On Sunday, I brewed a one gallon batch of traditional mead. I couldn’t help but notice, during the process, the potential for water waste. Here are some ways to cut down on water use during the brewing process.
Tip Brewsday: Save Water While Homebrewing
From cleaning/sanitizing pre-brew to clean up after, homebrewing uses water. But not nearly as much as it wastes. Consider this: I needed 10 gallons of water just to clean/sanitize equipment to make a ONE GALLON batch of mead.
I’m already thinking about my next brew day and how I’m going to save water. Here’s how we can start cutting down on the waste.
Plan Your Brew Day
Put your brew day on the calendar. When I plan to eat a good breakfast and go to the gym, I have a day where I eat a really good breakfast and go to the gym. When I don’t do these things I don’t eat until 2 pm and rarely get out of my chair. The days when I eat a good breakfast and go to the gym are also the days when I am properly hydrated and more productive. Don’t believe me? Put things in your calendar that start your day with good habits and watch the person you become that day.
If you know you’re going to brew, pop that date in your calendar. Leading up to it, think about your water consumption and take action to reduce your use.
Save unused drinking water. Last week I shared a lot about saving water daily. While you don’t want to use unused drinking water in your brew, there is another option. A few days before your brew day, put a pitcher in the kitchen and dump undrunk water in there. You can use a funnel and put it in a jug, too. You don’t want to keep this too long (I’m no scientist but I have a feeling the bacteria will start to grow some pretty interesting stuff) but for a day or two it should be fine. Use this water to clean your equipment. Cleaning is the first step and requires using hot water and detergent. I use this one.
Instead of running the tap water to get your five gallons of how water, just boil the saved water and then pour it in the sink. Wait for it to cool down to about 100-120° and then you’re good to go.
Use any extra for rinsing after cleaning.
Remember, this is water you’re using to clean and you’re boiling it. It seems a little weird but you’re going to be fine. You’re also going to sanitize it after.
Save the rinse water. Rinse equipment over an empty pitcher or plastic tub. You can use this to start the cleanup process later. I also rinse my hands over this collector during the process. I have super sensitive skin so I like to rinse frequently so that the detergent doesn’t sit on my skin.
Do Two Things At Once
Using water for two things at once isn’t always possible, but when it is leverage this great water saving #HomebrewHack.
Thaw, Loosen, Heat. Honey is sticky. And thick. That makes it seemingly impossible to get all of it out of the container, be it a glass jar or plastic bear. When your sink is full of hot water during mead prep, pop your sealed containers of honey in the sink. That way you’re not using separate water for this.
If you have nonbrewing stuff to do that requires warm water, now’s the time. This is great for thawing frozen items you’re going to use later in cooking.
Try It Out
Get out your calendar and set a date to brew. I recommend a beginning batch of mead if you’re new to this. Mead is probably the easiest drink to make in your kitchen, requires very few ingredients and is fairly quick. Start saving water a few days before and see how much you can reduce from the anticipated 10 gallons of cleaning/sanitizing water.