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help with sizing a steam boiler for distillery

I need help getting the correct size natural gas boiler to heat a low pressure steam jacketed 300 gallon still. The company I bought the still from cannot provide much boiler size info. I was told 300,000btu for a 90 min heat up time and a 450,000 for a 60 minute heat up. That is all they can provide. I would like to know how to be sure that is correct before purchasing a boiler. I am considering a utica boiler je 600s boiler. I would appreciate any help I can get


  • ZmanZman Posts: 5,531Member
    What info do you have on the still? The numbers they are shooting for BTU's look pretty close. You will eventually be limited by the still's ability to absorb energy.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Ralphie513Ralphie513 Posts: 6Member
    The pot of the still is stainless steel and so is the jacket. approx diameter is 66". The column is 12 inch diameter and is copper. It has some sort of insulation on the inside of the jacket, or so they claim. It cant be seen looking in the 1.5 inch npt steam inlet and outlet fittings.
  • ZmanZman Posts: 5,531Member
    I'll let one of the steam guys take it from here....
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • RayWohlfarthRayWohlfarth Posts: 787Member
    Ralphie I have empathy for you. A customer of mine purchased a used pot and wanted us to size a boiler for it. We used a number I found of 120 btu's per hour per square foot. Good luck.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    Click here to take Ray's class.
    Click here to buy Ray's books.
  • ColinFarquharColinFarquhar Posts: 16Member
    450,000btu would work out to just under 15 boiler HP, plus whatever you'll loose in your piping/etc. I'm more of an operator than a designer, but might put forward a few other points I've run into dealing with small breweries/distilleries:

    1) Don't forget your water treatment-you made a big investment, now don't rot it out!
    2) Follow good operating practices-check your LWCO's, blow down your gauge glass, and log everything. Depending upon where you are this may or may not fall under state/provincial jurisdiction, but it's a good habit nonetheless.
  • snobrexsnobrex Posts: 1Member
    Hey, just reading through this now and it made me wonder. When using a boiler with 450 000btu to heat a 300 gallon still, would that boiler have the capacity to at the same time heat a smaller still, say around 125 gallons? and if not, how big would my boiler need to be for in order to heat up on still of 300 gallons, one of 125 gallons and perhaps one hybrid still, with a fill capacity of 170 gallons?
  • ZmanZman Posts: 5,531Member
    edited January 19
    The math for heating up the water is really simple. Btu= gallons x 8.34 x delta T.
    At some point you will be limited by the surface area of the heat exchanger in the still. You need that data to make an accurate calculation
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
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