Brewers Grain Processing Systems

Brewers grains are the solid residue left over after processing dried cereal grains for the creation of malt products. This primarily consists of beer but can also include malt extracts and malt vinegar. Barley is the most popular grain for brewing beer, but beer can also be made from wheat, maize, rice, sorghum, and millet. During the brewing process, grain is soaked in water until it germinates and then dried to produce the malt. Brewers grain is what is collected at the end of the mashing process after all the sugar has been removed from the grain. Often, brewers grain is used as animal feed because of its high concentration in protein and fiber, although the nutritional content is dependent on what kind of grain was used, the industrial process, and how it was preserved. Brewers grains can be sold wet or dry.

Almost 20% of beer production represents brewery co-products, which includes about 35 to 40 million tons of brewers grains. In temperate countries, brewers grains are typically produced only during the warm season when beer consumption is at its peak. This means that brewers grain is less available to be used as animal feed in those countries when the temperature is much colder and animals are in more need of it. This is why brewers grain often has the need to be dried or ensiled to be used for later.

Although wet brewers grain is often used, it is highly perishable and costs a lot to transports. Thus, it typically only travels 150 to 350 km from the brewery before it has to be processed to travel farther. Dehydration is one of the most effective ways to help make brewers grain transportable for longer distances. The dehydration of brewers grain has a high energy cost but is still commonly used so that it can be transported farther and is much less expensive to move.

One of the best methods for storing wet brewers grain for longer periods of time is silage. It is often the chosen method because it does not alter the nutritive value of brewers grain. The storage time can be improved by storing it in a shaded or cool area, and covering the surface to help minimize surface spoilage. Brewers grain silage can be ready within 3 weeks and can be used for over 6 months or longer if the proper silage additive is used.

Even though it is possible to store wet brewers grain, drying it is the only solution for long term storage. The optimal moisture contents should exceed 10%. Dried brewers grains can be mixed with spent hops and brewers yeast to help improve its nutrient value.

If brewers grain is left out after it has been processed, it can spoil and become an environmental hazard, even causing water pollution in the right circumstances. This is why it is important to accurately process and store brewers grain. Using it as an animal feed helps to alleviate the negative environmental impact of the brewing process.

The ONIX Corporation has it in their ability to process numerous co-products to fit your company or industry needs. Our processing systems can handle numerous materials and co-products that you may not know what to do with. We have the ability to work with materials such as, but not limited to, apple pomace, citrus pomace, sludge, alfalfa, bagasse, coffee grounds, sawdust, brewers grains and much more. Our equipment is engineered to fit your specific needs. If you feel that The ONIX Corporation may be of assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to research more about our alternative fuel systems, including rotary drum dryers and material handling solutions. Whether dealing with the co-products of the brewing process, or something else, it never hurts to give us a call to learn more.

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