At the beginning of the year, comedian Jimmy Fallon drank poop water promoted by Bill Gates. After realizing that people would not typically drink the poop water, a wastewater engineer Theera Ratarasarn then brewed the poop water and turned it into one of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages: beer.
Ratarasarn has named the beer, Activated Sludge. He told Journal Sentinel, “I wanted to get people talking. There’s a potential use for what we discharge into lakes and streams.”
In order to make the beer he must mash, boil, add hops, cool, add yeast, and ferment the water. And to make five gallons of the wheat ale with 5.15 percent alcohol by volume Ratarasarn had to chlorinate, dechlorinate, filter, distill, test and add nutrients. Consumers need to remember that this is refined and filtered before they discourage the idea.
When tested by panel members at Lakefront Wheat Monkey, a panel member, John Rinson said, “It looks like a good urine sample.”
Another member said, “It’s one of the better home brews I’ve ever had,” after rating the beer a seven out of 10 .
Ratarasarn wanted to show what he could do with plant effluent and show that he has the knowledge of sewage processing. He was inspired by Milwaukee’s sewage treatment facilities and felt compelled to create something out of the ordinary. When speaking during his PowerPoint presentation he made a joke by saying the beer is brewed with, “a little bit of me, a little bit of you.”
Considering the contents, Ratarasarn chose to make a wheat beer because of the light color. He figured that if he chose dark beer the consumers would think more along the lines of the raw sewage.
Overall the current samples of the beer are solely within his home in Milwaukee, Mo . Many say that they believe this idea will go over well with the eco-friendly community throughout the world. This makes you wonder: if beer is being created from sewage water, what’s next ?