Beer is affected largely by the quality ingredients that make it up. The importance of water in the quality of a beer cannot be overestated as it constitutes about 95% of the total ingredients. Looking around the world at the established brewing regions, you can see a pattern of good fresh water availability. Great water makes for some great beer. An indepth understanding of the impact water has on flavor is essential and very important to the brewer, here is a quick overview.
There are only four key ingredients necessary for brewing, with so few total ingredients it is easy to see why the water needs to be perfect and is infact the most important amongst them. Water is an integral part of the recipe. The water incorporated into the beer must have a very good taste in order for the beer produced to also have a good taste. /p>
You may have heard the term “Hard Water” before and not been 100% sure of what it means. Basically it refers to the amount of minerals in the water that cannot be removed by boiling or through water softening. This is why defining the taste of water is best broken down chemically.
This is a principal mineral and it determines the hardness of water. It helps to promote the flavor and clarity in the finished beer. It is also instrumental because of its enzyme activities on the components of beer and acidifying effect on the wort.
If there is too much sulphur in the water then it will have an unpleasant smell. Sulphur also contributes to the permanent hardness of water. It also emphasizes the hop bitterness and makes the bitterness seem drier and crisper. If there is too much sulphur it can cause sickness.
Magnesium is also essential in brewing liquor as it works with the yeast acting as a co-factor for producing certain enzymes required in the process of fermentation.
Obviously there is much more complexity involved but you can definitely see how important the water source is for beer brewing. As these minerals in the water mix in, they change the chemical process that creates the beer. So if you are considering making a home brew of beer, be sure to consider your water as your most important ingredient! Good luck!