News Boise breweries to make beer from recycled wastewater

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by JohnGalt1, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. JohnGalt1

    JohnGalt1 Poo-Bah (4,744) Aug 10, 2005 Idaho

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  2. Alefflicted

    Alefflicted Initiate (75) Dec 2, 2017 Minnesota

    I'd have to agree with your assessment.
  3. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,349) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    We did this here in AZ, the beers came out very good.
    Lahey likes this.
  4. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (360) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    Why would they advertise this? I think just as many people would be grossed out as ones who get excited over the ecological impact. We know most of city water is probably treated waste water. I don't however, see bottled water with the marketing tagline "It used to be piss!" Because it wouldn't help sell units. I'm being a bit facetious, but I just assume treated waste water sounds less appealing than spring water to most people, regardles of which is better for brewing. Just don't tell us, if the beer is good we'll drink it.

    Also, I'm curious how small this "small" dose of chlorine is that they're putting in for shipping. I'm not a brewer, but I assume this could have a huge bearing on if the water truly is high quality for brewing.
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  5. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Devotee (496) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    They had better be. You don't want to hear jokes about brewers ruining perfectly good wastewater. :wink:
    Lahey and AZBeerDude72 like this.
  6. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,013) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    I know it's safe but I'd really rather not be told.
  7. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (247) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Will the beers be cheaper? That’s the one way I’d willingly try it
  8. elohim

    elohim Initiate (192) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia

  9. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (852) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Exactly. In many western locales water is a scarce commodity. I need to watch Chinatown again!!
  10. slangtruth

    slangtruth Initiate (117) Jan 8, 2012 Kentucky

    Nothing adds to a beer's rare cachet like a few drops of dinosaur piss.
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.

    DISKORD Aspirant (205) Feb 28, 2017 Virginia

    That's just wrong! So much awful stuff is left behind, even after it's been treated. Hormones, antibiotics, Rx, etc.
  12. Lingenbrau

    Lingenbrau Poo-Bah (2,847) Apr 9, 2011 Oregon

    Not entirely true. With microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and UV disinfection waste water can be brought to pure H20. Better than most fresh water drinking standards in fact. The biggest problem is and always probably will be the "yuck" factor. As mentioned above in previous statements, people don't want to know where it comes from, as long as it's safe.

    dcotom, LeRose, elohim and 1 other person like this.

    DISKORD Aspirant (205) Feb 28, 2017 Virginia

    Maybe they should use it for watering fruits, vegetables, flower, etc. instead.
  14. Lingenbrau

    Lingenbrau Poo-Bah (2,847) Apr 9, 2011 Oregon

    They do. Along with groundwater replenishment, which also becomes our drinking water supply, and as river and ocean discharge.
  15. rronin

    rronin Initiate (178) Jul 4, 2005 Washington

    Forget it, Jake!
    drtth and rgordon like this.
  16. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,443) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    We do all realize that all water is treated waste water? True, we feel like it isn't when it is the ground doing the treating, but the the truth is 100% of all potable water is treated waste water.
    dcotom, bbtkd, Squire and 5 others like this.
  17. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    You haven't met any eco warrior super vegetarian types have you? People will buy literally anything so they can hold their noses high.
    stevesbeer and Lahey like this.
  18. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Devotee (496) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    This is why I'm holding out for bottled spring water from Mars....
    cavedave likes this.
  19. oldbean

    oldbean Aspirant (270) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

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  20. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,013) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

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  21. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,319) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    It's tough to "make it pay" - at least in my business. For at least a couple decades, the "zero effluent" plant has been a dream. What we've run into is this - you have to collect the effluent (and we're not talking about sewage), but then there's a whole host of issues with storage and re-use to call that water truly potable. Basically you are required to run the equivalent of a municipal drinking water facility in the plant, and what's required varies by industry and local laws. For us, it's a lot more feasible to do the Reduce strategy than it is to do the Recycle/Re-use strategy on water.

    The plants I work closely with are net generators of water. We run evaporators and RO systems that put out water that is technically "cleaner" than our incoming potable water, yet we are not allowed to use it in a food product. We have to label it is "process water" rather than potable water that comes in "fresh". You have to store the reclaimed water - that opens up a whole 'nother level of regulation if you want to say it's potable. We can use it for cleaning water and in a couple other specific situations. So say my evaporator puts out 40,000 pounds of water per hour - that is about 115,000 gallons a day of water that I don't have to suck out of a reservoir/well (and pay for) and 115K of waste water I could potentially not send to internal and municipal waste water (and pay for again) - environmentally it's a winner, but in terms of big-picture cost the real money impact is pretty minor. When you add the infrastructure and operating cost to classify the water as potable by definition, it gets harder to justify financially for something that sounds like a no-brainer slam dunk.

    So our approach has been kind of similar to Stone - we reduce as much as we can, reclaim and reuse what's allowed, and clean the remainder up well enough that is more or less a neutral impact on municipal WW treatment facilities other than volume. We nickel and dime and chip away at all of these "green" initiative type things, but major investments aren't going to happen. Not that we are insensitive to it all, just we have to be intelligent with how we spend. When a facility needs a new roof versus intelligent LED lighting, the roof is gonna happen. But we are in "retrofit" situations - it makes sense when building new to incorporate green strategies from the outset. Doesn't always work out when you are "converting" and existing facility.

    @Lingenbrau hit the nail on the head. If people don't know, they don't care as long as it is safe. But point it out? People are easily confused (or at least uneducated) as far as the "socialization" aspect of the idea. You say waste water and people automatically assume it is raw sewage. But in my business as well as a brewery, the majority of waste water is from food contact applications from the jump. We make evaporator condensate and RO permeate from juice streams, but there's also rinse-down water, wash water, etc that a brewery generates in spades just like us. That's a pretty easy "reclaim" with technologies available today. For us, sanitary waste goes into a separate system direct to municipal treatment, while "waste" water from production generally goes to primary on-site or slightly off premises treatment facilities that the company owns - I can see one of our treatment operations from my office window.

    It's not easy being green... (Kermit the Frog)
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  22. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,067) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota

    People are pretty ignorant of the source of their drinking water. Many folks will tell you that bottled water comes from pure springs and/or is highly filtered well water. Truth is that a vast majority of bottled water is municipal tapwater, much of it with no further filtering. Luckily, some municipal tapwater is filtered really well.
    Lingenbrau likes this.
  23. Lingenbrau

    Lingenbrau Poo-Bah (2,847) Apr 9, 2011 Oregon

    Even worse, on that same note, bottled water has less stringent regulations than residential tap water (at least in California). Pay the extra money for an inferior product rather than just turning the tap handle. Talk about great marketing.
  24. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Devotee (496) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    :astonished:*Spits out his sip of Flint Springs....
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  25. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,013) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Around the World oceans daily evaporate moisture into the atmosphere which condenses and falls back as rain replenishing the Globe and much of that which is collected flows back into the oceans. In effect all the water on the planet, which is billions of years old, is constantly being recycled. In a very real sense the water we're using today is recycled dinosaur waste.
    bbtkd likes this.
  26. TwoTrees

    TwoTrees Disciple (312) Oct 31, 2012 Washington


    Call me when that Soylent Green beer hits the shelves!
    bbtkd likes this.