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Silo malt is always short...

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  • Silo malt is always short...

    About every 1/2 year I try to empty my silo and I only get ~ 4 silos per year (22 MT per fill). Flex auger conveyed about 75 feet to roskamp mill, then gravity drops into a bulk feed tank on scales. If the bulk feed tank post mill is empty and I weigh a bag of grain (56 pounds on the analog weigh scale near specialty malts) and put it on top of the bulk feed tank, the digital scale reading the weight of the bulk feed tank scale reads 56 pounds. This process can be repeated at higher weights. Example: flex convey bulk malt so that post mill scale reads 500 pounds, then add the bag of grain, the digital scale then reads 556 pounds. If I put four bag atop 1,000 pounds of milled grain, the digital scale read 1224 pounds. Point is, the digital scale post milling is quite accurate.

    So why on earth is the bulk malt that I pay for per pound always, and I mean, always short?

    Today when I emptied the silo prepping it for delivery next tuesday I was supposed to have 1434 pounds in it. But there was only 689, a difference of 740 pounds. Now, when you consider that there has been 145,000# of grain through it, the bulk malt carrier's scale is only off by 0.5%. however, in 14 silo fills over the last three years, its never been over, its never been right on, and its always under. Any one else have this problem? If I am buying 10 pounds of potatoes, I want 10 pounds of potatoes. If I am buying 46,000# of malt, I want 46,000# of malt....

  • #2
    I'd be talking to other breweries who deal with that malt distributor to see if they are noticing any discrepancies. After that there is only waste or theft to consider. 740 lbs of base malt is an incredible amount of loss.....


    • #3
      Malt losses

      Do you keep a manual record of malt used ? I find that the number on my chore time controller always ends up different than my manual (written) record. I get my scales calibrated regularly, before my silo fill I tare it down to zero, and usually the number matches my ordered amount when it's full. Something I think seems to happen as it empties. I think those load cells "miss-fire" on occasion, my silo is on the roof so maybe strong winds and bad weather?

      Tariq Khan (Brewer/Distiller)

      Yaletown Brewing and Distilling Co.
      Vancouver, B.C.


      • #4
        I worked at a seed company for many many years. I can tell you that 99% of companies that trade seeds and grains will send a short weight. This can be due to a variety of factors. They can have a mis calibrated scale, they may not account for the weight of the packaging, there may be loss in transfer, and there is a moisture content factor. It is normal to lose around 10% weight over a year long period in a dry climate. But there is also a fair amount of dishonesty.

        This was not malt that had been kilned, however it is still a potential factor. I noticed substantial differences in goods coming from moist, costal climates to the dry climate.
        Another factor is sample processing, often we were required to take a minimum sample based upon grain count. This meant we may take a 500gm sample plus more fore every 250kgs in total volume.

        It may not account for your issue, but thought I'd chime in.
        We just use palletized bags for now, but even those are not usually exactly what they are supposed to be unless they are "fresh" from the maltster.


        • #5
          Do you weigh through the amount of malt you require for each grind / mash, and once achieved then empty out the feed conveyors, but not take into account what is left in the feed conveyors & mill? So in effect you get the mesure weight PLUS a few extra kilos in each mash.

          May sound daft but I know it happens, and not infrequently.

          If you have a local public weighbridge nearby, get a before and after weight for each delivery as a check on the claimed loaded weight.

          How do you calibrate your scales? Are they really accurate enough ?