Whisky and Steam!

One of the most important elements within a whisky distillery is the steam boiler, in fact as one of our customers puts best “Boilers are the unsung heroes of the whisky industry as without steam we are unable to produce our award winning whisky which is why we must keep on top of our boiler water treatment and boiler maintenance to ensure it runs safely and reliably” Good quality steam is at the heart of a successful distillery and without reliable steam production a distillery would be unable to produce their unique product while remaining profitable, and therefore the importance of good water treatment practices cannot be overstated.

The process of whisky manufacture relies on the correct control of temperature throughout the process – with steam being used within malting, mashing, fermentation and last but not least the distillation! Without proper control of the steam system, you risk the safety of the personnel involved and the quality of the product being produced.  

Steam boilers can contribute more to the process than just the elements involved within the creation of the whisky. The tools and equipment used within the manufacturing process will require cleaning and sterilizing, and in addition the boiler may be used for heating within the distillery as well.

By maintaining the system water in line with BG04 you will minimise the possibility of scaling and corrosion around the steam and condensate system. Without correct treatment gases within the water such as carbon dioxide and oxygen can cause severe corrosion within steam/condensate pipework and boilers.

Carryover, a process by which water from the boiler is carried over with the steam, can contaminate the steam and condensate system.  This is usually caused by high levels of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in the boiler, excessive water treatment chemicals, contamination of boiler water from other areas of the process, and high alkalinity – most relating to poor control of the water treatment.

This can result in corrosion products precipitating out which will form deposits that can contaminate steam supplies in any area where steam may be used – and the carried over water from the boiler systems will also result in contamination in any area the steam encounters, which could then ultimately contaminate the final product.

So, to ensure your whisky quality and the efficient operation of your steam system (and so making sure the angels are still getting their share) maintain your boiler water system in line with BG04 and manufacturers guidelines!

Contact [email protected] for further details.