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Boiler size suggestion


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We're currently going through an expansion and i'm sure alot of you have gone through this so I thought it might be a good question to throw out there.

Boiler will be heating:

300 gallon still, one 4 plate whiskey column, one 20 vodka column plate column hybrid still

one 10bbl or about 310 gallon mash tun

one 17.7 bbl or 550 gallon hot liquor tank

We also wanted to have room for a future stripping still or a continuous to strip.

We are getting quotes on 1.3 million btu input low pressure cast iron boiler

thoughts? Should we look at bigger boilers to be safe or do you think we should be fine?


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Anyone have a ballpark idea of what is a reasonable price for a gas boiler, in the 500,000 to 1 million btu range? We are waiting for some quotes, but the first one we got was very high. Also, do we need a high-pressure setup, or is the low-pressure boiler enough for a small distillery? TIA.

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most distillation systems require low pressure boilers. 15 psi or less.

word of mouth, I was recently passed the number of a 500kbtu Peerless boiler with blowdown and condensate make up, came in around $17k

that didn't include installation.

some folks have been lucky enough to get better deals, but this seems the going rate.

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What should installation typically cost ? I know it varies but is there a going rate the installation of a boiler about that size?

I just had a 1mil btu boiler installed with associated piping to a mashtun, hot liquor tank, and pot still. It ended up costing me a bit over 25k. I got quotes as high as 100k! The boiler guy that I used seemed to really know his stuff, and was able to cut some corners when appropriate. Also, I'm having digital controls installed on each tank next week. I want to say they were an additional 1k each.

Also, I ended up going with a new smith boiler with all the stuff (power burner, blowdown, water softener, condensate pump, bunch of other junk) which ran 24k. That all amounts to some pricey hot air!

If you are looking to buy a new boiler, I'd very confidently recommend (am I allowed to do that?) working with Chuck Woodruff with Steam System Solutions - 303.439.0565. He's worked with numerous breweries and at least one distillery. He gave us a few options on appropriate boilers with the various pros/cons of each, and also assisted with engineered drawings.

Hope that helps.

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You might also want to ask your local building inspector or waste/water town admin of any other businesses in your area that have steam boilers (they should know this). They pointed me to local company going out of business that sold me a 4 yr old Fulton 650K boiler (its high pressure but a simple steam regulator takes the line to low pressure), a 200 gallon steam kettle w/mixer, an extra 200 gallon kettle(no steam jacket) and a ton of extra equipment for a ridiculously low price. I was able to sell the extra equipment which covered all the cost. YMMV. :) Worth a try.

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