At the core of most breweries and distilleries today lies the steam boiler. Steam boilers play a crucial role in the process of producing liquor or beer. Whether you’re brewing an award-winning craft beer or distilling a batch of whiskey, maintaining consistent temperature regulation to heat and cool each batch is just the beginning.
Choosing the Right Steam Boiler for the Job
When a new brewery or distillery starts purchasing equipment, they often have their brewery equipment supplier install a boiler as well. This may seem convenient at the time, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that just any steam boiler will meet your operation’s long-term needs.
Because breweries and distilleries typically operate 24/7, selecting, sizing, and engineering the right boiler is crucial to prevent premature deterioration and unpredictable downtime. Crafting fine beverages and spirits requires unique systems, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to boilers. Working with a partner who truly understands the requirements of the boiler’s application is critical for the long-term health of the system.
Boiler Maintenance Prevents Future Downtime
Without a proper understanding of the quality and service needed for steam boilers in these applications, you’ll encounter problems a few years down the road when the system starts breaking down or running less efficiently than before.
If breweries or distilleries neglect regular maintenance of their boilers after installation, they’ll likely face numerous issues within a couple of years. Often, early warning signs of boiler problems are missed until they become emergencies, resulting in costly downtime to get the equipment up and running again.
Common boiler problems that occur in breweries and distilleries include:
– Leaking or malfunctioning feed tanks
– Boiler leakage
– Boiler misfires
– Improper settings
Proper maintenance not only prevents these and other issues from causing downtime, but also significantly extends the life of the boiler system. It enables you to maintain the highest standards of safety, quality, and production.
Boiler Maintenance Improves Production Efficiency
Engineering a steam boiler system to your exact specifications and understanding the proper oxygen and combustion settings can maximize efficiency. It can mean the difference between producing 30 batches a day or only 10.
Without a properly functioning boiler, you may experience incorrect temperatures, resulting in prolonged cook times and unpredictable end products. This can lead to entire batches being wasted due to quality issues, such as unpalatable beverages, bitterness, decreased carbonation, and harsh textures.
Time is precious in production, and it shouldn’t be wasted on trying to maintain, repair, or determine if the entire boiler needs replacement. An expert professional can identify issues before they escalate and make decisions regarding repair or replacement within minutes rather than days.
Boiler Maintenance Prevents Safety Issues
A steam boiler system is a pressurized system with a safety valve installed to prevent over pressurization. While these valves are typically set at 15psi, most boiler manufacturers do not recommend operating at close to that level regularly.
Nevertheless, brewers usually operate their steam boilers between 10 and 14 psi. This puts significant stress on the system, and without proper maintenance and engineering, it can quickly become dangerous. For example,
– Steam can rapidly fill a room, displacing oxygen and making it difficult to breathe
– Contact with steam can cause severe burns, even third-degree burns, in just one second