The future of brewing: Improving energy efficiency, lowering emissions and reducing risk in brewery steam systems

Many breweries have tremendous scope to improve their operational energy efficiency, reduce risk, improve product quality and cut emissions by upgrading their steam systems, says Spirax Sarco’s latest white paper.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has set ambitious targets for the brewing and pub industry to increase energy efficiency by 19% and reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2020*. It is also aiming to achieve an industry average of using less than four litres of water for each litre of beer produced, a reduction of 42% by 2020**.

Using steam to provide brewing processes such as wort boiling, pasteurisation, Cleaning in Place, Sterilising in Place and bottling and canning is a significant contributor to the overall energy bill in a brewery. In addition to these process requirements, steam is often required for heating systems. Yet there is huge potential to save thousands of tonnes of emissions per year through the application of innovative steam system technologies.

The white paper outlines the options available and explains the savings that can be achieved. Examples include switching from plant or filtered steam to clean steam, and improving systems to optimise the return of condensate to the boiler feedtank.

It also includes case studies which reveal energy and cost savings brewers have achieved by investing in new technologies. For example:
• Westons Cider has cut its annual fuel costs by £44,000 per annum and has significantly reduced water consumption following the installation of a reverse osmosis water treatment system.
• A Burton-on-Trent brewery saved £60,000 in energy and hot water costs in just one year after upgrading its steam trap population with up-to-date equipment.
• A Wiltshire brewer is using 8.2% less energy to heat hot water after upgrading its system from shell-and-tube calorifiers to two plate heat exchanger systems.
For more information and to download a copy of the Breweries Steam Systems White Paper, visit

*compared to a 2008 baseline
**compared to a 1990 baseline