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Miura LX-50 Powers Excel Brewing Company's Newest Achievement
Original Press Release
Miura LX-50 Powers Excel Brewing Company's Newest Achievement
Press release date: January 8, 2013
Soft Drink Manufacturer Transitions to Craft Brewing Using Economical Miura On-Demand Steam
ATLANTA - Family owned and operated, the Excel Bottling Company in Breese IL has been making popular local soft drinks such as Ski soda since 1936. Excel recently diversified into craft brewing to address the growing market for unique new beer flavors and to leverage the advantages of its long-established bottling line, distribution system, and loyal customer base. Essential to this expansion was a reliable and cost-effective source of steam to serve the company's new venture, current needs, and potential future expansion. After researching various boiler brands and models, Excel Bottling management and brewmaster/quality control manager Tony Toenjes chose a gas-fired modular LX-50 boiler from Miura, the world leader in ultra-low NOx modular on-demand steam solutions.
"We first saw the Miura LX-50 in a trade publication and quickly saw the benefits of its high-efficiency, low-maintenance design, which we needed," Toenjes notes. "It doesn't require a boiler operator to constantly watch over it. Best of all, I can hit the button on the Miura LX-50 and in five minutes be up to steam, which is amazing. I used to work at an ethanol plant and the giant boilers there would take forever to get up to pressure."
Miura boilers employ a unique "once-through" fin-tube design that heats a smaller volume of water more efficiently than other boilers. This design enables Miura boilers to generate full steam from a cold start in five minutes or less. This on-demand steam capability enables Miura boilers to be turned on or off as needed to efficiently manage changing load conditions, as opposed to idling in stand-by and consuming energy. On-demand steam, combined with built-in precision microprocessor-control technology, conserves fuel, saving an average of 20 percent annually on energy costs over other boiler designs for typical installations.
"We are energy-conscious, and know that the Miura LX-50 will save us quite a bit in the long term," Toenjes adds. "Just the fact that the boiler doesn't have to be running all the time or take two hours to get up to pressure is great. It maintains pressure and does a really nice job."
The Ecology Aspect
In addition to on-demand steam and energy-conservation benefits, Miura boilers - as compared to conventional boilers - also output reduced levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a major contributor to air pollution, as well as carbon dioxide (CO2), the most prevalent of greenhouse gases. Miura boilers achieve low-NOx performance by reducing the temperature of the boiler's flame, which in turn reduces the amount of excited nitrogen atoms available to bond with oxygen to form nitrogen oxides. As a result of this, NOx emissions are reduced to around one-quarter of what traditional fire-tube boilers emit. This enables Miura boilers to comply with even the most stringent air-quality regulations. With regard to reduced CO2 emissions, Miura's technology leverages superior operating efficiency to contribute significant carbon abatement with a payback.
"The ecology aspect of Miura is important to us," Toenjes states. "We have been doing returnable soda bottles for years. Now we can run a steam line to a solution heat exchanger and do returnable beer bottles as well. What's also nice is that the precedent's been set - in California and other places - for the low-emissions performance of this boiler. Should our state ever want to know about our greenhouse gas emissions, Miura already has the supporting evidence, which would be expensive if we had to test for it ourselves."
Abundant Steam Capacity
Ample, cost-effective on-demand steam is not only enabling Excel's transition to craft brewing, it's also benefiting the company's long-established soft drink making processes.
"We've had several tours with local officials and I've told them, 'If we wanted to, our Miura LX-50 could generate enough steam for four city square blocks,'" Toenjes jokes. "Having a boiler such as this enables us to hook other things up to it. It's just getting the steam over to where you need it and bringing the condensate back. Our steam system has been designed so it can expand into our warehouse. We can hook up all our gas overhead heaters to steam. Our soda/keg washer can be steam-driven. We will also be able to eliminate the solution heater, a gas-fired giant hot water heater that we use for sterilizing bottles. That will free-up more space because we'll just need a small heat exchanger for the water."
Compact design is yet another benefit of Miura boilers. "The LX-50 is a good-size unit," Toenjes observes, "but it would probably take up twice as much space if it was a conventional 50 horsepower boiler. From a steam standpoint we are going to be doing even more brewing. We have already doubled our capacity by adding a new 40-barrel fermentor and are brewing upwards of 100 barrels per month. We've got a combination mash tun/lauter tun, a brew kettle, and a hot water tank all in a line. It was a challenge to put it all together in the space we had, and I can't praise the guys at American Boiler enough for what they did. They did a beautiful job in how they made all the connections."
Helping to maintain the peak performance of Excel's Miura LX-50 are Miura's BOILERMATE® water-treatment chemicals, the main ingredient of which is silicate, an environmentally friendly corrosion inhibitor. Excel's LX-50 uses BOILERMATE 1200 for its make-up water and BOILERMATE 3100 for the boiler itself.
Excel's first beer flavors are Shoal Creek Wheat and Excel Golden Brew. By all accounts these brews have joined Ski soda as local favorites. "We want to produce good quality products that people will like," Toenjes says. "We recently had a big party with about 300 people and it seemed like everybody enjoyed the beer. Sales are good and people here are very loyal to things that are produced locally."
"We are very happy with our Miura LX-50," Toenjes summarizes. "It responds very quickly to our demands. We can take 30 barrels of water at, say, 70 degrees and get that up to 150 degrees or so in about 45 minutes, which is really good. If that boiler has to run for 15 hours straight during a big brew I don't even have to think about it. I know it's going to do its job."
About Miura Boiler
Miura Boiler was founded in 1927 and has grown to become one of the largest industrial steam boiler manufacturers in the world. In 2009, Miura opened a new U.S. manufacturing facility in Polk County, Georgia. For more information on Miura Boiler, call in the USA 1-888-309-5574. In Canada call 1-800-666-2182. Visit Miura online at: www.miuraboiler.com.