Water Treatment Units for Breweries

As an aqueous solution, beer is 91-97% water, therefore the importance of water quality in beer production cannot be understated. This has been the driving force behind consideration of a special reverse osmosis water purification system for brewing. It is essential to keep the mash in the right pH range by whatever means, and the presence of certain minerals in the water does have an effect on the flavor and character of the beer. Although many minerals have a positive effect on brewing, after a certain point in the process they become detrimental, causing excessive saltiness, sourness or bitterness.

 

For optimal fermentation, yeast requires a proper balance of Ca (Calcium) and Mg (Magnesium). Absolutely pure water does not make good brewing, but after the pretreatment with reverse osmosis, the brewer can add back minerals needed for the style of beer that must be created. For bacteria and viruses, water treatment is specially designed to meet the demanding microorganism control requirements in water systems. Thus, UV systems and nanofiltration are used, along with activated carbon filters.

 

When it comes to our brewing customers, our primary objectives are:

  • Reducing the TDS and chloride concentrations from the raw water to acceptable levels
  • Obtaining chloride concentrations below 2.5 mg/L for optimal brewing
  • Reducing the pH to enable precise pH control of the treated water prior to brewing
  • Providing low TDS permeate as make-up water for cleaning solutions
  • Totally removing bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms from the brewery’s water source

There are 2 types of breweries: the major national breweries and the current influx of the small micro-breweries that are popping up all over the country. The major brewers pretty well tailor their product around the existing water supplies; you’ll find them in cities where they have adequate water and typically very good water. The main interest of these types of breweries is to get out the chlorine of the water so they can use either a carbon or a KDF filter to knock down the chlorine and the chloramines in the water. The smaller breweries tend to pick up recipes from Europe or Asia and they know that their success is going to be a very narrow band of flavor and texture of the aftertaste of the beer so they tend to go a lot further in water treatment.

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Tombstone Brewing Case Study
Tombstone Brewery needed to go a lot further in water treatment. They needed a blank canvas on which to craft, what is now, over 200 beers.
READ TOMBSTONE CASE STUDY

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