The nuances of every brewhouse are unique, and thus every brewery
faces unique challenges in optimizing their brewhouse processes.
However, improving brewhouse efficiency is a worthwhile and profitable
goal because it can lower raw material usage, save time, and ultimately
save money without decreasing quality. Brewhouse efficiency improvement
work often focuses on the malt milling process to create an ideal grist
composition and mill setting. This study acknowledges the results of
this practice and investigates the benefits of varying mash thickness
and managing liquor and lauter running volumes to further improve
brewhouse efficiency without increasing lauter time in both single and
double-mash brewing. The study focuses on two cases in particular. The
first is a single-mash beer with original gravity of 15.4°P, and the
second is a double-mash beer with original gravity of 23.8°P.
Double-mash beers traditionally have no sparge and require two mashes
and lauters to get to boil kettle full volume with gravity close to
23°P. All experiments were conducted on a 140 bbl BrauKon refurbished
brewhouse with BrauControl automation and used the records from
unaltered batches from the previous year as the control. Brewhouse
efficiency was increased by adjusting mash thickness, liquor volume, and
lauter running volume during the brewing process, resulting in reduced
malt usage and accelerated lauter times. The successful process
improvements were combined and adopted as the new standard practices for
the brewing methods of the two beers.