Categories: Education

Brew Beer With Bitcoin?

Recently I read an article about tiny homes relying on cryptocurrency miners for heat in Siberia. In an area with cheap electricity and cold temperatures most of the year, the idea isn’t too crazy. We may see this kind of operation become more popular as cryptos gain even more traction. It made me wonder, are there other out-of-the-box ways we can utilize the heat produced by mining?

Utility Mining Might be the Next Big Thing

When you think about it, it makes sense to try and utilize the heat generated by cryptocurrency mining. This heat is just a byproduct of mining, and it’s almost always possible to utilize byproducts to either offset costs or make even more income.

For example, most dog chews are parts of animals we don’t use for meat, most leather is a byproduct of the beef industry, and the children’s toy “silly putty” was discovered from the residue of producing some of the first latex condoms. Waste not, want not.

I am a huge fan of living a more sustainable – and profitable – life, and I am also obviously a fan of cryptocurrency. As it stands, the heat generated from mining seems to mostly go to waste. However, there are clear uses for it, like heating homes in Siberia.

One other potential use for this energy might be brewing, believe it or not. I’m a homebrewer, and I see how there might be the potential to use this excess heat from mining in assisting the brewing process. A caveat – of which there are a few – is that to make this work, it would have to be a large-scale operation. Heat from mining could help regulate the very specific temperature when mashing grain – the process of converting starch in grain to fermentable sugar. The mash could potentially act as a tangential water and grain heat sink.

Obviously, to make sure that one’s miner doesn’t overheat, or that the mash doesn’t go over/under the required temperature range, the miner would have to assist, not drive.

The same idea – at greater scale – could be used for helping to boil the wort, which is the sugary malt water that is the beginnings of beer. Again, to keep the miners from frying, they would have to assist instead of lead.

Brewing is not the only industry that could benefit from using excess mining heat to lower the cost of doing business. This idea is still not all that well-fleshed out, and may have glaring issues I have not yet discovered. However, I think that we should continue thinking outside the box on how best to utilize excess heat from mining. Doing so will encourage more people to mine, which would add to the strength and security of various blockchains while getting people better acquainted with cryptocurrencies themselves. I encourage all of our readers to think about how businesses – or hell, even they themselves – could benefit from reclaiming some of this currently wasted energy.

Dariusz

Dariusz is a Digital Anthropologist who has been closely following the world of cryptocurrencies since 2014. He has been somewhat of a crypto-evangelist, trying to educate more people on the exciting realm of cryptocurrency. During his time at University College London, his Master's dissertation focused on how communities inhabit, modify, and create virtual places via social media.

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Tags: beerbrewingminingSustainable living

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