Why use of Water softener in beer manufacturing industry?
Beer is primarily composed of water. Water makes up roughly 90 to 95 percent of beer, and the minerals it contains add more than flavour to the beverage. When it comes to brewing, water is also referred to as 'liquor.' Water is important because it has its own flavour and is essential in the chemistry of brewing. Water travels and flows through many places over time, coming into contact with rocks, stones, soils, and dissolving various minerals that contain ions. These ions are chemically active and essential in the brewing of beer.
Minerals in the water include calcium carbonate, calcium sulphate, and sodium chloride. For example, when water passes through limestone, it picks up some of the calcium carbonates, and the water profile changes to hard carbonate water.
WHAT MAKES WATER NOT SUITABLE FOR BEER MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY?
WATER HARDNESS: The amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water is defined as water hardness. The main ion that determines water hardness is calcium. It has the ability to overcome the buffering capacity of malt phosphates, lower the mash pH to an acceptable range3, and improve clarity, flavour, and stability in the finished beer. The calcium concentration in brewing water should be between 50 and 150 ppm. To increase the amount of calcium ions in water, calcium sulphate (CaSO4), also known as gypsum, or calcium chloride (CaCl2) can be added. Magnesium, like calcium, contributes to water hardness and thus affects mash pH, but to a lesser extent.
SODIUM: In beer, sodium is a desirable ion for flavour complexity. The range is from 0 to 150 ppm Na+. To make regular cleaning more efficient and effective, professional brewers use simple cleaning processes or clean-in-place (CIP) techniques. CIP is the process of circulating a cleanser or sanitizer through a spray ball in enclosed equipment. Brewers will clean each time they transfer wort or beer from a vessel.
pH: pH is important at all stages of beer production, including mash, wort, and finished beer. The majority of municipal water supplies are slightly alkaline. When water is mixed with grains in a mash tun, the pH of the resulting mixture, known as mash, falls when compared to the pH of water alone. The ideal mash pH range is 5.2 to 5.5, with a preference for the lower end (5.2) for increased enzyme activity and optimal conversion of starches to liquid sugars known as wort.
The fermentation process begins when yeast is added to the wort—sugar is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The pH continues to fall during fermentation because yeast consumes ammonium ions (which are highly basic) and excretes organic acids (includes lactic acid). The yeast strain used can influence the final beer pH, most lager beers have a pH of 4.2–4.6, some ales have a pH of 3.8, and sour beers have a pH of around 3.0. A pH of less than 4.4 promotes faster beer maturation, better beer clarity, greater biological stability, and more refined beer flavour.
ALKALNITY: Water's alkalinity is its ability to resist changes in pH that would cause it to become more acidic. It is the concentration of all alkaline substances dissolved in water, such as carbonates and bicarbonates, which buffer pH in the water by neutralising acids.
Calcium concentrations must be balanced with low carbonate-bicarbonate levels because they have a calcium-blocking effect. These ions should be kept under 50ppm. Bicarbonates, as strong alkaline buffers, have the potential to raise the pH of the mash to unacceptably high levels if available in large quantities.
Changing the chemistry of the water takes time and can be costly for brewers. As a result, it is only used when the water profile is significantly off or needs to be tweaked. The leading manufacturer of water softeners and other water treatment plants is NETSOL WATER SOLUTION. The NETSOL Water Softener is the best choice for beer industries because it provides chemical-free water at a low cost.
To brew a great beer, it is critical that the water used be of high quality, free of chemicals, pesticides, and other contaminants. The presence of iron in water can cause a metallic aftertaste, which isn't desirable or acceptable in any style. Some of these minerals are toxic to yeast and can cause fermentation to stop in some cases.