I recently saw someone post when they store their Corny kegs they fill with water and sanitizer. That waste of water got me thinking about all the ways over the years I have cut water use when brewing. We all know brewing uses almost 2X the amount of water as the batch size. So if you are making a 10 gallon batch you will use almost 20 in the process. The best thing one can do is devise methods to reduce water use wherever possible.
Take the person filling the keg with sanitizer. Just reduce the amount to a pint and shake the keg for a few minutes to keep the sanitizer in contact and then let it ride. Automatically we just saved 4.875 gallons of water. If you have a particular favorite I don’t mention, feel free to comment below. Any new idea to save water is a good one.
-Use sanitizer sparingly and shake/rotate the items being sanitized to achieve contact using as little sanitizer as possible as opposed to filling the vessel and dumping out a large volume after you are done.
-Use rainbarrel collection water to initially chill the wort and use the output from that to initially clean dirty brewing equipment. While the water is not bacteria clean, it will be very hot initially and can get the spooge off equipment.
-Use final wort chill water to do the final cleaning of any equipment.
-Setup a pump in a 5 gallon bucked and recirculate to the chiller and use ice for the final chilling using as little water as needed to achieve the temp drop.
-Use manual cleaning techniques as opposed to chemical to clean. Scrubbing can be done with very little water while soaking takes a larger volume to achieve the same result.
-If you have leftover brew water which was not used for the session, chill it in the fridge and drink it. Since you haven’t used it there is no reason to take that filtered water and dump it out.
-After mashing and collecting the wort, allow the mash to continue to drain. Collect that very low gravity wort and use it to water plants once it cools.
There are just a few ideas, most of them having to do with chilling, but one might give you an idea on how to save water on brew day. I know I take my chiller output into dirty kegs and equipment for cleaning. The water is nice and hot and it is water that would be going down the drain otherwise. Anything you can do to save water is a good thing!