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Converting a steam jacketed dairy tank to brew kettle

hwhalen Member Posts: 3
Hi - I'm looking into what it might take to convert a steam jacketed dairy tank into a brew kettle for a brewery and I'm completely over my head. I'm 100% unfamiliar with how these things work so thought I would turn to the experts here for some advice.

The kettle is this model, http://www.fraingroup.com/products/apv-crepaco-tanks-tank-processors-apv-500-gal-2/, and essentially it just needs to be able to heat wort to 212 degrees F. Is this just as simple as finding the correct size low pressure steam boiler and a good plumber to hook it up? Or am I missing something entirely?

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated!


  • Sailah
    Sailah Member Posts: 826

    I recently visited a distillery in CT that needed help with traps on their wort tank. I'm not a brewer so forgive me if I get it wrong terminology wise. But the part that heated up the corn and water etc.

    He was using a purpose built kettle but looked very similar. I believe he was running 10PSI which is considered low pressure. So he had a boiler, header, piping to the kettle, 15 lb FT trap and then a condensate receiver tank that pumped back to the boiler.

    So I think you have the basic idea just need to be sure that the kettle is rated for that kind of pressure and application. 10PSI in a jacketed kettle that equalizes to atmosphere, uh, spontaneously is going to make a big mess and rather dangerous. I'm not sure if those use steam or water?

    Proceed with caution is what I'm saying.
    Peter Owens
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    Worth boils at one or two degrees higher than 212 at sea level, the higher the gravity of the wort, the higher the boiling temp.

    Pressurized steam will deliver heat faster, the higher the presssure, the faster the heat transfer.

    I agree, proceed with caution.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • hwhalen
    hwhalen Member Posts: 3
    @sailah and @Brewbeer thanks guys. Yes, definitely planning on proceeding with caution. The jacket is rated to 75 PSIG, which I think is low pressure.

    So consensus is that it's doable, and not to crazy of a project, as long as I find a local plumber / heating expert that is capable of doing it?
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    An ordinary plumber or even a 'heating expert' won't cut it. You need a steam guy, or at least a designer who can properly spec things for the plumber.
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 996
    edited May 2016
    68 inch diameter at 10 PSI (which is sufficient) would consume according to the charts, 4104 pounds of steam including a 3 to 1 safety factor. Why such a high safety factor? When you turn the kettle on, all the steam will got to condensate for a period of time. If you don't have sufficient capacity of the boiler or boilers, you will have runaway steam and the boiler will cycle. You will have to ad a vacuum breaker, air vent and pehaps a pumping trap. Get yourself an Armstong or Watson/McDaniel steam manual. It will show capacities, steam rap selection and piping diagrams. BTW, if someone tell you that the kettle only needs 1100 pounds of steam, that is only when it is already hot and everything in it is hot.
  • hwhalen
    hwhalen Member Posts: 3
    Thanks @SWEI! I think I'll find a local dairy that is using a steam pasteurization kettle and see what they have to say and who they used to design and set up their system.

    @Henry, okay so that sounds like a pretty large boiler. Hopefully I can find a local dairy that is using something like this to learn a bit more!