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Distillery Waste Water Characterization


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We are expanding capacity to a site that will use a septic system for the waste streams.  Waste water consists of sanitary waste and CIP/wash down water.  Does anyone have characterization information for the CIP/wash down water to use as an initial basis for discussion with county and state.  Our county is primarily interested in BOD.

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CIP is used for caustic wash (1-2% brewguard powdered brewery cleaner) and acid wash (1-2% food grade citric acid) of 800 gallon mash tun, 800 gallon fermenter, and 800 gallon stripping still.  Our expansion still will be dedicated to mashing, fermenting, and stripping 100% rye flour.  The product will be finished at our existing facility making vodka, gin, and whiskey.

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     Hey how’s it going congrats on an expansion they’re a lot of fun, if you have a few more and need help making leaps into larger equipment sets and efficiencies of scale keep me in mind. Anyways we make a lot of rye, alottttt of it we clean it a lot and when mash gets down the drain, which it will because it always does some how, and waste water systems do not like mash.

they say they’re only concerned about BOD now, which is great because that can be buffered with a little investment using ozone gas or o instead water but PH and TSS (if too much mash/stillage down drain) are two things they’re probably going to learn they care about after a while.
 

 

if I were you I would neutralize ph before discharge, and dilute with ozonated water. TSS will lower from addition of liquid volume, ph buffer and extra dilution will be money for the bugs in the system, and ozone will keep enough oxygen in suspension for them to metabolize if you don’t kill the bugs no one will ever ask you what you put down the drain  

    

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I can confirm what @SlickFloss is saying , seeing a lot more visibility on BOD and TSS in wastewater streams across all of industry.  Sewer fees with municipailites have gone way up for high concentrations of either, at least you don't have to worry about that.   Good to get ahead of it now.  

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For your consideration, we run three stills (750g, 350g and 150g) and a 400g mash tun and have moved away from using any caustic or acid to clean our vessels.  We dump the spend grains and wash into totes for a farmer and immediately pressure wash down the stills while they are still hot to remove any residual proteins or starches. It's not the most enjoyable work but we are able to collect the waste water and it goes out to water livestock which is a big help during our current drought here in CA.

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23 hours ago, Golden Beaver Distillery said:

For your consideration, we run three stills (750g, 350g and 150g) and a 400g mash tun and have moved away from using any caustic or acid to clean our vessels.  We dump the spend grains and wash into totes for a farmer and immediately pressure wash down the stills while they are still hot to remove any residual proteins or starches. It's not the most enjoyable work but we are able to collect the waste water and it goes out to water livestock which is a big help during our current drought here in CA.

BRILLIANT

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On 10/28/2022 at 1:57 PM, Golden Beaver Distillery said:

For your consideration, we run three stills (750g, 350g and 150g) and a 400g mash tun and have moved away from using any caustic or acid to clean our vessels.  We dump the spend grains and wash into totes for a farmer and immediately pressure wash down the stills while they are still hot to remove any residual proteins or starches. It's not the most enjoyable work but we are able to collect the waste water and it goes out to water livestock which is a big help during our current drought here in CA.

Very admirable work you’re doing!

 

A lot more stillage issues than solutions unfortunately in the world. Pot stills do enable physical cleaning like that but issues arise in larger systems process piping and column stills also have other issues.
 

OP if you ever want any changes in your protocol or want to cut costs drop me a line PBW gets expensive and IME it’s not all it’s cracked up to be 

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Echoing what all of the others said. Not sure how big of an expansion you're looking at, but if it's sizable, caustic is going to be the least of your worries. COD and BOD of stillage are absolutely massive and depending on how the waste stream is routed, the caustic wash down water would/could help neutralize the acidic nature of the stillage. We are in a rural location so sewer is not an option for us. Here is the process flow for our stillage and process wastewater.

Stillage is pumped through a rotary drum screener with a fine screen > thickened grain then drops to a screw press > dewatered grain dropped into a dryer system where is is dried for sale. Effluent captured from the screener and the screw press is pH adjusted with a mixture of mag and calcium hydroxide in a pH balance tank and flocculant is added. The mixture is then moved into a clarifier where the suspended solids are allowed to drop out. Cleaner, pH adjusted effluent is decanted off the top of the clarifier and is the final waste stream. The solids that floc out to the bottom of the clarifier are pumped into the drying system as they accumulate.

Not sure if you have a Brenntag in your area, but they were a great resource for us in testing our waste stream. We use their alka240 product to adjust pH and have been very happy with the results.

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Thank you for sharing your experience/recommendations. 
 

We are located in a rural farming/ranching community where there seems to be no shortage of folks looking for animal feed. So that is the plan for stillage.  That leaves the wash water and wash down as waste water.  I am in the process of sampling to confirm literature values of 2000 to 5000 bod.  We are using 100% rye flour and even though it is an expansion, it is probably small compared with some of your facilities (adding 800 gallon mash tun, fermenters, and 800 gallon stripping still.  So I’m not sure if grain separation is an option.  Regardless of the animal feed and potential for treatment and disposal to the septic, there will need to be a truckable component for waste.

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Conventional septic system (septic tank and drain field) has been approved for our 1st phase (sanitary waste from storage facility). Installation of the septic is on hold until we determine whether it will have a role in the phase 2 waste treatment. I will be hiring an engineer to work with county and state environmental agencies to develop and permit waste water treatment for phase 2, which is the ethanol production expansion.  

package waste treatment suppliers have said that they can treat the wash water  load, however permitting, reliability, and/or $’s may make this approach infeasible.

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