Beer Waste Saves Montana Town $1 Million On Water Treatment

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,748) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Learn more: https://www.npr.org/2020/02/12/804586191/beer-waste-saves-montana-town-1-million-on-water-treatment
     
  2. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,893) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Great, short article that didn't get weighed down with technical stuff. Interesting to note that Bozeman was part of the project to determine viability, yet they are on record in last paragraph as saying the cost of shipping beer waste to Bozeman is cost prohibitive, so they won't actually be using the process unless environmental law gets stricter and forces them to do it
     
  3. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,167) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Very cool, sounds like it can work in certain rural situations and it's nice to know that there is another way for brewing waste to become a benefit. It's also a good source of animal feed, a potential compost input, and with some additional fermentation can become a great soil amendment.
    A local brewer to us who grows his own barley referments the spent mash with a microorganism blend and spreads it back onto the barley field. especially useful at building moisture retention in our sandy soil. Drinking beer is an agricultural act
     
  4. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,927) Sep 24, 2007 Liechtenstein
    Society Trader

    If any of you have friends who work at breweries, or are a FoB (friend of the brewery), see if you can take a read through the latest issue of New Brewer. It's their water issue, and dealing with waste water is a big part of this particular issue.
     
  5. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,927) Sep 24, 2007 Liechtenstein
    Society Trader

    yeah, the thing that got me was the small size they're using. A bucket (OK, 5 gallon bucket? One of those muck tubs pictured in the article? What damn size!?!) a day, is not a lot. But, if it can be scaled up eventually, there's some hope there.

    Asheville, Bend, and Bellingham are all roughly the same size, and my Bham has the fewest breweries of the group (14, soon to be 15), and I've oft wondered how Bend deals with brewery water: they're in a desert, everything is concentrated, and what do they do with waste water? Last I knew the craft beer leaders were Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, who got down to about a 4 gallons of water to 1 gallon of beer produced ratio, where most small breweries are in the 6-7:1 ratio range. Bellingahm doesn't really have many water worries, Asheville, up in the mountains probably doesn't have access isues, but might have waste issues. Central Oregon? I'm curious how they deal with both access and wastewater.

    Maybe @sharpski could jump in?
     
  6. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,162) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    We are in the high desert, but benefit from Mt. Bachelor snowmelt and the Deschutes River running through town. I know water/wastewater was an issue at Guild meetings when the city proposed a new rate structure, but breweries don’t seem to publicly raise the issue much.
     
  7. beernuts

    beernuts Disciple (341) Jan 23, 2014 Virginia
    Trader

    I’m an engineer in the wastewater treatment so this is right up my alley. I’ve actually never heard of this approach before and its kind of interesting. There has been talk/work/research for years to try an incorporate brewery waste into a different part of the wastewater treatment process, but this is new. If anyone has any technical questions I might be able to answer them.
     
    sharpski likes this.