Author Topic: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well  (Read 916 times)

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« on: April 24, 2022, 10:46:42 am »
After reading the Czechvar website, here is what they say about water:

Fresh soft water is essential for brewing great lager. And no brewery in the world has a source as pristine and perfect as ours. Drawn from an Ice Age aquifer 300m underneath our brewery in České Budějovice, our water is absolutely pure and dates from a time before pollution or agriculture. Unlike other breweries, our natural water doesn’t need chlorinating or softening before brewing; it rises from our artesian wells clean, clear and ready for brewing.

By the above it seems that it is not treated in any way, as it is "ready for brewing" from the well.

I emailed the brewery asking about this.

The next big brew day at Bel Air is a Premium Pale Czech Lager.

edit: If we use all RO water, will this work?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2022, 11:33:09 am by Bel Air Brewing »
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Offline denny

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2022, 11:36:26 am »
After reading the Czechvar website, here is what they say about water:

Fresh soft water is essential for brewing great lager. And no brewery in the world has a source as pristine and perfect as ours. Drawn from an Ice Age aquifer 300m underneath our brewery in České Budějovice, our water is absolutely pure and dates from a time before pollution or agriculture. Unlike other breweries, our natural water doesn’t need chlorinating or softening before brewing; it rises from our artesian wells clean, clear and ready for brewing.

By the above it seems that it is not treated in any way, as it is "ready for brewing" from the well.

I emailed the brewery asking about this.

The next big brew day at Bel Air is a Premium Pale Czech Lager.

edit: If we use all RO water, will this work?

No, not necessarily.  Artesian well water is not necessarioy devoid of mineral content,  and RO is. I have an artesian well.  The water is very good for brewing, but it is nowhere near RO.  And it is a fallacya that all lagers need soft water.
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2022, 04:41:53 pm »
That is great marketing-speak.  I love the way they imply that the aquifer contains only water from before the advent of agriculture?  Hells bells.

I've got great soft well water too.  I still add minerals when it makes sense to.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2022, 05:01:58 pm »
I wonder what they called electric eels before they discovered electricity.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2022, 05:13:11 pm »
I wonder what they called electric eels before they discovered electricity.

Serpentes of the Forceful Temper that liveth mainly in the River of Equatoria


more importantly though, i checked out their website (https://czechvar.com/ingredients/) as well and there's another hint:

"And we source our malt from a place with real soul too: the Moravian region of Haná, where seven rivers meet to form a rich, fertile plain ideal for growing our single strain of highest quality pale malt."

Perhaps malt grown in areas with many rivers creates a richer wort? I'm just checking now to see if there are any malt growing regions in america that have a confluence of more than 4 or 5 rivers, it might be ideal for making the Perfect Czech Pilsner.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2022, 05:15:46 pm by fredthecat »

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2022, 05:53:15 pm »
Yes, certainly a marketing thing. But no doubt that very soft water is a trademark of any Premium Pale Czech Lager.

From BJCP: Soft water with low sulfate and carbonate content. Low ion water provides a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite high hopping rates.

Regarding malt, we used to be able to buy Moravian malt back in the 90's, from St. Pat's Homebrew Supply, in Austin, Texas.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2022, 06:58:39 pm »
Yes, certainly a marketing thing. But no doubt that very soft water is a trademark of any Premium Pale Czech Lager.

From BJCP: Soft water with low sulfate and carbonate content. Low ion water provides a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite high hopping rates.

Regarding malt, we used to be able to buy Moravian malt back in the 90's, from St. Pat's Homebrew Supply, in Austin, Texas.

Not all Czech water is pristine water devoid of minerals.
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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2022, 07:39:41 pm »
Yes, certainly a marketing thing. But no doubt that very soft water is a trademark of any Premium Pale Czech Lager.

From BJCP: Soft water with low sulfate and carbonate content. Low ion water provides a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite high hopping rates.

Regarding malt, we used to be able to buy Moravian malt back in the 90's, from St. Pat's Homebrew Supply, in Austin, Texas.
I have my best effort at a Czech Premium Pale Lager in the fermenter right now. I am using untreated water (except for some Lactic acid) to try to get it as soft as possible.

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2022, 07:58:07 pm »
Yes, certainly a marketing thing. But no doubt that very soft water is a trademark of any Premium Pale Czech Lager.

