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Short filled Sacks

Have any of you noticed short filled sacks of malt from a domestic maltster? Not much, Maybe 1 lb. or so lite. I have noticed this on the last 5 or 6 sacks from the same maltster.
At first I suspected my scale, so I started using a different scale, and got the same results. Yes , I checked the calibration of both scales with known weights.
I tried a different source for the same product, and had the same results (about one pound shy).
One supplier even listed the shipping weight as 48.6 lbs. for a 50 lb. sack. When I asked about this I was told “I guess someone may have had their foot on the scale”. Huh?
Not trying to rant, It’s just driving me NUTS. Just curious if anyone else has noticed this.

Sometimes the scales on the auto bagging units are not calibrated as they should be.

Sometimes the guy running the auto bagging unit doesn’t understand that the scale should be calibrated.

It used to be manual, dirty, dusty work…, open a chute that flowed into a bag on a mechanical balance, until it balanced…

As to why you got 48 lbs instead of 50, well I can’t answer you that precisely, but I can tell you that a bushel of unmalted barley is 48 lbs., so if the scale was programmed by volume instead of weight and the program was told that a bushel is 48 lbs…

I know malted barley weighs less at about 34/35 lbs a bushel but machines only do what they’re told or are programmed to do.

What maltster? Who did you ask?

In the “old” days when gristing at the feed mill… the guys would put their foot on the scale, you had to keep a close eye on 'em.

I know that sometimes sacks are labeled with a weight stating how much they can hold, not how much is actually in the sack. Did you pay for 50 lbs of malted barley or simply a “50 lb sack of malted barley.”

I’d be interested to know the brand as well.

The lat two bags of Briess 2 row I purchased from NB were light also. The shipping label said 48.something as well.

I would contact the manufacturer directly. Here is a link to their contact page:

If they satisfy you with either an explanation or an a offer to somehow make it up to you, then great. (Make sure that your contact letter not only clearly describes the problem you experienced, but what you want them to do to earn your satisfaction. These are the keys to successful complaint letters!) If not, I would next contact the Wisconsin Department of Weights and Measures.

Also be aware that food producers are regulated by FDA; therefore, they need to follow cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices.) As such, all production equipment must be calibrated and/or qualified for production use, all processes must be documented and qualified and all employees must be trained and certified to the processes they perform. I would not buy any explanation that blames equipment, process or employee training for one second. Please let us know what you find out if you do decide to make contact.

The last three 55# sacks I bought had exactly 55 but the 10# bag had 11.2# in it. Go figure.

I wonder if humidity is to blame for the OP’s coming up short?

I obviously weigh out grain for each batch, but don’t configure the total weight after the bag is gone. Maybe I’m just lazy… I do enjoy non domestic malts due to the extra 5 lbs!

I could easily be a victim to this without knowing. I often use the entire sack in one (20 gallon) batch or just remove the amount not being used by weighing it out. I will have to put the sack of Breiss I have still have unopened on the scale and see.

I mentioned this to the owner of my LHBS. He said it’s very common. He mentioned one malter who varies a +/- a pound or so on every bag and another that he said is always low by 2 lbs or more. Since I don’t know this for fact I’m not naming any malters.

I just checked 2 sacks.

50lb bag of 2 row from great western malting = 50.8 lb
55lb bag of Maris otter from bairds malt = 55.2 lb

Of course I can only speculate, but the problem may lie with the repeatability of the bagging machines.

Older machines may not be as repeatable as newer ones and even the newer ones may have a +/- 1-2 pound accuracy.

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