Lolo Peak Brewing (LPB) is a craft brewery located in Lolo, MT about 8 miles southeast of Missoula, MT. Featuring a 15 barrel brewhouse, LPB produces 1,200 barrels of ales and lagers annually. Year after year, the brewery and head brewer Paul Roys witness the waste and inefficiency of their carbon cycle.
LPB’s carbon cycle is comprised of two parts: CO2 production and CO2 consumption. During fermentation, yeast converts sugar into alcohol and CO2. The CO2 that is produced is directed into a water lock where it’s allowed to escape into the atmosphere. That amount of gas escaping is large. A typical barrel of beer will produce between 10 and 13 pounds of CO2 which leads the release of 12,000 to 15,600 pounds per year. The other side of the cycle is CO2 consumption. After the beer is made, it is transferred, carbonated and packaged. Each one of these steps requires the use of CO2 and in many cases the amount of carbon dioxide consumed is equal to the amount produced.
The COBREW Gas Recovery System has been designed and engineered with the unique needs of craft breweries in mind. Regular feedback was sought and received from multiple breweries at each stage of the design process. That process not only shaped the technology, but the overall offering. It was quickly realized that small and medium craft breweries have many concerns, including:
LPB echoed these concerns and the COBREW Team took each one head on and developed the following features to overcome them:
The Beta-2 Series delivered to LPB features a 4 port connection manifold to connect up to 3 fermenters and 1 brite tank simultaneously, 5ft2 production platform and a 4ft2 storage platform with 540 lb of liquid storage, quick disconnect filters for rapid change out and automated controls for simple and consistent operation. The CO2 as a Service (CaaS) lease option overcame capital constraints and guaranteed LPB would realize their 30% cost savings immediately.
Head Brewer of Lolo Peak, Paul Roys, has been using the technology and can sum up his experience:
“As a craft brewer committed to sustainability I am excited to be using the COBREW Beta-2 Recovery System. The plug-and-play features allow brewers to easily switch from current gas supply to full use of recaptured gas without interruption, and the system design allows any brewer to recapture CO2 without making any changes to their current manufacturing and fermentation processes.....simply connect the gas recapture hose to the fermenter, activate the unit, and walk away until fermentation is complete. The small footprint is only slightly larger than our current liquid CO2 bulk tank, and large locking castors allow the unit to be rolled into place or moved if needed.
Overall, the cost savings are there, the "feel-good" factor is there, and the unit is proven to work. As a draught-only facility I am able to recapture 100% of the CO2 needed for the entire process, from keg cleaning, transfers, tank purging, carbonating, and draught dispense, bring full-circle sustainability to our CO2 needs.”