1. Use the water analysis of at least 3 famous brewing centers to explain why the water they have played a role in the styles of beer that they brewed. (100 words minimum each)

Burton on Trent:

Calcium (ppm)


Sulfates (ppm)


Magnesium (ppm)


Sodium (ppm)


Chloride (ppm)


Carbonates (ppm)


(Water Profile: Burton on Trent)

Burton on Trent is famous as the home of the Inida Pale Ale.  When you look at their water profile, you can see that the water is very high in Sulfates.  Sulfates have the effect of accentuating bitters in the beer.   In high concentrations though, it can add a metallic or mineral type flavor to the beer.  This was important though because the beer was originally brewed to be transported to India by ship, when there was no such thing as refrigeration.  While it’s often speculated that the high hops and high alcohol of the style preserved the beer, in my opinion it’s more likely that the high bitter flavor just covered up any of the off flavors.  To get your sulfates to this level, gypsum (calcium sulfate)  is usually what you want to add.



Calcium (ppm)


Sulfates (ppm)


Magnesium (ppm)


Sodium (ppm)


Chloride (ppm)


Carbonates (ppm)


(Water Profile: Dublin)

Dublin is best known for the Stout, probably most famously Guinness.  When you look at the water profile, you can see that it is very high in carbonates.  Carbonates are basic, and work to raise the pH of the water.  In low levels this is not an issue, but at this level, it does affect the efficiency of the enzymes when converting the starch to sugars.  To counter that lower efficiency, you need to lower the pH.  Dark malts like chocolate or black patent, along with roasted barley are acidic in nature.  Adding them to the mash lowers the pH to a range that the amylases are able to work well to convert the starch to sugar.  To modify your brewing water to get to this level, normally you will want to add calcium carbonate, or possibly sodium carbonate/bicarbonate.  For most people this is not really not needed unless you are doing all grain brewing.  For mini-mash or extract brewing you probably won’t notice any difference by adding the carbonate, with the possibility of a small difference in mouthfeel.



Calcium (ppm)


Sulfates (ppm)


Magnesium (ppm)


Sodium (ppm)


Chloride (ppm)


Carbonates (ppm)


(Water Profile: Pilsen)

Pilsen is famous for having some of the softest water in the world.  It’s notable for the lack of minerals.  This means that the water is close to distilled water, and it’s very susceptible to pH fluctuations based on the malts used.  This means that with this water we can use only light malts, like pilsner or pale ale malts, for brewing.  The pH of the malt is enough to lower the water to a level where the enzymes can be efficient, so it is commercially practical to brew a light colored beer.  That is why the Pilsner, one of the lightest color beers possible from 100% malt mashes, originated in this city.  To get this kind of water, you’re likely going to have to start with distilled water and then add in all the minerals to this level.  I’m lucky, and I have very soft water that is similar to Pilsen, so I can brew a pilsner without having to worry about my water.


  1. Describe and give at least 3 examples (3 different styles) of how to calculate the grains, hops, and water for all grain beers. Include mash temperature(s), sparge quantity and temperature, and boil times. Also include what kind of final gravity, alcohol content, SRM, and IBU you would expect based on your recipes. Explain some of the issues with brewing a high gravity (greater than 1.050 OG) beer. (300 words minimum, show all calculations and cite references)

In my brewing, I use the same process for my mash and boil with the only real exception being the hops addition.  When we’re talking fermentation temperature, I’m at the mercy of the temperature of my house as I don’t have refrigeration for brewing.  I try to keep lager beers cooler when fermenting, but this is just not always possible.  So, in the following, I’ll describe the recipes and hops additions, and fermentation times for each beer, but I will only describe the brewing process once.

The calculations can seem complicated, but overall they are relatively straight forward if you have the conversion tables and ingredient values available for the ingredients you plan to use.

Calculating the malt bill:

These calculations are based off of percentages of the final gravity you are looking for.  The trick to make things simpler when using specific gravity is to make it a whole number.  This is easily done by just removing the “1.” from the reading and treating the rest as a whole number.  So, a 1.050 gravity is treated as 50.  This is now termed Gravity Units (GU).  You need to figure out how many total GU you need for your brew, so you also need to know what your final volume is.  Multiply that volume by the GU, and you have your total GU.  In this example, if you make a 5 gallon batch and you want a 1.050 starting gravity, you need 250 GU worth of malt.

