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Water Usage in Breweries

Water is one of the most important raw materials used in beer brewing. Here’s a fun fact: most beers contain close to 92-97% of water.

Breweries usually procure their water supply from the Municipal Corporation water distribution system, post which, they then treat it using different methods. Interestingly, the quality of the beer you drink is directly proportional to the quality of the water used in brewing that beer!

So what do breweries need water for? Here’s a list:

  1. Brewing water/Brewing Liquor (2.7hl/hl of Beer)
    Brewing water requires a certain amount of treatment and adjustments to achieve the correct composition relevant to the beers being brewed.
  2. Process Water (2.1hl/hl)
    This is the water that’s required for washing and sterilizing vessels, pipes, CIPs and refrigeration ((Water + Glycol).
  3. General purpose water (1hl/hl)
    This is for general washing and maintaining the overall hygiene of the site.
  4. Service Water (0.2hl/hl)
    This water is required for the boiler feed and needs to be demineralized before use.

Brewing Water Parameters (Chemical, Sensory and Microbial) are the same as those of drinking water.

Here’s the complete list of desirable parameters below:

Colour, Haze UnitLess than 2
Turbidityless than2 NTU
TDSLess than 500 mg/Lt.
NitrateLess than 45mg/Lt.
SulphideLess than 0.05mg/Lt.
ManganeseLess than 0.1mg/Lt.
CopperLess than 0.05mg/Lt.
ZincLess than 5mg/Lt.
FluorideLess than 1mg/Lt.
BariumLess than 1mg/Lt.
AntimonyLess than 0.005mg/Lt.
NickelLess than 0.02mg/Lt.
BorateLess than 5mg/Lt.
SilverLess than 0.01mg/Lt.
ChloridesLess than 200mg/Lt.
SulphateLess than200mg/Lt.
MegnesiumLess than 30mg/Lt.
CalciumLess than 75mg/Lt.
SodiumLess than 200mg/Lt.
Alkalinity (HCO3)Less than 200mg/Lt.
ArsenicLess than 0.05mg/Lt.
LeadLess than 0.01mg/Lt.
SeleniumLess than 0.01mg/Lt.
IronLess than 0.1mg/Lt.
AluminiumLess than 0.03mg/Lt.
Total Pesticide residueLess than 0.0001mg/Lt.
Yeast/Mould countAbsent
Vibrio choleraAbsent


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