Anheuser-Busch Elevator Springfield, MO

Discussion in 'Freight Operations' started by Iantha_Branch, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Hi all, I'm working on setting up car routing for my current layout. I have chosen to include the iconic Anheuser-Busch Elevator that sets on the east side of the main yard in Springfield, MO. I'm generally looking at the time frame of 1979-1980. What I'm wondering is what grains it usually shipped out by rail, and what destinations it might have gone to? Was this elevator specifically to supply the AB brewery? Or did it sell to anyone that wanted to buy?

    Typical grains grown in the area at the time included: Wheat, Corn, Grain Sorghum (Milo) and Soy Beans. Other crops like barely and oats might be occasionally seen as well.

    Thanks
    Ethan
     
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  2. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    During my 41 years at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, I was aware of the Springfield elevator. I knew that Brewing Raw Materials, and later, Corporate Quality Assurance conducted inspections there. It is safe to assume it was a "captive" facility serving Anheuser-Busch interests and not a "merchant" operation taking in from anyone and selling to anyone. Further, it is unlikely it dealt in soy beans or wheat. It probably did not handle sorghum, either. None of these were used in brewing by Anheuser-Busch at the time.

    During the time you mention, it will be safe to assume the Springfield elevator was a collection facility and staging point for corn grits. Grits are produced in corn dry-milling plants and are used as an ingredient in beer brewing. They would have been received by truck or rail-car (LO with grain gates) from nearby plants in SW MO, SE KS and NE OK. Outbound shipment of corn grits would certainly have gone to Anheuser-Busch's St. Louis brewery. Other points receiving grits could possibly have been Columbus, Ohio, Tampa, Florida and maybe Jacksonville, Florida. Outbound shipment would also be in covered hoppers (LO) with grain gates. I saw both straight-side Pullman-Standard LO and ACF round-side LO in the MRS Lynch Street receiving yard by the St. Louis plant.

    Fewer corn grit cars arrived than those for rice and way fewer than those carrying barley malt. That means I saw more MP and Cotton Belt (rice from Brinkley, Arkansas) and way more CNW, MILW, ATSF, etc cars from upper Midwest Malt Houses than SLSF ones, alas.

    Going back to an earlier time, the Springfield elevator may have collected whole kernel corn to ship to the corn wet-milling operation at St. Louis that made corn syrup and corn starch. This closed in 1969 when a new plant in Lafayette, Indiana replaced it. However, I doubt whole-kernel corn for Lafayette would have been shipped from Springfield, MO because there was enough grown nearby in northern Indiana.

    I have passed your question along to colleagues who may be able to offer more information and verification.
     
  3. Great info. Thanks
     
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  4. Iantha_Branch

    Iantha_Branch Member

    Excellent break down of their operation. Thank you very much
     
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  5. dboone74

    dboone74 Member

    What was your position is AB? Was the corn syrup used in the brewing process? I've done some homebrewing, but didn't use much more than barley in grain bills. Made some wheat beers and occasionally added oats to a stout. Do you know, roughly, what portion of the grain bill was adjunct grains?
     
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  6. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    I was a chemist at Anheuser-Busch. Corn syrup made by wet-milling at St. Louis and later at Lafayette, IN was not used in the brewing process. The Corn Products operation was a separate division and it contributed to the company during Prohibition. They sold BUD waffle syrup for retail distribution. Adjunct grains in American light lagers range from 20% to 40% by weight in general.

    During the 1970's and 1980's it was not possible to make enough Budweiser or Busch or Michelob to meet demand so little experimentation was done with other styles using other grains. It is fun now to see "BEer become all it can BE :) ."
     
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  7. dboone74

    dboone74 Member

    20% to 40% seems like a lot. I would assume it is primarily rice. Even in my wheat beers I didn't exceed 50%.

    Do you know if additional enzymes are needed to convert the adjunct grains or are the enzymes in the malted barley enough?
     
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  8. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    I fondly remember the Lafayette, IN plant when I was in ChE grad school at Purdue, 1967-1968. The plant was brand new, with finishing touches being added. There was a good breakfast place (Howard Johnson's?) just across US 52 from the plant which we used to frequent. I remember I used to look fondly at the plant as being a little bit of St Louis up there in Boilermaker country with Caroline and me.

    K
     
  9. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    That's a great story Ken. I always enjoy your mention of endeavors past.
     
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  10. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Thanks. We had a bit of a tradition of going out for breakfast on Saturday mornings. We had a few different places, but we hit this one across from the new AB plant often.

    If you go down US 52 further, you pass over a bridge that spans the Monon (CIL) RR. Off to the right is their yard and "Shops", their big locomotive base. I became a bit of a Monon fan up there in and around Lafayette. At that time they still used semaphore signals along the main. Neat. Their freight diesels were painted Old Gold & Black (Purdue's colors) while their passenger diesels were in red and light gray (Indiana's colors). They mainly used F3A's. Eventually, the Monon came to their senses, and painted the entire fleet in Old Gold and Black. Hail Purdue! Big time Big Ten rivalry up there!

    Eventually, the L&N bought the Monon.

    K
     
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  11. WindsorSpring

    WindsorSpring Member

    Careful selection of malting barley along with proper production practices in the malt houses ensured sufficient enzyme activity in the malt itself. Following that with appropriate process design and good process control yielded consistent, satisfactory fermentation without addition of other enzymes.
     

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