When we previously wrote about artisanal beer and it’s most precious ingredient, water, we thought that the New Belgium Brewery was an outlier of alchemy. But thanks to the NPR team at the Salt, we hear this forward thinking form of recycling is more common than we thought.
Clean Water Services of Hillsboro says it has an advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water. The company, which runs four wastewater treatment plants in the Portland metro area, wants to show off its “high-purity” system by turning recycled wastewater into beer.
Clean Water Services has asked the state for permission to give its water to a group of home brewers. The Oregon Brew Crew would make small batches of beer to be served at events – not sold at a brewery.
But as of now, the state of Oregon doesn’t technically allow anyone to drink wastewater, no matter how pure it is.
The Oregon Health Authority has approved the company’s request for the beer project. But the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission will also have to sign off on it before anyone serves a beer made from recycled sewage.
The process includes three different treatment methods: ultra-filtration, which filters the water through very small pores; reverse osmosis, which passes the water through a membrane that blocks chemicals from passing through; and enhanced oxidation, which uses ultra-violet light and an oxidizing chemical to break down contaminants.
In September, Clean Water Services organized a brewing competition with beer made with about 30 percent purified wastewater. As The Oregonian reported, some craft brewers said they prefer the high-purity water because it lacks some of the minerals of tap water that they ordinarily have to remove to make beer.
Now, the company wants to take the idea to the next level with beer made entirely from treated effluent.
For the whole article click here.