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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Chillers and Stir Plates > Environmental friendly brewing...
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:28 PM   #1
brainy77
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Default Environmental friendly brewing...

I got inspired by EdWorts Recirculating Ice Water Chiller and decided to start this thread. I hope that every one would agree with me on the fact that homebrewing can be really resources wasting. Everyone can brew with gallons of waste water, kilowatts of wasted electricity, pounds of burned propane etc. So i would like you guys who try to save $$$ and nature to post your methods of doing so. As i said at the beggining, I really like EdWorts Water Chiller and have been using it ever since i first saw it. And i also use my food freezer to get the ice for it. And i also save the heated water from water chiller for cleaning at the end of brewing day. So if anyone has any other ideas on brewing, fermenting, bottling, kegging etc. techniques that save resources go ahead and post it.
Cheerz


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Old 04-24-2009, 05:31 PM   #2
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This thread makes me want to dump used oil onto my yard.

Just sayin'...


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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:47 PM   #3
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While it's nice to think that conserving water by using ice to chill saves resources and this in turn makes brewing less damaging to the environment, the reality might be quite different. One needs to consider that the ice was likely made using electrically operated refrigeration equipment. This electricity was probably generated in a fossil fuel burning power located a considerable distance from your point of use. IOW, the ice comes with an environmental price tag of its own. Might be better to use more water and less ice. Can't really say one way or the other without penciling it out in detail. Water is a renewable resource. Fossil fuels are not. I know, fresh water delivered to your tap also has an environmental cost. I'd like to find more ways to make brewing more environmentally friendly, but it's not as easy as we sometimes think.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:58 PM   #4
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There are other threads regarding this same sentiment and I apologize that I can not find them right now. They include uses for run off water from chillers (saving the water for cleaning, watering the lawn/garden for example).
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:52 PM   #5
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Your sentiments are great but like so many situations, may be misguided.

Using ice made by your freezer is less efficient than buying in bulk, thereby using more energy. Running the pump likely uses more energy that using more water. Saving the water after use is good.

An all electric system would be the most efficient because a larger amount of the energy is actually being absorbed by the wort. Not using any refrigeration during fermentation would help.

In general, if you want to feel good about homebrewing, rest assured that you are using less resources that way than buy commercial beer. You have very little shipping and packaging.

I do have to admit, this does kind of make me want to light some tires on fire.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:53 PM   #6
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I do have to admit, this does kind of make me want to light some tires on fire.
Mind if I pour my used motor oil on them first?
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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
Your sentiments are great but like so many situations, may be misguided.

Using ice made by your freezer is less efficient than buying in bulk, thereby using more energy. Running the pump likely uses more energy that using more water. Saving the water after use is good.

An all electric system would be the most efficient because a larger amount of the energy is actually being absorbed by the wort. Not using any refrigeration during fermentation would help.

In general, if you want to feel good about homebrewing, rest assured that you are using less resources that way than buy commercial beer. You have very little shipping and packaging.

I do have to admit, this does kind of make me want to light some tires on fire.
So soon after Earthday, it seems a shame!
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:59 PM   #8
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With the fantastic incentives to buy small scale (residential) systems for renewable energy, it might be worth looking into setting up an electric HLT and brew kettle. From Department of Energy - Tax Breaks

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Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credits
Consumers who install solar energy systems (including solar water heating and solar electric systems), small wind systems, geothermal heat pumps, and residential fuel cell and microturbine systems can receive a 30% tax credit for systems placed in service before December 31, 2016; the previous tax credit cap no longer applies.
As long as you live in a state where you can sell excess energy back onto the grid (usually requires a special meter upgrade as well) the systems don't need to be very complex.



Depending on the type of solar/turbine system you implement and the size of your electric brewing setup it could potentially make a difference. But it probably wouldn't be something to tackle in an effort to save money.

But as many have already said, this hobby isn't very environmentally friendly.
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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I run a fully electric rig in insualted coolers (efficient)

I also NO CHILL my beer now... so no wasted water/ice

I guess I am "Green Brewing"

I also compost all of my spent grain/hops
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:07 PM   #10
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I might be wasting a bit of water, but in the middle of Michigan, I'm not too worried about it. I can let it run into the ground where it will end up mostly back in the water supply for the town, filtered through the earth.

I reduce water use by not taking that second shower each week.

I'd love to set up a wind generator, but don't have the $$ to do that right now and I'm not in a great place to take advantage of the wind anyway.


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