Water is the most important component in the brewing process. The quality and condition of the local water supply directly impact a brewery’s end product. Fortunately, breweries can control the quality of their beer by treating the water they use.
The EPA has determined four types of contaminants (physical, chemical, biological and radiological) that exist in our drinking water. These contaminants will alter the flavor and quality of brewed beer. Corporate breweries now treat their water in order to improve overall quality and focus on a desired flavor and aroma.
Read on to see the benefits of water treatment.
What Water Treatment Can Do for Beer
The mineral composition of water is referred to as a water profile. The water profile plays a huge role in a beer’s quality. Adding and removing certain minerals and salts is essential to achieving a good brew.
Below are the top water ions brewers consider and how they work to affect the outcome of a beer.
- Calcium – aids in yeast flocculation
- Chloride – produces a more subtle flavor
- Magnesium – can cause a bitter flavor
- Bicarbonate – raises the mash pH
- Sulfate – increases the bitterness of hops
- Sodium – creates a salty flavor
By manipulating these ions through water treatment, a brewer has more control over the flavor, aroma and overall quality of their beer.
What you don’t want is chlorine. When chlorine reacts with phenols during the brewing process, chlorophenols are formed. These particles are detrimental to the resulting flavor and aroma of the beer.
Unfortunately, approximately 98 percent of water supply departments in America disinfect their water with chlorine. While certain chlorine levels are safe for general consumption, in the brewing process, however, chlorine is a liability.
Efficiency and Energy Consumption
Water consumption has been an issue for some time. Recently, a trend has emerged where brewers use less water to make their beer.
Larger breweries have centralized their water to increase efficiency and save energy. Waste is seen more in smaller breweries that either can’t centralize their water or can’t properly treat it. This problem is improving though, as smaller breweries are coming to understand the benefits of water treatment.
The average ratio of water used to produce beer used to be seven barrels of water to one barrel of beer. Nowadays that ratio has been reduced to three to one, especially among craft brewers.
The influence of water on the manufacturing process of beer calls for a certain mineral makeup in the water. Brewers are learning more and more about the benefits of altering their water quality in order to target a specific flavor.
Let Us Improve Your Water Quality
If you’re a brewer of beer on a large or small scale, you need to consider the quality of the water you’re using. Clear Water Treatment, Inc. in North Fort Meyers, FL has decades of experience providing water quality solutions both commercially and in the residential sector.
Contact us today to discuss your options.
Clear Water Treatment
4008 Wholesale Ct.,
North Fort Myers, FL 33903