you stop to think about it, that beer you are brewing is about
95% water. Thus, good water is critical for a successful organic
beer. The most important
piece of advice we can offer
you is to avoid chlorinated water. Even minute quantities of
chlorine can affect the flavor of your organic beer. Use a water
filter, purified water or distilled water to brew with. A good
rule of thumb- if you like the taste of the water on its own,
its is probobly fine to brew with (unless it contains chloramine).
If you use distilled water you may want to adjust the chemistry
water with gypsum, calcium carbonate, or other minerals to achieve
the water chemistry your beer style calls for. A good brewing
book such as the Complete
Joy of Homebrewing by Charlie Papzian
has detailed information about water treatment. An easier solution
is to use water that has been filtered with an activated charcoal
filter. This type of filter removes chlorine, chloramine, heavy
metals, and toxic compounds but does not remove the basic minerals
such as calcium that are beneficial to the brewing process. A
Pur faucet filter is an example of this type of filter.
WATER & ENERGY CONSERVATION
water and energy conservation are so important these days
a conscientious brewer can significantly reduce the use of
these resources and keep the homebrew flowing by making a
few small changes in the process. For most brewers, these
ideas can also save money as most of us pay for the water
and energy we use.
a commercial brewery, which uses on average 7 gallons of
water for every gallon of beer produced, most of the water
used in the brewing process can be recycled. The easiest
way to re-use water is to water your plants with the cooling
water from your wort chiller or cold water bath. Another
use for cooling water: the washing machine! The hot water
can be run right into the washing machine for the next load
of laundry. Or, simply use the hot water to clean up after
the brew session.
your savings and conserve water by combining cleaning projects
for one day- while your grains are mashing or brew pot
is simmering, use the cleaning solution left over from cleaning
that carboy to wash bottles or kegs, and then save the
to clean your brew pot at the end of the day.
energy by using natural gas or propane to boil your brew.
Not only will you save energy, but you will have less chance
of scorching your brew and you will have more control over
temperature. If you are stuck with an electric range in your
home, an outdoor burner is a great way to switch to gas.
Not only will you spend less time brewing, clean-up is easier
if you brew outside.
you use a refrigerator exclusively for your homebrew, you
can save a considerable amount of energy by investing in
a temperature controller. Most refrigerators maintain a temperature
range of 30 to 40 ¾F. If you raise the temperature to 40
to 50 ¾F, you can save up to $5 per month on electricity.
If you have a home keg system, a refrigerator tap can also
help save energy. By dispensing your brews from outside the
refrigerator, the door does not need to be opened frequently,
which will significantly cut down on the amount of energy
needed to keep your brews cold.
some water and energy saving ideas of your own? Let us know,
and we'll share your tips with the rest of our readers in future
updates of this page.