There’s Water in Them Thar Downs!
Top of the list for a new brewery is water supply, and all the better if it is your own. The North Downs sit on chalk and where there is chalk, there is usually abundant water underground. So in a secluded spot on Titsey Estate land our contractors started drilling. After 50 metres of mud and clay, and several worn out bits we hit the chalk, this made life easier for drilling. After about 120 metres in total…
…we struck water!
Next it is estimating quantity and obtaining a quality report. If it’s practical then we plan to do one brew of Gower Wolf with our current, treated mains water and one with the new water.
The biggest ingredient in beer is water, so it is important to get it right. There are three ways that water can affect the beer. The pH changes the rate of reactions and also the perceived flavour. Different salts accentuate different parts of the flavour profile. Chlorine and chlorine compounds in mains water can cause serious off flavours. (For more on water, John Palmer is the home brewing authority, https://beerandbrewing.com/brewing-water/ )
For darker and stronger flavoured beers these differences are often not significant but for paler and delicately flavoured beers they will make all the difference. Brewers often add calcium salts or, for perfection, strip out everything from the water and then they have exact control over everything they put back in.