The use of steam is an important part of your brewing process – and your brewhouse function.
Anyone who has used steam in their brewhouse knows – a crucial property of saturated steam is that its temperature is directly related to its pressure.
This means you need quality brewery equipment, to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Here are some things to consider, if you are looking at using a steam heated brewing system.
We know the steam heated brewing system is not the cheapest option.
However, steam heating is the best choice for all breweries if you stand at the starting point of the process and are responsible for the quality of the beer, the advantages as follows:
Typically, you will need a certified professional installer who then also commissions and approves the brewing system before it can be legally used.
There is also a yearly inspection which needs to be done.
We encourage clients to review this with their steam system installer as ultimately they will have to give approval. We will also work with the local technicians to fabricate to their requirements.
As you can imagine these costs add up. So it is important to consider all these factors during your budgeting process.
The different pieces of brewing equipment will have different steam pressure and requirements.
For steam boilers, you generally have two main heating methods, which are gas and electric.
Gas is cheaper, but sometimes your location does not have gas available so electric is the answer.
Electric boilers are power hungry! So make sure you have enough power coming in and go through the exercise of how much it will cost to run based on your kW per hr costs.
We recommend using steel (preferably stainless steel 304) for your steam pipline.
While the pipe is usually around 1” it also needs insulation and cladding, which make it a much bigger diameter.
For connection types – the cheaper option is threaded connections. However – from our personal experience, we believe flanges are better if you have the budget. This applies to the commentary on the steam pipework e.g. steam traps, solenoid valves and flow control valves.
Make sure you check the pressure needed for the brewing equipment. Our steam jackets are rated to 2-3 bar, but we know American local government stipulate the operation for the steam can’t be over for 15psi(1bar), so American breweries need to order the lower pressure steam boiler.
In terms of design for your steam heated brewing system – you want to keep all of your equipment which uses steam as close as possible.
This is because piping can get to be expensive, since you are not just running pipe, but also insulating and possibly cladding.
Be aware of water treatment that is needed for the internals of your boiler. Steam boilers require proper maintenance and monitoring to stay at peak performance.
After installing steam heated brewing systems in a number of countries, we’d like to think that we have the experience to help the steam brewing system smooth installation.