Great Beer Starts with Great Water

Brewing high-quality craft beer can be difficult in any part of the country. In Texas, where water quality can vary as the climate changes sporadically from drought to flood and back again, it can be especially challenging.

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Central Texas brewery unlocks key to consistent water quality

By Michael Costello

According to data from Beer Marketer’s Insights, beer makers shipped 26.4 gallons of beer per American adult in 2017. All of this, however, wouldn’t be possible without a key component: water. As the main ingredient in beer, water is critical to product quality, taste and consistency.

In Texas, where water quality can vary as the climate changes sporadically from drought to flood and back again, brewing high-quality craft beer can be especially challenging. One central Texas brewery decided to shift its focus from worrying about water quality to producing delicious beer.

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To remove chlorine and chloramines, Evoqua recommended a Vantage PTC Carbon filter. These two systems work together as pretreatment, conditioning the water to maximize the effectiveness of downstream reverse osmosis (RO) filtration.

The Challenge: Consistent Quality is Key

When evaluating the best next move for his business, the brewery’s founder and CEO made water quality a paramount priority while designing and building his brew house in a historic industrial building. “If the water isn’t consistent, you can’t count on it having the same quality and flavor going in, and you can’t get consistent quality on the back end,” he said. “Your brew master has to work overtime to get the water right, even before you start making beer.”

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Evoqua’s application engineering team in Houston and project management team from Oklahoma City met with a Texas brewery’s facility manager to analyze water quality and process requirements for a new installation.

In April 2015, the founder set out to find the most efficient way to get a consistent supply of high-quality water for brewing and various other processes in his plant. The best option turned out to be municipal water, which was already tapped into the building. But even municipal water needs help meeting a brewery’s high-quality needs in an area like central Texas. Its makeup and taste can vary significantly as local groundwater conditions change. After conducting a search for water treatment suppliers, the founder contacted Evoqua Water Technologies.

“We needed someone who could work within our startup business model and meet our aggressive construction schedule with a high-quality solution,” he said.

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To remove hardness and calcium, Evoqua’s solution included the Vantage PTC Softener, a flexible, reliable and feature-rich system for softening feed water by filtering it through a cation resin bed.

Evoqua’s application engineering team in Houston and project management team from Oklahoma City met with the facility manager to analyze water quality and process requirements. A key challenge was the plant’s 16-point distribution loop, which would apply the source water to both ingredient and process applications. Evoqua worked with a local mechanical contracting firm to develop a comprehensive plan.

The Solution: Evoqua Vantage Water Conditioning Products

To remove hardness and calcium, Evoqua’s solution included the Vantage® PTC Softener, which is a flexible, reliable and feature-rich system for softening feed water by filtering it through a cation resin bed.

To remove chlorine and chloramines, Evoqua recommended a Vantage PTC Carbon filter. These two systems work together as pretreatment, conditioning the water to maximize the effectiveness of downstream reverse osmosis (RO) filtration.

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Evoqua’s RO recommendation was the Vantage M43 reverse osmosis system for removing minerals and dissolved solids.

Evoqua’s RO recommendation was the Vantage M43 reverse osmosis system for removing minerals and dissolved solids. Designed for small industrial and commercial applications, the Vantage M43 RO system is pre-engineered, pre-assembled and factory-tested for fast installation and start up. It features a compact footprint and easy serviceability through clean-in-place connections. Water from the 18-gallon-per-minute (GPM) Vantage M43 system is then pumped into a storage tank and UV-disinfected before distribution to brewery processes.

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Water from the 18 gallon per minute (GPM) Vantage M43 system is pumped into a storage tank and UV-disinfected before distribution to brewery processes.

In addition to meeting technical requirements, Evoqua recommended a service solution to meet the facility’s business requirements: a five-year Water One® service agreement. Exclusive to Evoqua, the Water One outsourcing contract provided the facility with a complete turnkey solution within its business timeline, plus the service commitment needed to guarantee production, for a flat monthly fee and with no capital investment. The Water One service agreement brings all of Evoqua’s experience and resources together to eliminate operating and expense risks, ensuring safe and compliant operation, improving cash flow, and maximizing the life and efficiency of operating facilities.

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In addition to meeting technical requirements, Evoqua recommended a service solution to meet the facility’s business requirements.

Results: A Focus on Making Great Beer

For the brew master, the Evoqua system’s consistent water quality is a beer maker’s dream come true. “It will save me a ton of time because I don’t have to worry about getting the water to taste right,” he said. “It’s already taken care of. I can focus 100 percent on making great beer.”

The tap room will be designed so that visitors can see the water purification system through an observation window while they’re sampling the product.

“We want them to know how important it is,” said the founder and CEO. “Great beer begins with great water.” IWW

About the Author: Michael Costello is a senior product manager at Evoqua Water Technologies. He manages the water and wastewater equipment product lines for Evoqua’s Light Industry Technologies division, which services the food and beverage, government, health sciences, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and microelectronics industries. Learn more at evoqua.com.

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