Category Archive: News
Steam is used in a wide range of applications as a heat source and a sanitizing agent.
In breweries, steam plays a crucial role in maintaining high sanitation levels, cleaning brewing utensils and hard-to-reach areas, and ensuring beer flavors remain consistent. For example, many breweries use steam generators to boil wort, which is a highly energy intensive step in the overall brewing process.
This article will discuss how breweries employ steam generators/boilers, compare the use of steam to boil wort versus electric heat or direct fire, and highlight some key advantages of utilizing steam in brewery applications.
How Are Steam Boilers Used in Breweries?
An important aspect of the brewing process is temperature control. Brewers must dictate temperature levels to ensure the various ingredients in a beer, such as grain, hops, yeast, and water, react a certain way. To a large extent, this controlled reaction determines the type of flavor of the beer.
Brewers closely oversee and manage their boiler’s temperature level so the water is heated to a precise point. Since there are many variables at play in this process—such as the desired flavor and the amount of water—the required amount of steam varies widely between each batch.
Sanitizing & Sterilizing
Steam is highly useful for clean in place (CIP) processes for equipment, such as:
- Mash tuns
- Brite tanks
- Serving tanks
Steam also kills leftover spores and bacteria in these pieces of equipment to acceptable levels.
Cleaning Kegs & Facilities
Even after the completion of the brewing process, beer-makers must store their product in containers with surfaces free from contaminating beer stone or biofilms, which could alter the taste of the beer. Steam generators help remove stickers or biofilms, unclog drains, and assist in eliminating calcified beer stone.
Boiling Wort: Steam vs. Electric vs. Direct Fire
In the wort boiling process, steam offers key advantages over other methods. For instance, the steam generators used in the brewing process can also be utilized during cleaning and sanitizing operations. Steam also has the fastest temperature ramp rates for the kettle due to shear surface area contact, which is a big plus when dealing with variable temperature requirements. Using steam ultimately allows for greater temperature control, ideal for fine-tuning the brewing process.
Brewers may require 300-500 amps of electricity or more to power electric brew houses. They also may have to implement 3-phase 480 volt power protocols. Since these requirements are not standardized throughout the country, brewers who use electricity to boil wort must ensure their permits, electrical service upgrades, and infrastructure are in line before they begin operations. This could require the expenditure of many resources.
This method of boiling refers to a gas burner that is installed on the outside of the kettle. This burners flame heats a diffuser or deflector plate inside a fire box underneath the kettle. One advantage of this method is a reduction in scorch risk. Additionally, direct fire allows the brewer to exercise greater control over temperature ramp rate compared to electric heat.
Steam generators offer several benefits to breweries:
- Steam temperatures above 284 degrees Fahrenheit safely remove organisms living beneath their own biofilm.
- A dry steam vapor model allows for increased cleaning efficiency, which leads to less operational downtime.
- Steam solutions are eco-friendly, reducing or eliminate effluent issues.
Electro-Steam has over 65 years of experience in the dry steam cleaning industry. We are one of the oldest producers of electric steam generators for original equipment manufacturers, and our catalog contains a wide array of steam generators that are perfect for breweries both large and small.
If you’d like to learn more or want to get started on the next project for your brewery, reach out to us today.
Pathogenic bacteria can survive on stainless steel at room temperature for prolonged periods of time, meaning that a failure to properly sanitize surfaces in food and beverage applications can lead to harmful cross-contamination. Contaminated food products or packaging can lead to a wide range of health and safety concerns for both consumers and production workers. These risks can be largely mitigated with the implementation of regular sanitation protocols, typically using either conventional cleaning or steam cleaning.
Conventional cleaning methods rely on water in combination with strong chemicals to kill pathogens. These cleaning agents must be allowed enough time at a proper temperature in order to effectively sanitize surfaces, which can cause delays in production. Care must also be taken to avoid contaminating surfaces with the chemicals themselves, which are typically oxidizers that are toxic to humans. These chemicals may include:
- Chlorine dioxide
- Peroxyacetic acid
- Quaternary ammonium compounds
Steam cleaning, on the other hand, offers a preferable alternative to conventional cleaning options. “Dry” steam cleaning mitigates many of the drawbacks of conventional cleaning while still providing effective sanitation. This method involves spraying surfaces with superheated jets of water which evaporate instantaneously. These bursts of dry steam kill even resistant microorganisms while producing minimal wastewater or residue.
Conventional wet cleaning methods have been in place for a long time because they offer some benefits and ultimately get the job done. However, these methods also have some notable concerns for food and beverage operations. The traits of conventional cleaning methods include:
Steam cleaning requires costs for machinery, which can be a hurdle for facilities looking to incorporate it into their routines. More conventional cleaning methods simply require cheap, easy to find chemicals and cleaning tools.
Beyond cost, conventional cleaning methods are still effective against many pathogens and contaminants—even more so when used in combination with other techniques. However, conventional cleaning may not be fully effective against all hazardous materials. For instance, many pathogens have evolved biofilms which protect them from chemical penetration.
