Bathroom Brew: How Oregon is Recycling Wastewater

In April, an Oregon wastewater treatment operator challenged local home brewers to create a delicious beer from four ingredients: hops, barley, yeast (not so hard, right?)…

hops

…and sewer water.

Oh.

According to Business Insider, “The point of the contest is not to find Portland’s next trendy craft beer. Rather, it’s an effort to get people talking about how a vital resource can be reused thanks to advanced water-filtration systems.”

sewerwater

Oregon Live detailed the purification process the effluent underwent—ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, and advanced oxidation—while also noting that “this water couldn’t be used for anything other than making beer,” according to Oregon basin coordinator Avis Newell. (Oregon laws allow wastewater to be recycled for irrigation, industrial processes, and groundwater recharging purposes only.)

“Still,” she added, “no one else in the state is attempting to do this.”

Dozens of brewers competed, with the top recognition going to a German Pilsner. This week, a group of Business Insider staff sampled a selection of the contest entries.

beer sampler

“One colleague said she liked it and would drink it again … [Others] tasted the Purewater Brew Munich Helles side-by-side with a Yuengling.”

Check this technical note on analyzing hop acids in beer using LC/MS/MS >>

One Business Insider employee said the flavor was “pretty generic” while most said the “cloudiness” and “weird aftertaste” turned them off. 

However, the publication mentioned, “[It’s] hard to say if they were influenced by knowing the beer’s history.”

WATCH: Pure Water Brew Challenge 2015 (from Clean Water Services)



Would YOU drink beer made from sewer water? Leave a comment!

Related resources:

Tetrahydroiso-alpha acids extracted from beer by Strata-X using Kinetex C18 2.6µm 100×4.6 mm
Iso-alpha acids extracted from beer by Strata-X using Kinetex C18 2.6µm 100×4.6 mm
Tetrahydroiso-alpha acids in Miller Genuine Draft beer using Kinetex C18 2.6µm 100×4.6 mm
Iso-alpha acids in Red Stripe beer using Kinetex C18 2.6µm 100×4.6 mm
EZ:faast Amino Acid analysis of beer

5 thoughts on “Bathroom Brew: How Oregon is Recycling Wastewater

  1. In essence, aren’t we all drinking sewer water, in sum sense. Unless people are accessing a new, undiscovered source of water, I’m sure our current water cycle does have treated sewer water in it. I hope this recycle program in Oregon is successful.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Weird News Roundup: Strange Brew Part II | science unfiltered

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