When Scott Vaccaro, owner of Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., asked other craft brewers which brand of steam boiler they chose, the word he heard most often in reply was “Miura”.
“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,” says Vaccaro. “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.”
Ultra-low NOXmodular on-demand steam solutions, Miura boilers are microprocessor-controlled for precision operation and employ a “once-through” fin-tube design. According to the manufacturer, Miura boilers use less water and require less fuel, thereby allowing processors to save an average of 20 percent annually on fuel costs over other boilers for typical installations. They also can go from a cold start to full steam in less than five minutes to precisely match steam demands.
Vaccaro chose a compact, gas-fired Miura LX-50 for his family-run Captain Lawrence Brewing in Elmsford, N.Y. The craft brewer 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.
“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,” Vaccarro adds. “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.”