How Are Steam Boilers Used in Breweries?
In many ways, steam boilers are the unsung heroes in the brewing industry. Even the best breweries in the world wouldn’t be able to get anything accomplished if they didn’t have a top-notch boiler system in place. The same goes for distilleries, which are facilities that rely heavily on steam as part of the distillation process. Let’s take a closer look at all the ways steam boilers make the brewing and distilling process possible.
Brewing Process for Craft Breweries
Wheat and barley aren’t the only key ingredients in making beer; heat is also a necessity.
Brewhouses need to be able to control the temperature so the various ingredients in the brew react a certain way and create the kind of flavor they want. To do this, they need to heat water to a specific temperature using steam heating.
During the process, brewers sometimes require large amounts of steam at certain times, and other times not so much. This is one reason why many craft breweries and microbreweries are gravitating toward smaller, modular boilers in their brewing operations, like the ones manufactured by Miura. Our boilers can reach peak steam production in just a few minutes but don’t need to be running idle when they’re not needed.
Brewery Boiler Systems Help with Sterilization and Sanitation
Steam boilers contribute more to the craft brewing process than just heating ingredients. There’s also the matter of cleaning and sterilizing the tools and equipment that are used in brewing, including the mash tuns, Brite tanks fermenters, etc. Breweries have a few different options for going about this, including the use of dry heat or chemicals.
However, steam is the best way to kill spores and bacteria that could linger on important brewing equipment. Most hospitals use steam from their boiler inside an autoclave sterilizer to ensure lab and surgical tools are free of harmful germs and bacteria, and breweries can also use the steam from their boilers to ensure their equipment is properly sanitized.
If a brewery is already getting steam from their boiler during the brewing process, there’s no reason not to also use it during the cleaning process.
Steam Systems Help with Cleaning Kegs
In addition to cleaning the equipment used to make the beer, steam is important for cleaning the devices used to transport the beer, namely kegs.
If kegs aren’t properly cleaned, the beer you worked so hard to create can be contaminated with a substance that’s not in the recipe. Unfortunately, hot water just isn’t good enough when it comes to cleaning kegs, and chemical cleaners can get the job done but aren’t ideal.
This is another instance where steam from your boiler comes in handy. Steam pressure is the ideal way to clean and sanitize kegs before transferring craft beer into them for transport.
Why Miura Systems are Ideal for Craft Brewing
Despite the need for boiler systems in brewing operations, smaller craft breweries have an uncomfortable relationship with conventional fire tube boilers due to certain characteristics that simply don’t fit their workflow. Many of these companies have discovered that Miura’s water tube design is the best steam boiler for brewery applications. Let’s look at a few reasons why.
Miura Boilers Save Energy
Breweries require steam on demand, but traditional steam boilers typically require several hours to heat up before use. This puts smaller brew houses and microbreweries in a difficult situation because they must either come in several hours early to start the boiler or simply keep it running during down time. In either case, these companies typically deal with large energy bills to cover the cost of natural gas or oil required. By contrast, Miura boilers have a compact design that allows them to heat to full steam in minutes. In addition, their modular design means breweries can configure their system for more than one boiler, so boiler units can fire up and blow down as demand changes. These features typically save brewing companies 20 percent or more on energy bills.
Miura Boilers Conserve Water
The conventional fire tube boiler requires a large amount of water for the heating elements to operate properly — more than most breweries may need at a time. Even combining condensate return back into the feedwater doesn’t end up saving that much in water costs. Brewing companies appreciate Miura’s water tube design because it requires a fraction of the water to operate, and that water heats up much more quickly as a result.
Miura Boilers Save Space
Space is typically a commodity for smaller craft breweries. Unfortunately, traditional steam boilers need lots of space, more specifically a dedicated boiler room for proper operation and safety. Miura boilers are far more compact while producing the same output as many of these larger units, so breweries have a lot more options as far as placing and configuring them. Some have even been able to reclaim part of their boiler room for other purposes.
Miura Boilers Are a Great Choice for Distilleries, Too
While the process of distilling spirits is a bit different than brewing beer, smaller distilleries have similar needs for steam and hot water, and they also face similar issues when trying to integrate a large conventional boiler into their process. Miura boilers solve a lot of these same problems for distilleries, also, allowing them to save space and fuel costs while still having steam on demand.
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, Miura has a boiler system that will suit your needs perfectly.
Contact a Miura rep in your area or call us at 1-678-685-0929 to learn why our steam boilers are ideal for breweries and distilleries of all sizes.