Let the conversation start…over a beer made with plant effluent

Milwaukee is already famous for beer. But this wastewater engineer in Milwaukee is turning heads, brewing beer with purified Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District wastewater plant effluent called “Activated Sludge.” Theera Ratarasarn chlorinated, dechlorinated, filtered, distilled, tested and added nutrients to the water before beginning to make 5 gallons of Activated Sludge, a wheat ale with 5.15% alcohol by volume. As a novice home brewer he wanted to try something new. Given to a panel of taste testers at a local brewery who sniffed, sipped and told many a joke the final verdict of Activated Sludge is…drinkable. See what others said about Activated Sludge here.

Ratasarsarn isn’t the only one crafting beer out of wastewater. NPR recently ran an article on Clean Water Services of Hillsboro, a wastewater treatment plant in the Portland metro area with its advanced treatment process that can turn sewage into drinking water. The company, which runs four wastewater treatment plants, wants to show off its “high-purity” system by turning recycled wastewater into beer. While Oregon rules allow recycled wastewater to be used for irrigation, industrial processes and groundwater recharge, they require additional approvals for human consumption to make sure all safety concerns are addressed.

At a brewing competition with beer made with about 30 percent purified wastewater, some craft brewers said they prefer the high-purity water because it lacks some of the minerals of tap water that they ordinarily have to remove to make beer.

Now, the company wants to take the idea to the next level with beer made entirely from treated effluent. See the full article here. Sláinte!

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