The What? The Plant! That’s What!

For many years, Jesse and Samuel Edwin Evans brewed beer at an independent brewery in Northern California. Now they’ve come to Chicago.

Part of a massive vertical farm in an old South Side warehouse, the location of the new brewery will house one of the most sustainable beer-making processes in the world.

Summer before last, John Edel and Bubbly Dynamics LLC purchased the former Peer Foods meat processing plant in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The Plant, is a true green machine, a combination of biological and technological innovations of self-sustaining, off-the-grid food production system.

The Plant gives the following diagram to summarize its inner workings on its website:

The “brewery” portion on the bottom-right is where the Evans brothers come in. Their New Chicago Brewing Company will use some of the facility’s resources, and provide its waste products as fuel.

Jesse told the Huffington Post:

“In the beer-making process, there’s an amazing amount of spent grain that’s produced…At most breweries, around 50 percent of that goes to the landfill…In the beer-making process, there’s an amazing amount of spent grain that’s produced…At most breweries, around 50 percent of that goes to the landfill.”

The steam will be especially helpful to the Evans brothers.

“If you put it in perspective, we’re going to be using a 3,000-gallon pot that we boil for two, three hours.” Instead of having to burn gas for the boil, the steam will do the trick. “So that’s a huge cost savings…Microbrewing is usually a closed-door thing…Here, beer nerds are going to get to be a part of the process.”

Energizing Brew

A new facility in the UK, Adnams Bio Energy anaerobic digestion plan, using brewery waste and local food waste will begin producing renewable gas which can be used as liquid fuel among other things.

Working in partnership with National Grid, the facility expects to generate up to 4.8 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year – that is enough to heat 235 family homes annually.

Well, the average home in the UK burns 56 kilowatt-hours of gas per day. The same amount of energy which could be generated from the waste left behind from brewing roughly 600 pints of beer.

Some 28 million pints of beer are enjoyed daily by Britons — well, the waste from brewing that much beer could produce enough biomethane to heat 47,000 homes.

The Adnams plant plans to be able to produce enough renewable gas to power the company’s brewery and run its fleet of lorries, while leaving up to 60% of the remaining output available for injection back into the national grid.

By diverting waste from landfill, the plant will also prevent the release of methane into the atmosphere.

Biomethane is like natural gas. Once it’s upgraded to grid specification, it may be injected into the gas network to be used by customers.

National Grid suggests that biomethane could account for at least 15% of domestic gas consumption by the often-cited year 2020.

The Adnams Bio Energy plant has three digesters – these are sealed vessels in which naturally-occurring bacteria act without oxygen to break down up to 12,500 tons of organic waste every year. In addition to producing biomethane, the process also yields a liquid organic fertilizer.

Working in connection with Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, Adnams Bio Energy has also deployed British solar thermal panels at the plant and will soon install cutting-edge photovoltaic cells on site, thereby creating a sort-of mini energy park.

Healthy Spirits

beerI don’t know about you guys, but I am a passionate drinker. That means, when I have a delicious meal, or some time to relax, I enjoy it with a nice alcoholic beverage. Maybe I will sip on a Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale while I read the paper; or perhaps I will enjoy a 2006 Flam Cabernet Reserve, with a nice cut of meat.

However, I always put my health first. So I did some research to see what health benefits there may be to responsible and moderate drinking; and what health issues, to be wary of. I found that there have been lots of studies done on this recently. Here’s what I came up with:

There is a myth that different red wine grapes possess different health benefits. I found that this is not true. They all have the same benefits. It is true that one glass of wine is good for the heart. Resveratrol is a chemical found in the skin of grapes which provides antioxidants which lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin, making it beneficial for diabetes. However, red wine, which does not eat away at your tooth enamel as fast as white wine does, does have a tendency to stain teeth.

Beer, as once thought, does not raise cholesterol. In fact it increases HTL’s, which are somewhat beneficial for your cholesterol count. Though, if you think that beer is good for preventing and curing heart disease, you are unfortunately mistaken.

Also, for you college kids…

WARNING: Beer Not Good For Hangovers. This is because when you are ‘hung-over’, your body is dehydrated. Beer will only make you more dehydrated.
Bottoms Up …..