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Getting Full Circle's Brewhouse Efficiency to 95.8%

Together we increased Full Circle's Brewhouse Efficiency from 88.1% to 95.8% a total increase of 7.7%.


This saved Full Circle 16,201kg of malt a year, which in turn saved them £15,067 a year in malted barley costs. 


per year

The Journey

Full Circle Brew Co are one of the most forward thinking breweries in the UK. From the offset they have ensured that they always look at the triple bottom line, people, planet and profit. In their efforts to assess their current operational performance they submitted their data into our Free Benchmarking Tool.

​The benchmarking report highlighted that brewhouse efficiency could be improved. They brew on an 5 vessel SSV brewhouse with separate mash and lauter tun so a brewhouse efficiency of 88.1% was ok but there was scope to push >95%. So we agreed and set out to beat the 95% target. 

We came in and audited their brewhouse procedure and similar to the Northern Monk Case Study we broke down the areas impacting brewhouse efficiency.







Compartmentalising operations is essential for a successful audit. We investigated each of these areas thoroughly to uncover current wasteful procedures and opportunities for efficiency gains.


This process takes 1 full production day, after which we set to quantifying how current processes were affecting the brewhouse efficiency, then proposing process-based solutions and quantifying the savings. All audit team members are previous management level brewers, therefore all process-based solutions are achievable and never negatively influence quality. 

When quantifying the savings made we use 3 measurements:

  1. The amount of malt/wort saved (kg/L)

  2. Value (in raw material costs)

  3. Carbon emissions kgCO2e or tCO2e


Inline with company values, we primarily recommend process based solutions, naturally there will be some form of cost associated and these are always provided. All costs intend to be well below what would be considered as capital expenditure (CAPEX).

Below are the key findings from Brew Resourceful audit teams report. Please note that the report Full Circle received detailed in full how to achieve the savings.

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The Brew Resourceful Process

On-Site Audit

Step 1

Detailed report

Step 2

1 Month

Savings Achieved

Step 3

Where the savings were found

Malted Barley

The malted barley Full Circle was receiving had indicators that the malt was not of ideal quality, even if the extract value was good.

Mashing Procedure

We identified 2 key methods to improve mashing procedure and parameters. This increased efficiency by 4.3% which saves 9,019kg of malt this year.

Lauter Procedure

In this there were 5 marginal gains to be made that resulted in an increase in brewhouse efficiency of 1.4%. 

Lost Wort

Identified 260hl a year of lost wort. We managed to recover 100% of this lost wort. This increased brewhouse efficiency by 2% and recovered Full Circle the equivalent of 6.5 brews of wort a year.

What Brewhouse Ineffciency Costs

What Brewhouse Inefficiency Costs

Malted barley's cost per kg is relatively low compared with other major brewing raw materials. But the quantity used per batch and the amount of batches produced a year amplifies these costs. Costs p/kg range from £0.80-£1.20. A 5k hl a year brewery would most likely spend between £170k-£250k a year on malt. Brewhouse efficiency is directly related to the amount of malt you purchase, so you can see why running your brewhouse sub-optimally could be costing your business tens of thousands a year. 

In terms of emissions, malt has a kgCO2e quantity of 0.77kg (EcoInvent, 2023). So for the same 5k hl a year brewery your total emissions from malted barley alone is 162 tonnes per year, around 15% of your breweries total emissions (Scope 1,2 & 3).


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kgCO2e Offsets Required
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Prioritisation Chart

Click to enlarge charts

What's Full Circles Opinion?

Every brewer has the capability to improve their efficiency, the question is why haven't you already? Brew Resourceful is a service that vastly accelerates the increase in efficiency in your brewery, allowing you to save costs quicker, reduce your impact on the environment quicker and free up your time to focus on all the other projects they have going on. From audit to savings took 1 month

Here is Full Circle's Head Brewer Alex Redpath on his experience with Brew Resourceful:

"We found the process very easy, Chris understands the brewing process from small to large scale production and took an unbiased and detailed look at our process"

Alex went on to say: 

"The final presentation from Chris to show his findings was very detailed and easy to understand; we made some very easy, quick wins and went away with larger projects to work on."

What will Full Circle do with their savings? 


Assuming no change in volume, Full Circle can expect to save £15k over the next 12 months. 

Alex said "The savings we make have helped us to spend more on staff development and training, which should in turn help our efficiencies even further over the coming years.

Now that is someone who truly understands the power of People, Planet, Profit. 

Do you want to know how Brew Resourceful can accelerate your journey to lower costs, by reducing your operational waste? 

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