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How Much Water Do You Throw Down The Drain?


tl5612

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Planning to move into a new-build distillery without mains drainage.

Looking for a range of water waste volumes for distilleries. Would be super helpful if you could post your wastage on this thread - per day/week.

I know it depends on the set up, and idiosyncrasies etc. But please humor me :D

Thanks in advance

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There is some good reading on this topic from the craft brewers. They seem to be further down this road with some good information available. I've seen estimates from them of about 2-6 bbl of wastewater per bbl of beer. Just make the assumption that your wash is beer and go from there. Assuming that condenser cooling will be a recirculation/chiller system, otherwise the numbers will be through the roof.

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Unless you have an agricultural distillery and can use a well, your water usage will be sizable.

You also may have to store some water for mash cooling or you'll run the well dry.

Even old milk houses can be useful;)

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If you are mashing, use 1 to 10 as a starting point ratio of liters of finished spirit to liters of wastewater. There's little chance you'll use less at a small scale.

If you are planning on running your condensers to drain, move that up to 1 to 20.

You're not going to get anywhere near single digits.

Lowest I've seen from a regionally sized brewery is 1 to 2.5.

The current average for large breweries is a little over 1 to 4.1. That's with world class engineering.

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There's a lot you can do to reduce wastewater. My ~135 gallon (charge) still runs at about 60gph to cool the condenser safely during stripping runs. If you can put that water to good use you'll save hundreds of gallons each day.

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anyone out there with a large still 200+ gallons who are reusing their cooling water?

Ive seen cooling water reused on a small scale but is anyone one on the bigger side reusing it? if so can you describe your system for reuse?

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Along these same lines, I'm looking to find a few reference distilleries that would share their water usage to proof gallons produced. That way I can use those as base numbers and not be "as much" impacted by operation size. I need to get some details because the city I'm in wants to charge me a capitalization fee to start based on a brewery projection. They say I'll use 20,000 gallons of water a month...I only have 2 300Gal fermenters and a 42 Gal still! Interested if anyone can provide those types of details that might have a similar size setup and has been running for a couple of years. Thanks!

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