What Kind of Water to Use for Beer Brewing

Learn what kind of water to use when brewing beer at home from home brewer Chris Cuzme in this Howcast video.

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What's better than a nice, cold beer? One you brewed yourself. Learn home beer brewing basics from Chris Cuzme, VP of the New York City Homebrewers Guild, in these videos. Chris explains how to choose hops; what kind of beer bottles and water to use; how to mash, boil, cool, and ferment your brew; and much more.

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Hi, my name is Chris Cuzme. I am a long-time member and current president of the New York City Home Brewer's Guild. I've been home brewing since about 2001, and I love it. I'm crazy addicted to it, and I'm happy to share it with you today. I'm also part of the New York City Degustation Advisory Team which I formed with my partner, Mary Izett, NYCDAT.com. I'll be showing you how to home brew today. Cheers! Water; what kind of water do you use to make beer? There's an old saying that ""if you can drink it, you can brew with it"", and that's pretty much how it goes. A lot of different styles of beer around the world were created based on the type of water that was being used to brew the beer. Like in Pilsen. The water from Pilsen is very soft, and so the Pilsner was established as you use soft water to make a good Pilsner. Here in New York, we have relatively soft water, we have great irrigation coming from the Catskills, and we're able to use this water straight from the tap to make really great home brew. There are people who do doctor their water. If you want to make an English style beer, you can add gypsum salts, and you can add various ingredients to any lake waters from around the world. The most important thing when making a beer, if you're doing all grain, or even if you're doing a partial mash, is to make sure your pH is right, so that you can extract the sugars from the grains in an appropriate manner. And that pH is generally best suited at 5.2.

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  • chriscuzme

    Chris Cuzme is a professional musician, avid homebrewer, and devoted student of all things beer. Assistant Director of NY Craft Beer Week and current President of the Malted Barley Appreciation Society, he is also the Vice President of the New York City Homebrewers Guild, with which over the years he has helped to organize and present several nationally-recognized beer education programs for New Yorkers. In an effort to educate people about craft beer, he first began to host beer and food pairings in January of 2007 at his local favorite, Jimmy's No. 43. The popularity of these events led to a proud partnership with Mary Izett and ultimately formed The New York City Degustation Advisory Team.