Rectify!

  • March 22nd, 2018
  • By Jeremy Moore

Two of the biggest concerns with brewing are water usage and power consumption. Here at Cowbell Brewing Co., these important factors were taken into consideration when building our brewhouse - not only for cost savings, but for environmental impact.

Enter the Rectifier! This beautiful innovation can be seen sitting atop of our 50hL Newlands Systems Inc. Brew Kettle. Its appearance is similar to that of a spirit still, and in theory, it operates in much the same way by allowing us to remove impurities.

In our case, the Rectifier allows us to boil for half of the time (or less!) than a conventional brew kettle would require to effectively remove dimethyl-sulfide (DMS), an unpleasant off-flavour/aroma that resembles that of cream corn. DMS is created anytime wort (the sugary liquid that we extract from the barley and other grains) is heated and is mostly removed during a vigorous boil.

With the rectifier, we bring our wort up to boiling temperature and then rest for the first 30 minutes. Once the rest period is complete, we start the boil and we pump the wort up into the rectifier onto a series of sieve plates. The wort passing down through the sieve plates is met by the vapour from the boil which naturally removes DMS and actually has room to take more along with it. This vapour essentially scrubs the falling wort of DMS, and...BOOM!...we have clean, delicious wort ready for fermentation.

Not only are there substantial energy savings from boiling for half of the time, but also considerable water savings; our evaporation is about half that of a conventional boil, 2-3% vs 6-7%. That 4-5% reduction in evaporation means we save approximately 250L of water per brew. This is beneficial because we have more finished product and have a reduced load on our Steam Boiler to heat the kettle, which is even more water savings. The water and energy savings add up considerably over time.

Oh yeah, and the rectifier looks REALLY cool, too.

Come to Cowbell in Blyth to check it out! And if you’re visiting the brewery Monday-Friday, look for me on the brew deck, and say “Hi!”

Cheers!