Diffrent Heating Style of Brewhouse: Steam VS Electric VS Gas Fire


Diffrent Heating Style of Brewhouse: Steam VS Electric VS Gas Fire

2017-07-14 11:56 161 Shaw

Diffrent Heating Style of Brewhouse: Steam VS Electric VS Gas Fire

For many beer fans, especially who want to invest to have a owned complete brew system, usually they have to make their choice of which heating way is the best one for their brewing system, here we list their characteristics of heating styles about YoLong Brewhouse.

There are mainly three different heating styles of brewhouse, steaming heating, electric heating and direct fire. The heating style influence the brewing technology, also brewhouse vessels design is different, mostly it depends on the situations you face.

A. Steam Heating

Brewhouse vessels usually fixed dimple jacket on the inner shell this way. Steam can provide the fastest kettle temperature ramp rates as a result of shear surface area contact, usually apply to the capacity brew system above 10bbl for best efficiency.

As the fastest heating source, steam jacketed kettles require large up-front brew house construction costs for the addition of specialized pressurized steam jackets, steam pipes, electric steam generator/boiler, and condensate returns.

You may find it’s advantages and disadvantages below:  

a. Fast heat rate of large brewhouse construction.
b. When combined with gas fired boiler, you can get good (but not best) efficiency and low energy cost.
c. Easier to clean compare to electric heating elements


a. Highest cost of brew kettles and heat source (boiler system).
b. Generally not very cost effective at a small scale.
c. Some countries’ local authorities require costly permits and inspections for operating steam generators/boilers, which can slow down your start-up timeline.

B. Electric Heating

Electric heating vessels including a heating tube in the kettle, which ensures highest efficiency, 100% of heat generated is transferred to the water or wort predictable cost. It’s very common in the field of homebrew system and small commercial brew plants, also can more easily control the temperature.


a. High efficiency in small brewhouse.
b. No concerns about carbon monoxide or open flames or explosive gases.
c. Cost effective at 2 to 10 bbls Can be highly automated if desired.
d. Excellent control of the brewing process, temperatures.


a. Cost of electricity is typically higher than gas, but it is often offset by much better efficiency.
b. Up front cost is usually higher than gas fired, but lower than steam boilers and steam piping Your building needs to have enough amperage available to heat the kettles and operate everything else (varies according to the system size)
c. Electric kettles sometimes have slow temperature ramp speeds, which can prolong your brew days.
d. You need to get out the electric elements to clean when finish brewing.

C. Gas Fire

Direct Fire is a powered gas burner installed on the outside of the kettle which projects a forced-air flame onto a deflector plate or diffuser inside a fully contained fire box beneath the kettle.
This design significantly reduces the risk of scorching and in-turn allows for greater control and kettle temperature ramp speed similar to a steam jacketed kettle.


a. Can be lowest up front cost to start a brewery.
b. Many brewers are accustomed to gas fired kettles.
c. Some brewers prefer the caramelization that can occur with gas fired systems.


a. Probably the highest long term cost – it is typically 25% to 50% efficient if in an enclosed space, you need to provide make-up air and provide an exhaust system(depend on the areas).
b. Some buildings will need fire suppression systems in somewhere, the emissions regulations and requirements on gas burners result in significant added costs and reduced efficiency.  
Every customer and installation is unique. In general, we think the gas fired systems are more likely to be optimal for home brewers and small commercial operations. Electric is most likely to be optimal for small commercial systems (2 to 10 bbls), and steam heat is most likely to be optimal for larger systems. All that said, we sell equipment with all kinds of heat source capability for all sizes, because of individual circumstances and brewer preferences.


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