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Koda Energy: The Power Behind Rahr Malt


Every bag of Rahr malt produced at the Shakopee, MN malting facility is printed with a distinctive icon: a sauropod dinosaur with its neck and tail wrapping the green triangle of the Rahr Malting Co. logo.

The “dinosaur-friendly” Rahr malts produced at Shakopee are the greenest available to craft brewers, and demonstrate the Rahr family’s commitment to environmental stewardship and product quality.

Hidden from the street by towering grain elevators and surrounded by tall malthouses, the power plant that supplies energy to the Rahr Malting Co. campus may be easy to miss, but it is unique in the world and indispensible to the malt you rely on: nearly 100% of the power used by Rahr Malting comes from Koda Energy.

Koda is a joint venture between Rahr and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC). The plant was commissioned in 2009, and replaced 4 boilers and 22 independent air heaters on the Rahr campus.

Koda’s biomass-powered suspension-fired power boiler  – the first of its kind in the US, and only the second one in the world – is powered by agricultural byproducts, much of which is waste from the malting process. Fed by barley chaff, oat hulls, wood chips, and malt screenings, Koda’s combustion chamber reaches temperatures of 3500°F to produce steam in a water column-lined boiler. This high-pressure steam drives a turbine which generates renewable electricity for the malthouses. Excess heat is then run through a glycol heat exchanger to supply renewable thermal energy to the malt kilns. Excess renewable electricity is then metered out to the utility for use by the public.

This system supplies better quality heat to the kilns, with reduced risk of nitrosamine pickup by the grain, as can be the case with direct-fired natural gas kilns.   Koda’s electrostatic precipitator strips ionized soot and smudge from the burner exhaust, leaving clean vapor venting into the air.

Thanks to Koda Energy, you will not find another malt plant in the world with a lower carbon footprint.

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