Page 68 - Food & Drink Magazine Nov-Dec 2018
P. 68

LEFT: Urban Alley founder Ze’ev Meltzer.
BELOW: Urban Alley’s signature beer Urban Ale, first launched in 2016.
LAST but certainly not least is Urban Alley, located in the heart of Melbourne’s Docklands district. The crew there, led by founder Ze’ev Meltzer, are redefining how to operate a brewery on a small physical footprint to maximum effect.
The most interesting project is a planned heat integration with a nearby distillery (currently under construction).
the still, and then return the heated water to Urban Alley. This will require some coordination of brewing and distilling schedules, but Meltzer believes this can be handled with simple planning.
To further reduce energy requirements, process water is used to cool the output from the wort boiling step, before being fed back into the
an even lower temperature than the process water. The advantage of this system is two-fold. First, it lowers the heating requirements in the mash step, which will have already been reduced by the integration with the distillery. Second, it lowers the amount of propylene glycol required, cutting the electricity demand of the brewery’s refrigeration unit.
Meltzer and his team have also been working on reducing their waste streams and improving their packaging. They are constantly on the lookout for improvements.
“We just try to do the best we can to innovate and be green,” Meltzer says. “Any little improvement we can find to be more efficient or environmentally friendly we try and make.”
The beers come packaged in six-pack rings made from spent grain, which are compostable and edible by marine life. The plan for their
own spent grain is to use it as a feedstock for planned anaerobic digesters in the retail complex they are located within. These will convert the grain into fertiliser, producing renewable methane as a by-product that can be used to power Urban Alley’s boiler.
There are also novel plans for the brewery’s waste water, which must currently undergo careful treatment on-site to get it within the correct specifications for discharge. However, the water is mineral rich and therefore highly desirable for use in farm irrigation. Spotting an opportunity, they are looking into using empty tankers leaving the city (which have already delivered their cargo) to return the water to farmers in Melbourne’s surrounds.
The team at Urban Alley is proving that
with careful planning
and considered design, a small site is no obstacle to achieving big things. ✷
“ Any little improvement we can find to be more efficient or environmentally friendly we try and make it.”
The distillery will require a large volume of cooling water to cool the alcohol-enriched vapour produced in its still. At the same time, Urban Alley requires warm process water for its brewing process. The plan is to pipe cold town water from Urban Alley’s site to the distillery (a short distance away) to be used for cooling in
mash tank for use in the next batch. A custom integrated heat exchanger was designed for this purpose and supplied by Brew-Tek, an Australian manufacturer of brewing equipment. The exchanger first cools the wort with process water before using a reduced amount of propylene glycol to bring the wort down
68 | Food&Drink business | November-December 2018 |

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