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Master Brewers Association of the Americas > BREWING RESOURCES > Ask the Brewmaster > Posts > Standard Acceptable Loss?
October 15
Standard Acceptable Loss?

​Q: I am researching Standard Acceptable Loss Percentages for the Brewing and Packaging processes. I am looking to obtain information that will help to compare our losses to a set standard. I am looking for a breakdown of the percentages for each of the following steps: Boil – Whirlpool; Whirlpool – Fermenter; Fermenter – Filter; Filter – Brite; Brite – Pasteurizer; Pasteurizer – Buffer; Buffer – Filler; Filler – Finished Product.

I know that there are different factors that may vary these percentages such as the gravity of the beer; the different type of product or recipe; the accuracy of the measuring equipment; loss from purging of product from the pipes and “spare’ beer that is kept in the tanks for sediment. Could you also include any additional factors that may contribute to our loss.

Any information that you could provide me or if you could refer me to additional information would be a great help.

A: The increasing diversity in the types of beers produced and the methods for producing them makes this question impossible to answer. Any "standard" is outdated and likely only applies to lager/light-lager production. I recommend focusing on improving your own losses at each stage rather than attempting to benchmark to another brewer's process, which is likely not the same as yours.

Here are some MBAA resources that may help you on your quest to benchmark/reduce process loss:

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