On Waters

Waters differ in their quality, that is to say, in extracting the

goodness from the Malt; it is, therefore, very necessary for every one

who professes the brewing of Beer, to be well acquainted with the

nature and quality of the Water he brews with; for as the quality of

the water is, so depends the brewing of beer. I am fully persuaded that

waters so differ in quality, they will very much add or diminish the

nd quality of the beer.

Well Waters ought not to be used only in cases of necessity, when

waters of a softer quality cannot be procured: the well water should be

pumped into tubs, or any convenient vessel that is clean and sweet. It

is a custom with many to fill the copper a day or two, and sometimes

longer, before they begin the operation of brewing, but this I strongly

forbid; for a liquid cannot be too short a time in the copper, except

it is in a boiling state; my reasons for this I shall point out in

another part of this treatise. I would recommend fresh bran to be put

into the well water whilst in the tubs, and now and then give it a

stir, this will cause a sort of fermentation, and will likewise soften

the water.

The time for keeping water in the tubs must depend upon the season of

the year: if in winter, or moderate cool weather, a week will not be

too long; but if in summer, two days will be sufficient.

Spring or River Water is far preferable to Well Water, but river or

spring waters differ very much in their softness, and that which will

lather best with soap is a convincing proof, and is to be prefered for

brewing; for,

First,--It will leave the grains dryer than well water of a harsher


Secondly,--The beer will come to a quicker fermentation in the tun;


Thirdly,--It will also fine itself much sooner in the cask, than if

brewed from well water.

Rain Water, such as runs off tiled roofs, is, undoubtedly, to be

prefered before well or river water in brewing, being of a simple and

soft nature.

There is one very great object to the interest of the brewer;--Beer,

brewed with rain or river water, will be stronger than beer brewed with

well water from an equal quantity of Malt, because it will have a freer

access to the Malt; and, as I said before, it will leave the grains

much dryer than well water, which is convincing, the dryer the grains

are, the better will be the beer.

Many persons very much prefer Pond Waters, such that are frequently

disturbed by horses and other cattle, which generally causes it to be

in a thick muddy state; but the sediments of this thick muddy water

must be found prejudicial; for when the wort is emptied out of the

cooling tubs into the working tun, or running from the coolers into the

tun, a part of the sediment, from the foulness of the water, will

follow the wort into the tun, consequently the yeast will be in a foul

state and cannot be of that utility in baking, as though the brewing

had been from pure clean water.

There is a great difficulty often happens in making beer come to a

fermentation in the tun; this, I verily believe, is principally owing

to the hardness of the water it is brewed with.