Dive In: 7 Homebrew Con Seminars on Water

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Homebrewing Water

By Matt Bolling, American Homebrewers Association

It’s time to dive into the world of brewing water! Check out these 7 Homebrew Con seminar recordings on various topics dealing with water and its role in making quality beer, mead, and cider.

Access to hundreds of Homebrew Con seminar recordings is an exclusive benefit of AHA membership.

1. Water Made Easy

Roy Roberts  |  Homebrew Con 2016 (Baltimore, MD)

Beer consists mostly of water. Most homebrewers understand the vital importance of brewing water but can be intimidated by the wealth of information available. This talk focuses on simple steps that all-grain brewers can take with regard to their water so they can make better beer.

2. Water Chemistry and Beer pH

John Palmer  |  Homebrew Con2014 (Grand Rapids, MI)

Join John Palmer, author of How To Brew, Water, and Brewing Classic Styles, as he dives into the subject of brewing water. Topics include the effects of brewing water chemistry on mash pH, beer pH, and beer flavor. The seminar includes an analysis of two beers made from the same recipe but brewed with different waters. The beers were judged by National Homebrew Competition judges, and those results are presented and discussed.

3. Why Good-Tasting Water Can’t Guarantee You Great Beer

Martin Brungard  |  Homebrew Con 2015 (San Diefo, CA)

How water tastes is no indicator of its suitability for brewing. A water used to produce great beer in one range of styles may make poor examples of other styles. There is no water source that can create great examples of all beer styles without treatment. A variety of simple adjustments can expand the versatility of a water source and expand the range of beers that can be brewed with it. In addition, there are a variety of “tasteless” conditions for water that have profound effect on beer quality. Problems that are common to even good-tasting water are presented to help dispel the myth, “If the water tastes good, brew with it.”

4. Historic Water

Martin Brungard  |  Homebrew Con 2013 (Philadelphia, PA)

The range and variety of beer styles from around the world were in large part the products of the local water they were brewed with. Unfortunately, some brewers make the mistake of trying to use historic water profiles in their brewing without understanding what adjustments those historic brewers made to brew with their local water. This presentation discusses water profiles from several historic brewing centers and explores their historic importance to brewing and their part in the development of local styles. The goal is to educate brewers about appropriate ion levels for brewing and avoiding the pitfalls of brewing with historic water profiles.

5. Everyone’s Second Favorite Liquid: Basic Water Comprehension for Homebrewing

John LaPolla  |  Homebrew Con 2019 (Providence, RI)

Brewing water can be an intimidating topic for homebrewers. In this talk, we will cover the water basics every brewer should know and learn how to improve your beer through water treatment. This session is light on chemistry and big on practical advice.

6. Putting Brewing Water in Perspective

John Palmer  |  Homebrew Con 2018 (Portland, OR)

Brewing water can have a noticeable effect on beer flavor. This seminar reviews the science behind these effects and demonstrates them with three different waters used to brew the same beer recipe. The base waters and the beers will be served to the audience for evaluation.

7. Water Panel

A.J. deLange, Colin Kaminski, John Palmer, Martin Brungard  |  Homebrew Con 2012 (Bellvue, WA)

Water: the final frontier. These are the questions of brewers everywhere. Our continuing mission: to explain this strange new world, to define best practices and new considerations, to boldly brew better than you have ever brewed before. John Palmer moderates a panel made up of Water co-author Colin Kaminski and technical editors Martin Brungard and AJ deLange. The discussions emphasize take-home techniques homebrewers can use to tame the final frontier with the potential for substantial improvements to their beers.