Suggested chemical composition of the water for brewing

Not every water classified as drinking is suitable for the brewing of every type of beer. Various kinds of beer require different chemical composition of water. Which water is suitable for your beer?

In accordance with the law to brew beer can be used only water harmless to health and quality requirements for drinking water

For brewing is also important to make certain elements and characteristics of the chemical composition of the water varied within specified limits. Not every water classified as drinking is suitable for brewing the selected type of beer.

The chemical composition of the water can be influenced by means of a device for adjusting the chemical composition of water, which can be various carbon filters, water sorption filters, devices for disinfecting water by UV radiation, aerators etc.

Part of the planned operation for the brewery project should always be chemical analysis of drinking water. Our company offers conducting chemical analysis of drinking water for brewing as part of a supply services for the project realization.

Definition of drinking water

Drinking water is water wholesome that even during continuous consumption does not cause disease or health disorder by the presence of microorganisms or substances affecting acute, chronic or late effects of consumer health and its progeny. Sensory properties of drinking water shall not prevent its use.

The chemical composition of drinking water:


Maximum values (drink.water)

Limit values (drink.water)

Indication values (drink.water)

Recommended values (beer production)

Al0,2 mg/l
As0,05 mg/l
Cd0,005 mg/l
Cu0,1 mg/l
Fe0,3 mg/l0-0,2 mg/l
Ca250 mg/l25-75 mg/l
Mg150 mg/l8-20 mg/l
Hg0,001 mg/l
Mn0,1 mg/l0-0,1 mg/l
Pb0,05 mg/l
Zn5 mg/l0,10-2 mg/l
Extractable non-polar substances0,05 mg/l
Volatile phenols0,05 mg/l
Phenols in total0,001 mg/l
PAU0,04 mg/l
Fluoranthene0,04 μg/l
Trihalomethanes0,01 mg/l
CHCl30,03 mg/l
Humic substances2,5 mg/l
Anionic surfactants0,2 mg/l
Color20 mg/l Pt
A 254,1cm0,08
Turbidity5 mg/l SiO2


The color is determined by visual comparison of the sample with solutions K2PtCl6 + CoCl2, or by measuring the absorbance at 436, 525 and 620 nm. Trubidity is determined by comparing the apparent absorbance of the sample and the standard suspension of SiO2 in the water. Taste and odor are evaluated sensorically, for taste is the limit value (2 °) characterized as “intensity without noticeable fading after emptying the mouth” – low level of odor is (2 °) “perceptible by the consumer when it is notified.”

Drinking water – indicators of a special analysis

Azbest3.105 vl./lbenzo(a)pyren0,01 μg/lmethoxychlor0,03 mg/l
Ba1 mg/l2,4-dichlorfenoxyoctová kys.0,1 mg/lpentachlorfenol0,01 mg/l
Be0,2 μg/ldichlorbenzeny0,3 μg/lPCB0,5 μg/l
Cr0,05 mg/l1,2-dichlorethan0,01 μg/lCCl40,003 mg/l
Ni0,1 mg/l1,1-dichlorethen0,3 μg/l1,1,2,2-tertachlorethen0,01 mg/l
Se0,01 mg/ldichlorfenoly0,002 mg/l1,1,2-trichlorethen0,03 mg/l
Ag0,05 mg/lhexachlorbenzen0,01 μg/l2,4,5-trichlorfenol0,001 mg/l
V0,1 mg/lheptachlor0,1 μg/l
benzen0,01 mg/lvinylchlorid0,02 mg/l2,4,6-trichlorfenol0,012 mg/l
DDT0,001 mg/llindan (ɣ-HCH)0,003 mg/l

Water – certain indicators

Water hardness

ČSN ISO 6059 (75 7384) Water quality. Determination of the amounts of Ca and Mg:

  • complexometric titration of the water sample at pH = 10 (ammonia buffer) on eriochrome black T: M2 + + H2Y2- →MY2-+ 2 H +
  • terms of hardness in mmol / l or N ° (1 ° N corresponds to a 10 mg CaO or 7.2 mg MgO in 1 liter, 1 N ° = 0.179 mmol / l)

Hardness – classification:

  • temporary (carbonate) – content CaHCO3 and MgHCO3
  • perm – the content of other soluble salts of Ca and Mg
  • total – the sum of temporary and permanent

Calculation of transient hardness

PT = 0.5. (total alkalinity – 2. apparent alkalinity)

Water hardness

soft: <1.3 mmol / L (<7.3 ° N)
medium: 1.3-2.5 mmol / l (7,3-14 ° N)
hard: 2.5 to 3.8 mmol / l (14-21,3 ° N)
very hard:> 3.8 mmol / l (> 21.3 ° N)

The importance of individual indicators of water quality in terms of beer production technology

Total hardness has an effect on the pH of wort (reaction of Ca and Mg salts of phosphates released extraction malt)

– Higher content of Mg2 + (> 70 mg / l) → bitter taste of beer and acidulated (Mg2 + acts as an activator of enzymes)

– Low levels of Ca2 + partially compensates the adverse effect of magnesium flavor

– Ideal ratio between Ca and Mg … 2:1

• The high content of Na – about 150-200 mg / l → salty taste of the water above 250 mg / l sharp, biting taste

• Acidity pH <4.0 → sour taste, reinforced the perception of bitterness. Acceptable range of pH = 6-8, ideal (after adjustment) pH 6,8-7

• Iron Fe / Mn – higher Fe content (> 0.1 mg / l) and Mn (> 0.05 mg / l) → adversely affect the quality of beer (astringent taste, browning foam turbidity)

• Trace elements f → Zn, Mn 2 + (0.05 mg / l) are required for the growth of yeasts, Fe2 +, Fe3 + promote oxidation-reduction enzymatic reaction.

• Sulphates SO42-→ positive impact on degradation proteins and lipids – are produced during the fermentation of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide, contributing to the bitter, hard and dry taste of beer.

• Chloride Cl-→ reduce and soften the bitterness of beer.

• Nitrate NO3-→ undesirable, reducing the toxic nitrite.

Composition of drinking water in some areas of the brewery

[mg /l]







Is your drinking water suitable for brewing beer?

For checking the chemical composition of water, or to select an appropriate range of beers for breweries used this calculator.

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