We all need it. No beer can be brewed without it. We understand the dilemma. How to choose the best water for home brewing? What are the secrets? What you should be aware of? The water behind the beer brewing is a top-secret that no one in the Beer brewing industry doesn’t talk about much. Why is that? What is so special about water? Well. Water is more of a personal experience for each home brewer. But there are still some things that we can recommend that you do to create even better beer than before.
1. Local Water Report
We know that some homebrewers have stated they use store-bought water and that is perfectly fine. If you are thinking about doing the same, go ahead. Just make sure to check the website of the water distributor to find out what is actually in it.
Tap water or regular water usually come from two main sources.
- Surface water from rivers, streams, and lakes. It tends to be low in minerals but higher in organic matter.
- Groundwater comes from aquifers underground. This water is higher in dissolved minerals and lowers in organic matter.
You can easily read all the important information about the water in your area in your area’s water report. These days it’s easy finding it online. It will save much of your time and effort. Reading and understand the local water report can tell you if the water in your area is good for brewing beer. Things that you need to be on the lookout for are: magnesium, sodium, calcium, carbonate, chloride, and bicarbonate.
2. We don’t want any chlorine
If you have decided that the tap water in your area is good enough for brewing beer, that’s completely fine. But there are still some things which you can do to improve the quality of your beer. As we all know tap water is chlorinated to protect the users from getting sick and to provide healthier water. Chlorine is not good for brewing beer. Your beer is not going to taste its best if you don’t make some adjustments.
There are two ways to get rid off Chlorine compounds.
Use an activated charocoal filter. The process will be longer and more complicated.
Just use Campden tablets which will do that for you in less than an hour.
This is the least you can do to make sure you get the best benefits from your water for brewing.
3. Should I filter my water for brewing?
How far you are willing to go to get the best water for your beer will depend on your resources and time. By checking the water quality in your area and making sure to get rid of any chlorine compounds in your water, you have already done more than most brewers. Especially if you are only a beginner at home brewing maybe you want to focus on other aspects of brewing.
Creating a great beer is a personal experience. It will depend on your skills and motivation as a homebrewer.
In case you are a perfectionist and wish to have the best of everything we have compiled a list of the best and most popular water filtration systems. Feel free to try some of them. Just make sure to understand that even with the best filtration system in place.
- Reverse Osmosis – it reduces contamination by slowly forcing water through a semipermeable membrane with very small pores. Membranes will stop all the non wanted contaminants, and letting the water molecules pass.
- Carbon Filter – in the process called adsorption, activated carbon filters soak up all the contaminants from the water.
- Water distillers – they boil small quantities of water at the time, by converting it to vapor. The vapor is then cooled down so the water can get back to its liquid state. This process will take some time to finish.
- Deionization – uses the process called ion exchange. This level of water purity is usually used in industrial and medical fields.
- Ultraviolet Purification – uses ultraviolet light to neutralize all contaminants in the water.
4. Try the easy way
In case you don’t have a fortune to spend on an expensive water filtration systems. Or maybe you’re not that good at chemistry to know what you are reading in your water report. We have got you covered. Try our easy tricks that will save you time and money. And at the end you will have better quality water than you have started with.
- If you know anyone in your area who is also a home brewer or there is a local brewery close by, you are in luck. Feel free to ask them about their water treatments and any issues that they have. Then it will be extra easy to follow their advice since they have more experience in dealing with any water adjustments.
- In case of not getting the local water report, or not being able to gather any information from it, don’t stress. You can always use store-bought water for brewing your beer. A lot of homebrewers are doing it. Just make sure to use distilled over spring water and you will be just fine.
- Worry about the water later. First, brew your beer, and then depending on your success you will see what type of adjustments to make in the future.
Water is an important ingredient in creating a great beer. To learn more about more complexed adjustments that you can make please read our next article Major water adjustments in home brewing. Until then we wish you success and have fun. Don’t stress too much. Cheers