Chuckanut brewery understands what a special resource water is and has been using many sustainable practices for years. In fact, they started even before they opened Chuckanut Brewery. “Our brewmaster Will Kemper is a brewing and chemical engineer and designs breweries all over the US and the world, and this is a practice he has used since time began,” says Mari Kemper.
Mari describes the water-saving activities at Chuckanut: During the brewing process, the wort (or beginning liquid of beer) goes through a heat exchanger to cool down. Cold water runs in one direction in piping around another pipe which has the very hot wort running to the fermentation tanks. The cold water picks up the heat that comes off the wort and the wort picks up the cold from the water. The wort gets into the fermentation tank at a cooler temperature to be ready for the yeast (it would kill the yeast if it went into the wort at the temp it comes out of the kettle). The water, having picked up the heat, is put into the hot liquor tank to start the next batch of beer. It takes less energy that way to heat the water and the water is not just thrown out after cooling the wort! Way more sustainable to work with water this way.