Author Topic: Being Water Wise  (Read 790 times)

Offline el_capitan

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Re: Being Water Wise
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2014, 09:12:14 AM »
I think it's great to be having this discussion.  Thanks for the post, Drew. 

This problem isn't isolated to California - Americans in general need to be thinking about groundwater conservation.  Here in the land of 10,000 lakes, we're starting to see major effects of groundwater depletion.  Unfortunately, it seems that people only start to worry when it becomes a big problem.  Our DNR is in charge of enforcing groundwater usage permits, and according to news reports they're not doing much about it.  I think the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) is stretched way too thin, and it would be worth forming a separate agency to monitor and enforce groundwater usage.

Going beyond the liquid water we use, start thinking about the "virtual water" that goes into making all of the products we consume.  Check out this cool interactive to see what I mean.  You may have to create an account to use it, but it's free. 

National Geographic Hidden Water Interactive

I'm right in the middle of teaching a water unit to my 8th graders, so you have to excuse me for shifting into teacher mode there. 



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Offline yugamrap

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Re: Being Water Wise
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2014, 12:06:14 PM »
Sanitizing with StarSan in a spray bottle uses much, much less than filling a vessel - even if you only fill the vessel half way.  I can usually make it through an entire brew day with less than 16 oz of StarSan this way.  StarSan is a contact sanitizer - only the surface to be sanitized needs to be wetted.  The rest of the sanitizer filling the vessel is unnecessary.  Of course, if you save the StarSan to reuse on another brew day this is a moot point.

Like others, I save leftover hot water from the HLT for cleaning, and use water from cooling for cleaning/rinsing.  Cooling water also gets put into empty 1-gallon water jugs and frozen for use when recirculating ice water to chill lagers.  Remaining chilling water gets used to water plants in the summer, and to fill the washing machine in winter. I let my mash sit a while after sparging and collect the last of the low-gravity runnings for starters.  Even if those runnings are too low a gravity for a starter, it's that much less DME and water that I need to use.

I do these things, and I live less that five miles from Lake Erie - so there's really not a water shortage here.  I think conservation is a good practice regardless of whether there's a shortage.  I do things like turn off the water faucet while brushing my teeth.  That might only save a little water, but it also saves all of the energy used to treat it and pump it to my house, as well as reducing the amount of chemicals that need to be used, produced and transported.  It's remarkable how far a little forethought can go toward reducing and conserving the resources we use.   
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Offline narcout

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Re: Being Water Wise
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2014, 02:04:43 PM »
I often don't shower on brew day. 

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Being Water Wise
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2014, 02:07:43 PM »
I often don't shower on brew day.

Can't do that in the summer here in Texas.

Offline mugwort

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Re: Being Water Wise
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2014, 02:50:56 PM »
Sanitizing with StarSan in a spray bottle uses much, much less than filling a vessel - even if you only fill the vessel half way.  I can usually make it through an entire brew day with less than 16 oz of StarSan this way.  StarSan is a contact sanitizer - only the surface to be sanitized needs to be wetted.  The rest of the sanitizer filling the vessel is unnecessary.  Of course, if you save the StarSan to reuse on another brew day this is a moot point.

Like others, I save leftover hot water from the HLT for cleaning, and use water from cooling for cleaning/rinsing.  Cooling water also gets put into empty 1-gallon water jugs and frozen for use when recirculating ice water to chill lagers.  Remaining chilling water gets used to water plants in the summer, and to fill the washing machine in winter. I let my mash sit a while after sparging and collect the last of the low-gravity runnings for starters.  Even if those runnings are too low a gravity for a starter, it's that much less DME and water that I need to use.

I do these things, and I live less that five miles from Lake Erie - so there's really not a water shortage here.  I think conservation is a good practice regardless of whether there's a shortage.  I do things like turn off the water faucet while brushing my teeth.  That might only save a little water, but it also saves all of the energy used to treat it and pump it to my house, as well as reducing the amount of chemicals that need to be used, produced and transported.  It's remarkable how far a little forethought can go toward reducing and conserving the resources we use.

Thanks.  You've got a bunch of good suggestions.  It might seem obvious but loads of homebrewers are still mixing up 5 gallons of Starsan each time they need some instead of making a gallon at a time and using a spray bottle when possible.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Being Water Wise
« Reply #35 on: January 28, 2014, 03:29:30 PM »
I have heard some of the larger breweries are going to use wastewater from their public urinals in the tap room as "grey water" for cooling purposes.










Not really but I am sure someone has plans to do something similar

Not unless they plan on spending a LOT of money on permits and treatment if its even permited under regulation.  Terlet water is "BLACK" water. "Grey" water comes from washing machines, lavatory sinks, showers. Most places even consider kitchen sink flow to be "BLACK" because of the food stuff.

Start with the low hanging fruit. Capture your chilling water, even if you just pump into a barrel and water your tomatoes that's multiple, beneficial use.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 03:33:01 PM by Pinski »
Thank you BEER!

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Being Water Wise
« Reply #36 on: January 28, 2014, 03:45:28 PM »
I have heard some of the larger breweries are going to use wastewater from their public urinals in the tap room as "grey water" for cooling purposes.










Not really but I am sure someone has plans to do something similar



 Capture your chilling water, even if you just pump into a barrel and water your tomatoes that's multiple, beneficial use.


That's what I do in the warm months. It's a pretty significant amount of water, especially in months where I brew 2 or 3 times. Easy to do, too.
Jon H.