Alaskan Brewing’s grain burning furnace is the first in the world
January 22, 2013
By Mike Dunham | Anchorage Daily News: Tons of dried grain used to make Alaska beer that would once have been shipped to the Lower 48 is now being reused in-state — to brew more beer.
In October, the Alaskan Brewing Company began using a new $1.8 million boiler specially designed to burn the “spent” grain produced in their Juneau beer-making operation. A statement from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, which supplied a renewable energy grant of $488,366 to the project, said it was the only brewery in the world using spent grain as its sole fuel source.
Curtis Holmes, ABC’s plant manager, said the company expects to cut its fuel oil consumption by up to 70 percent and save $1.5 million in fuel costs over the next 10 years.
Half of the energy from the furnace creates steam to boil malted grain, the main ingredient in beer after water. The other half dries out the used “spent” grain, some of which is used for fuel. The rest of the spent grain is shipped to Seattle.