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Why 3.15 lbs.?

There’s probably a simple and widely-known reason behind this, but it’s a reason of which I am ignorant. All the Northern Brewer liquid malt extracts are available in sizes of 3.15 lbs. and 6 lbs. So why the extra 2.4 oz. in the smaller size?

I just presume they are standard jug sizes.

But the secondary question; you get a small break buying 6 - 6lb jugs, but there’s no break on getting 6 - 3.15lb jugs.

It has to do with the volumes of the containers it’s sold in and the density of the LME.

The density of the LME is about 11.8 lbs per gallon (or a tad more) at room temperature.

Divide that in half and you get about 5.9lbs. In a half gallon jug there is enough space to give .1lbs extra so you get 6lbs of LME in a 1/2 gallon container.

Same with the smaller container size (not sure of the volume) but it’s final weight just doesn’t happen to come out perfectly even.

Why is this overfilling done? Perhaps to eliminate the airspace in the container (it’s probably vacuum sealed anyway).

Exact numbers can be calculated by using the density as given on an LME Analysis sheet:

Well, that’s a perfectly reasonable explanation that makes sense and involves no ancient and half-understood brewing traditions. How disappointing. :slight_smile:

Thanks!

Now that you mention it… I seem to recall reading there was a clause rejected from the initial drafts of the Reinheitsgebot, (German Beer Purity Law) that said something about when brewers finally get around to inventing Liquid Malt Extract; it should be sold in 3.15 pound containers. So the producers are probably just respecting the intent of those early drafts.

:mrgreen:

Much better! :mrgreen:

Perhaps they are accounting for LME loss due to sticking to the bottle in the sizing? Buy 3.15 lbs and get 3.0 lbs into you brew? The loss in a 6.0 lb jug is negligeable compared to the full size of the jug and so sold in 6.0 lb qtys?

Actually, that is a weird size.

Cans of LME are typically sold with 3.3 lbs, which equals 1.5 kg. That happens to be the standard size that kit manufactures used back when modern homebrewing was just starting up to make things easier for brewers. A beer consisted of one 1.5kg can of pre-hopped malt extract, to which you added 1 kg of white sugar, topped up with water to 20 liters, and then used the package of dry yeast that came taped to the bottom of the can.

Its 0.035 firkins.

I’m guessing that it’s because NB seems to use plastic “milk” jugs for the LME. The 3.15# jugs look like typical quart jugs, so I’m guessing that 3.15# is all that fits in them. The half-gallon size just happens to work out to an even 6#. Of course, if that’s the case, then logically the larger jug should hold 6.26#

If it all made perfect sense then we wouldn’t be able to debate about it though. :lol:

Actually, 0.022, 0.0235 or 0.025 firkins, depending on which century you are brewing in.

Actually, 0.022, 0.0235 or 0.025 firkins, depending on which century you are brewing in.[/quote]

The firkin as measure of weight is 40.823kg. I converted 3.15lb to kg, then divided by this factor to convert to firkins. I do know there are a variety of volume measurements for a firkin, but I used the official FFF (firkin/furlong/fortnight) measurement. So I’m right and you’re wrong. Unless I screwed up which is always a possibility.

That smaller bottle is probably a 1 liter container, i.e. 33.8 oz not a quart. It fits well with why the little jug is more than half the large container.

Actually, 0.022, 0.0235 or 0.025 firkins, depending on which century you are brewing in.[/quote]

The firkin as measure of weight is 40.823kg. I converted 3.15lb to kg, then divided by this factor to convert to firkins. I do know there are a variety of volume measurements for a firkin, but I used the official FFF (firkin/furlong/fortnight) measurement. So I’m right and you’re wrong. Unless I screwed up which is always a possibility.[/quote]
Actually, we are both right. Like most non-SI measurement units, there are multiple definitions for units having the same name. I used the firkin volume definition for a cask of beer, which changed from 8 to 8.5 to 9 imperial gallons over a two century timespan in the UK.

I’ll drink to that!

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