Craft brewers may not be aware of all of the benefits they can achieve from keeping stuff out of the drain. In general, these can include reduced water and wastewater management costs, increased revenues, operational efficiencies and enhanced community relations.
Click on the image below for one example on the multiple benefits from keeping yeast out of the drain. The achievable benefits will depend on the approach used, e.g., simple diversion, racking or a centrifuge.
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See How Lake of Bays Brewing Company is Keeping Yeast Out of the Drain
For Lake of Bays Brewing Company, a small brewery in the Muskoka region of Ontario, integrating a centrifuge into their operation was an obvious decision for them. The interesting twist is how they have expanded its application beyond the conventional use, and made it a key part of their resource and wastewater management strategy.
By using the centrifuge to process the spent yeast leaving the fermenters, they are recovering more beer that can be sold. In fact, their beer yield has increased by 3 to 5 percent. The yeast solids are easy to handle, being collected in a small waste vessel before being transferred to a larger collection bin for disposal.
By keeping the spent yeast out of the drain, Lake of Bays has reduced the overall strength of their wastewater, leading to lower costs and future surcharge risks. This has also placed less strain on the local municipality’s treatment system – while also shrinking the scale and subsequent cost of any onsite wastewater treatment system the brewery might choose to consider in the future.
Darren Smith, Owner and President of Lake of Bays, estimates that the payback on the centrifuge, based only on the recovery of more beer, was approximately 18 months. However, if all of the other benefits are taken into account, this is an investment that quickly pays for itself many times over.