Steam boilers are often given less attention in distillery planning. The focus is usually on the still and where to position it to ensure efficient flow and provide an impressive distillery tour experience. Let’s face it, the still is the star. However, it’s the other equipment that makes it all happen. Remember, the still doesn’t feed itself.
Often, the placement of the still for customer viewing doesn’t promote efficient flow and can result in increased heat loss from the steam boiler. Translation: Less than ideal location can require a larger boiler.
To the novice distillery owner, the boiler’s placement is as important as architectural plans to IT professionals critiquing a new construction project.
Retrofitting a rented space can make it challenging to find the best location for the distillery’s steam boiler. Existing limitations often hamper planning efforts.
Having flexibility when planning the distillery’s footprint is preferable. This is especially true when the distillery owner has the opportunity to start from scratch. Consider the distillery tour experience, process flow, accessibility for the boiler contractor, and ongoing maintenance when planning.
Placement of the Distilling Boiler
Bottom line: Your boiler is crucial for meeting production demands as a distiller. Don’t treat its location as an afterthought. Choose a central location and allow for future growth. Don’t undersize your boiler if you plan to expand. When sizing your boiler, always add an additional margin for theoretical heat loss rather than relying solely on calculated heat needs for specific equipment at 100% efficiency. Your boiler contractor will provide guidance. Don’t dismiss their recommendations.
I cannot stress enough the importance of optimizing heat application to process your product efficiently. Your ability to meet production demands and scale up will depend on it.
Plan well. Seek input from knowledgeable individuals. Listen to your team. Don’t underestimate the importance of boiler planning in building your distillery.
Cheers and happy distilling.