Once you have the total GU you need, you now need to figure out the proportions of each malt you want in your beer.  To make it simple, say you were wanting to make a simple beer that was 80% pale ale, 20% crystal 120.  This means you need 80% of your GU (200) coming from pale, and 20% of your GU (50) coming from crystal.  Now you need to know how many GU you can get from each malt.  Looking up on a table, pilsner malt averages a specific gravity of 1.036 per pound per gallon.  This means that for every pound of pilsner malt, you get 36 GU.  This is if you got 100% conversion of the malt to sugar. No malt will convert 100% in real life.  You have to take into account your mash efficiency.  This varies by brewer and setup, often ranging between 60% and 80% for most home brewers.  We’ll assume a 70% efficiency for our calculations.

There are two ways to bring in efficiency into the calculations.  One is to account for it on a per malt basis, the other is to take it into account for your total GU.  I prefer the latter. So to reach 200 GU with a 70% efficiency, you need to divide 200 by 0.7, which gets you 286 GU needed.  This now means you need 229 GU from pale and 57 from crystal.  So, to do the final calculation, you need to take the total GU you need from each malt and divide it by the maximum extract for each malt.  In this case, for pale you need 229 total GU, divided by 36 GU per pound gives you 6.36 pounds pale.  For Crystal, 57/33 =1.72 pounds needed. (Daniels 28-31)

For modifying the water, you need to first know what your water ions are.  If you’re using your municipal water supply, you can usually ask them for a water profile.  For any other water source, you can send your water to a lab for analysis.  Distilled water should be ion free and you will have to add salts to it.

To determine the salts you need, there are two basic ways of doing it.  One is to consult a table that lists how much of each ion you will get in ppm for a quantity of salt and water.  This will give you a good rough estimate.  The other way is to do actual calculations.  For this you need to know how much of each ion you want in ppm, how much you have in ppm, and the ppm of the ion you get from the salt.

Say you wanted to have high sulfate water.  Your water analysis shows you have 100 ppm of sulfate in your water, and you want to be at Burton on Trent levels of 800 ppm.  This means you need 700 ppm of sulfate.  First, some constants.  A ppm is the same as 1 mg per liter and there are 3.78 liters per gallon. You also need to know the ppm available from the salts you use. This is done by percentage weight of the ions in the salt.  CaSO4•2H2O is 23% Ca, 56%  SO4.  This means for every 100 mg of the salt, you get 56 mg of sulfate and 23 mg calcium.

Now with that information, and assuming 10 gallons pre-boil, which included all water you might need for the mash and sparge for a 5 gallon batch, you can calculate what you need.

First, how much sulfate total needs to be added:  700 mg per liter, multiplied by 10 gallons multiplied by 3.78 liters per gallon = 700 * 10 * 3.78 = 26460 mg, or 26.46 g.

Now divide this by the % sulfate in the calcium sulfate to get how much you need to add:

26.46 g / 0.56 = 47.25 g of calcium sulfate are needed.  You also should take a look at how much of the other ion you are adding though, in this case, 47.25  * 0.23 = 10.8675 g, or 10867 mg of calcium.  Divided by liters, = 10867/37.8 = 287 mg/L or 287 ppm… that’s a lot. (Daniels 67-69)

Hops are the last thing that needs to be calculated.  This is again deals with a lot of math.  There are a couple factors that come into play when dealing with bitters.  One is from the hop itself, you need to know the % AA for the hop.  You also need to know your final volume, and if you are dealing with a high gravity beer, you need to know the boil gravity.  The last thing you need to know is your utilization percentage, and that depends on how long the hops boil.  This is easiest to find in tables. The final equation in metric:

g hops * utilization % * AA %  * 1000 / volume in L * gravity correction

In English units:

oz hops * utilization % * AA %  * 7489 / volume in gal * gravity correction

Gravity correction is only needed if over 1.050:

1 + [(gravity boil – 1.050) / 0.2]

This will give you the IBU’s you’ll get from an addition.  To get the Oz of hops you need to add, it’s:

IBU * volume in gal * gravity correction / utilization % * AA %  * 7489

Now, this is just for a single hop addition.  As the utilization % changes with how much time you boil the hops for, it makes it more difficult to determine what you want to do as far as hops addition goes.  For a 2 hop addition, at start and end of boil, you can essentially ignore the second addition and figure everything out based on the initial addition.  If you add in the middle of the boil, that will also add bitter.

