Mass flow measurement of steam coupled with an associated control system has saved Matt Brewing Co., Utica, N.Y., up to $630 a day via reduced natural gas and water usage for wort boiling. The new system typically reduces steam use by about one-third and saves about 1,200 gal of water per brew, according to brewing supervisor Rich Michaels. He estimates that the payback time for the instrumentation project is three to four months.
The new instrument system provided by ABB measures the steam flow rate and temperature to derive mass flow for controlling heat delivered to the wort, a sugary solution. The process takes place in one of a pair of 500 bbl (15,000-gal) kettles. One kettle boils wort while the other undergoes cleaning. Boiling continues for 90 min, evaporating about 5 percent to 10 percent of the solution. The operation, which includes addition of hops, sterilizes the wort and affects flavor, stability and consistency.