The Meura 2001 is a thin-bed mash filter and thus works best with fine grist. Most brewers know that E.B.C. analysis indicates an extract yield advantage of about 1.5-3.0% for fine grist over coarse grist for a good quality malt. When brewing on an industrial scale using barley malt, it is normal to expect that on average fine grist will yield 2% more extract than coarse grist (e.g., DIN8777 indicates a difference of 1.8% for high quality malt. For example, 76.2% for coarse grist and 78% for fine grist, means in absolute figures that the coarse grist will give (78-76.2)/76.2*100 = 2.4% less extract compared to fine grist).
These figures above are for industrial scale production of normal lager brands. In smaller commercial breweries it is not uncommon to see improvements of 3-5% and more. How does your actual yield compare to your laboratory yield? What is 3-5% % of your grain bill worth per annum?
Thanks to the very bright wort, the trub volume is reduced by 30-50% in comparison with a lauter tun thereby lowering losses to the drain. And hop consumption can be expected to be 5-15% lower as the result of better yield due to the lower trub content.
With the Meura2001 mash filter there are two main areas of water savings. First, during production there is no water loss since there is no rinsing of the filter. In large breweries, a lauter tun uses about 0.2 l of effluent water per kg of throw. With a 1000MT throw per year, a lauter tun brewhouse would use 2000 hl of rinsing water per year. And this ratio can be expected to be higher in a craft brewery.
Second, the spent grains of a Meura 2001 mash filter have a moisture content of about 70 – 74%, whereas the spent grain from a lauter tun typically runs about 80% moisture content. The water loss associated in the spent grains of a lauter tun are thus very important. Again, for a malt consumption of 1,000 MT malt per annum, this equates to a difference of about 2000 hl water. So over the course of a year, 4000hl of water can be saved by using a mash filter rather than a lauter tun. Of course along with the water savings, there is also reduced waste water output and reduced cost to produce the brewing water.
A major advantage of the Meura2001 filter is the short cycle time. In industrial-scale, lager-producing breweries it is not uncommon to achieve 14 brews per day which means a residence time of less than 102 minutes/brew.
While few craft brewers will require 14 brews/day, it is possible to produce, from first mashing-in to final cold wort, 2 brews in 8 hours or 5 brews in 12 hours with an automated, three vessel system such as Aegir’s. The productivity per employee is thus high compared to a lauter tun brewhouse. The following table is a representative example of a craft brewers’ brewhouse:
|Lauter Tun Brewhouse||Meura 2001 Brewhouse|
|Batches per annum||600||600|
|Brews per shift||1||3|
|Shifts per day||2||1|
|Staff per shift (*)||1||1|
|Hourly wage rate for staff||$16/hr.||$16/hr.|
|Working hours per day||16 hrs.||8 hrs.|
|Labor cost per annum||$76,800||$25,600|
|Labor cost per brew||$128||$43|
As shown in this example, the difference in labor cost per brew is $85. Based upon 600 brews per year, the annual saving would be $51,200. While this is obviously a simplified case, it does reasonably illustrate the savings that can be achieved by using a mash filter as part of an automated system.