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Water Heater Steamer Modification & Updated Microbe Bulk Sub Tek


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#21 Microbe

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 09:12 AM



I love the detail in this write up. I wish I weren't so afraid of electricity, I would build this in a heartbeat. My goal is a propane one heating a 55 gallon drum this summer. This is awesome, and I hope to see many follow in your footsteps!


It is good to afraid of electricity and i have been zapped and vibrated many times, even as a child.....electricity demands respect that's for sure. Basic electrical work is simple and safe you just need to understand continuity and with reverse polarity in the US its hard to mess up basic electrical work as far as connecting hot, neutral, and ground wires.

I would love to run a propane burner but i would need to find away to operate it like a gas furnace which I believe is possible but would get expensive I think.

Are you going to submerge the sub in the water?

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#22 onediadem

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 01:20 PM

Yes, and no. For straw I will have a wire basket to submerge. For bags of sawdust, I am going to use a bbq grate to hold the bags above the waterline. From all of my research on this, you can run one 4-5 times at 6 hrs a pop on a regular bbq size tank.


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#23 Microbe

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 03:08 PM

Yes, and no. For straw I will have a wire basket to submerge. For bags of sawdust, I am going to use a bbq grate to hold the bags above the waterline. From all of my research on this, you can run one 4-5 times at 6 hrs a pop on a regular bbq size tank.

You going to use a hoist to pull the basket out of the water?

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#24 scott_1971_h

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 05:03 PM

I suppose a second hand water heater would work as well :-)



#25 scott_1971_h

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 05:07 PM

I suppose a second hand water heater would work as well :-) but I use my PC with a hose connected to the vent pipe in place of the weights.



#26 Microbe

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 09:10 PM

I suppose a second hand water heater would work as well :-) but I use my PC with a hose connected to the vent pipe in place of the weights.

How do control the temperature?

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#27 scott_1971_h

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 10:04 PM

Meat thermometer and I've found if I keep it ticking over (stovetop) on level 3 it keeps it at 80 degrees ©



#28 onediadem

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 12:36 AM

@ Microbe, yes. I will have to have a hoist. No way can I lift it without one.



#29 Arathu

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 05:38 AM

I'm running a natural gas line out through the back wall.....for just this purpose actually........

 

Studying industrial combustion systems and controls now......

 

Nice work Microbe............

 

A


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#30 scott_1971_h

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 06:01 AM

I know that electric might be a bit more expensive (quite a bit if on the M tariff) but it's more easily controlled/switched and does not require fuel/air mixing in just the right mixture (although if one is using a gas water heater that's taken care of) and electric does not have a flue running up the middle of the chamber...


Edited by scott_1971_h, 05 March 2018 - 06:02 AM.

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#31 onediadem

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 01:49 PM

My brother ran a gas line for his bbq, so that is actually a good idea. 


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#32 Juthro

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 05:43 PM

One's Brother's BBQ is going to give her gas....

;P)
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#33 Hash_Man

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 06:09 PM

" ...Using individual bowls I weigh out 350 grams of coir, 630 grams of composted cow manure, and 20 grams of straw .."


Microbe I'm pretty sure you add your straw dry but mixing the 350g of coir and 630 of CCM, thats hydrated weight, correct?

Edited by Hash_Man, 05 March 2018 - 06:10 PM.


#34 Microbe

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 07:31 PM

" ...Using individual bowls I weigh out 350 grams of coir, 630 grams of composted cow manure, and 20 grams of straw .."

Microbe I'm pretty sure you add your straw dry but mixing the 350g of coir and 630 of CCM, thats hydrated weight, correct?
No. The CCM and Straw are dry....I dont hydrate either of them. The CCM already comes damp regardless of brand you purchase.

Sont hydrate CCM.....its a pain in the ass....just prep the coir wet and add the bagged manure as is. Now if your curing your own manure then this may or may not work. This is receip works for commercialy processed bags of manure ie black kow, timberline, black hills, and etc.


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Edited by Microbe, 05 March 2018 - 07:35 PM.


#35 onediadem

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 05:49 AM

Can you get the manures at local stores?



#36 Microbe

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 10:45 AM

Can you get the manures at local stores?

