Breweries put special demands on HVAC systems. Properly selected, installed, and maintained HVAC systems help support and refine the brewing process. This can assist in maintaining beer quality. Plus, it will allow brewing equipment and HVAC systems to work more efficiently leading to longer lifespans for both of these expensive systems. Aztec Mechanical is experienced with servicing brewery HVAC systems across New Mexico. Whether your system needs regular maintenance or a timely repair, we can get it working again quickly so production can progress, and your taproom remains comfortable.

Santa fe brewing company hvac system

 Photo Courtesy: Santa Fe Brewing Company | The Beer Hall at Headquarters
Aztec Mechanical Project Scope: Our team assisted with the heating, cooling, and ventilation installation for the headquarters restaurant and taproom in Santa Fe.

Photo Courtesy: La Reforma Brewery

Aztec Mechanical Project Scope: Service work. 

Unique Stresses on Brewery HVAC Systems

Yeasts require precise temperatures for fermentation and have wide ranges depending on the type of beer brewed, from ales to lagers, and wheat and Belgian styles. Although brewing equipment helps keep fermentation cycles at the correct temperatures within the system, ambient temperatures are important as well. Once the beer has reached the cooling stage, keeping the correct environmental humidity and temperature is again critical to the outcome. Improper temperature control or conditions at any of these phases can interfere with the quality of the finished product.

You may have noticed that your steam-powered kettles create a muggy working environment for staff members. It’s valuable to closely regulate temperatures to keep them comfortable as they work.

Finally, as you know, brewing operations often work year-round, for days at a time, and during off-hours. So, it’s typical that brewery HVAC systems are some of the hardest working ones in the field. They don’t get the “off” hours as many other commercial or office building systems do.

Installation of Brewery HVAC Systems

It’s important that breweries select the best HVAC systems to match their needs. The first step is to consider the capacity your unit needs to operate well. The size of the building and ceiling height impacts the necessary capacity. However, other subtle factors, such as the insulation on your windows, the number of doors in the building, the number of people typically using the space, and the amount of heat and humidity in the space will also impact the system size needed. Pulling humidity out of the air is always a top priority. If you haven’t installed a large enough or suitable unit from the start, it’s always possible to replace or supplement.

Photo Courtesy: Bosque Brewing- Nob Hill 

Aztec Mechanical Project Scope: Our team provided the heating and cooling for the entire building as well as the ventilation.

Additionally, breweries with on-site brewing operations and a tasting room may find it useful to install an HVAC system with zones. These zones will allow each environment to be controlled discretely based on the conditions there and the comfort level of people using those spaces. Installing a smart thermostat can also provide some set-it-and-forget-it support for managing brewery and customer spaces. You can 

refine this process further by having different zones — and automatically adjusted temperatures — in stockrooms, offices, and other peripheral spaces. Your smart thermostat could even be programmed to account for changes throughout brewing cycles.

In breweries, it’s also important to consider ventilation. Typical vent setups include a flue to vent the steam from the brew kettle. Depending on whether the system is steam-fired or direct gas-fired, the brewery will also need an exhaust flue in the boiler room or for the kettle firebox.

You may also want to consider air filtration. After perfecting your yeasts, you may not want to risk introducing other yeast and bacteria to your mix. In this case, a UV air purifier could help keep your space sanitary.    

Photo Courtesy: Bosque Brewing- Nob Hill 

Aztec Mechanical Project Scope: Our team provided the heating and cooling for the entire building as well as the ventilation.

Maintenance of New Mexico Brewery HVAC Systems

Just like your brewery equipment needs to be serviced to work properly and efficiently, your brewery’s HVAC system needs regular maintenance. Regularly scheduled maintenance should include:

  • Changing or cleaning air filters.
  • Cleaning outdoor condensers.
  • Cleaning indoor components.
  • Clearing drain lines from algae and other pollutants.
  • Checking electrical connections.
  • Calibrating your thermostat.

Falling off a regular maintenance schedule could create a ripple effect through your brewery. It could lead to ill-timed breakdowns that could interrupt your brewing process causing you to waste product or produce a poor product. It could also close your taproom, which means your in-person business may encounter disruptions. 

Along with refrigeration, HVAC systems are also one of the energy biggest draws in your building. Making sure your system is running efficiently will help reduce energy costs. This is particularly important if your system uses an economizer, which fails often and could increase heating and cooling costs by up to 50%.

Photos Courtesy: Toltec Brewery 

Aztec Mechanical Project Scope: Our team installed heating & cooling for the building as well as a captive air hood and stainless-steel venting for the kitchen. We also vented the brewing equipment.

How Aztec Mechanical Can Help

Aztec Mechanical has provided HVAC consultations and maintenance for several local breweries in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Our team of certified technicians can assist you with selecting the best system for your brewing setup, installation, and ongoing maintenance. If you’d like to discuss HVAC installation or maintenance for your brewery, contact us today to get started.