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Silo Purchase Program

Maybe your brewery could purchase silo quantities of malt, but you lack the time and contacts to put all the pieces together for successful implementation. Maybe your brewery doesn't have the capital outlay required for a complete installation. That's where the Briess Silo Purchasing Program comes in. We've done the legwork so you don't have to. Many breweries throughout the United States have taken advantage of this program already.

There are many things to consider before deciding to install a silo: size of the silo, silo filling equipment, variations in transportation, freight rates to your brewery location, and more. Because all situations and rates vary, your first step is to call your Division Manager at Briess to discuss your situation.

Advantages of the Program

1) Reduced cost. Briess negotiates a discount from the silo manufacturer when the silo is purchased through Briess. This discount is passed directly on to the brewery.

2) No interest or carrying charge. The purchase price of the silo, including delivery to your brewery, can be financed through Briess. There will be no interest or carrying charges made to the brewery provided the terms of the purchase agreement are met.

3) Save time. The silo manufacturer is attuned to the needs and operation of small breweries and knows the requirements when an order is placed. The brewery needs to contact only one manufacturer, instead of many.

4) Knowing your system will work. With the Briess Silo Purchasing Program, you are assured of having a complete, working system installed. If you choose a pneumatic loading silo, your system will be installed from the filling line to the discharge hopper, including dust collection. If you choose a gravity loading silo, it will be installed with the fill hatch and discharge hopper but no means to fill or discharge. Then, the delivering carrier will be selected to match your silo equipment.

Things to Consider

Are you ready for a silo? To help you answer that question, we offer the following information—whether you're an existing brewpub or microbrewery, or are still in the planning stages. As your malt supplier, Briess Malt & Ingredients Company wants to also supply you with the information needed to decide whether to switch to bulk grain and purchase a silo.

1) Usage. The main criteria for silo readiness is rate of usage. Suggested turnover time for grain stored in a silo (approximately 48,000 pounds) is six to eight weeks. For example, using a 20bbl system, this translates into approximately 60 brews, or two brews a day, five days a week = six weeks for complete usage.

2) Size. Why 48,000 pounds? We suggest a 1,900 cubic foot silo which holds approximately 60,000 pounds. This will comfortably hold one truckload (approximately 48,000 pounds) with a six- to seven-day buffer (approximately 10,000 pounds) for the 20bbl system in the above example.

Does the silo need to completely empty before filling it? We suggest the opposite—a small amount of grain in the bottom of the silo acts as a cushion for incoming grain, preventing breakage. We do suggest, however, to completely empty the silo twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall. This helps remove any build-up of husk and chaff and helps monitor and control any potential problems.

3) Freight. One of the main reasons we suggest a 60,000 pound maximum capacity silo is freight. Bulk trucks hold between 48,000 and 50,000 pounds, depending upon the type of truck and density of the grain. The freight bill, however, is based on a minimum of 48,000 pounds per shipment, even if the total is less than that. We therefore suggest that you take full truckloads whenever possible.

4) Bi-loading. Is a silo totally out of the question if you only use 30,000 pounds every six to eight weeks? There may be another option—depending upon your location. If you are located near another Briess customer, you may be able to benefit from bi-loading. Briess will assist in locating and contacting other Briess customers in your area for bi-load shipping agreements. Bi-loading can mean several things for both parties:

  • Both must ship at the same time
  • Both should have similar usage rates, if unable to take full loads each
  • Both should have similar set-ups for unloading the grain into the silos

So, you fit the above criteria. Now what? What features should it have? Where do you look for a suitable silo? Read on...

Silo features

We suggest the following features for your silo:

  • The hopper should have a 45º minimum angle.
  • The optimum material used for the silo itself should be smooth-sided, epoxy-coated both inside and out—or at the very least a mild steel.
  • The bottom discharge opening should be between 12 inches and 14 inches.
  • Install a permanently mounted ladder with a safety cage.
  • Further measures should be taken to prevent unauthorized entry into the silo or surrounding area. Become familiar with confined space guidelines including federal, state and any local guidelines that may apply.
  • Filling the silo/unloading the truck: We suggest that you permanently mount a four-inch line equipped with a quick-connect coupling for ease of unloading.
  • Install an air vent equipped with a dust collecting cyclone or filter sock. If using a filter sock, we suggest that it is at working level so that a person of average height can stand on the ground to replace the sock.

Types of trucks for bulk deliveries

There are three types of trailers available for bulk grain deliveries:

  • Pneumatic unloading tank trailer (full and split)
  • Hopper bottom (gravity) trailer
  • Convert-a-hopper (gravity) trailer

All types of trucks are guaranteed by the carrier to be clean before loading, to be grain handling, and not to have carried incompatible products.

Although approximately 48,000 to 50,000 pounds (depending upon the product density and the type of trailer) is the maximum a truck can carry, less than this amount can be shipped. The truck would be dedicated so the freight rate would be the same as for a full load. This could reduce the economical benefits of bulk purchasing. The type of truck trailer used for the delivery is determined by the type of silo filling equipment at the brewery.

Pneumatic Unloading Tank TrailerPneumatic Tank Trailer

The pneumatic unloading tank trailer is an enclosed trailer with two or three compartments. Each compartment is separated by a divider that goes halfway up the trailer. The trailer has one discharge outlet for pneumatic unloading. The truck is equipped with its own pneumatic pump with adjustable air pressure to provide gentle handling of the grain.

The truck will also have 20-foot lengths of hose with a four-inch quick-connect female coupling. This type of trailer can be unloaded in a very short amount of time. The standard tank is 1,600 cubic feet and will hold approximately 45,000-48,000 pounds of one product, depending upon product density. A fully divided pneumatic unloading tank trailer is available for shipping two different types of products.

Hopper Bottom (Gravity) TrailerHopper Bottom (Gravity) Trailer

The hopper bottom trailer is an open box covered with a canvas. It has two or three hoppers which are opened after positioning over an inground pit or a moveable receiving hopper equipped with an elevator which carries the grain to the top of the silo.

The trailer will empty completely. There is a center divider that goes almost to the top of the trailer. The standard truck has a 1,750 cubic foot capacity capable of holding approximately 50,000 pounds of product, depending upon product density. Also available are 2,000-2,100 cubic foot "high cubed" trailers.

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