With regard to the large brewing companies the trends described above have provided the stimulus to transform brewery fermentation from a small-volume unsophisticated process to a more regulated, efficient, hygienic and large batch size operation. Several individual causes of the need for greater control in fermentation can be recognised. The international brewing market is fiercely competitive and therefore every effort must be made to ensure that high process efficiencies are maintained. This requires that fermentation is controlled adequately so as to maximise the conversion of sugar to alcohol and minimise the proportion of wort sugars used to fuel yeast growth. Fermentation process efficiency, in terms of both revenue and capital costs, may be increased by economies of scale and thus individual batch sizes have also increased. With ever larger batch sizes the consequences of nonstandard behaviour become commensurately more severe, therefore providing another compelling reason to ensure that the process is controlled properly. Many major brewing companies operate several individual breweries. Multi-site breweries may be used to produce beer brands with an international market. Clearly it is important to ensure that fermentations are controlled precisely so that a consistent product is generated at all locations.
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