There's no doubt about it - breweries use a LOT of water. Not only is beer obviously made from water, but the entire process from the malt and hop crop cultivation to brewing and cleaning to manufacturing and delivery -- all suck up a hell of a lot of H2O. Cape Town is currently in a drought and everyone needs to cut back on their usage and wastage as much as possible. Check out Johnny Miller's drone video of Theewaterskloof Dam for a dismal overview of what we are talking about. At Drifter, here is what we are currently doing to save water and areas where we can improve.
What we are doing already: We use good brewhouse technology that is efficient. Our heat exchanger uses filtered water to cool wort, then we capture this filtered water used for cooling in our next brew. This cuts down on water and electricity.One of our main cleaning chemicals is chor-sol which requires a lot less rinsing afterwards than conventional caustic cleaner.During our CIP (cleaning in place), we recapture all our CIP water into the trolley to reuse over and over.Our keg cleaning machine is a fully automated system which reuses all of the water for cleaning and and sanitising the keg.When doing a backwash and rinse of the water filtration system, we save the water to clean and water plants.The plants around the brewery are water wise and don't need a sprinkling every day.
How we can improve: Currently we use running water to cool our wort down for a reading (about one minute), and we are going to try using ice instead to cool the wort down faster.We need to install a better sink system upstairs for washing glasses behind the bar. Place bricks inside our toilets to replace some of the fresh water that gets washed away each time the toilet is flushed.Install a hand dryer in the main bathroom instead of having paper towels.Sweep with a broom rather than a mop or hose when it's possible. Keep up regular maintenance of our equipment and fix any leaks immediately. Post signs in the brewery that remind us to turn off taps, light switches, etc. Educate our staff about why it's important for us to cut down our water usage. Read the full manual on Water and Waste Water Sustainability by the Brewers Association to see what you can implement into your microbrewery today!