Marston’s a West Midlands brewery has started to ensure that they minimise their beer duty by claiming a refund on the ‘dregs’ from their returned kegs and casks. Known as ‘ullage’, this is often only thought of as a beer unfit for consumption but has quite a wide definition. With duty being paid on all beer leaving a brewery it seems sensible to reclaim any duty on beer which is returned.
Before sterilising the casks and kegs prior to being filled with fresh product, any beer remaining in the container is emptied and collected in a trade approved (ullage) vessel. This procedure then allows the weights, and therefore the volumes to be recorded and any beer duty previously paid can then be re-claimed.
With a current maintenance and calibration contract in place with Precia-Molen, Marston’s placed an order for them to upgrade the current system. Precia-Molen supplied a new stamped ullage ‘return’ vessel and replaced all the indicators on the holding vessels. A platform scale was also supplied to compliment the ullage vessel.
The Marston ullage vessel is basically a tank on load cells which is calibrated for trade use and recalibrated on a regular basis under the contract previously mentioned. Precia-Molen redesigned this vessel to incorporate four load cells, and oversize foundation plates which facilitate the regular use of a force calibration rig to recalibrate and complete the reverification of the vessel for trade use. A model I200 weight indicator was also supplied to complete the installation.