Yes. I use commodity brand from Lowe's. No need to buy black kow. I worked retail and actually spoke to a vendor who handled our bagged goods.....mulch, rock, top soil, manure and etc and he said that some lowes stores, depending on region , the commodity brand manure is bagged at the same place black kow comes from. I used black kow before and I get better results with the cheap shit .....pun intended

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#37 raymycoto

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 02:27 PM

Microbe - Wow! I just discovered this thread. Kudos on your ingenious build and detailed log of construction and progress! Keep up the good work and keep us informed.

 

This makes me think of another concept.

 

A water heater is designed to stay intact at domestic water pressures of, say, 60 to 150 psig ('gauge' pressure relative to atmopheric)

 

  • The relief valve is designed to pop off and vent at 150 PSIG
  • Actual burst pressure of the vessel is probably more like 500 PSIG
  • A commercial autoclave works generally at a measly 20 PSIG
  • A PC works at 15 PSI

 

Could one devise a substrate pressurized sterilization device (AKA autoclave or PC) from a water heater? (yeah I know - danger, Will Robinson! just thinking out loud here . . .)

 

The 'trick' would be how to safely devise a way to open and close the water heater chamber to insert, inspect and remove the contents.

 

Imaging the volume of substrate one could properly sterilize (not pasteurize) by just going up to 15PSI with steam within the water heater - well below the max working pressure of 100+ psi or the relief pressure of 150PSI or the burst pressure of 500 PSI.


Edited by raymycoto, 06 March 2018 - 02:28 PM.

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#38 raymycoto

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 12:42 AM

BTW, hospital autoclaves, because of their size work in the following way:

  • Steam keeps the autoclave warmed up to over 200F all the time by being released in the 'jacket' around the chamber. This does two things - reduces autoclave time as the device is mostly warmed up. These are big chambers that have a lot of thermal mass - would take a while to heat up from ambient temp. And the hot jacketed chamber aids in drying out the instruments after the cycle vents.
  • Actual autoclave process is performed by releasing high pressure steam into the actual chamber until the pressure and temp are at the desired level for the desired time.

Makes me think that you could build a steam autoclave with:

  • Steam generator like you have designed but crank up the temp to about 260 to get 15PSIG steam pressure.
  • Run the steam into another, autoclave-like chamber (PC, another water heater ?) with a door that can seal and hold at least 15PSI, steam input line and a drain.

Beware that one problem that must be dealt with is the accumulation of condensed water in the second chamber. Maybe let it flow in restricted fashion by gravity and / or pressure back into the steam generator? I think that is how steam is handled in a steam supply system - there is a hot condensed water return line to the steam generator.



#39 scott_1971_h

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 03:28 AM

I have 2 'styrene boxes thanks to a fruit+veg shop. I'm now thinking they would be good for logs...

 

ED: Hospital autoclaves also use superheated steam, and often at 30(+) psi. But they cost a lot, both to buy and to run...


Edited by scott_1971_h, 09 March 2018 - 03:44 AM.

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#40 Numinous

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 07:04 AM

Just a noob here but I'd like to congratulate you on your ingenutiy and resourcefulness.  Many thanks for the free education too.  
 
I'm wondering what the pressure gets up to in the water heater?  I've only ever grown oysters and I use a hot water bath in an insulated plastic tub to pasteurise straw. Not wrapped in carrying 10 litres of boiling water from the kitchen stove to the laundry down stairs (twice) and ending up with 40 litlres of highly alkaline hot water to dispose of at the end.  Not a small environmental footprint.  
 
Unfortunately where I live you need a license to operate any sort of pressurised boiler.  Not really a problem as long as it didn't blow up.  Your design really appeals to me though because I have solar panels on the roof and elecricity is free during the day. The real problem is I doubt I have the skills for it.  
 
There is a steam pasturisation set up described in "Growing Wild Mushrooms" by Bob Harris (1989) that uses a styrofoam cooler and a steam vapouriser that looks promising.  I tried it by just piping the steam from a vapouriser into the cooler without any straw in it and a glass thermometer stuck through the lid and it got over 70C (160F) no sweat;-). Might be a viable alternative for those of us without the confidence or skills to tackle your elegant solution.

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