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Electric vs. Steam vs. Gas Burner Direct Fire Heating for Brewhouse?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-01-09      Origin: Site

Electric vs. Steam vs. Gas Burner Direct Fire Heating?

When choosing a heating source for your kettle tank or hot liquor tank, there are many factors to consider. 

The size of your brewery system, brewery space available, desired flavor impacts, heating time and, 

of course, money will be a few of the factors. 

Electric heating, Steam heating and gas burner direct-fire heating have emerged 

as the three most popular heat sources that can power a commercial brew house.  

Here we would like to share our ideas on the pros and cons of those three heating sources.

Electric heating.


a. Electric heating vessels including a heating elements in the kettle tank, 

which ensures highest efficiency, 100% of heat generated is transferred to the water or wort predictable cost.

b. It’s very common in the field of home brew system and small nano brewery system, 

also can more easily control the temperature.


a. Electric heating brew houses typically require upwards of 400-600 amps of electricity and 3-phase power. 

These requirements are not standards running in most locations around the world. 

This means that your brewhouse will require significant permitting, electrical service upgrade, 

and infrastructure build-out before you can safely fire-up the kettle up for your first brew.

b. the ongoing cost of electricity versus gas is an additional monthly cost that can weigh significantly on profitability.

c. Electric kettles are also notorious for slow temperature ramp speeds, which can prolong your brew days.

d. It is not easy to clean electricity tube.

e. The electric type has a risk of scorch.

dry heating sensorDry Heating Protector

Steam heating.

Steam provides the fastest kettle temperature ramp rates as a result of shear surface area contact.

1.5-2bar steam pressure is suggested for our brew tank . 

But for some countries, like America and Canada can only use the 1bar. That is why they like gas burner direct fire heating.

a. steam can heat evenly and fast to avoid scorch.

b. the temperature can be controlled easily.

c. Source can be various: electric, gas, diesel etc.


a. Steam jacketed kettles require large up-front brew house construction costs for the addition of specialized pressurized steam jackets, steam traps, and condensate returns.  

b. most local authorities require costly permits and inspections for operating steam generators/boilers, which can slow down your start-up timeline.  

c. specialized and costly contractors must be utilized to pass inspection and safely plumb high pressure steam lines to your kettle.  

d. Lastly, settling on a steam system greatly reduces your versatility and expansion potential without completely reinvesting in the cost of a larger system

steam pipeline (3)steam pipeline (2)steam boilersteam outlet trap valve

Gas Burner Direct Fire Heating.

Gas Burner Direct Fire heating 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.


a. 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.

b. Forced air burners are low NOX, efficient, safe, and very versatile. 

This design allows for the best juxtaposition between cost and performance

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.  

burner direct fire heatingburner fire heating brewhouse

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