Traditional methods inconsistently agitate surfaces, making it more difficult and time-consuming to remove stubborn contaminants. In addition, the cleaning agents themselves may be hazardous. Conventional cleaning methods increase the risk of chemical cross-contamination, which can be harmful to workers and consumers.
As a newer, more innovative method of cleaning and sterilization, dry steam cleaning was developed with the shortcomings of more traditional cleaning methods in mind. The benefits of dry steam cleaning include:
Steam cleaning mechanically agitates the surface being cleaned, which increases its ability to dislodge substances and bacteria that are otherwise difficult to remove. What’s more, the process involves extremely high temperatures that can penetrate the protective biofilms of microorganisms, killing pathogens that are resistant to cleaning chemicals and breaking their bond with the surface.
The dry steam cleaning technique minimizes the environmental impact of sanitization. Compared to conventional cleaning, steam cleaning requires extremely minimal water consumption, introduces zero chemicals into the production line, and produces next to no harmful wastewater to process. This makes the practice especially attractive to companies that want to highlight their commitment to sustainable practices.
Reducing water use lowers the chance of water damage when sanitization occurs around electrical components or sensitive machinery. It also reduces the risk of fall injuries and contamination from water borne bacteria.
Without chemicals that need to rest on the surface to kill bacteria and other pathogens, dry steam cleaning offers a much faster solution that results in significantly less downtime due to cleaning. This also facilitates more efficient use of laborers.
Although a highly safe and efficient option, steam cleaning is not without its limitations. Because of the equipment involved, steam cleaning necessarily introduces a requirement for additional maintenance and a larger initial investment.
Making the Decision
For more information about steam cleaning and how it compares to conventional methods in terms of environmental, cost, and safety benefits, you can refer to our eBook, “8 Reasons to Use Dry Steam Vapor for Food Safety & Sanitation.” Produced by the industry experts at Electro-Steam, this critical resource outlines the reasons that steam cleaning should be a part of your sanitation routine.
If you’re already sold on the benefits and want more information about proven, reliable steam cleaning equipment, get in touch with us today.
One of the major goals of food processors is the constant improvement of equipment hygiene to reduce the risk of potential product contamination. This means examining ways to control bacteria, spillage, dust and other potential contamination while maintaining a busy production schedule. A challenging problem considering that cleaning conveyor belts, both modular and flat solid types, can be a labor-intensive task and in some cases uses many gallons of chemicals and alarming amounts of water.
A sanitized conveyor system helps food processors reach their number one goal, allowing the manufacturer to streamline production efficiencies. Let’s look at some of the ways to keep conveyor systems sanitized and contamination-free.
Best Conveyor Cleaning Methods for Efficiency and Safety
Several methods exist to help food processors maintain a properly cleaned conveyor belt system. Some of these include:
Use of Hand Cleaning
The majority of flat solid conveyor belts are hand washed by cleaning crews using strong chemicals. This process requires extended down times, intensive labor and is often highly wasteful. Workers and food products are put at risk from improper cleaning and handling chemicals. With proper training, plenty of time and the right chemicals, this method can be a suitable solution for some food processors. Ultimately hand cleaning lacks the consistency and reliability that an automated food processing production line needs to scale.
Use of Brushless Cleaners
One solution to avoid this is to leverage a brushless conveyor belt cleaner. These products can be mounted directly onto conveyor belts to clean and sanitize them with minimal downtime. The process utilizes dry steam vapor to break the bond between soil and surface on the conveyor belt, suspending the soil in dry vapor before it is vacuumed away from the conveyor surface. No chemicals are used and the water consumption is extremely low, being collected in a vacuum suitable for steam collection.
These systems can be attached to belts quickly and then easily removed after cleaning. The steam generator and vacuum are mounted on casters, enabling the setup to rotate between cleaning locations or even between facilities. Brushless cleaners leave conveyor belts clean, dry and potentially sanitized (ATP 0). From there, you are ready for your validation step and your next production run.
Choosing the Right Cleaning Belt Solution
The style and material of the belt — in addition to the thickness of the surface, the installation, and the load requirements — should all play a role in the purchasing decision for your specific use case.
Because sanitation is paramount to controlling harmful pathogens and bacteria, it’s also critical to select a conveyor cleaning system that meets to an acceptable validated standard of pathogenic bacteria – including listeria monocytogenes, e-coli, and salmonella. Such pathogens can quickly multiply and are difficult to detect, and even harder to clean.
The Eagle Series Automatic Brushless Belt Cleaner simplifies the process by utilizing an attachment that easily installs and removes within one minute, all with no moving parts on the cleaning head. 100% coverage of the belt removes the risk of human error in the cleaning and sanitizing process!
Studies show that heat is one of the most effective ways to sanitize equipment and manage bacteria. Food processing and production facilities are top candidates for using dry steam vapor cleaners as part of the sanitation process.
