Homebrewing

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The City of Olathe and the Johnson County Brewing Society provide the following information to help homebrewers use Olathe's high quality water most effectively when brewing beer.

The Fundamentals
Although water is typically the least discussed beer ingredient, it can be a significant differentiator in beer quality.  Fortunately, you do not need to be a scientist to use water effectively when making beer.

  • Chlorine and chloramine should be eliminated from brewing water.
  • Calcium and magnesium contribute to water "hardness.”
  • Carbonate and bicarbonate contribute to "alkalinity."
  • Hardness and alkalinity affect mash pH when combined with grain.
  • Chloride, sodium, sulfate and (to a lesser extent) magnesium can be used to accentuate flavors in different beer styles such as pale ale, stout, etc.

All-grain brewers will need the following to control mash pH and flavor ions:

  • Water profile data:
  • Beer recipe information
  • A tool for brewing water formulation

Water Profile Data
The table below provides recent measurements taken during routine water quality testing.

 Component Recent Level (ppm)  Brewing Range (ppm)1 
Calcium [form] 48 as CaCO3 40-100
Magnesium [form] 11 0-30
Sodium [form] 45 0-100
Chloride [form] 50 10-100
Sulfate [form] 76 0-350
Carbonate [form] 100 as CaCO3 Not applicable
Bicarbonate [form] 100 as CaCO3 Not applicable
  Updated:  05/04/2016  

Additional Resources


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