Brewery powers beer operation with used grain.

Alaskan Brewing Company is now using spent grain to power its brewery. 

In the beer-making process, grain (usually barley) is sprouted, dried, cracked, then soaked in very hot water (it's like making tea). This releases the grains' sugars into the water which are later converted into alcohol. The grain itself isn't used in beer. Once the sugars and flavors are removed from the grain, it becomes a waste product. 

At a normal brewery, spent grain is sold to feed cattle. But there aren't a lot of cows in Alaska and shipping is expensive, so the Alaskan Brewing Company decided it would be more cost-efficient to convert the grain into energy. 

They do that by burning it in a special furnace, which produces steam that generates electricity to power about 70% of the brewery operation, reducing energy costs by about $450,000 per year. 

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