Brewing equipment requires regular maintenance to brew better beer. The steam boiler is a key instrument in brewing liquor or beer. Brewery boilers must have proper maintenance and monitoring to maintain peak performance, and you need to know how to troubleshoot common boiler problems.
Choosing the Right Steam Boiler for the Job
When a new brewery or distillery starts buying equipment, they often have a brewery equipment supplier install the boiler as well. This may have seemed great at the time due to convenience. But don’t make the mistake of assuming that any steam boiler will meet the long-term needs of your operation.
Since breweries and distilleries often operate around the clock, selecting, tuning, and designing the right boiler can prevent premature and unpredictable downtime of the system.
Regular Maintenance Plan
Unscheduled maintenance is one of the most common causes of boiler problems. As your boiler operates, parts wear out, so catching minor problems while they’re still small can allow you to prevent more serious problems that could lead to injury or catastrophic failure.
If your boiler is not getting the maintenance it needs, it can have devastating effects, including dangerous and even fatal boiler explosions. The boiler fuel could also explode, or the extreme heat of the boiler could cause damage if the water level drops too low without triggering the trip switch.
A major boiler failure is costly and dangerous and can bring your operations to a standstill. Avoid this by scheduling routine maintenance on your brewery steam boiler throughout the year and catching minor issues early.
Common Boiler Problems in Breweries and Distilleries
- Feed trough leaking or improper feeding
- Boiler leak
- Boiler fire
- Improper setting
Proper maintenance will not only prevent these and other issues from causing system downtime, it can extend the life of your boiler system, allowing you to maintain the highest standards of safety, quality, and production.
Check Steam Trap
In boilers, it is very common for some steam to condense as the insulation around the steam pipes is not 100% effective. The boiler system must have a way to separate the condensate from the steam to maintain pressure and keep the steam flowing down the pipes. A steam trap completes the separation.
Steam traps are usually attached to steam lines, air handler coils, or the lower part of a heat exchanger. They let condensation pass through while preventing steam from escaping with it. They can also be used to drain water from machines heated with steam while preventing steam from flowing past where the machine will use it.
Sometimes a steam trap will leak and allow steam to enter the condensate return line. When this happens, the steam system shorts out. Boilers have to produce more steam to meet the same demand. This overwork increases fuel consumption, water consumption, and equipment wear and tear. Addressing steam trap leaks can help improve boiler efficiency, keep it running, and reduce the need for more maintenance.
Sewage Once a Week
Blowdown helps prevent these problems by inhibiting scale buildup. Blowdown is the process of removing water from a boiler to limit mineral concentrations. Water that is added to boilers to replace blowdown water has a lower mineral concentration to help prevent scaling. You should do a weekly blowdown to cut limescale deposits.
Monitor Pressure Loss
If your boiler system is experiencing pressure loss, you need to check for valves that are leaking. You’ll also want to check the outside of the tank, as this is another common area prone to leaks. Or, if your tank has an on-off fill, cold water entering the tank may reduce steam production, reducing the pressure.
Measuring Instrument Performance
To ensure accurate monitoring of your boiler system, you first need to test your gauges and make sure they are working. For example, if you have an old gauge that is reading low, but your system seems to be functioning, the gauge may be outdated. Most modern boiler systems output lower pressures than traditional systems, and your pressure gauge may need to be configured for the new system.
Turnkey Beer Brewery
If you want to start your own brewing business and have your brewery, ACE will help you. ACE has been working on micro beer and beverage projects, and we can help you with anything from zero to turnkey. ACE looks forward to cooperating with you! Get a turnkey solution for brewery equipment. If you plan to open or expand the brewery, you can contact us directly. Our engineers will design and manufacture brewery equipment according to your brewing process. Of course, we will also provide you with a complete turnkey solution. Also, if you plan to expand the brewery, we will provide you with customized solutions.