BIRMINGHAM — In the article, “Craft brewing in the United States,” featured in a previous issue of Water Technology, Khushbu Karan and Myron Petro, contributing authors, write about how the type and quality of water, which is the primary ingredient in beer, can significantly impact the brewing process.

In this article, Karan and Petro explain how filtration, reverse osmosis (RO), adsorption using granulated activated carbon (GAC) and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection are important technologies used for producing preferred water quality ideal for beer brewing.

  • Media filtration is used for removing metals such as iron and manganese by co-precipitating them as metal oxides and passing through a media bed. This is done to eliminate a metallic taste in the beer.
  • RO is a membrane technology that is used for removing water salts that helps in obtaining desired flavor.
  • GAC is an adsorptive media that removes chlorine and also trace chemicals from water. Chlorine is used in water for disinfection and forms chlorides that forms chlorophenols in beer. Chlorophenols are colorless, weakly acidic organic compounds with strong tastes.
  • UV disinfection is used to kill microorganisms that promote biological growth in water. This technology is used in place of chlorination as chlorine residues are unacceptable in water used for brewing.

You can find the entire feature on water’s role when brewing beer here.