The Steam Slayer(tm) is a tool that eliminates the need to vent steam from your brewing room. More and more people are converting over to electric brewing systems allowing brewing indoors and even in quite confined spaces. The rude awakening occurs when you evaporate a gallon or more water into the air and your walls and ceiling drips with condensation. In some cases it is impossible or unreasonable to install fan-based exhaust systems to vent that steam. For example, you want to brew near the interior of the house and you don't want to destroy finished spaces trying to get a duct to an exterior wall. Perhaps you don't want the sound of a jet engine roaring over your otherwise whisper-quite electric system. Enter the Steam Slayer!
Condensing boil steam is a relatively common practice in large scale industry and some breweries. Homebrewtalk.com user "Brundog" did a lot of experimentation and documentation and many folks built clone systems in turn. When it came time to install one on the shop brewing kettle, we couldn't leave well enough alone with off the shelf parts.
How It Works:
You will install a 1.5" TC port in the upper sidewall of your electric powered boil kettle, typically as high as you can get it without interfering with the closure of the kettle's lid. The unit is equipped with a fine mist sprayer that fits inside the main body and is fed with cold tap water. When you reach a boil in your kettle, you will put the lid on and start the flow of cold water into the unit. Steam will enter the SteamSlayer and encounter the spray turning the steam back into water. The waste water runs out the bottom of the unit into the included silicone hose which you will position over a catch bucket. Depending on your tap water pressure, and the selected sprayer option, you will typically consume 6-10 gallons of water in a 60 minute boil. This water can be discarded or saved for cleaning your equipment afterwards.
- Main Body Unit with 1.5" TC side flange leading into a 1.5" TC Spray Chamber with a welded 5/8" hose barb on the bottom.
- 1.5" TC sprayer adapter with sprayer tip (your choice of sprayers in the drop down menu, see sprayer notes below**)
- Right angle water shut off valve with push in connection five feet of 1/4" poly supply line (5ft is standard, select longer runs in the dropdown selection above. Note that this valve is meant to turn your source water on and off in a pinch without having to run back to your water source. It does NOT throttle flow rate at all and cannot be used for that. The sprayer type is the only thing that can vary how much water flows.
- Water supply connection fitting with push in connection: Your choice of 3/4" Female Garden Hose (shown in the main product image) or In-Line faucet connection valve (select in the drop down above). More about this in the instructions below.
- 3 feet of 1/2" ID silicone hose for waste water drain. The tubing must reach from the bottom of the steam slayer body to the TOP of your catch bucket. If you need more tubing, it can be purchased by the foot and we can combine the added length onto the standard 3' if you direct us to.
- Hose holder clip to keep drain hose positioned at the inside top of your collection bucket.
*Note that the clamp and gasket to attach the unit to the kettle is not included, nor is the hardware to install the actual TC port in the kettle. See the list of available accessories if you need any of those parts.
** Sprayer selection notes. First, this is not an exact science. From testing on many batches, we know that you want to try to keep the waste water temp lower than 140 degrees F or you'd get secondary steaming in your catch bucket and the smell of DMS is more annoying. The waste water temperature is dictated as follows: The output waste temp goes up IF: Boil energy goes up. Input water pressure is lower. Input water temperature is higher. Input water pressure is lower.
Most people with 10 gallon batches find the 9GPH to be adequate. If your output water is hotter than 140F, reduce input power until it gets cooler. If you're at 15 gallon batches or larger, select the 18GPH sprayer. Please note that the GPH ratings are at approximately 40PSI of input pressure and the actual water usage will scale as your pressure increases or decreases. Other than sourcing a regulator, there is no way to adjust this.
First, keep in mind that this is a relatively new process for small scale homebrewing and we're all learning the best practices. When you buy this unit, consider yourself a part of a beta test. These instructions will evolve.
- Clamp the main unit to the existing kettle port and the sprayer TC to the top of the unit. The integrated hose barb should be facing down towards the floor.
- Connect the 1/4" Poly line to your source water fitting and the shutoff valve on the top of the Steam Slayer. Making sure the ends are cut cleanly, simply push the tubing into the fittings all the way. Note. This valve is NOT for regulating water pressure/flow. When in operation, this top valve should be fully open.
- Install the silicone waste tubing on the unit's barb and attach the holder clip to the end. We include a 5/8" OD stainless steel ring that should be inserted into the end of the silicone to expand the tubing large enough to fit the holder clip tightly. The waste tubing should be trimmed so that it only extends into your catch bucket/vessel by 1-2 inches. The open end of this tubing must never be submerged or the steam slayer will not work properly. In addition to not submerging the waste tube in standing water, you must also keep major bends/dips out of this hose. Any blockage to this tubing with even a small section of solid water will adversely affect the performance.
- Once your boil begins, turn on the cooling water and place your kettle lid on the kettle. Since the condensing action creates a mild vacuum, the lid does not need a gasket. If you notice steam leaking out of the lid, make sure it is not warped creating extra spaces.
- Adjust your boil intensity to approximately HALF of what you're used to using and plan for about half as much boil off. For a typical example, we used to run our 5500 watt element at 65% when the kettle is full of 7 gallons and the lid off. We experienced 1.5 gallons per hour of boil off. With the Steam Slayer installed, we run at 32% and experience .75 gallons of boil off per hour. In other words, to use the Steam Slayer, your electric kettle must be equipped with a power controller.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can I go through the lid?
Yes. In order to through the lid, you will need to install a 1.5" TC port towards the edge and then clamp on a 1.5" TC 90 degree elbow. From there the Steam Slayer gets clamped on as noted above. You may need to place a counterweight on top of the lid, opposite the TC port to keep it firmly seated on the kettle.
2. I use the BIAB method and I'm concerned that a side mount TC port will reduce my kettle capacity.
You can put a TC blank cover over the port during the mash and then fit the Steam Slayer after you pull the grain bag.
3. How do I run the hot waste water directly to a plumbing drain.
We do know that you want the water to freely drain out. Even in cases where the output hose bends into a loop where water collects in the hose is enough to stop the vacuum on the kettle. You may get steam to escape via the lid if there is any back pressure on the drain hose. If your sewer pipe is well below your brewing location, you can run a horizontal drain line over to the kettle, install a P-trap and then end in an oversized vertical entrance pipe. Treat this like the catch bucket and run the silicone drain hose to it using the holder clip to hold it to the upper lip of the pipe. This is how washing machine standpipes work so it's easier to tell your plumber or home center employee that you need to create a washing machine drain standpipe rather than explain the SteamSlayer to them. It may melt their minds.
If you want to use this unit with one of the all in one brewing systems such as the Anvil Foundry, we do have a kit that includes everything else you'll need to connect the Steam Slayer to your unit. Purchase the Steam Slayer on this page and then use THIS LINK to buy the kit.