I have found that trial and error is the simplest way for me to figure out how much hops to add when, and what hops to add when.  So, to show you what I do.  First I figure out my target IBU.  So, lets do an IPA with 60 IBU.  Lets also assume I will do 2 additions, one at the beginning with bittering hops, one at the end with aroma hops.  This means that I can essentially ignore the last hop addition as it won’t provide much bitterness.  So, I want 60 IBU from my initial addition.  Let’s us Galena with 14% AA and do a 5 gallon batch.  If I do an addition at 60 min, my utilization is 30% per the charts for pellet hops.  As it’s an IPA, lets have a boil gravity of 1.072. This means:

Gravity correction = 1 + [(1.072-1.050)/0.2] = 1.11

60*5*1.11/ 0.3*0.14*7489 =  1.06 oz needed.

So, let’s then say 1 oz of Galena 14% AA for 60 min and 1oz of fuggles 4% AA for 10 min as for our hops.  Our total IBUs would then be:

From Galena:

1.0*0.3*0.14 * 7489 / 5 *1.11 = 56.67 IBU

From Fuggles:

1.0*0.10*0.04 * 7489 / 5 *1.11 = 5.40 IBU

So, total IBU would be 62.07, which is close enough (Daniels 74-85)

Color is another thing to take into account.  Unfortunately, there are so many variables that go into what color your beer is, that it’s impossible to accurately predict what your final color will be.  You can get a good estimate though through simple calculations.  This is done by taking the pounds of malt used times the Lovingbond rating of the malt, and divide by the final volume.  This is termed Malt Color Units (MCU) and there are charts available to convert this to SRM.

So as an example, 10 lb of Pilsner malt with a 2.5° Lovingbond for a 5 gallong batch:

10*2.5/5 = 1 MCU which translates to a very pale beer (Daniels 58-62).



Bocks should be a malty, slightly sweet beer.  This is due to the melanoidins in Munich malt.  My goal for this beer is to showcase those melanoidins.  As a result, my beer will be mostly Munich malt in the grain bill, with some other malts to give it a slightly darker color and sweetness.   I also want to approach a Doplebock in my alcohol content, so I will be pushing the grain bill to the limits of my system to get as much sugar out as I can.  The beer is a lager, so I will use a German lager yeast and not expect any flavors from the yeast.  As I have soft water and don’t desire to deal with modifying the water, I will use the water without any modifications.  Bitterness, I want a low level of bitterness to help balance the sweetness, but the sweetness of the malt should be what is showcased.  Batch size is 5.5 gallons with 70% efficiency.


Pilsner: 5 lbs, 1.038/lb/gal:   5*38*.7/5.5 = 24 GU

Munich: 10 lbs, 1.037/lb/gal: 10*37*.7/5.5 =  47 GU

Crystal 120: 0.5 lbs, 1.033/lb/gal: 0.5*33*.7/5.5 = 2 GU

Expected total GU = 24+47+2 = 73 or an OG of 1.073


Pilsner: 1.6°L: 1.6*5/5.5 = 1.5 MCU

Munich: 10°L: 10*10/5.5 = 18.2 MCU

Crystal 120: 120°L: 120*0.5/5.5 = 10.9 MCU

Total 30.6 MCU or Copper in color


Gravity Correction = 1+[(1.073-1.050)/.2 = 1.115

Hallertauer: 1oz, 4.5% AA, 60 min, 30% util: 1.0*0.3*0.045 * 7489 / 5.5 *1.115 = 16.5 IBU

Hallertauer: 0.5 oz, 4.5% AA, 30 min, 30% util: 0.5*0.2*0.045 * 7489 / 5.5 *1.115 = 5.5 IBU

Hallertauer: 0.5 oz, 4.5% AA, 10 min, 30% util: 0.5*0.1*0.045 * 7489 / 5.5 *1.115 = 2.7 IBU

Total bitterness: 24.7 IBU which is with the range for bocks.

From experience, the yeast I use for my bocks tends to go to about 1.010 which means I get around 7-8% ABV for this beer.  Overall, this beer is usually in style for what I planned for.


Pilsners should be a grainy, almost bready, pale ale with a very low bitter.  My goal for this beer is to make a straw pale beer with a hint of hops and an average alcohol percent.   The beer is a lager, so I will use a German lager yeast and not expect any flavors from the yeast.  As I have soft water and don’t desire to deal with modifying the water, I will use the water without any modifications.  Bitterness wise, this is another malt showcase beer, so I want them low, and I do want a hop aroma to be noticeable which means a late addition of hops.  Batch size is 5.5 gallons with 70% efficiency.


