Brewery steam requirements can double or triple in as little as a few seconds, so selecting a boiler that is up for the task is imperative.  Engineered Energy Equipment (EEE) represents Rite boilers:  a perfect fit for food and beverage producers.  Their low-pressure steam boilers have long been the boiler of choice for craft breweries, distilleries, and food product companies.

A boiler purchase is one of the most important investments for a craft brewery. Breweries rely on steam to produce hot water for sanitization and to keep their precious brews at the right temperatures.  Steam is also used in pasteurization heating for bottling.

Rite Boilers manufactures a complete line of low and high-pressure steam boilers and related equipment that are the “perfect pairing” for brewmasters. These rugged, simple-to-maintain boilers have a reputation for reliability and efficiency. Here’s a nice feature: Rite Boilers can be inspected and cleaned with ease because they are the only industrial steam boiler that offers full waterside access, allowing the end-user to maintain brand new efficiency for life.

Insulated and hinged head-plates are standard on all Rite steam boilers. Rite also offers automatic stack dampers to conserve energy, boiler feed systems, blowdown tanks, water softeners, chemical treatment, condensate transfer units, boiler stack and automatic timed surface blow-down systems. These boilers go from 3 to 300 boiler horsepower, natural gas, propane and diesel fired. Low NOx emissions and outdoor boilers are available too. [Craft Brewing Business]

According to Doug McMaster, Craft Brewing Business, the following are important criteria to consider when choosing a boiler for your brewery:

1. Ability to meet steam demand at production.

Steam demand in breweries can vary widely based on the exact need in that moment. Traditionally, a large single boiler is used so that it will be ready with steam at any moment. However, it is expensive to keep a large, oversized boiler ready at all times.

“We have irregular needs for hot water for cleaning our tanks and our lines,” explained Jaime Jurado, director of brewing operations at The Gambrinus Company Breweries, owner of Spoetzl and BridgePort Brewing Co. “However, with the two modular, on-demand boilers we installed from Miura, we can choose between having them both fully fired or having one off and completely cold to the touch — instead of being on all the time, like our old fire-tube boiler. That tells you right there that we’re saving about half the natural gas we were using before. We can get full steam from our second Miura boiler in about five minutes, whereas the old boiler would take hours before it could provide steam.”

2. Ability to do multiple processes at the same time.

Those processes can include brewing (hot liquor and mash tun), CIP, sanitization, sterilization, kegging, canning and bottling. Again, applications and processes can vary from brewery to brewery. A precisely designed steam system, particularly utilizing a modular boiler approach, will help ensure that the right amount of steam is ready at any time — not too much and not too little.

3. Ability to adjust steam supply to fluctuations on demand.

Brewery steam requirements can double or triple in as little as a few seconds. Large fire tube boilers need a long time to react to these demand swings. To overcome that problem, firetube boilers will remain hot. The costs to do this are tremendous. Modular, on-demand boilers can generate steam within seconds when in standby mode. This saves an average of 20 percent in fuel costs.

A recent bulletin on commercial boilers from the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) states, “If building loads are highly variable, as is common in commercial buildings, designers should consider installing multiple small (modular) boilers … Modular systems are more efficient because they allow each boiler to operate at or close to full rated load most of the time, with reduced standby losses.”

4. Costs.

Keep an eye out for savings in fuel, water, labor and maintenance — not just the cost of the unit itself. A low-efficiency, traditional boiler purchased for $75,000 can easily waste its purchase price within one year compared to a high-efficiency design.

Savings can be broken down into three general categories: Initial cost; Maintenance; and Boiler efficiency (energy, water usage, fuel, etc.).

The smallest part of an overall boiler investment is initial cost. While capital expenditure and maintenance costs should be carefully analyzed, running costs will determine the ongoing health and survival of your company. The best method to maximize your investment year in and year out is to understand all the costs of your boiler operation.

5. User-friendly control systems.

Look for systems that have sophisticated internal controls that can be managed both by user-friendly interfaces that you control as well as offsite monitoring by boiler technicians (like the ones at Miura). These features greatly prevent and reduce maintenance and repair costs. Remote monitoring also provides peace of mind to you, the brewer, who has so many other things to think about during the production cycle.

6. Ultimately, it’s all about your bottom line.

The industry is now greatly affected by the fluctuations in gas pricing, so moving forward with the correct boiler is a top concern in the goal to reduce costs. Additionally, some brewers are now promoting a green image, which means low emission, energy- and water-efficient boilers are increasingly more popular.

When shopping for a boiler that reduces energy consumption and minimizes fuel costs, also look for systems that offer design flexibility and a compact footprint. This will not only save physical space in your facility, but also will be able to add more steam capacity as your business grows without taking up more space — a feature not possible with their larger cousins. From Rite’s dependable steam and water boilers to their high efficiency Durafins, Rite has boilers for almost every application and budget. For more information about Rite Boiler and Engineered Energy Equipment, go to