Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements)

July 7, 2016 - Comment

Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) #Water is arguably the most critical and least understood of the foundation #elements in #brewing beer. Water: A #Comprehensive #Guide for #Brewers, third in Brewers Publications’ Brewing Elements series, takes the mystery out of water’s role in the brewing process. The book leads brewers through the chemistry

Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements)

Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements)

is arguably the most critical and least understood of the foundation in beer. Water: A for , third in Brewers Publications’ Brewing Elements series, takes the mystery out of water’s role in the brewing process. The book leads brewers through the chemistry and treatment of brewing water, from an overview of water sources, to adjusting water for different beer styles, and different brewery processes, to wastewater treatment. The discussions include how to read water reports, understanding flavor contributions, residual alkalinity, malt acidity, and mash pH.

List Price: $ 19.95

Price: $ 11.54

Comments

m.c. squared says:
63 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Everything you need to know times 1,000, November 2, 2013
By 
m.c. squared (Crete, IL USA) –

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) (Paperback)
Just like every other book I’ve read on brewing water, it seems that the relevant material is buried within a plethora of unnecessary information. How many home brewers require a knowledge of “Wort ph as a function of roasting time and temperature”? Moles, Mill-equivalents and Equilibrium Constants? Approximate relationship between CO2 and Total Alkalinity in pure water? How many home-brewers know (or want to know) how to read: 40g Ca^2 + 122g HCO3^-1 <-> 100g CaCo3 + 44g CO2 + 18g H2O? I was overwhelmed and turned off by such data because it is presented prior to really getting to the stuff for which I purchased the book.

That said, there is a treasure trove of good information here if you can slog your way through to it. Perhaps the uber technical stuff should be included as an appendix and referenced as needed in the text for those interested.

Maybe I don’t know what it is I need to know, but what I wanted to know was:

1. What are the ideal ranges of water ph and mineral profiles for various beer styles. NOT the water profile of the town that the style was originally brewed.
2. How to understand the properties of the water I am using.
3. The importance of the mash ph and how water alkalinity and grain bill help to approach the target (RA). Then how to adjust the ph if it is out of the acceptable range. Not in moles, mill-equivalents or furlongs per fortnight but grams/ml per gallon mash.
4. The affect of mineral levels and ratios on beer flavor, head retention, hop utilization, etc. Then how to adjust my water to achieve these levels.

While most of this information is included it is a hard read getting there. The additional uber technical info just seemed to complicate (obfuscate) the necessary information. Just one guys thoughts.

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
No

Drew says:
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent technical book, October 15, 2013
By 
Drew

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) (Paperback)
“Water” is the third book in the Brewing Elements series, after “Yeast” (Zainasheff/White) and “Hops” (Heironymous). This is easily the most technical book of the three. Like the other books, this is targeted at both home brewers and professional brewers, so there are a couple chapters in there that most homebrewers will gloss over (e.g. waste water treatment). However, there is a wealth of information that can help the homebrewer improve the quality of his/her beer.

While the book does not shy away from the technical details, it remains fairly readable, even to someone like me who has not thought about chemistry since high school. While many chemical equations are included, they are largely unnecessary (albeit helpful) to understanding the bulk of the material. Where one absolutely must think about techincal details, the authors do a good job of simplifying the computations as they apply to actually making beer.

One highlight of the book is that it heavily incorporates the (recent) research of noted homebrewers such as Brungard, deLange, and Troester. I personally have been going mostly off of the writings of these three (on various websites and forums) for my knowledge of brewing water up until now; I am excited to have this information synthesized in one place.

The book also includes several examples of how to take a target water profile and modify it to brew a particular style of beer. Along with the general guidelines presented, the reader should be able to then apply these principles to their own water and beer styles they are brewing. Like the “Yeast” book, I see this becoming one of the brewing books I pull off the shelf most frequently.

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
No

Gary Spedding says:
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Water book useful for Brewers, Distillers and Winemakers, September 29, 2013
By 
Gary Spedding (Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, LLC, Lexington, KY, US) –
(REAL NAME)
  

Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) (Paperback)
A much awaited book on water chemistry and treatment for brewers is finally here. Was it worth the wait?

First of all a criticism – the authors, reviewers and forward note editor imply that there has never been a (single) book of its kind covering the vast topic of water chemistry for brewers – at least not in recent times, in English or with the requisite technical depth for professional brewers. Well they all missed a big fish here (I add the same levity they do in using water terms in a humorous way to open up their topics). I refer to the title: Water in Brewing in the European Brewery Convention Manual of Good Practice Series. 2001 Fachverlag Hans Carl ISBN 3-418-00778-3. With no mention of this book in Palmer and Kaminski’s work it’s a huge oversight on their part. (Furthermore there are other treatises on brewing water treatment as published conference proceedings out there also not referenced by Palmer and Kaminski. So they missed a lot of crucial literature along the way). That being said and, while there is a lot of overlap in coverage of topics in the two volumes discussed here, the new work has brought together a stellar amount of material and reduced it to a level that will – after some effort (it ain’t that easy folks to understand this topic – muddy waters always for all of us here) be amenable to novice chemists and will help more brewers understand the calculations that may help them make better beer.

The book covers the usual waves of information – how to read a water report and the importance of the presence or absence of each mineral ion and many organic components (the latter well covered in the EBC manual also). Alkalinity calculations (the hardest shell to crack here for most non water chemists and mired in pre-calculator history and semantics) are detailed and related in-depth to mash chemistry. The topic was likely based on the stellar (and scattered) works of A.J. deLange who clearly assisted the authors in their own understanding here; numerous graphs and tables abound – though readers will still need to pour over them if they truly want to be able to get a grip on the topic and put the material to good use.

Up front the team tell us it is not just about emulating world class brewing style waters which is a bit odd as they then spend a good deal of the book illustrating water chemistry concepts by doing just that. Though again they do provide worked examples (that were seen in the odd journal or magazine article or brewing course here and there and in German treatises) that will be a boon to the reader. And a great basic math and chemistry refresher course for all of us. Towards the end brewery water utilities and processing along with the topic of wastewater are covered (as they are in the EBC Manual!) using some illustrations and examples from current craft breweries which is quite nice.

The book comes then with a wealth of information in one concise volume. (I still need to review and check through the calculations – water chemistry being is as difficult for me to comprehend and retain as working knowledge as for any other reader of this new volume.) Moreover, it comes at a price well less than the EBC Manuals of good practice, though I recommend anyone really serious about wading through the waters in the Palmer and Kaminski and deLange book to have the EBC Manual also on hand to add the final chapter in understanding the four key ingredients in making good beer. We should welcome the addition of this new book and thank the authors for getting to grips with a very complex subject in an admirable way. Set aside a good few hours to really digest this book’s content. Be patient or it too will sit unused on many shelves as most of the other books on brewing water over the course of history tend to do (even the German language treatises). As mentioned in the header this book will be useful to all beverage manufacturers – soft drinks and alcoholic types – beer, wine and distilled spirits as already noted by one distiller in the review section here at Amazon.

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
No

Write a comment

*