Quantcast

Dumping Yeast in Septic

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

FearOfTheSkull

New Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I was informed that putting yeast down the drain after fermenting into a septic tank is a big no-no. Has anyone else heard this?
 

christpuncher123

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
187
Reaction score
12
Location
Kingston
I would think the more bacteria in there the better. I put some roadkill in mine every time I get it pumped. I don't know if it works or not but that's what my grandfather always did!
 

KegWrangler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
144
Reaction score
43
Location
Silverdale
I'm a wastewater engineer. I dump mine into the septic system. Worst case is they become more nutrients for the bacterial cocktail down in there.
 

KegWrangler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
144
Reaction score
43
Location
Silverdale
On a similar/serious note...I switched from Iodine to Starsan for my septic's sake, since it becomes a nutrient once it's diluted.
 

beaksnbeer

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
2,855
Reaction score
517
Location
New Port Richey
Been dumping my for 10+ years when we refinanced it had to be pumped out. We removed the cover and in the grey water side we could see the bottom it was so clear guy couldn't believe we hadn't had it pumped since we moved in. It must do something + most of are detergents are biodegradable.
 

Vman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
93
Reaction score
6
Location
Ottawa
I do it too. I also make wine. We have the septic pumped once every three years. The last time the guy came his eyes bugged out and came back saying, "well, one things for sure!! You've got a TON of bacteria down there doing what they're supposed to".

I have also heard others say not to do it... not sure why and would love to hear someone explain the issue, if there are any.
 

Billy-Klubb

HBT Berry Puncher
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 19, 2012
Messages
11,692
Reaction score
5,992
Location
Windom
I had heard many years ago that the yeast will ferment whatever is down there and cause back ups/poison gas/exploding tanks. I laughed at each one of those every time I heard them, followed with, "You flocc-ing idiot."
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
34,115
Reaction score
13,128
Location
☀️ Clearwater, FL ☀️
I'd guess that if you've already got a good bacterial population in your septic tank, the yeast will not be able to compete. I can't see this being a problem.

I'm certainly no expert though. I'd like to see the argument against.

I wonder if you can have fermentation in your septic tank that creates alcohol and then inhibits bacterial growth. Hmmmm. Someone get pellicle pics please.
 

FTG-05

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
191
Reaction score
17
Location
Lincoln County
When we sold our other house over 20 years ago, I had the septic tank pumped.

The septic tank guys recommended that I throw a couple packs of yeast into the tank to get the bacteria started. That was over 20 years ago and it seemed to work pretty good for the new owners.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
187
Location
Ramona
I can't believe none of you did a Google search. I did, "is Rid-X a yeast? Everything I read is that yeast is a very good thing for septic tanks.......
 

amandabab

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
1,971
Reaction score
244
Location
spokane
Been dumping my for 10+ years when we refinanced it had to be pumped out. We removed the cover and in the grey water side we could see the bottom it was so clear guy couldn't believe we hadn't had it pumped since we moved in. It must do something + most of are detergents are biodegradable.
we were just forced by the county to connect to the new sewer line. The contractor that did the connection and disabling of the septic system couldn't believe that it hadn't been pumped in 15 years and was in as good shape as it was.
 

J-Pizzel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Messages
172
Reaction score
22
Location
Santa Cruz
Pretty sure this is what they did at Lagunitas, in Lagunitas, Ca., leading to a pretty nasty mishap somehow and got them kicked out of town...
 

high5apparatus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
278
Reaction score
120
Location
Saint Louis
A fellow brewer on septic had to have his solids tank emptied for the first time and the $h1t slinger said he had the best septic tank in the county. Asked if he did anything special and he said he brews and dumps his yeast in the sink. Septic guy said the yeast is great for the system.
 

Vman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
93
Reaction score
6
Location
Ottawa
The only thing I can think of (and I'm trying to think practically about negative impact because no one else is posting anything) is that the trub may become an issue. If it builds up and offsets the amount the solids tank can hold then that will overflow to the liquid side of the tank and eventually push the solids out to the runs and clog them up. I pump my tank regularly so this shouldn't be an issue... anyways, that's all I got as far as negatives go...
 

broadbill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
3,955
Reaction score
561
Location
Southern Maine
Guys, you are talking about dumping, what....1-3 gallons of brewing waste at any one time, when an average of 69 gallons of waster water gets dumped per person per day (EPA estimate)?.... That's 276 gallons for a family of four.

I can't imagine that it would make a s*it's bit of difference, one way or another... (expletive used merely based on subject at hand!)
 

Jayhem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
2,633
Reaction score
287
Location
Culpeper
I'm an environmental engineer and yeast is not on any of my lists of "what not to dump down your drain" that we give to clients. Anaerobic bacteria are in the trillions in your septic tank. It is unlikely that yeast will do anything but fall to the bottom in an anoxic environment.

Why dump trub down the drains though? It's just going to add to the solids in your septic tank. If you have a yard just pitch it out in the lawn...won't hurt anything. I never dump food trash or liquids down the drain that could be dumped outside. If it's biodegradable I dump it in my woods behind the house.

