A boiler purchase is one of the most important investments for a craft brewery. Breweries rely on steam heating for the kettle and to produce hot water
for sanitization. Steam keeps solutions at temperatures and can be used in pasteurization of bottles. Choosing the right boiler can meet production
demands without wasting time or energy.
1. Steam demand at production.
It is expensive to keep a large oversized boiler ready at all times. With multiple small electric boilers you can choose between having them both fully fired or having one off and completely cold to the touch. That tells you right there that we’re saving about half the energy.
2. Do multiple processes at the same time.
Processes include brewing (hot liquor and mash tun), CIP, sanitization, sterilization, kegging, canning and bottling. Again, applications and processes can vary from brewery to brewery. A precisely designed steam system, particularly utilizing a modular boiler approach, will help ensure that the right amount of steam is ready at any time — not too much and not too little.
3. Ability to adjust steam supply to fluctuations on demand.
Brewery steam requirements can double or triple in as little as a few seconds. Large fire tube boilers need a long time to react to these demand swings. To overcome that problem, firetube boilers will remain hot. The costs to do this are tremendous. Modular, on-demand boilers can generate steam within seconds when in standby mode. This saves an average of 20 percent in fuel costs.
A recent bulletin on commercial boilers from the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) states, “If loads are highly variable designers should consider installing multiple small (modular) boilers … Modular systems are more efficient because they allow each boiler to operate at or close to full rated load most of the time, with reduced standby losses.”