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Direct Steam Injection In's and Out's


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Hello all,

I'm looking at using direct steam injection for heating our 660 gallon alembic still. I don't want to use direct fire nor do we want to build a jacket. I was hoping to get some opinions and expertise on the matter from you all.

Does anyone have experience with direct injection with their still? What are your thoughts on quality, pro's, and con's of the system?

What requirements are there for producing clean steam? How is it done and what should I make our HVAC guy aware of? How big of boiler would you recommend?



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No idea, but two things come to mind based on your question.

Don't forget to account for the condensate volume, primarily during heat up. Say, for example, you are using a 20hp boiler, you'll generate 34.5 lbs of condensate per hour per hp, so 690 pounds of condensate for a 1hr startup time. That is 82 gallons of condensate added to the still charge (this is probably a worst case scenario). Also consider the dilution impact, not only the initial still charge ABV, but the remaining alcohol as you go through the run. I would imagine in an alembic, it would result in a much steeper fall off towards tails. The biggest benefit of the approach is that it will be more efficient than a steam jacket. Downside is that you'll probably end up spending more on feed water pre-treatment for your boiler.

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