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Author Topic: Introduction to Brewing Water  (Read 1271 times)


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Introduction to Brewing Water
« on: April 18, 2017, 12:55:24 PM »
Like so many others new to home brewing, I often heard the quote "If your water tastes good it's good enough for brewing." Another quote I hear a lot is "Water is the last thing you should think about when getting started!". While this is mostly true, I think it's somewhat misleading as well. For example, while getting your process down is important, once you are comfortable enough with process, you should focus on water too.

When I first started brewing I struggled to understand the complexities of water. It took some time to learn and understand the difference between the six primary brewing ions, not to mention pH and alkalinity, and what role they played in my beer.

After several months of reading and researching, I put together a couple videos to share some of that knowledge with fellow home brewers. I hope that these videos help you to gain a better understanding of [brewing] water, and save you time getting up to speed with the terms and their meaning.

There is at least one more video in the works which will discuss all of the different water calculators available on the web, how they are different as well as how they are similar, and ultimately demonstrate how to apply what has been discussed in previous videos. I will update this thread as new videos become available. Until then, I hope these are useful, and feel free to ask questions in this topic about "all things water" and I will try and help however I can.

I must preface this with: I am not a water expert, chemist or scientist. I am a home brewer and life-long student that only desires to learn what I can, willing to make mistakes along the way, and share what I have learned with others.

A brief introduction to water, pH and alkalinity, as it applies to brewing water.

A brief introduction to water hardness, alkalinity, residual alkalinity and brewing salts.

A brief discussion of malt and grist pH, and a walk-through of 5 common free water calculators.

Further Knowledge Resources:


John Palmer's Nomograph (link at bottom of the page):




Removing Chlorine/Chloramine from your water:

More information about Alkalinity, Residual Alkalinity and how to increase or decrease alkalinity and hardness:

Alkalinity - Part I - The first of a two part article on alkalinity and how to deal with it. These were offered to Brewing Techniques but were declined. This part covers the definition of alkalinity and means for measuring it.


Alkalinity - Part II - This second part introduces Kohlbach's Residual Alkalinity and covers methods for increasing or decreasing alkalinity and hardness.

« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 02:55:42 AM by TonyYates »
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Re: Introduction to Brewing Water
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2017, 01:18:16 PM »
I will watch the videos tonight while im enjoying a homebrew.
i remember someone saying "if your making good beer, once you figure your water out, it will be great beer." or something like that.
like i said its something i have been thinking about just havent committed to doing it yet.
thanks for sharing.
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Re: Introduction to Brewing Water
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2017, 08:22:52 PM »
Awesome Tony. Thanks, 17.
beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.....Henry Lawson.


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Re: Introduction to Brewing Water
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 05:07:31 PM »
Yes, this is great stuff. Thanks Tony.


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Re: Introduction to Brewing Water
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 09:53:00 AM »
GREAT stuff for sure.. I have watched most of them.. beer is mostly water so it only makes sense. 17!

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Re: Introduction to Brewing Water
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2017, 10:39:45 AM »
GREAT stuff for sure.. I have watched most of them.. beer is mostly water so it only used Breast Actives which makes sense. 17!

Thanks Toney this is very helpful for a newbie like me.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 03:03:28 AM by Thader »


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Re: Introduction to Brewing Water
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 02:58:10 AM »
Updated the post with the latest video - which contains a walk-through of the five most common water calculators.

Hope this helps!


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Re: Introduction to Brewing Water
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 05:12:36 AM »
Thanks, I just got a water profile for my area and was not understanding it lol so this helps seeing I want to make my first actual beer other than a cider.
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Re: Introduction to Brewing Water
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 10:49:39 AM »
Thank you Tony,

You've put a lot of time and effort in your research and also spent a lot of time and energy into making the videos and pulling resources together.  Very much appreciated. 

You've created a great collection of many resources on water quality which we all will be able to learn from.

Thank you.

Cheers!  17!
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