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starcat last won the day on November 2 2017

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  1. starcat

    Kothe Still - Plates and Dephlegmator

    The best control you can get on the Deph is having its own separate cooling fluid supply and proportional control is preferred. Said control is modulated by a sensor in the Deph tower head. While solenoid control can work and many use it, correctly designed proportional will be more stable and eliminate the sign wave hunting if sized correctly. If you are operating in the USA is it helpful to give units in degrees F, and avoid all Metrics as possible. I do not know any HVACR Mechanic born in the USA that should have any use for the Metric System. C represents to large of a degree of change. Americans do not think this way. There is another tendency that has been noted of inadequate chiller capacity in this type of arrangement which will work against you, as you will have to constantly alter your process trim to compensate for changes in cooling media temperature. The best way is to have full and adequate cooling that stays the same temp throughout the entire process or you will be chasing things in a backwards manner. As thus having an undersized chiller will lend towards process and product inconsistencies.
  2. starcat

    Boiler Installation Costs

    Although this Boiler type is different from what I have run in the past it looks like a quality build. Just having a Steam Fitter with the expertise you need in your area is something that many places do not have, so in some ways you are lucky to even have a quote. The mechanics that know how to set up and run steam systems correctly are a dying breed. Even just getting the return pump system, makeup water, and chemical feed set up correctly is RARE in this day and age. There are a major amount of hack jobs at large that somehow run, but dangerously so. Steam Boiler operation is an Art to be taken seriously and done correctly. They require daily attention.
  3. starcat

    VFD recommendations needed

    One of the most rugged and Reliable brands is " ABB." They are also not cheap. I have run them on several facilities. You need to Spec. Washdown Duty. There are models from Lenze and Leeson that are on my list as possible for new builds in a more compact size for the same HP which is desirable. You do not want a pressure sensitive keypad if you can avoid it. These are apt to fail prematurely if they are used very often. You need a control pad that has real buttons on it if possible. Some are easily set up with an analog control for speed. Stay fully away from KB Electronics Drives. They are unreliable on a good day and prone to very early failure. You will not get quick response from them on returns. Poorly Engineered.
  4. starcat

    Simple, Cheap Temperature Probe and Readout

    You can make use of Johnson Controls A419 series. They offer a nice 1/2" MPT thermowell for the probe. Models power with 24, 120 or 240 VAC. Cheap accurate and reliable.
  5. starcat

    oil in steam boiler

    Boiler " Boil Out " is done with 2-1/2 lbs. each TSP and Caustic Soda for every 120 gal of water. This is added to cold boiler, its closed up and then fired OFF the steam main for 5-6 hrs. Then cool and rinse well. Then refill with your chemical feed set to run somewhere around the half full point. Its a mistake in steam fitting practice to put any black pipe together that has not been solvent cleaned, or otherwise properly degreased. Letting that oil get loose in the system will make it harder to fully get out, than if it was stopped beforehand.
  6. starcat

    Glycol Loop Material

    The Easiest thing to run for average smaller systems is Type-L Copper.
  7. starcat

    electrical code classification

    It is all and can be quite a complicated mess. We were put as Class 1 Division 2. The plant area runs with 100% outside air and balanced exhaust [supposedly]. With a certain range of the Still, all the electrical and conduit is NEMA 7 rigid. Beyond a certain range, like 8 Ft. we have a NEMA 4 control panel that is set up with no open contact devices inside. Everything entering and leaving the still room is NEMA 7 rigid with sealoffs, and all the power points in the room even beyond the 8 Ft. zone are NEMA 7. Depending on what kind of scruitny is being applied, there are safer and less safe ways to set up and operate as discussed in this forum.
  8. starcat

    Waste Water -- Anyone use Septic Tanks?

