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Water is arguably the most critical and least understood of the foundation elements in brewing beer. Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers, third in Brewers Publications’ Brewing Elements series, takes the mystery out of water’s role in the brewing process. The book leads brewers through the chemistry and treatment of brewing water, from an overview of water sources, to adjusting water for different beer styles, and different brewery processes, to wastewater treatment. The discussions include how to read water reports, understanding flavor contributions, residual alkalinity, malt acidity, and mash pH.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938469107
Publisher: Brewers Publications
Publication date: 09/16/2013
Series: Brewing Elements
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

John Palmer is the best-selling author of How to Brew, and the co-author of Brewing Classic Styles. He is also the co-host the popular brewing podcast, Brew Strong. John is a metallurgical engineer by trade, and is intrigued by the processes of brewing from an engineer’s point of view, including malting, mashing, water chemistry, lautering, clarity, color, and foam retention. John was born in Midland, MI and currently resides in California.

Colin Kaminski’s brewing career started as the product designer at Beer, Beer and More Beer, designing more than 180 products including the Peltier cooled conical fermentor. Colin has written on a variety of topics including lutherie, holography, solar astronomy and beer. He has been the Master Brewer at Downtown Joe’s Brewery since 2003. Colin resides in California

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Foreword xv

1 A Whole Book on Brewing Water 1

Overview of Water as an Ingredient

Overview of Water and Mash Chemistry

Overview of Brewing Water Processing

2 Where Does Your Water Come From? 15

The Water Cycle

Water Sources and Mineralization


Surface Water


From Source to Faucet

3 How to Read A Water Report 29

Water Quality Report Parameters

Primary Standards

Secondary Standards

Unregulated/Aesthetic Standards

Water Hardness, Alkalinity, and Milliequivalents

4 Residual Alkalinity and the Mash 57

Water Alkalinity

Precipitation of Calcium Phosphates in the Mash

Residual Alkalinity

Refinement of RA

5 Residual Alkalinity, Malt Acidity, and Mash pH 75

Malts and Malt Color

Malt Acidity

A Discussion of Malt Acidity and Alkalinity

Determining the Alkalinity of Water in the Mash

Introducing Z Residual Alkalinity (Z RA)

The Hypothesis for Predicting Mash pH

6 Controlling Alkalinity 101

Reducing Alkalinity

Reducing Alkalinity with Acid

Acidification of Mashing and Sparge Water

Adding Alkalinity

7 Adjusting Water for Style 139

Historical Waters, Treatments, and Styles

Flavor Ion Effects

Sulfate-to-Chloride Ratio

Building Brewing Water from Scratch

Choosing a Water for the Style

Adjusting Water to Suit the Style

Brewing an American Pale Ale

Brewing a Pilsner Beer

Brewing a Foreign Extra Stout

8 Source Water Treatment Technologies for the Brewery 179

Removing Suspended Solids-Mechanical Filtration

Removing Dissolved Solids-Iron and Manganese

Removing Dissolved Solids-Ion Exchange

Removing Dissolved Solids-Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis

Removing Liquid and Gas Contaminants-Chlorine

Removing Organic Contaminants-Activated Carbon

Removing Dissolved Gases-Deaeration

9 Brewery Process Waters 203

Brewing Water

Cleaning and Rinsing Water

Chilled Liquor

Boiler and Boiler Feedwater


Pushing Product

Dilution Water

10 Wastewater Treatment in the Brewery 217

What is Wastewater?

Why Do We Treat Wastewater?

How is Wastewater Treated?

Removal of Suspended Solids

pH Adjustment/Equalization Tank

Filtration of Fines


Sludge Dewatering

Appendix A Chemistry Glossary and Primer 233

Appendix B Acidification of Sparging or Brewing Water 249

Appendix C Ion, Salt and Acid Calculations 263

Appendix D Water Charge Balance and Carbonate Species Distribution 273

Index 279

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