Material and beer losses - their significance, causes and control.
The rapid increase in raw material costs and wages makes it more than ever essential to monitor and control losses of materials and product. Loss of malt and adjuncts may result from incomplete emptying of bulk containers, from spillages and from excessive removal in pneumatic systems. Full hop utilization requires a boil lasting approximately 1 h and carelessness in weighing of hops will contribute to wastage. Many ancillary materials, such as copper agents, alginates, chillproofing enzymes, adsorbants, etc, may be wasted by overdosing or incorrect application. Thus, alginates and silica gels require careful wetting to achieve proper dispersion and effectiveness. Wastage of filter materials results from unnecessarily high dosage rates, use of wrong grade and incorrect operating procedure. The accuracy of material weighing should be checked regularly. Losses of liquid product may occur at the wort stage (excluding normal evaporation loss) as a result of over boiling and leakages or through incomplete wort drainage from spent hops and trub. Fermentation losses depend on the type of fermentation and the vessel design as well as the method of yeast separation. In the author's experience the losses on ales and lagers, respectively, are 1.5 to 1.75% and 2.0 to 2.5%. Packaging losses account for roughly 50% of the total production loss. They occur during startup, product change over, from careless fobbing, overfilling, beerline leakages, bottle breakage during mechanical and nonmechanical down time and as production rejects. Typical breakdown figures for each of these sources of loss are examined. A standard 5% plant loss is used in many Canadian breweries as a basis for evaluation, deriving largely from the 5% loss allowance permitted by the Excise Department. The change in point of duty assessment from the fermentation dip to the end of the packaging line means that beer in tankage is now only slightly more valuable than wort in the copper. A more realistic approach to assessment of liquid losses from copper to warehouse is illustrated.
Keywords: beer brewing costs production wort