Making "Green" Beer: how to reduce water usage?

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Re: Making "Green" Beer: how to reduce water usage?

Unread postby Dicko » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:00 pm

A few years ago I sunk a bore to water the garden as where we lived at the time the ground water was in abundance.
I used a half horsepower electric pump to raise the water and distribute it through a sprinkler system.

I did a costing exercise on the system and it actually cost more to pump the water the way I was using it that it did to just turn the tap on.

I guess it is a bit like the "Hybrid" cars that we see today.....great for the environment until you factor in that they are recharged overnite by the power that comes from a COAL FIRED power station.

As long as you feel all warm and fuzzy inside then I guess it is OK then... :lol:

In the home brewing model I think we are all aware of the costs and our obligations to conserve water (and other vital resources) with our hobby but it is difficult to understand when the water supply company has a leaking mains pipe and it takes three days for them to come and fix it, meanwhile the water just runs into the drain and eventually ends up in the ocean.

It becomes hard to be overly concerned when, at least in my area, this can happen frequently.

Chill your wort and wash your equipment and just remember to turn the tap (or the pump) off when you are finished. :lol:

:cheers:
The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it
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Re: Making "Green" Beer: how to reduce water usage?

Unread postby perdido » Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:37 am

Water is not so abundant here despise the many reservoirs and dams.
I try to save water by capturing cooling water into many buckets... I use an immersion chiller so the temperature of the outlet drops as the wort is being cooled. The first portion comes out really hot. I save this for cleaning the BM afterwards.
Once the temperature of the outlet water has dropped down a bit that I can touch it, I use it to clean the malt pipe, screens, and other miscellaneus bits of equipment.

To reach the final temperature I recirculate ice water.

Any left over water I use to flush the toilet.

Also I never fill my fermenters all the way to clean or sanitize. I only fill them about a quarter of the way and shake them or lay them on their side and roll them back and forth to wet all surfaces. It helps to have cheap small plastic fermenters. A nice stainless conical would require more water unless it came with a spray ball.
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Re: Making "Green" Beer: how to reduce water usage?

Unread postby Dicko » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:19 am

For fermenter cleaning I use the capacity volume of my electric kettle which is 1.8 litres.
This is enough to give it a good clean with napisan (sodium Pecarbonate) and then I follow it up with another 1.8 litres of Starsan which I then save as a cold solution for other sanitising tasks.

If I was any greener then they would call me Kermit. :lol: :lol:

:cheers:
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Re: Making "Green" Beer: how to reduce water usage?

Unread postby McMullan » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:55 pm

perdido wrote:Water is not so abundant here despise the many reservoirs and dams.
I try to save water by capturing cooling water into many buckets... I use an immersion chiller so the temperature of the outlet drops as the wort is being cooled. The first portion comes out really hot. I save this for cleaning the BM afterwards.
Once the temperature of the outlet water has dropped down a bit that I can touch it, I use it to clean the malt pipe, screens, and other miscellaneus bits of equipment.

To reach the final temperature I recirculate ice water.

Any left over water I use to flush the toilet.

Also I never fill my fermenters all the way to clean or sanitize. I only fill them about a quarter of the way and shake them or lay them on their side and roll them back and forth to wet all surfaces. It helps to have cheap small plastic fermenters. A nice stainless conical would require more water unless it came with a spray ball.


Great stuff, perdido, I admire those who adapt to genuine environmental restrictions. I think what you are doing is great. One question, though, are you restricted to recirculating ice water? Is there another liquid in a closed system (more efficient than water, in terms of cooling, and recyclable) that might be exploited to your gain? I don't know the answer/solution, just my imagination. Perhaps there are some chemical engineers here who might have some ideas?
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Re: Making "Green" Beer: how to reduce water usage?

Unread postby perdido » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:40 pm

McMullan wrote:
perdido wrote:Water is not so abundant here despise the many reservoirs and dams.
I try to save water by capturing cooling water into many buckets... I use an immersion chiller so the temperature of the outlet drops as the wort is being cooled. The first portion comes out really hot. I save this for cleaning the BM afterwards.
Once the temperature of the outlet water has dropped down a bit that I can touch it, I use it to clean the malt pipe, screens, and other miscellaneus bits of equipment.

To reach the final temperature I recirculate ice water.

Any left over water I use to flush the toilet.

Also I never fill my fermenters all the way to clean or sanitize. I only fill them about a quarter of the way and shake them or lay them on their side and roll them back and forth to wet all surfaces. It helps to have cheap small plastic fermenters. A nice stainless conical would require more water unless it came with a spray ball.


Great stuff, perdido, I admire those who adapt to genuine environmental restrictions. I think what you are doing is great. One question, though, are you restricted to recirculating ice water? Is there another liquid in a closed system (more efficient than water, in terms of cooling, and recyclable) that might be exploited to your gain? I don't know the answer/solution, just my imagination. Perhaps there are some chemical engineers here might have some ideas?


I guess I could use some brine or rig up something with glycol but it would complicate things too much for me. I reuse the ice water once it has warmed up. Since it never gets hot and thus it doesn't get oxygen depleted, I can reuse it to water the plants.
I have limited storage for buckets full of brine or something else.

I've also tried a plate heat exchanger but in my case it seemed to use more water than the immersion chiller. I needed a high water flow rate in order to bring the wort temperature down. I ran out of buckets to catch the used heated water!

With an immersion chiller you can lower the flowrate a bit as you use the outlet water to wash equipment.

Plate heat exchangers are supposed to be more efficient but for my set up they are more cumbersome, plus they required a lot of water for cleaning and flushing all the crud out of them.
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Re: Making "Green" Beer: how to reduce water usage?

Unread postby HopSong » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:25 pm

Getting back to spent grains. I mentioned I use them for cooking and baking doggie cookies. Forgot to mention.. I'm kinda a O L D guy and need all the help I can get. Besides tasting good.. It's great for making "things" happen with more "regularity". Don't we all need more fiber in our diets? Nuff said :D
Cheers, Bill
Santa Rosa, CA
----------------------------
Hop Song Brewing Co.
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