Are You Using The Worst Water To Brew Beer?

90% of beer is nothing more than water. Use good water and you’ll get good beer, but use bad water and no combination of tasty malts and aromatic hops will help the bad water. It’s like buying a 3000 watt amplifier for your car and using the factory speakers… you need to make sure you use good water…

That is why some brewing companies talk about using nothing but Rocky Mountain water, the Pilsen soft water, Burton’s hard water, or water from the Midlands.

All these waters are different yet they all make great beers!

So what exactly is the best water to brew beer?

Well, I hate to put it this way but there is no single answer to that question… instead I’ll let you know how water affects beer, how to get rid of flavors and things you can do to water so you can improve the taste of your water to get better tasting beer.

Here’s the deal… when you are brewing beer using all-grain, then the water needs to have a pH of 5.1 to 5.5 at mash temperature in order to convert starches into sugars. When you are brewing extract, pH doesn’t matter since the sugars have already been converted.

So what you really want to look for in your water when brewing extract is bad odors (and tastes).

When I used to live up in Washington state, I could drink water straight from the faucet. It was tasteless, odorless and colorless… the way water should be. Refreshing!

Then I moved down south to Arizona, and the water is not at all like Washington’s. Water down here is hard and would not make beer nearly as good as water from the Northwest. Heck, it doesn’t even do laundry nearly as well as water from up north.

I’ve also been to places where the water

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  • carl

    Reply Reply July 14, 2010

    do you still need priming sugar for carbonation ?if you already use coopers carbonation tablets?

    • Jorge

      Reply Reply July 14, 2010


      You don’t want to overprime your beer. You may substitute corn sugar for the cooper’s carbonation tablets, but not use both… that may lead to bottle bombs…

  • Does using a water purifier or a activated carbon to remove unwanted smell substance to the water is a good practice? Can this help to make the beer taste much better?

    • Jorge

      Reply Reply September 10, 2010

      Beer is mostly water, so if your water has some sort of unwanted smell substance, then yes, you definitely want to treat it…

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