Not as Complicated as It Steams: A Technical Primer on Steam Boilers

Craft Brewers Conference 2022
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Speakers: Chris McCombs, Megan Slater, Kent Taylor

This seminar provides an overview and some things to consider regarding the purchase and installation of a steam boiler for your brewery. Speakers do not provide specific equipment recommendations, but instead create awareness regarding many of the major considerations brewery owners should be aware of when choosing steam as the heating medium for their brewery.

Steam boilers are a complex subject and there are many things an owner/operator needs to know when it comes to the selection, installation, operation, and maintenance. Steam boilers can be inherently dangerous if they are not equipped with the appropriate safety devices, inspected regularly, and operated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations by trained personnel. To quote a boiler industry expert, “When working only a few feet away from a piece of equipment with more expansive energy than dynamite, you need to ask yourself: Do I have enough training to operate this equipment safely?”

This seminar also includes a discussion on boilers vs. water heaters. The lines between boilers and water heaters are blurred. While some water heaters are referred to as boilers, this seminar will parse the difference between hot water boilers and saturated water boilers, or “steam boilers,” including the two main types of steam boilers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Be educated on the different types of boilers available, including the pros and cons of each of the two main groups
  • Learn about proper operation and maintenance to ensure years of service
  • Discuss essential safety best practices and other important things to know about steam boilers

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