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26. Optimizing the utilization of brewhouse resources through enhanced data visualization: Connecting operations from start to finish

K. A. KUHR (1); (1) PerkinElmer, Hamden, CT, U.S.A.

Brewhouse Operations II
Friday, October 9
10:00–11:45 a.m.
River Terrace 2

In order to optimize resource utilization, it is essential to understand how current brewing procedures affect statistics such as beer loss, brewing material efficiency (BME), and hop utilization. With the growth of countless craft breweries in the past few years and the soaring popularity of highly hopped beers, controlling these costs while refining ingredient balance has become increasingly important. Effectively tracking beer loss, BME, and hop usage can save money, preserve raw materials, and provide a competitive advantage. Through the systematic collection of data pertaining to material quantities used, barrelage, and process time at each brewing stage, these numbers can be simultaneously analyzed alongside laboratory results to provide a big-picture perspective on subtle shifts in brewing operations and the resulting impact on beer quality. This exploration was carried out using TIBCO®Spotfire and data obtained from a regional craft brewery. Chemical and microbiological data were linked by brew number in order to track laboratory results through each of the following stages: wort, fermentation, ruh, centrifuge, finishing tanks and final packages. Both aggregated mean and individual results for each brew were analyzed to track haze, pH, color, bitterness units, alcohol by weight/volume, apparent extract, real extract, original gravity, specific gravity, and real degree of fermentation, along with cocci, gram negative and positive rod, mold, and yeast counts. Rules were implemented to automatically visualize brews that need immediate attention and those whose laboratory results fall within the designated standard range. Through this visualization capability, brewhouse employees and managers can observe how quantities such as pounds of extract, pounds of hops, barrelage, laboratory results and even taste panel feedback synergize to change overall beer quality. This feedback can then be used to implement or revise procedures that reflect these findings and utilize the optimum quantity of malts, hops, and extract, among other brewing materials, that meet a desired goal.

Kathryn Kuhr obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry and forensic science from the University of New Haven in 2014 and is currently pursuing an M.S. degree in business analytics from Quinnipiac University. Since 2014, Kathryn has been working for PerkinElmer as an analytics application developer.

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