Chapter 4

Water for Extract Brewing

The Taste of Water


Water is very important to beer. After all, beer is mostly water. Some waters are famous for brewing: the soft water of Pilsen, the hard water of Burton, Midlands, and pure Rocky Mtn. spring water. Each of these waters contributed to the production of a unique tasting beer. But what about your water? Can it make a good beer? When using malt extract, the answer is almost always "Yes". If you are brewing with grain, the answer can vary from "Sometimes" to "Absolutely".

The reason for the difference between the brewing methods is that the minerals in the water can affect the starch conversion of the mash, but once the sugars have been produced, the affect of water chemistry on the flavor of the beer is greatly reduced. When brewing with malt extract, if the water tastes good to begin with, the beer should taste good.