No matter what type of grapes or grain, one of the most important ingredients for producing beer and wine is heat. The top brewers and vintners count on electric heaters for reliable, consistent and affordable heating.
Electric heaters have a number of advantages over fossil fuel alternatives that result in more efficient heating and a better brew.
Fermentation is a science known as zymology. In the nearly 9000 years humans have been fermenting beverages that science has become exact. In beer and winemaking, fermentation relies on heat.
The right temperature allows the yeast to transform sugars into ethanol and carbon dioxide. Delivering a product with consistent quality and taste requires a consistent temperature.
Electric heaters provide a steady and accurate temperature, so you get a consistent product with every batch. WATTCO fermentation heaters can be equipped with extra temperature controls for even greater accuracy.
The materials for the sheath and hose covering are an important consideration in fermentation heaters. The materials need to satisfy three needs:
The chemical process in fermentation can damage the heater over time. This can result in higher maintenance and repair costs. It also leads to premature failure. In addition to these costs, a damaged heater does not provide the same consistency, reducing the quality of the product.
A damaged or corroded heater is not safe for operation and can present a health risk. It cannot offer a guarantee a sterile environment, preventing the product from meeting food and drink consumption requirements.
The solution is picking the right materials for the job. For example, SAE 316 Stainless steel is common for brewery heater sheaths. It is corrosion resistant, so it lasts longer and maintains a sterile brewing environment.
Sheath materials are just one of many customizations WATTCO industrial heaters can provide.
Each brewery and winery has their own variables that make their process unique. There is no one-size-fits-all for electric heaters. Varying factors such as the size of the operation, ingredients, and the length of fermentation affect different customizations that make electric heaters more efficient and accurate.
Size is one of the most important factors to consider. Proper fermentation requires even heat distribution. The size of the boil kettle affects what the best heater type is, as well as power requirements.
The right power output is an important factor in profitability. Heating is one of the big costs in the fermentation process. Having too high of a power output burns into your profits, but being underpowered can ruin entire batches. Our WATTCO representatives can recommend and customize ideal wattages, voltages and amperages for your process. This ensures quality brewing at the lowest cost.
Attachments are another important customization. Fermentation heaters produce ethanol, so there is a risk of explosion. For the safety of your staff, equipment, and product it’s worth taking some extra precautions.
A low-level shut off switch, for example, shuts off the operation if the heater elements are exposed. Exposed heater elements can ignite the ethanol fumes trapped inside, causing an explosion. A low-level shut off switch prevents this.
Outfitting the digital control panel with a NEMA 7, explosion-proof housing further increases the safety.
The most efficient heaters for making beer and wine are electric immersion heaters. They offer the low heating costs and accurate temperature control only electric heaters provide. As well, they offer direct heating, reaching temperatures quickly and safely. Which immersion heater is used depends on the size of the operation.
A smaller scale operation, like a microbrewery, generally uses a screw plug heater. They are extremely efficient heaters that provide even heating in small to medium size drums.
Larger commercial operations use electric flanged heaters. These are capable of heating much larger volumes than screw plug heaters.
Selecting the right heating equipment for brewing and winemaking has a direct impact on profitability. Our experts help determine the best electric heater, materials, and customizations to run your process at maximum efficiency. Contact us today for a quote or more information.
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