Tuesday, 26 April 2022

London brewing water

Someone mentioned that it would be useful to know the starting point of the water for which I gave the various treatments. So here you go.

I don't have the details for Wiveiscombe, but I do for London.

Both Fullers and Barclay Perkins had their own wells which they used as the source of their brewing water. Such waters were relatively low in sulphate but with reasonable levels of carbonate. The standard water supply, to which brewers would switch in the 20th century when their wells became contaminated, contained significantly fewer minerals.

Burton waters, on the other hand, often contained insane levels of sulphate. Though the exact makeup varied considerably, depending on the well’s depth.

British brewing waters mg/l
  Deep Well Waters  
  highest lowest Old London well water London Metropolitan Water Board supply.
Total solids (dried) 2280.6 1225.8 461.8 319.3
Sodium—Na 51.3 29.9 98.4 24.2
Calcium—Ca 513.1 270.8 49.9 89.8
Magnesium—Mg 81.2 61.3 18.5 4.3
Nitrate—NO3 42.8 31.4 2.9
Chloride—Cl 67.0 35.6 59.9 18.5
Sulphate—S04 1297.1 655.7 77.0 58.4
Carbonate—CO3 1396.9 139.7 155.4 122.6
Suitable for Pale Ales. Sweet, full stout not much used now). Mild ales and stouts; with added gypsum for pale ales.
"Brewing Theory and Practice" by E.J. Jeffery, 1956, page 101.



Pierce said...

Did London brewers Burtonize their water?

We often hear about Burtonization (which is why I don't go by regional water profiles anymore when applying homebrew recipes). Did Burton brewers ever de-Burtonize? 1200 sulfate seems... harsh.

Pierce said...

Haha, nevermind about the first question. Should've read the prior post!