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Beer Ingredients: Water

You may take water for granted, but consider that water forms more than 95 percent of your final beer. So you may think you know water but you better know it well if youíre brewing your own beer. Water comes in really handy when youíre brewing beer. Of course itís part of the beer itself, but it also helps to cool boiled wort and even keeps the brewing equipment clean and pure for an unadulterated brew.

Water chemistry matters. For example, waterís mineral content can determine whether brewing lagers or dark ales is possible. In the olden days, breweries situated themselves wherever they could find abundant sources of good drinking water. Almost haphazardly, then, unique beer styles developed as they evinced characteristics of the local waterís chemical composition.

Of course, this is the age of globalization and bottled water; you donít have to settle on whatís available from your nearest creek. If youíre brewing your own beer, figure out the mineral and ion content of the water youíre using so you can treat it until itís just right for the type of beer you want to create.

Beer Ingredients: Water