From BJCP: Soft water with low sulfate and carbonate content. Low ion water provides a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite high hopping rates.

Regarding malt, we used to be able to buy Moravian malt back in the 90's, from St. Pat's Homebrew Supply, in Austin, Texas.
I have my best effort at a Czech Premium Pale Lager in the fermenter right now. I am using untreated water (except for some Lactic acid) to try to get it as soft as possible.

My plan is to mix a ratio of about 3 to 1, RO to filtered city tap water. 4 gallons filtered tap, and 13 gallons RO. That will get us real close to the water profile that I found on Brewer's Friend.
Brewed a Premium Czech Pils before, but went with 100% RO water.
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Offline Ortizer

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2022, 07:28:30 am »
Yes, certainly a marketing thing. But no doubt that very soft water is a trademark of any Premium Pale Czech Lager.

From BJCP: Soft water with low sulfate and carbonate content. Low ion water provides a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite high hopping rates.

Regarding malt, we used to be able to buy Moravian malt back in the 90's, from St. Pat's Homebrew Supply, in Austin, Texas.

Not all Czech water is pristine water devoid of minerals.
Specifically you'd be looking at the water around Pilsen since that's where the style originated.  Similar to the default water profile for ipa being Burton-on-Trent rather than just "England"

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2022, 08:48:30 am »
Yes, certainly a marketing thing. But no doubt that very soft water is a trademark of any Premium Pale Czech Lager.

From BJCP: Soft water with low sulfate and carbonate content. Low ion water provides a distinctively soft, rounded hop profile despite high hopping rates.

Regarding malt, we used to be able to buy Moravian malt back in the 90's, from St. Pat's Homebrew Supply, in Austin, Texas.

Not all Czech water is pristine water devoid of minerals.
Specifically you'd be looking at the water around Pilsen since that's where the style originated.  Similar to the default water profile for ipa being Burton-on-Trent rather than just "England"

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The profiles for Burton On Trent vary widely due to the location and depth of the well. Martin Brungard did a series of articles for Zymurgy  on the famous brewing cities, you can search on his name. Ron Parrinson has written some about Burton water on his Blog.

The Jennings brewery in Cockermouth up in the Lakes District has low mineral conternt water. There were many stacks of bags of the various brewing water salts that to adust the brewing water. Not all the water in England is full of SO4.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2022, 11:18:23 am »
Apparently, PU does employ gypsum as an additive in their brewing.  However, it is true that the natural waters there are very lightly mineralized.  Based on the gypsum use, possibly too lightly mineralized.  Low mineralization does allow the malt character to shine through in their pilsner. 

Another data point comes from the water used at the Guinness St James Gate brewery in Dublin. Their natural water source has very similar quality to that of Pilsen.  In fact, to meet brewery production demands, Guinness does employ a large RO system to supplement their water supply when their natural source gets low.  The majority of Dublin has hard and alkaline water, but not where Guinness is.   
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Offline narvin

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2022, 12:45:16 pm »
Unlike other breweries, our natural water doesn’t need chlorinating or softening before brewing; it rises from our artesian wells clean, clear and ready for brewing.

Clever wording, they are silent on the need for hardening  ;D.  I suppose adding gypsum to the mash could be considered completely separate from "water treatment"

Offline Bel Air Brewing

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2022, 01:05:27 pm »
Unlike other breweries, our natural water doesn’t need chlorinating or softening before brewing; it rises from our artesian wells clean, clear and ready for brewing.

Clever wording, they are silent on the need for hardening  ;D.  I suppose adding gypsum to the mash could be considered completely separate from "water treatment"

So, you say they are being less than candid in their wording.
If they do not mention anything about adding chemicals, is it safe to assume that they do add chemicals?
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Water - Naturally Soft Artesian Well
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2022, 01:09:38 pm »

Clever wording, they are silent on the need for hardening  ;D.  I suppose adding gypsum to the mash could be considered completely separate from "water treatment"

I always assume any sort of traditional brewery with a long history/reputation is always elusive about the truth of their methods and materials. imho its all just wording and sounds very similar ie. "natural artesian well water" "mountain springs" etc, and doesn't necessarily reflect the brewing water, whether its boiled before mashing, minerals added, from a unique/different well than the area's general water. might be true, might just as easily be completely off.

So, you say they are being less than candid in their wording.
If they do not mention anything about adding chemicals, is it safe to assume that they do add chemicals?

what chemicals?