Homemade is more sustainable than the commercial products of large companies. At least, it feels like it will be true. But what about economies of scale? When it comes to beer, home brewers know that your own beer tastes better. But is this less waste? Will it produce fewer emissions or use less energy per gallon? Finding the answer is surprisingly tricky, but you can take some practical steps to make your homemade beer both sustainable and delicious.
It tastes good and has little effect?
No one has conducted a life cycle analysis on the environmental impact of homebrew, let alone combine homebrew with The environmental impact of commercial beer. Think about the methodological differences between industrial operations, craft breweries and small breweries.Surprisingly, industrial beer manufacturers Twice the efficiency As a craft brewer.But there are exceptions New Belgium’s carbon-neutral fat tire beerIn the ever-changing world of home brewing, the impact may be more difficult to measure. After all, if you like brewing beer and you like the beer you brew, the real question is, how can you brew beer more sustainably?
Most home brewers either reuse the bottle or skip the packaging entirely using kegs. Bottles inevitably lose some material, and washing them consumes a lot of water (and the energy used to heat the water), so despite the use of cooling energy, many brewers prefer barreling. Both of these options can save energy because the commercial recovery rate is very low.only Half of the aluminum can with One-third of the glass bottle Be recycled.
As for the brewing equipment, durable glass or steel is more preferable. plastic, A non-recyclable petroleum product, responsible for Microplastics with Global pollution. Buy second-hand equipment as much as possible and properly maintain your equipment so that you do not have to replace it. If you upgrade, transfer the old equipment to someone else; when it is no longer available, recycle it.
Choose local organic ingredients that have been minimally processed to obtain the best and most sustainable beer. Buy locally Reduce transportation emissions and Build local food resilienceFew people have the space to grow their own barley, but they can consider growing their own hops.Look for organic Ingredients used to be a challenge for home brewers, but now it’s getting easier.
Use grains Rather than malted barley extract is not only a sign of a more mature brewer, it skips the processing and packaging steps, allowing you to avoid additives such as Corn syrup. It also allows you to control the waste flow.Use waste grains and hops bread Or in Dog food; Feed it to ChickOr use it to Make compost.
Many winemakers don’t know you can Reuse yeast Even maintain your own culture. But even if you buy yeast every time, when you are done, Don’t throw it into the sewer It will interfere with water treatment.
and sodaCompared with other activities, the amount of carbon dioxide directly produced in the fermentation process is negligible-such as burning fossil fuels to provide all these brewing supplies.
Energy and water
In terms of traffic emissions, Last mile distribution It has a greater impact than delivery to a centralized facility, which is a disadvantage of home brewing.But the completed self-made does not need to be distributed, this is Nearly 10% The impact of commercial beer. It is difficult to say whether bringing home beer raw materials or finished beer will generate more emissions. Either way, buying in bulk will minimize travel.
There is often a trade-off between saving water and saving electricity.Your priority will depend on your local water supply and Your power source. Unless your home is made up of Renewable Energy, It will be difficult to compete with the efficiency and huge solar arrays of commercial breweries.you can Reduce the energy you use Use a pot of the right size as the heat source and the amount of water. High-quality cookware will heat up evenly and quickly, thereby reducing the boiling time. An accurate reading of a good thermometer will help you increase efficiency and improve your brewing. Insulating the fermentation vessel will maintain the correct temperature without the need for external heating or refrigeration.
Commercial brewing requires at least Four liters Water can make one liter of beer (one gallon can make two pints of beer).it can Five to ten gallons Water to produce a gallon (four pints) of homemade beer. But you can reduce the water consumption by cooling the wort more effectively.Don’t use cold water, but use an ice bath or Wort cooler. When finished, water the plants with bath water or use the hot water used in the wort cooler to clean the equipment.Using a temperature-controlled fermentation chamber allows you Skip the chilling steps completely. Whether you are cold or not, Keg You can save water by using disposable bottles.
Although cleaning is the biggest water use in the brewing process, don’t cut corners at this step.Anyway, use Ecological cleaner, But the most important thing is to use good technology. The most wasted batch of beer is the beer you have to throw away. (However, if you do get an unqualified batch, please filter it to the one that needs nourishment grassland Rather than a municipal water purification system. )
Brewers are always trying to get better. To explore the sustainable aspects of homebrew in depth, try one of the following books:
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