Every contest I’ve entered, most of the judges remarks have revolved around water quality. I’ve read tons of brewing books and the water chemistry sections always go over my head. This is the biggest part of brewing that I have for the most part ignored.
I’ve always been of the opinion that it was better to pick one thing and really dig in and figure it out rather than trying perfect the entire process at once. Water chemistry, however important, is not the most immediately interesting part of the brewing process. As a result, it has taken me longer than it probably should have to get to it.
I started brewing with extract and specialty grains. Water chemistry becomes a lot more important when mashing. I got a tub of pH stabilizer when I started all grain brewing and started getting my water ready the night before brew day to dechlorinate. It is time to get more serious, though. The first step was getting a water filter. The next step will be doing some testing on my water to see what the rest of the steps will be.
I’d already put off buying a filter for too long, and after some limited research, I decided to just go with this one from Midwest. A lot of the water filters I found came in pieces and required buying hoses separately. This isn’t a big deal, but I just wanted to get it and be done. The price difference was minimal so got the one that was all ready to go.
Last year, I requested a water report and received it from the borough office. I looked at it briefly with a pile of brewing books next to me, but was immediately overwhelmed. If I want to take my beer to the next level, I need to start paying more attention. The carbon filter I bought is an easy first step, but now it’s time to dig in and do the research.