    Based on my experience in running septic on a decent sized commercial property and what I have read on the matter this is a very tricky affair due to the potentially high bioactive nature of what is hitting the drainfield, which can destroy it in short order. I suggest you go over to Probrewer forums and read all threads regarding the subject. There is some good and detailed intel there. Star
  9. starcat

    Glycol Systems

    Glycol can be useful for a number of reasons, but also has limits to be aware of. To clarify things, most Glycol systems as used in Breweries etc. are " OPEN LOOP " systems because the return well is open to and runs at atmospheric pressure. True closed loops such as Building Chill Water loops are closed and the entire system is pressurized as such. They behave differently and require different handling. You can use a straight glycol system and skip the extra complexity of a Glycol to water HX, but your chiller and well have to be oversized and the maths have to be respected. As MG Thermal has stated, ALL FLUID CHILLERS have a MAX return fluid temperature they can tolerate coming in, and as a general rule you really never want that above 85F. Your return fluid temp cannot be allowed to overheat the inlet fluid temp to your chiller HX, so design and correct balance of engineering are critical. The other point to be made is about attempting to bank BTUs on a recirc system which does not work the way people think it may. If your chiller is undersized, its all a game of load and timings. The only way to truly bank BTUs in a case like this is with one shot usage of the water that is pre-cooled, or an ice bank system. Otherwise the temperatrue of your cooling water will keep rising and never stay consistent and you will have to alter your process to make up for the lack of a static supply of cooling media which does not really make sense for product consistency and a stable process. With Glycol, your chiller can be outdoors with minimal need for extra freeze protection measures when brix is correct. Glycol does not transfer heat as efficiently as water. Glycol of the correct type does not require any additional chemical treatment to remain stable. Glycol is a challenge to seal with respect to any threaded type fittings due to the surface tension. Because of this facet a lot of shade tree methods for pipe fitting will fail and leak. Glycol is used in Brewery chillers in order to cool vessel contents into the MID 30F range, in which case the chiller setpoint may be 30F or below. Water systems are limited to 40F generally and even then have to be handled carefully control wise. It is not real fun to work with or get your hands in. Dye is generally added to the soultion to make leak detection easier. Mechanical pump seals tend to last longer than with straight water.
  10. starcat


    Its a workable idea if you have a capacity match for your load. You need decent and consistent quality of oil when doing this, not just from any handed off source or you can run into problems if its contamniated with a lot of foreign substance, or especially water. Looks like Columbia offer them as well. http://www.columbiaboiler.com/waste-oil-boilers.htm https://www.energylogic.com/waste-oil-boilers/features/ Keeping the oil tank filled is an extra step you do not have with gas fired in general.
  11. starcat

    Boiler Chemicals

    A 5 gallon All in one such as #2210 Made by Power Engineering costs us $99.90 for the bucket. Its good to have a water chemstry expert from one of those Chem Sellers to take a look at your water and your system. At the very least its good to have a TDS/PH meter and a Sulfite reagent test kit on hand which should be read minimum of once a week with Blowdown schedule every day the boiler is run to maintain Conductivity, PH, TDS, and Chemical PPM. Star
  12. starcat

    Chiller Setup

    Typical Chillers as used in Breweries etc. are generally not considered " closed loop " but rather " open loop " because the return well is vented and at atmospheric pressure. If your piping is not too far fetched air eliminators are not needed on this type of system. Check valves and anti backflow sytems are mainly to prevent loss of glycol from overflow back to the return well when the system loop pump is shut down. This is generally only ever an issue if you have a lot of vertical rise coming away from your chiller and it is volume dependent relative to the piping that must equalize. All kinds of people run glycol in PVC successfully, but I do not advise it for distillation as its possible for the temperatures on the return line to exceed the limit of that type of pipe. Its is possible to run straight glycol without a secondary glycol to water HX system if the chiller and return well are upsized. There are both advantages and disadvantages to both types of system.
  13. Hello from Moab, Utah and Moab Brewery. The Brewnaster-Stillmaster is Jeff and the Engineering Tech is Warren aka StarCat. Construction on the Distillery is to start around March 2017. I am currently looking for assistance with control system design and wonder if Swede is still doing Control Panels as shown on this page: http://distillerycontrols.com/