Author Topic: How do steam fired kettles work ?  (Read 3177 times)

Offline someguy

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
How do steam fired kettles work ?
« on: January 25, 2014, 02:07:53 AM »
How does a steam "fired" kettle work ?

I understand there is a steam jacket but that is all I know.  The steam is injected into the cavity between the kettle and the jacket and then what ?

Where does the steam/condensation exit ?

How hot is the boiler/steam ?

What happens if there is condensation in the steam jacket ?  Where does the water go ?

What pressure is the steam jacket run at ?

Thanks

   

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8411
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 08:37:54 AM »
I don't know all the questions to your answers but the steam is forced through the jacket under pressure. It is extremely hot - hot enough to kill you should you be unfortunate enough to be near a rupture.

There won't be condensation because it's so hot the water will be in gas form the entire time it is in use.

There are ways to use steam not under pressure and have it exit to the atmosphere but steam run under pressure has to be done very carefully and is required to be carefully inspected by certified inspectors. It's serious stuff.

Offline Jeff M

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Currently upgrading to Brewery 3.0
    • View Profile
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 09:02:09 AM »
I don't know all the questions to your answers but the steam is forced through the jacket under pressure. It is extremely hot - hot enough to kill you should you be unfortunate enough to be near a rupture.

.......
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Online hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6984
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 10:05:23 AM »
Some breweries have steam Calandrias. Those can be internal or external. From a search, first hit.

http://www.aaametal.com/breweries/calandrias.html
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4053
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 11:08:35 AM »
There won't be condensation because it's so hot the water will be in gas form the entire time it is in use.

You do need a condensate return to the boiler (or just a drain, but obviously that's wasteful). At least that's been my experience with the 15 psi steam systems I've brewed on. Maybe with higher-pressure systems there's no risk of dropping below boiling, or maybe it's just an issue because of our altitude.
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
seanterrill.com/category/brewing | twomilebrewing.com

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2270
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 02:28:19 PM »
I know about high pressure steam (4 bars) mostly from Europe and low pressure steam (below 15 psi) mostly in US.

I just got a quote for 15 BBL brewhouse and just a boiler without installation was quite expensive.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 15097
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 02:39:37 PM »
A brewery here in Eugene (Falling Sky) bought a beautiful German steam system.  They were about 3 months late in opening becasue they couldn't get the steam up to temp.  I don't know what the exact issue was, though.

Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline someguy

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 05:16:41 PM »
"There won't be condensation because it's so hot the water will be in gas form the entire time it is in use."

That doesn't really make sense.   The steam could be superheated so much that it doesn't condense in the kettle, but if it did that, a) it wouldn't be transferring much heat as most of the heat transfer occurs in the gas to liquid transition and b) if it didn't condense, you'd have to condense it after the kettle so that you could return it back into the boiler.  Its really hard (inefficient) to pressurize steam to put it back in the boiler.   Its quite easy to pump condensed steam (water) back into the boiler.

Offline klickitat jim

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6528
    • View Profile
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 05:30:24 PM »
Gasses can get pretty hot. I think it's why the call them steam fired.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8411
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 11:30:44 AM »
"There won't be condensation because it's so hot the water will be in gas form the entire time it is in use."

That doesn't really make sense.   The steam could be superheated so much that it doesn't condense in the kettle, but if it did that, a) it wouldn't be transferring much heat as most of the heat transfer occurs in the gas to liquid transition and b) if it didn't condense, you'd have to condense it after the kettle so that you could return it back into the boiler.  Its really hard (inefficient) to pressurize steam to put it back in the boiler.   Its quite easy to pump condensed steam (water) back into the boiler.

Admittedly I'm not a steam engineer so whatever. I did get a quote on a boiler and steam fired kettle but what shocked me was the cost of installation. So, in a couple years when we move to our new location and start working on the steam installation I'll be better prepared to answer you question.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 11:35:55 AM by majorvices »

Offline dkfick

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1031
    • View Profile
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 11:54:28 AM »
Until someone can completely explain it in this thread I think the best answer is: Magic.
BJCP A0936 National Beer Judge and Mead Judge
Cicerone Certified Beer Server
AHA Member
CRAFT Homebrew Club
Sons of Liberty Homebrew Club
HBT "mors"

Online hopfenundmalz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6984
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: How do steam fired kettles work ?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 01:24:06 PM »
How does a steam "fired" kettle work ?

I understand there is a steam jacket but that is all I know.  The steam is injected into the cavity between the kettle and the jacket and then what ?

Where does the steam/condensation exit ?

How hot is the boiler/steam ?

What happens if there is condensation in the steam jacket ?  Where does the water go ?

What pressure is the steam jacket run at ?

Thanks
 
Disclaimer - I am not a steam or boiler engineer, and it has a been a long time since those engineering thermodynamics courses.

The steam would come in at high Temp and Pressure and once the steam loses heat, some will condense, and there would be a condensate drain, and the condensate would return to the boiler reservoir.

The temperature depends on the pressure of the system, at 15 PSI (29.7 PSI absolute) the temp is about 249F, which would boil wort if there is enough supply steam. I don't know what brewery boilers operate at, 10 PSI (24.7 PSI absolute) would probably get a boil going.

http://docs.engineeringtoolbox.com/documents/926/water_pressure_boiling_temperature.pdf

Steam systems are not to be taken lightly, inspections and other certification are needed. Bad things can happen with steam under pressure, so one needs to have safety in mind with steam applications.




Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!