For some people, it doesn’t get better than an ice-cold beer on a summer afternoon. Unless, of course, the beer tastes a little bit off. While hops, barley and yeast get all the credit for beer, it is actually water that can have the biggest impact.
Beer is made up of 91-97% water. If you have impurities in your water source, it could drastically change the consistency and taste of your brew beer. By installing a brewery water filtration system, you will have a steady supply of purified water.
Each brewery will require a different water purification system. That’s because water quality and type vary all across the country. There are four main factors that microbreweries and brew masters should be taking into consideration.
- Geographic Location: The quality of water supply varies greatly depending on where you are located. Certain parts of the country have lower amounts of total dissolved solids (TDS), while others have a high amount. These affect the pH levels of your beer and can greatly alter the taste.
- Water Source: Water almost always comes from a well, the surface or a municipality. Your brew water treatment system will depend on which source your water comes from. That’s why hiring the right company is vital. Besco Commercial is diligent with our water testing before installation. That way we know how to find the best solution.
- Chlorine or Chloramine: If you use municipal water, it is very possible that you have chlorine or chloramine in your water. Chlorine is toxic to yeast, while chloramine is basically chlorine on steroids. It acts faster and effects more. Chlorine can be taken care of with extreme heat and vaporization of the chemical, but chloramine is much harder to remove. It is very resistant to evaporation and will end up killing your yeast.
- Type of Beer: The unique part about craft beer is that each beer is going to have a different chemical composition, and therefore different water needs. A stout and an IPA are going to call for different levels of pH, bicarbonate and TDS. We know you’re the beer expert, so we can’t tell you which mixtures work best. What we can do is install a water system that allows you to achieve any level of water quality that you need.
How Pure Water Affects Your Quality Product
Much like brewing a beer, different mineral content and chemicals work with and against each other. There are some elements you never want in your beer, while others might require a small amount.
Water hardness, for example, is made up of calcium and magnesium ions. Many brewers prefer to have 50 mg/l of calcium in their brew, but any more than that can be detrimental as it lowers the pH of the mash. Similarly, a little magnesium can be beneficial but too much of it creates a bitter taste.
Smart brewers know that it is never a good idea to brew with a water softener as too much sodium gives the beer a metallic taste.
Carbonate and bicarbonate can be helpful in certain amounts as well. Darker beers like stouts could have 300 mg/l of carbonate, while IPAs might only have 40 mg/l. Chloride and sulfates are two others that can be a double-edged sword for brewing beer. Sulfates can actually improve the taste of beers on the hoppy side.
Elements that should never be in your commercial brewery water:
Brewery Wastewater Treatment
Besco Commercial is one of the largest brewery water treatment companies in the Midwest and beyond. Our ability to provide extensive wastewater and well water treatment for breweries has been crafted over decades.
Our skilled technicians are able to customize a water treatment system to fit all your needs and take up minimal space. Whether you need a basic 5-micron filtration system followed by carbon filtration or a reverse osmosis system, we will come in on-time and on-budget.
Reverse osmosis will remove the widest range of sediments from your water, including total dissolved solids. We also recommend running a disinfection system as the last filter to guarantee high quality water.
Whatever the situation calls for, Besco Commercial will come in and find the solution. High purity water is the foundation of our business, and it’s also the foundation of a good brew.