helpful. On Steam Boilers and systems you are better off with steel valves as to bronze, but bronze can do ok. You need the correct chemical treatment for your boiler and your water and a proper blowdown schedule that monitors Conductivity, TDS, PH, Condensate PH, Chemical Level, etc. You also need someone with an " Operators " eye on the boiler every shift if possible, and they specifically need to know " what not to do " with respect to Steam Boilers.
    Warren Turner
    Industrial Engineering Technician
    HVACR-Electrical Systems Specialist
    Moab Brewery
    " No Cell Phone Zone."

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