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Heating method of beer equipment

Views: 18     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-07-13      Origin: Site

Many craft beer enthusiasts, especially those looking to invest in opening a craft brewery, don't know which heating method is best for their brewing system.

For craft breweries, two popular heating methods are electric heating and steam heating. The heating method will affect the brewing process and, of course, the design of the brewing equipment will vary. What is the best way to heat brewing equipment? This long-standing and unanswered question is that there is no "best" way to heat it. Our brewing equipment is designed for a variety of heating methods and we will advise you based on your brewing needs and setup. Each heating method has its advantages and disadvantages. For your convenience, DEGONG will list these advantages and disadvantages for you below.

Electric heating

Electric heating systems are a popular choice for 50L-1000L commercial brewing systems. Electric heating mashing equipment includes heating pipes in the kettle to ensure the highest heating efficiency. 100% of the heat generated by electric heating is transferred to the water or wort. This type of heating is common in homebrew systems and small commercial breweries, and the temperature is easy to control.

However, electrically heated brewery equipment typically requires up to 300-500A and 3 phase 480 volts. These requirements are not an operational standard in most parts of the world, meaning your craft brewery will get a lot of licenses, electrical service upgrades, and infrastructure before you can safely brew your first beer. Additionally, ongoing electricity costs are monthly costs that can significantly impact craft brewery profitability. Also, electric heating is notorious for its slow heating rate, which can prolong your brew time. We recommend electric heating for small brewing systems up to 1000 liters.

Advantages of electric heating:

  • High-efficiency heating method of small beer equipment, 100% of the heat generated is transferred to water or wort;

  • No need to worry about the presence of carbon monoxide or open flames or explosive gases;

  • 200L-1000L beer equipment is relatively cost-effective. Highly automated control if necessary;

  • Excellent temperature control during brewing;

  • predictable costs;

Disadvantages of electric heating:

  • The cost of electric heating is usually higher than that of steam heating, but is usually offset by higher heating efficiency;

  • The initial cost of equipment is usually higher than direct fire heating, but lower than steam heating;

  • In a craft brewery, there needs to be enough current to heat the kettle and other operations (varies depending on the size of the brewing system);

  • Electric heating heats up very slowly and will prolong your brewing time;

  • After the brewing is completed, the electrical components need to be removed for cleaning, which is time-consuming and labor-intensive;


DEGONG 5BBL electric heating brewhouse equipment

Steam heating

Steam heating systems are a popular choice for professional breweries and large commercial breweries. Saccharification chamber equipment typically has a steam jacket welded to the inner shell. Since the steam jacket is in contact with the equipment, steam provides the fastest heating rate. As the fastest heating method, steam jackets require significant initial brewery construction costs to add special pressurized steam jackets, traps and condensate return. Additionally, most local authorities have to obtain expensive permits and inspections to operate steam generators/boilers, which can slow down brewery start-up times. You'll also need to hire a professional and expensive contractor to pass the inspection and securely attach the high-pressure steam fiber optic to your kettle.

Advantages of steam heating:

  • Rapid heating methods for the construction of large breweries;

  • You can get good (but not optimal) heating efficiency and lower energy costs when combined with gas/electric/oil-fired boilers;

  • Easier to clean than electric heating;

Disadvantages of steam heating:

  • It is the most expensive heating method due to the need to build a boiler system and a steam system;

  • It is often not cost-effective to use in microbrewery equipment;

  • Local authorities in some countries must inspect and operate steam generators/boilers, and there must be high license and inspection fees that can slow down your brewery start-up time.


DEGONG 30HL steam heating brewhouse equipment

Heating Options Steam Heating Electric Heating
Tank structure features The kettle/HLT is welded with a steam jacket to be able to heat by steam The kettle/HLT is mounted with electric heating coils inside
Extra equipment The kettle and HLT share the same set of steam boilers, and also suitable steam piping& valves, etc No
Fuel requirement It can be LPG or natural gas or electricity. Please kindly let the boiler supplier advise the suitable boiler capacity according to the required thermal power No
Building construction Better have an independent small room(1-2 square meters) to put the steam boiler, just beside the brewhouse Enough electricity powerm
Electric requirement Within 30kw for the whole set of the brewhouse(including pumps, chillers, motors, etc) Normally big. For example, 500l system: More than 80KW.
Recommended use capacity Brewhouse above 500L 50L-1000L Brewhouse

Each customer-installed brewing system is unique. We believe that for small commercial systems (2 to 10 barrels) electric heating is most likely the best, while steam heating is most likely the best choice for larger systems. In general, DEGONG custom designs brewing equipment of various sizes and uses a variety of heating methods according to the conditions and preferences of the brewer.

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