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Thread: Brewery Waste Water

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Cool, California

    Brewery Waste Water

    I am in the permitting phase of my brewery startup and I need to provide data on waste water and how it affects the bological oxygen demand (BOD) on a septic system. The septic is only a few years old and has more than enough capacity for the brewery. We will be brewing on a 7 BBL system 2-3 times a week. Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Newport, Rhode Island
    your septic system will become overloadeded and even though you think you will be under it. I feel as though I run a pretty tight ship here and my water to beer ratio is 5:1. here are my stats from the last four runs. They are averaged over 24 hours where 60 bbls is brewed (includes yeast from the tank getting cleaned), 60 bbls is filtered, and 60 bbls is bottled. hope it helps

    BOD (mg/L)- 4100, 2900, 4100, 3700
    TSS (mg/L)- 720, 280, 520, 110

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Cool, California
    Quote Originally Posted by WaterEng
    A septic system is an end point for solids. They do not just dissolve and leach out as a liquid.

    If your wastewater is not totally free of floatables and settlables, it will be quickly overloaded with solids. Even if its free of those components, the high BOD loading is going to generate a significant solids loading from the biologic decomposition. In any case, expect that you are going to have to pump out the collected solids on a frequent basis.
    Thank you for the information. The septic system in question is recently built for a commercial retail center. It's designed to accomodate up to 5 resaurants of which there will be only one plus our brewery. Our system size will be 7 BBL and we expect to double batch maybe twice a month. I plan on taking as much of the trub/wet hops along with spent grain to my goat ranch (happy goats) We will be reusing most of the yeast of course and doing a hot shot on the rest. I would very much appreciate any more info you can share as this is the last hurdle in getting our brewery started.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Kenai, Alaska

    Septic systems

    Hi Steve,

    I am now going on seven years of septic usage here in Alaska. Solids will be a killer for you if not monitored often. My leach field has some of the best perk in the US. El Dorado county may not be as forgiving. I lived in Fairplay, CA for several years and know the ground conditions there. To keep us in compliance and the system happy several things are a must.

    Yeast will kill the system quickly if you get sloppy with extra going down the drain. It will continue to grow on any sugars sent down until it becomes this clogging mass of goo. I can assure you there will be plenty of extra yeast to get rid of as you grow, not all can be repitched. We use a crab cooker to heat and kill the yeast to at least 140 degrees, and dump on top of our spent grains as live yeast can kill cows.
    All of our trub, extra beer\wort in lines, any sugars that we can salvage goes onto the spent grains.

    When you wash down the mash tun your going to get grains going down the drain. It's pretty suprising how much.

    We pump our tanks on a quarterly basis that seems to take care of the solids collecting. You will find that instead of getting that floating mass of solids in a normal septic, everything will sink to the bottom which will turn into another beast if not taken care of.

    Chemicals, less is always better and be sure to always have as close to neutral ph as possible. I am purchasing an ozone machine which should cut out even more chemical usage. Sanitizers will kill those bugs you need to digest solids.

    Hope some of these rants help,
    Frank Kassik
    Kassik's Brewery
    Kenai, AK

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Cool, California
    Thanks Frank that is very helpful! Does it make a difference if there are two seperate systems, one dedicated with a grease trap? I think the system is designed to process 6,000 gallons a day.

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