How are Steam Boilers used in breweries?

Purchasing a boiler is the most vital investment that a craft brewery makes. Choosing the appropriate one either a steam or diesel fired boiler, is crucial to making sure that your brewery is meeting production demands while keeping high quality without wasting energy and time.

In many ways, a steam boiler is the basis for the brewery success and even the best breweries in the world wouldn’t be able to accomplish their target had it not been for the top-notch boiler system. Breweries rely on the steam heating process for a myriad of reasons, and the prime one is for the kettle and to produce hot water for sanitization. Having the right solution can make or break your brewery process considering its steam requirements can double or even triple in just a fraction of time.

Let’s take a closer look at the brewing process for craft breweries before we help you delve into the criteria you must adopt for purchasing a boiler for beer factory.

Brewing process for craft breweries

Brewhouses need to control temperature to ensure that the different brew ingredients react in a specific manner and generate the flavour that is expected. To reason with the, barley and wheat are not the only ingredients but heat plays a major role in the entire process. And to complete the process of brewing, they must heat the water to a certain temperature using the steam heating process.

This sometimes requires a large amount of heat in the brewery and on other times, just little steam heat works perfectly. This is the reason why most craft breweries are gravitating towards the modular and smaller boilers.

Brewery boiler system for sterilization and sanitization

Alongside the heating ingredients, steam boilers contribute a lot to the craft brewing process. To make the process clean and hygienic, it becomes pertinent to sterilize and clean the equipment and tools used for brewing, at regular intervals. These tools can be tank fermenters, mash tuns to name a few.

While usually breweries deploy different methods for sterilizing such as the use of chemicals and heat, steam tends to be the best way for cleaning and sterilizing them. Steam thoroughly cleans the equipment by killing spores and bacteria which might linger on the brewing tools.

For example, most hospitals use steam from boilers present inside the autoclave sterilizer to make sure that the surgical and lab tools are germ free. The same process can be adopted by breweries where they can use the steam from boilers and ensure that their tools are sterilized.

Unclean Washing Machines

Whether it is commercial laundry equipment or a large-scale washing machine, they start smelling weird over time. This smell easily transfers to the garments. This happens to the gradual build-up of residue, bacteria, or moulds that cause odour. And this is not it; alongside the funny odour, it is also unsanitary that comes with its share of germs to pass on to the one wearing those clothes.

So, it becomes vital to clean a washing machine thoroughly after a standard period to ensure no mould or residue builds up in the machine.

Steam System for cleaning kegs

Besides the tool & equipment cleaning as well as sterilizing, the breweries need steam to clean the devices that are used to transport beer, known as kegs.

If these devices or kegs are not cleaned properly then the beer that took your time, energy and investment will go to waste as the beer would get contaminated with substances that you never intend to put in the recipe. While at this point, breweries might assume that hot water can do the cleaning, but unfortunately it will not be enough. Moreover, chemical cleaners are not considered the ideal cleaning agents in this case.

This makes steam to be the perfect sterilizing agent and it is this reason that steam pressure is vital to clean kegs before craft beer is transferred into the kegs for transport.

Choosing A Steam Boiler for Brewery and Distillery Facilities

When it comes to brewing and cleaning, a steam boiler is an essential part of any brewery or distillery. Whether you are looking for a high pressure or low-pressure steam boiler for your outfit, you must choose a boiler system that will suit your needs perfectly.

Let us walk you through the criteria required while choosing the right boiler for your brewery-

  1. Ability to meet steam demand at production.
    Steam demand in a brewery majorly comes at the spur of the moment and it can vary to a great extent based on the exact need at that moment. Conventionally, a large boiler is deployed that is kept ready to meet the steam demand at any moment. However, the system is expensive to maintain a single oversize boiler ready at all times. This requires the breweries to opt for a boiler that meets the impromptu steam demand at production.
  2. Ability to do multiple processes at the same time.
    A brewery undergoes multiple processes at a single time. These processes usually incorporate brewing both host liquor and mash turn, sanitization, canning, kegging and bottling. This demand requires a steam system which possesses the ability to handle multiple processes simultaneously. This might need a modular boiler approach that will ensure that just the right amount of steam is to perform the process.
  3. Ability to adjust steam supply to fluctuations on demand.
    The steam requirements in a brewery can double or triple in a fraction of seconds. While large fire tube boilers require more time to react to the spike in demand, firetube boilers can serve the need. Firetube boilers remain hot to meet the steam fluctuations. This also has a great impact on the fuel cost and breweries tend to save more with fire tube boilers.
  4. Ability to save energy
    While conventional steam boilers need several hours to heat up before they are fit for use, breweries cannot afford to lose time and energy on this considering their fluctuating demand. This typically becomes a challenge for small and micro-breweries since they will be required to either start the boiler several hours before or simply keep it running, thus wasting energy. This costs the brew houses hefty energy bills.
  5. Ability to Conserve Water
    The traditional fire tube boilers consume a large amount of water resource as a heating element to enable the brew process efficiently and effectively. This raises the brewery expectation to deploy a water tube design which requires a fraction of water to operate.
  6. Ability to Save Space
    Space consumption is not just a commodity for craft breweries but also adds up to the cost. As opposed to conventional steam boilers that required a lot of space and a dedicated boiler room to operate and in terms of safety, the modern steam boilers have no such constraint. So, while looking for a steam boiler, make sure that they are compact but produce the same output as per their traditional counterparts.

Wrapping Up!

While steam boilers have proved to be the most vital element for breweries, it becomes essential to choose the right one that matches your brewery needs perfectly. This will offer the smooth operations of sanitization, pasteurization, boiler feed water which makes steam boiler to be the most important investment. Welco GM supports the brewing markets with the best steam boilers. Our boilers provide the benefits for the distinct needs of the brewing industries, with a strong focus on efficiency and performance.

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