Pilsner: 10 lbs, 1.038/lb/gal:   10*38*.7/5.5 = 48 GU

Expected total GU = 48 or an OG of 1.048


Pilsner: 1.6°L: 1.6*10/5.5 = 2.9 MCU

Total 2.9 MCU or straw pale in color


Hallertauer: 1.5 oz, 4.5% AA, 60 min, 30% util: 1.5*0.3*0.045 * 7489 / 5.5= 27.6 IBU

Hallertauer: 0.5 oz, 4.5% AA, 10 min, 30% util: 0.5*0.1*0.045 * 7489 / 5.5 = 3.1 IBU

Total bitterness: 30.7 IBU which is with the range for Pilsners.

From experience, the yeast I use for my pilsners tends to go to about 1.010 which means I get around 5% ABV for this beer.  Overall, this beer is usually in style for what I planned for.


American Pale Ale

American Pale Ales are both malty and hoppy.  Usually the hop bitterness dominates, and is of a resinous American hops type.  They also tend to be amber in color.  With this beer I want to have a high bitter, on the scale of an IPA, but with a good malt flavor to support it and only moderate alcohol.  The beer is an ale, so I will use an American ale yeast and not expect any flavors from the yeast because they will be covered up by the hops.  As I have soft water and don’t desire to deal with modifying the water, I will use the water without any modifications.  Bitterness, I want a very high level of bitterness to dominate the beer, and I want a high hop aroma.  This beer is to showcase the hops.  Batch size is 5.5 gallons with 70% efficiency.


Pale Ale: 11 lbs, 1.036/lb/gal:   11*36*.7/5.5 = 50 GU

Crystal 60: 1 lb, 1.034/lb/gal: 1*34*.7/5.5 = 4 GU

Expected total GU = 50+4 = 54 or an OG of 1.054


Pale Ale: 1.8°L: 1.8*11/5.5 = 3.6 MCU

Crystal 60: 60°L: 60*1/5.5 = 10.9 MCU

Total 14.5 MCU or Amber in color


Gravity Correction = 1+[(1.054-1.050)/.2 = 1.02

Northern Brewer: 1oz, 9% AA, 60 min, 30% util: 1.0*0.3*0.09* 7489 / 5.5 *1.02 = 36.0 IBU

Cascade: 0.5oz, 5.75% AA, 30 min, 20% util: 0.5*0.2*0.0575* 7489 / 5.5 *1.02 = 7.7 IBU

Northern Brewer: 0.5oz, 9% AA, 30 min, 20% util: 0.5*0.2*0.09* 7489 / 5.5 *1.02 = 12.0 IBU

Cascade: 0.5oz, 5.75% AA, 10 min, 10% util: 0.5*0.1*0.0575* 7489 / 5.5 *1.02 = 3.8 IBU

Northern Brewer: 0.5oz, 9% AA, 10 min, 10% util: 0.5*0.1*0.09* 7489 / 5.5 *1.02 = 6 IBU

Cascade: 1oz dry hop, = 0 IBU

Total bitterness: 65.5 IBU which is with the range for APA’s.

From experience, the yeast I use for my APA tends to go to about 1.010 which means I get around 6% ABV for this beer.  I also dry hop in kegs which adds a good deal of hop aroma to the final beer.  Overall, this beer is usually in style for what I planned for.


The procedure I use for all of these recipes is as follows:

Mash at 154° F for 90 min using whatever volume of water I need to fill my 5 gallon mash tun.  I then sparge with 170 to 200 ° F water until I reach 6.5 gallons of water in my boil pot.  I then boil for 1 hour with the additions as noted above.  After that hour, I cool down using an immersion chiller.  When below 70 °F I then transfer to a glass carboy and oxygenate using an oxygen tank and diffusion stone.  At this point I add the yeast.  For lagers, I let them ferment for 2 weeks.  For ales I let the ferment 1 week.  Then I either transfer to a secondary carboy to clarify, or to a keg to clarify.  If I transfer to the carboy, I then transfer to keg when it’s clear.  If I transfer to keg, I let it sit for a few weeks before I carbonate.  When carbonating, I remove the first little bit of the beer through the out line to help clarify the beer.  This is usually only done for darker beers.


Works Cited

Brewer's Lair. Water Profile: Burton on Trent. 27 02 2011 <http://www.brewerslair.com/index.php?p=brewhouse&d=water&id=&v=&term=1&…;.

—. Water Profile: Dublin. 26 02 2011 <http://www.brewerslair.com/index.php?p=brewhouse&d=water&id=&v=&term=3&…;.

—. Water Profile: Pilsen. 27 02 2011 <http://www.brewerslair.com/index.php?p=brewhouse&d=water&id=&v=&term=7&…;.

Daniels, Ray. Desiging Great Beers. Boulder: Brewers Publications, 2000.