Chapter 5

Brewing Water

Water Treatment

Mineral Salt Adjustment

Historically, breweries were located on sites with established, consistent water supplies having characteristic mineral compositions. This led to the emergence of regional beer characteristics in locations such as Burton-on-Trent, Dortmund, Pilsen, and Vienna. Mineral salt adjustment was held to a minimum and, often, recipes were adapted to the shortcomings of the brewing water.

Calcium Sulphate

Calcium sulfate is often used as a source of calcium ions and is generally used in brewing British pale ales and bitters. Calcium sulfate treatment is sometimes referred to as "Burtonization" (after Burton-on-Trent in England) because Burton-on-Trent waters are rich in gypsum and this area is world-famous for its pale ales.

Magnesium Sulphate

Magnesium sulfate is similar to calcium sulfate but is not as effective as calcium in reducing the pH of the mash as demonstrated by the calculation for residual alkalinity.

Sodium and Calcium Chlorides

Sodium chloride is used to increase sodium and chloride content. Like calcium sulfate, it accentuates bitterness and enhances the flavor and fullness of the beer.

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