Conveyor Belt Cleaning Solutions from Electro-Steam
Since 1952, Electro-Steam has manufactured high-quality, reliable, and efficient steam generators for use in commercial and industrial food service. Our steam cleaning units can degrease and sanitize virtually any equipment in food processing facilities, including those in the baking, beverage, and packing industries, and come with custom tools designed and built for your unique requirements.
For more information about our steam cleaning products and how they can benefit your food service, food processing, or food production application, please contact us.
Many companies and facilities around the world use industrial electric steam generators for a variety of processes and applications. Practical uses for small and safe point-of-use steam equipment are nearly endless.
Some of these include food processing plants where they are used to clean and sanitize conveyor belts and other equipment. Some are used in pharmaceutical companies for humidifying clean rooms. Others are used in hospitals and surgery centers for providing steam for autoclaves, sterilizers and bio reactors.
Even more, some are used in the beverage industry for sanitizing bottling lines, cleaning barrels and kegs in wineries and breweries.
Industrial steam generators are also used by fabricators and finishing companies for pre-cleaning and iron-phosphating metal for smoother surfaces before paint or other coatings are applied. Our generators are the ideal solution for these and many more applications as they provide point-of-use, on-demand steam easily and effectively.
ASME Requirements for Boilers and Steam Generators
Safety is always a primary concern when using pressurized steam generation systems – for the owners, their employees and operators of the equipment. So, it is important that critical components used in building pressure vessels and boilers comply with applicable ASME Codes as outlined in ASME Code Section I.
Steam generation systems usually contain pumps, valves, assorted plumbing and other components used in their construction and installation. As part of the overall system these components can create, and must withstand, both high temperatures and pressures. Safety guidelines have been established for construction, installation and use of such systems. It is vitally important that they be followed.
Pressure vessels and boilers used in North America must comply with certain state and local regulations. Below is a compilation of such requirements- use this as a checklist to help guide your decision before purchasing a steam generator/boiler. Is your prospective equipment:
- Registered with the National Board
- Piping system compliance with ASME B31.1
- Supplied with Manufacturer’s Data Report (P2-A or P2-B)
- Manufacturer’s Report for ASME CSD-1 made available for each piece of equipment
Section I of the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code governs the design, fabrication, and inspection of pressure vessels, and boilers. As advancements in material and design, as well as improvements in technology are constantly being made, We invest heavily to ensure that our equipment stays complaint as changes in the code arise.
How to Purchase Safe & Compliant Steam Generators
Ensure your boiler or steam generator complies with the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code. With the exception of our hawk series, all of our steam generators are built by an ASME Certificate holder in accordance with ASME BPVC Section I – Rules for Construction of Power Boilers (“ASME BPVC Section I”). They also comply with the requirements outlined in The National Board Synopsis of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Laws, Rules and Regulations (NB-370) RULES FOR CONSTRUCTION AND STAMPING section, which for many jurisdictions include but are not limited to ASME BPVC Section I, ASME CSD-1, ASME B31.1, and REGISTRATION WITH THE NATIONAL BOARD. Each boiler/steam generator purchased from Electro-Steam is supplied with a copy of the Manufacturer’s Data Report, as well as a copy of the CSD-1 upon request. We know understanding whether or not equipment complies with the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code can be difficult.
Electro-Steam’s products provide safe, efficient methods for cleaning a variety of surfaces and supplying heat and steam for various process equipment over many industries. We know that understanding ASME Code compliance can be difficult.
By drawing on our more than 65 years’ worth of experience in the steam equipment business – we are here to help. If you’re in the market for a safe, reliable and compliant steam generator or boiler from a trustworthy and established industry leader, please contact us today.
Dear Valued Customer,
Since early 2018, Electro-Steam has and continues to experience inflationary conditions on sourced parts and materials as a direct result of tariffs levied in the US – China trade war. The latest tariff was announced by US administration last September. This was the third 10% tariff levied on imports from China.
As always Electro-Steam will continuously take measures to reduce expenses and mitigate the effects of increased costs of parts and materials. As such we are currently evaluating our supply chain end-to-end to find alternative sourcing options and to assess any opportunity to lessen the impact of these tariffs.
What this means for 2019:
Electro-Steam will continue to provide the highest quality steam equipment and develop unique products to meet our customer’s ever shifting needs. To facilitate the continuance of developing new equipment, maintaining quality assurance and to offset increased costs of parts and raw materials we are unfortunately forced to raise our prices. Effective January 15, 2019 our customers will see a price increase of an average range from 3% to 5% based on the parts and materials used to build each particular unit.
Any quotations issued at 2018 prices will be honored if orders are placed before the quote’s expiration date. Any quotations issued after the 1st of January will contain 2019 pricing.
Thank you for your business, loyalty and understanding!
We are looking forward to serving you in 2019.
Happy New Year and Best Regards,
General Manager, ElectroSteam Generator Corporation.