Brewing beer from rainwater
By Marc Martens
Brewing beer from rainwater? Totally possible and being done! The German engineering company Intewa has developed a revolutionary new micro filtering technique to filter bacteria and other harmful substances from rainwater which makes it fit for consumption. The system has various applications and does not only produce soft water of the highest quality, but also a fantastic beer with a unique flavor.
Thanks to an American business partner and home brewer, Intewa’s managing director and inventor of the rainwater treatment system Oliver Ringelstein, got the idea to use filtered rainwater for brewing beer. Most breweries have their own water sources, which are under strict control and give their beers a distinct flavor. In 2016 he found a Belgian brewery that was happy to brew his ‘Brain’ beer – a kind of Trappist beer with a second fermentation in the bottle. The soft water allows the beers’ malt aromas to evoke a particular taste sensation.
Brewing beer however is not the only application of the filtering system. In countries with public water supply, rainwater is hardly used besides for flushing toilets and watering gardens. Most of the world’s populated areas have sufficient rainwater of ample quality available to cover the entire need for drinking water. Intewa’s new technique enables this.
The treatment of rain, surface and sewage water takes place in several stages: pre-filtering, purification and storage. Rainwater is caught in a collection and settlement tank in which large pollutants are separated. The polluted water is then forced through a membrane - a vessel which contains thousands of micro fibers with miniscule pores that filter all harmful substances from the water, making it hygienically pure. The filtered rainwater does not even contain traces of medicine or hormones, which is fairly unique!
The ultra and micro filter technique is called Aqualoop and was developed as an in-situ purification system for both households and enterprises. The system requires compact storage tanks in which the membranes can be placed and which can be multiplied depending on the capacity needed. The storage tanks had to be totally reliable so they would not affect the quality of the filtered water and they had to be attractive as well because they are visible in technical areas.
Plastic drums for storage of filtered water
Intewa chose CurTecs Nestable Drums because they have the right dimensions for containing the membranes and they have an attractive design. The high quality drums are food safe, have been tested for migration and have an air tight closure which prevents contamination after filtering. An additional advantage of Nestable Drums, when empty, is that they take up less of Intewa’s valuable storage space.
Aqualoop is not only a great example of sustainable innovation, it also makes an interesting investment for individuals and companies who do not want to rely any longer on water supplying companies and ultimately save on the costs of drinking water and drainage. Moreover, rainwater management is gaining increasing importance in times where abundant rainfall due to climate change causes big problems. Intewa also offers solutions for storage, containment and disposal of rainwater. You can read more about this topic and find solutions on Intewa’s website.