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Summary of Target Water Profiles

This is a summary of the various target water profiles built into the Brewing Water and Mash Chemistry Calculator. They should be seen as guidance rather than strict water profile specifications. Especially historical water profiles don’t take into account water treatment that brewers may have done. Some of the histrorical profiles shown here also show “decarbonates” versions with represents the water profile after alkalinity reduction through either boiling or slaked lime.

Balanced Profile
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
80 5 25 75 80 100

This basic water profile is suitable for beers ranging from dark golden to deep amber in color. The gerally low ion content should not interfere with the taste of the beer.

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Balanced Profile II
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
150 10 80 150 160 220

This water profile is similar to the Balanced Profile but with twice the minerals. It’s suitable for dark golden to deep amber beers, It’s higher ion content makes it better suited for stronger and more robust styles.

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Light colored and malty
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
60 5 10 95 55 0

Low residual alkalinity and a sulfate to chloride ration balanced towards chloride make this an excellent choice for light colored (2-5 SRM) and malt forward beers. The mineral level is restraint and should not show through in the taste of the beer.

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Light colored and hoppy
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
75 5 10 50 150 0

Low residual alkalinity and a sulfate to chloride ration balanced towards sulfate make this an excellent choice for light colored (2-5 SRM) and hop forward beers. The mineral level is restraint and should not show through in the taste of the beer.

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Burton on Trent (historic)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
270 41 113 85 720 270

Burton on Trent is known for water with very high sulfate content. This profile has been constructed from a water analysis of Burton well water published in “Burton-on-Trent, Its History, Its Waters and Its Breweries” from 1869.

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Burton on Trent (historic and decarbonated)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
187 41 113 85 720 20

Burton on Trent is known for water with very high sulfate content. This profile has been constructed from a historic water profile after decarbonation through boiling or slaked lime. Its low residual alkality allowed English brewers to brew pale beers.

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Dortmund (historic)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
250 20 10 100 300 340

The characteristic of the histroric Dortmunder brewing water profile is a chigh calcium and sulfate content which lend the Dortmunder Export additional bitterness. This water profile has been reconstructed from analysis data given in an 1953 article about residual alkalinty by Kolbach.

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Dortmund (historic and decarbonated)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
155 23 10 100 300 53

This is the water profile Dortmunder water after it has been decarboneted with slaked lime. This resembles the decarbonated water profile given by Kolbach in his 1953 article and it was most likely the water profile used by Dortmunder brewers.

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Dublin (Dry Stout)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
110 4 12 19 53 280

With its high alkalinity Dublin water is well suited for stouts and other dark ales.

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Edinburgh (Scottish Ale, Malty Ale)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
100 18 20 45 105 235

One of the historic water profiles for Edinburgh, Scotland. Because of its geology scottish brewers have access to many different waters depending on where and how deep a well is drilled. This particular profile is well suited for darker scottish ales.

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London (Porter, dark ales)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
100 5 35 60 50 265

With its high termporary hardness the London water profile is well suited for dark beers like Porter. This profile has been taken from an average London water report and also matches the historic London profile found in various literature sources.

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Munich (Dark Lager)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
82 20 4 2 16 320

Munich water is high in temporary hardness and well suited for dark lagers such as Munich Dunkel, Schwarzbier or Doppelbock. Because of its high residual alkalinity, this water profile is not recommended for Munich Helles or Maibock. The mineral levels for this target are from the 2013 water quality report for Munich.

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Munich (decarbonated)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
40 20 4 75 52 29

The munich water profile after being treated with slaked lime and the addition of some calcium chloride and gypsum. That is the kind of water treatment a Munich brewer might do to make the water more suitable for lighter beers. Well suited for Märzen and Maibock.

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Pilsen (Light Lager)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
7 3 2 5 5 25

This very low mineral water is the traditional water for Bohemian pilsner beers. Despite its low calcium content, great pilsner and Helles style beers can be brewed with it.

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Düsseldorf (Altbier)
Ion Profile in ppm
Ca2+ Mg2+ Na+ Cl- SO42- HCO3-
90 12 45 82 65 223

The water profile of the town of Düsseldorf (Germany) is well suited for Altbier and is very likely the water used by Altbier brewries in that town without any modification. The ion levels were taken from a 2013 water quality report.

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