Will there be beer if you don’t have water? Of course it’s impossible; brewing water is the most basic ingredient in home brewing. The characteristics of the water used for brewing will spell the difference between a good brew and a forgettable one. For this reason, it is always recommended that you do some fact-checking to know the status of the water in your area.
This is necessary so that the moment you know that the local water is of poor quality, and then you can always do something to improve on its quality during the actual brewing session. Water for use in home brewing is important in a sense that brewing cannot function without this main ingredient.
Did you know that around 4 to 6 liters of water is needed in order to produce just one liter of beer? This is how water-intensive the beer production is. This is not only the use of water in many breweries. Do expect water to be used in other production processes, for example water is also used in the mashing, the filtration and even the packaging of bottles of beer. And all of these processes will require different kinds of water, at least in terms of quality.
Now how does water affects the production and the brewing of beer? Let it be known that water can affect the production of beer in three ways:
• The ions in the water are important in the mashing process. And the character of the water used for this process will have an impact on the quality and the taste of the beer.
• The water that you choose will also have an impact on the amount of ‘bitterness’ of the end product. And finally,
• Did you know that water is the biggest contributor to the taste and flavor of the alcoholic drink? This is true because water is the most important ingredient in the beer.
As mentioned, water has an effect on beer and this can be linked to the effects of the six water ions. These ions include the carbonate, the sodium, chloride, sulfate, magnesium and calcium. All of these ions have something to say on the final product. And since these ions are critical, it is always a good move to research on the composition of water. And this can be done by asking for a report from the local water utility. If one or more of these ions are present in high amount in the local water, then you can always ‘adjust’ the content of the local water for brewing.
What you can do is to dilute the tap water available by using distilled water if you think that the concentration of some ions is high.
Or you can also make use of some additives if you found out that the count or the concentration of some ions in the local water is too low. Again, you need to learn how to assess and to adjust the local water since the beer quality in the end will depend on the main ingredient.