New York craft brewer hops on benefits of boiler retrofit
When Scott Vaccaro, owner of Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, in Elmsford NY, asked other craft brewers which brand of steam boiler they chose, the word he heard most often in reply was Miura.
The Captain Lawrence Brewing Company leans on its new boiler’s faster startup time, which they report as roughly three minutes, to get more done each day.
“The craft brewing industry, as spread out as it is, is a pretty tight-knit group of people and when somebody finds something they like, they spread the word,” Vaccaro notes. “One of the other breweries told us, ‘Our new Miura boiler is larger, we are running it more, but our gas bill actually went down.’ We haven’t been able to attest to that just yet ourselves, but we’re assuming and hoping it will be true for us as well. I know we are happy so far.”
Vaccaro chose a compact, gas-fired Miura LX-50 for his family-run Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, which produces a line of award-winning ales distributed throughout Connecticut and the lower 15 counties of New York State. Named after a Revolutionary War hero, Captain Lawrence projects an output of 15,000 to 17,000 barrels this year with the recent addition of 12 oz. bottles for retail sale. Most essential to this small company, however, is the dependability of its Miura LX-50, which enables Vaccaro and his team to concentrate on what they do best.
STEAM NEEDED, STAT
“We make beer, which means we need on-demand steam – fast, and lots of it,” Vaccaro says. “Basically, from the time we hit the start button on our LX-50 to when we’re at our full operating pressure is about three minutes. That’s very important, because we don’t want to be sitting around every morning for an hour, waiting for a boiler to get up to temperature. Being able to turn the steam on and off quickly is a big plus. Breweries are a fairly water-intensive operation. We are constantly boiling water in the kettle and sending high-pressure steam to sterilize the keg line. Thanks to the efficiency and the quick start-up of the Miura LX-50, we are able to consistently maintain 1,200 gallons of hot water without any worry, whereas our old facility’s cast-iron sectional boiler made it was a constant struggle to meet our hot water demand while also maintaining a decent boil.”
Because Miura’s unique once-through fintube design burns less fuel, it also reduces emissions. Miura boilers output reduced levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a major contributor to air pollution, as well as CO2, the most prevalent of greenhouse gases. Miura boilers achieve low-NOx performance by reducing the temperature of the boiler’s flame, which in turn reduces the amount of excited nitrogen atoms available to bond with oxygen to form nitrogen oxides.
As a result, NOx emissions are reduced to around one-quarter of what traditional fire-tube boilers emit. This enables Miura boilers to comply with even the most stringent air-quality regulations. With regard to reduced CO2 emissions, Miura’s technology leverages superior operating efficiency to contribute significant carbon abatement with a payback.
“New York State and Westchester County audit emissions, so being able to tell them we have a low NOx, high-efficiency boiler is a huge plus,” Vaccaro says. “We feel good about that and about saving money on fuel.”
In addition to its fintube design, every Miura boiler also features the BL Micro Controller, which keeps track of multiple individual monitoring points. An advanced diagnostic system, it can identify any potential challenge to smooth operation and recommend a solution on an easy-to-read display. A “sliding-window feature” records events four seconds before they occur for fast and effective trouble-shooting. This system can also be accessed via the Internet using the Miura Online Maintenance (“MOM”) feature for remote monitoring and diagnostics. The system can also interface with Miura’s Colormetry feature, which monitors water quality to prevent the build-up of scale inside the boiler.
“Without our boiler this brewery stops,” Vaccaro explains. “Reliability is what’s most important to us. MOM and Miura’s Colormetry feature enable us to be hands-off. It also gives us the peace of mind that Miura has our back on one of the most important pieces of equipment we have. You hit the start button on the LX-50 and that’s pretty much the end of it. The boiler tells us when it needs to be blown down. The boiler tells us if there is a hard-water issue. The boiler sends back all the reports to Miura, so they know what’s going on.”
GREAT TASTE, LESS SPACE-FILLING
Yet another benefit of Miura’s design is a compact physical size. Although smaller, however, Miura’s exclusive technology produces bhp outputs comparable to much larger units.
“Many craft breweries are tight on space, so the compact footprint of Miura boilers is a huge plus,” Vaccaro said. “Our 50 hp unit takes up the same space as our old 10HP sectional.”
As craft brewers continue to proliferate nationwide and more consumers come to appreciate the diverse choices offered by smaller, innovative beer makers, the use of Miura boilers continues to grow in this specialized industrial segment. ES