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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. 

Brilliant. 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/us-business/alaskan-brewer-taps-the-potential-of-beer-powered-beer/article8175887/
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11 comments
 
Brilliant indeed!
 
Nice. Now if I can run my house on lawn clippings . . . 
 
I was in Laughlin Nevada a few weeks ago and saw this beer on a menu and tried it. Very good beer. I tweeted a photo and someone at Alaskan saw it and tweeted right back and said they hoped I enjoyed it. What they are doing with the spend grain is great, pass on the word of a responsible company trying to do the right thing.  
 
Someone had a car that ran off the methane of farm animal poop.  (But I wouldn't want to load or empty the tank!)
If there's a way to convert grass clippings into a usable fuel, like alcohol, then yeah, you could run a generator off of it and power your house.
Just make SURE the generator is designed to run on that sort of fuel!
 
Increasing the carbon footprint? Or will they capture the carbon dioxide to mix it with the beer?
 
Sure you can run a generator off of grass, spent grains, or practically any biomass. It's a process called gasification.
Or how about running a truck on wood? Lots of info about gasification over here: http://driveonwood.com
 
Not to mention they make an excellent brew as well.
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