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What role does the quality of brewing water play in the beer brewing process

Views: 192     Author: Auril     Publish Time: 2020-12-11      Origin: Site

Water is the most important raw material for beer brewing, and brewing water is called the blood of beer. The characteristics of world-famous beer are all determined by their respective brewing water. The brewing water not only determines the quality and flavor of beer, but also directly affects the entire brewing process. Therefore, the correct understanding and reasonable treatment of brewing water is extremely important in beer production.


1. The hardness of water

The hardness of water refers to the concentration of salts formed by dissolved calcium and magnesium ions in water with carbonate ions, bicarbonate ions, sulfate ions, chloride ions and nitrate ions. In the past, the hardness of water in my country was often expressed in German hardness (°d.H), that is, every liter of water containing 10mg of calcium oxide is called one degree. Now, they are all expressed in the legal unit of measurement mmol/L.


2. Classification of hardness

total hardness

total hardness

Carbonate hardness

Non-carbonate hardness

Calcium hardness

Magnesium hardness

Mg( HCO3)2





Mg( HCO3)2

There are two classification methods for hardness

(1) Divided by carbonate hardness and non-carbonate hardness

Carbonate hardness is the hardness of calcium and magnesium bicarbonate dissolved in water. Because the water of this hardness can be decomposed into CaCO3 and MgCO3 by heating and boiling,which have very little solubility, and precipitate and reduce the hardness of water. Therefore, the hardness is also called temporary hardness.

Non-carbonate hardness is the hardness formed by dissolving calcium and magnesium sulfate, nitrate or chloride in water. Because heating and boiling do not precipitate, it is also called permanent hardness.


(2) Divided by calcium hardness and magnesium hardness

Calcium hardness is the hardness formed by calcium salt, and magnesium hardness is the hardness formed by magnesium salt. Calcium hardness and magnesium hardness are the basis of the hardness index.


3.Effects of various ion contents in water on beer brewing

In the beer brewing process, the PH value of wort and beer are directly or indirectly affected by the ions in the water. The properties of water are mainly determined by the nature of the ions contained in the water. These ions have an impact on the composition of wort, fermentation performance and beer quality


Irons in water

Impact on beer brewing

calcium ion


Its biggest function is to adjust the pH value of saccharifying mash and wort, protect the activity of α-amylase, precipitate protein and oxalate root, and avoid turbidity and spout of finished beer.Too much of it will give you a rough, bitter taste.

zinc ion

It is an essential ion for the growth of yeast. When the content is 0.1~0.5 mg/L, it can promote the growth and metabolism of yeast and enhance the vesicability.

Sodium ion

The carbonate form of sodium can greatly increase the pH value of the mash and wort, and the coexistence of chloride ions can make the beer have a salty taste; too high content often makes the beer rough and not soft.

magnesium ion

It can also increase the pH value of mash and wort; Excessive content will have bitter taste, will damage the beer flavor and foam stability

ferric ion

Excessive iron content will inhibit the progress of saccharification, deepen the color of wort, affect the growth and fermentation of yeast, accelerate beer oxidation, produce rough bitterness and iron smell, and cause beer turbidity and spewing.

manganese ion

Microamount is good for yeast growth; Excess will make the beer lack of luster, rough taste, cause beer turbidity and affect the flavor stability.

sulfate ion

It has the effect of increasing acid, reducing the aroma of hops, promoting protein flocculation and facilitating the clarification of wort; Excessive is easy to increase the volatile sulfur compounds in beer, resulting in weak and bitter taste of beer.

nitrate ion

Can be used as an indicator of whether the water source is contaminated or not. Can cause serious harm to yeast, can inhibit the growth of yeast, impede fermentation.

chloride ion


Appropriate content can promote the action ofα-amylase, improve yeast activity, beer taste soft, round and full; High content easy to cause premature aging yeast, beer with bad taste, and easy to rot equipment and pipelines.


4.Basic requirements for brewing water
The brewing water of beer should at least meet the requirements of the indicators listed in the table below, which is the basic condition to ensure normal production and no defects of finished beer.






Coloured water is seriously polluted and cannot be used to brew beer


Transparent, no precipitation

Affects the clarity of wort and beer


No smell

Smelly water should not be used in brewing beer, as it can make the beer taste bad

Total hardness


According to the residual alkalinity RA value

Non-carbonate hardness/carbonate hardness

(2.5-3.0 :1)

Calcium hardness/magnesium hardness


RA value of residual alkalinity

-0.89~1.79 mmol/L

People tend to be negative

Sodion ion

≤75 mg/L

ferric ion


Content greater than 0.1mg /L has negative effects

manganese ion




chloride ion


sulfate ion


nitrate ion


It is very important to use high quality brewing water. DEGONG can provide not only beer brewing equipment, but also water treatment equipment. If there is any need, please feel free to contact us.


Contact person:Auril

Tel/Whats:+86 18363007358



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