At the heart of most breweries and distilleries today is the steam boiler. Steam boilers are a key instrument in the process of making liquor or beer – whether you’re brewing the next award-winning craft beer or distilling a batch of whiskey, ensuring consistent temperature regulation to heat and cool each batch is just the beginning of the benefits of keeping up with proper maintenance of your steam boiler system.
Selecting the right steam boiler for the job
When a new brewery or distillery begins purchasing equipment, they’ll often have their brewery equipment supplier install a boiler, too. This might seem great at the time because of convenience – but don’t make the mistake of assuming just any steam boiler will meet your operation’s long-term needs.
Because breweries and distilleries typically run their operations 24/7, selecting, sizing, and engineering the right boiler can lead the system to prematurely deteriorate and cause unpredictable downtime. The nuance of crafting fine beverages and spirits means that no two systems are alike and no one size or type of boiler will always be the answer. Ensuring you are working with a partner that truly understands the entire need of the boiler’s application is critical to long-term system health.
Boiler maintenance prevents future downtime
Again, breweries and distilleries typically run their operations 24/7. For this reason, keeping up with proper maintenance and routine inspections of your boiler system is just as crucial as selecting the right equipment.
Without having a true understanding of the quality and service needed for steam boilers for these applications, you are heading for a rocky road a few years from now when the system is already breaking down or running less efficiently than it did on day one
When breweries or distilleries fail to keep up with regular maintenance of their boilers after the installation, they’ll typically run into numerous issues within a couple of years. Often, early warning signs of a boiler problem are missed until they’ve already developed into full-blown emergencies, costing precious time and money during the downtime needed to get the equipment up and running again.
Common boiler problems that occur in breweries and distilleries include:
- Feed tank leaking or not feeding properly
- Boiler leaking
- Boiler misfire
- Improper settings
Not only will proper maintenance prevent these and other issues from resulting in system downtime, but it will also greatly extend the life of the boiler system and enable you to maintain the highest standards for safety, quality, and production.
Boiler maintenance increases production efficiency
Engineering a steam boiler system to your exact specifications and knowing the proper oxygen and combustion settings can maximize the efficiency of your system – it can often mean the difference between producing 30 batches a day vs. only 10.
Without a boiler running properly, you can get incorrect temperatures, which can not only prolong cook times but give you an unpredictable end product. The result? Entire batches being wasted due to quality issues:
- Unpalatable beverage
- Decreased carbonation
- Harsh textures
Time is precious in production, and it shouldn’t be wasted trying to maintain, repair, or determine if the entire boiler needs replacement. An expert professional will catch issues before they escalate and can make the decision whether to repair or replace the boiler in 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 inside the boiler. While these valves have a setting of 15psi, most boiler manufacturers do not recommend operating at close to that level on a regular basis.
Nevertheless, brewers typically operate their steam boilers between 10 and 14 psi. This is extremely stressful to the system, and without proper boiler maintenance and engineering, it can turn into a dangerous situation quickly. For instance,
- Steam can fill a room quickly, displacing oxygen and making breathing difficult
- This steam could burn anyone it comes in contact with, causing 3rd-degree burns in one second
Breweries & distilleries need experienced boiler experts
A well-maintained boiler system, regularly serviced by an expert team, allows breweries and distilleries to focus on crafting high-quality product, rather than the headaches and head-scratching. If you can rely on your equipment 24/7, production will continue at maximum efficiency with little to no downtime.
Routine boiler service from an experienced, reputable boiler company that understands the entire process of brewing and distilling can alleviate any of the complications that may arise with a steam boiler system. In the end, it’s truly priceless!
Why breweries & distilleries partner with Willbanks
If you run a brewery or distillery in Texas, Louisiana, or the surrounding areas, you can rely on Willbanks, Inc. for all your boiler needs.
With over 45 years of experience in the commercial boiler industry, Willbanks not only has expertise working with steam boilers and equipment throughout the Southwest, but we also understand the nuances of how breweries and distilleries operate and can provide expert service tailored to your operation’s unique requirements.
We’ll care for your equipment throughout each stage of its lifecycle, from designing the ideal boiler system to meet your production goals to handling regular maintenance to maximize efficiency and minimize downtime. When emergencies do occur, our expert boiler technicians are on-call 24/7 so we can get your system up and running quickly.