If you dump anything and everything down your drains because you have city sewer...well you are the kind of people that are the scourge of the wastewater treatment plants and the reason your sewer bills keep going up!
 

broadbill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
3,955
Reaction score
561
Location
Southern Maine
I'm an environmental engineer and yeast is not on any of my lists of "what not to dump down your drain" that we give to clients. Anaerobic bacteria are in the trillions in your septic tank. It is unlikely that yeast will do anything but fall to the bottom in an anoxic environment.

Why dump trub down the drains though? It's just going to add to the solids in your septic tank. If you have a yard just pitch it out in the lawn...won't hurt anything. I never dump food trash or liquids down the drain that could be dumped outside. If it's biodegradable I dump it in my woods behind the house.

If you dump anything and everything down your drains because you have city sewer...well you are the kind of people that are the scourge of the wastewater treatment plants and the reason your sewer bills keep going up!
What's the diff between dumping it out your lawn, versus sending it out to your lawn via the septic?
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
645
Reaction score
36
Location
up near babb
I think the difference is the fear that the yeast will basically ferment in your septic tank causing buildups and blockages and keeping your septic tank from functioning. Maybe it could produce a "yeast cake" of buildup in the tank and contribute to failure. From what I've read, most small breweries that use a septic system (not very many) actually boil, nuke, or pressure-cook yeast before dumping it down the drain or even mixing it with their grains. I assume large quantities of live yeast aren't super-good for cattle to consume as far as the latter part of that.

My shed brewhouse has a 55 gallon drum for a septic tank- it is ONLY used for brewing and despite my efforts to keep solids-down-the-drain to a minimum I'm sure that plenty of yeast and trub have ended up in there. It has worked just dandy for years without a pumping.

I'm interested if anyone has a horror story they can directly correlate to yeast-dumping; otherwise it appears so far that it is a beneficial practice rather than the assumed-by-some horrible negative. There are quite a few other HBT threads about this subject, and they all seem pretty positive.
 

broadbill

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2007
Messages
3,955
Reaction score
561
Location
Southern Maine
I think the majority of people on there don't have septic tanks, or they don't know how they work. Yeast solids are going to have zero effect on a septic compared to the vast quantities of other solids that end up in them. By solids I mean "sh*t"... Septic tanks are designed to handle solids.

For some reason, it is also assumed that yeast would even survive and propagate in a septic system. Not sure why people jump to this conclusion...I will admit I don't know for sure, but from my quick googling it seems that most people equate yeast with bacteria and thus they must grow in a septic. I hope us homebrewers can see what's wrong with this argument...

Then it comes back to the sheer amount that would end up in the septic itself. Again 1-3 gallons of yeast/trub compared to the 69 gallons per day each person of the household ends up dumping into it...
 

wetzie

Wetzelbrew
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
214
Reaction score
3
Location
Baltimore MD
10+ years and I have never had the septic oumped ( are you supposed to). Everything except the spent grain goes down the drain.
 

Vman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
93
Reaction score
6
Location
Ottawa
10+ years and I have never had the septic oumped ( are you supposed to). Everything except the spent grain goes down the drain.
It depends who you talk to. I do it... I know others who don't/ :tank:
 

Jayhem

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
2,633
Reaction score
287
Location
Culpeper
What's the diff between dumping it out your lawn, versus sending it out to your lawn via the septic?
A septic tank is an anoxic environment (no oxygen). Bio-decomposition is much more effective in an oxic (oxygen rich) environment therefor it is much better to put safe bio-degradable solids into a compost system or spread it in a vegetative area to let nature do the work. Putting in solids (even vegetable scraps via a garbage disposal) results in more chance of your septic system (leach field) becoming clogged due to higher BOD (biological oxygen demand) within the wastewater stream and more solids settling as black "sludge" in your septic tank that will need pumped.

High strength waste water (lots of solids) results in much faster clogging of gravity septic trenches which will cause them to fail and back up (water ponding in your yard where your septic trenches are would be the first sign of failure). Most older septic systems are failing. The company I work for manufactures state-of-the-art alternative septic systems to replace these failing systems and believe me, you don't want your system to fail and have the local Health Department knocking on your door! A replacement system can cost $10,000 - 25,000!
 

xtian116

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
281
Reaction score
63
Location
Pomona
I'm sorry, I just got stuck reading. Like a car crash, I couldn't look away. Now I want a septic system!

I toss the trub and yeast in the garden because that's what I'm told to do. (SWMBO)
 

xtian116

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
281
Reaction score
63
Location
Pomona
They sound cool in therory!

I once read an article about people who had to switch from septic to "city". They would clean them out and make "guest rooms" in them. Man, I'd turn it into a fermentation room. Free insulation down there. The only pain would be moving your beer in and out, but it wouldn't be hard to rig something up.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
645
Reaction score
36
Location
up near babb
Is that an april fools day joke? First, gross. Second, they must have had the most gigantic septic systems ever. They are 500-2000 gallons for the average household....not quite the size of a missile bunker or anything.
 

KegWrangler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
144
Reaction score
43
Location
Silverdale
If I had one, I would. I've been trying to find the one I read, but its been years. I always think about it, guess I have $h!t for brains.

here's something I found.

http://dragonflyhill.org/2012/10/21/a-door-able/
That one is huge! My 3 Bdrm is typical size at 1,000 gallons (or 134cf). I think inside iomensions are like 4ft by 5.5ft by 6ft or so. Definitely a MIL suite.
 
Top