Technical ingredients and brewing aids are specifically designed to improve the product or process.

With the complexity of beer and brewing science it can be difficult to quantify the benefits of using these products.

We have designed these guides to help!


Water chemistry can be hard to understand and difficult to relate back to your brewing process.

An overview of brewing water chemistry can be found Here

To keep things simple, we have created these easy to follow guides.

In this first guide we cover Alkalinity and then go on to Tailor liquor profiles in {Part 2}

Alkalinity is the total measure of substances in water that have an acid neutralizing ability.

Hardness can be a confusing term when used in brewing as it contains interrelated subgroups which have different impacts on the process. For this reason, we will deliberately not mention it in this guide (apart from in the title as Alkaline Water-Easy solution isn’t as catchy).

  • Alkalinity provides buffering capacity in aqueous systems and brewing is an aqueous system.
  • Brewing is also a series of enzymatic processes and pH is a major factor in activities.
  • Alkalinity control is therefore crucial to brewing efficiently plus pH through the process has a direct and indirect impact on Flavour

Alkalinity of water is dependent on the source, carbonate cycle and geology, municipal supplies need only make water safe and potable for drinking they don’t need to make it optimal for brewing! They can also switch sources depending on regional demand so being able to measure water alkalinity in the brewery makes sense. Even if you have a private water supply it can be useful to be able to measure this parameter in the brewery.

Measuring Alkalinity

We believe the most convenient way to measure alkalinity in the brewery is using the Palintest tablets.

Take a 50 ml sample from your Hot Liquor Tank (HLT).

Perform the alkalinity test as described Here

There are many options to treat water, but acid treatment is popular because:

  • It is inexpensive.
  • Simple and easy to use, prevents scale and produces no sludge in the HLT.
  • Can be tailored with salt additions to build a desirable Ionic profile.
  • Flexible for many beer styles.

AMS (Acidic Mineral Solution) is our proprietary acid blend and we believe it is the best product for Alkalinity reduction and has advantages over commodity food grade acids:

  • Balanced ionic contribution of sulphate and chloride.
  • Can be used at higher rates to treat high alkalinity water without negative sour flavours.
  • Cheaper than Lactic acid.
  • No interference with Calcium ions during mashing (Phosphoric).
  • Non-hazardous road transport.


Once you have a figure you can easily calculate how much AMS is required to treat the water from the table below.

Targeting ~40ppm Alkalinity for your treated water (liquor) will prevent scale build up in the HLT and provide a base liquor profile. With recipe specific additions of Dry Liquor treatments you can then tailor your profile {Guide 2}.


Trial Tips-Alkalinity control
  • Set a target Alkalinityg.40ppm and tailor your dry additions for the recipe.
  • Set target pH specifications for key stages in the brewing process e.g. mash rest, pre boil, post boil & final beer. E.g. pH 4.2 plus or minus 0.1 for final beer pH.
  • Measure Alkalinity again in brewery (cold or hot liquor tank).
  • Treat with AMS to achieve the target Alkalinity (AMS Instructions).
  • Measure the Alkalinity again to verify the correct rates.
  • Measure pH through the brewing process whenever you take a gravity reading and attemperate to 20°C.
  • Adjust Dry Liquor treatments and pH targets to get the best out of each beer style.

Advice for interpreting results is included in our Brew Better Guide part two-

Proportional dosing systems can make life even easier for the brewer, adding the correct rate of AMS to the CLT or HLT as the tank is filled.

Although water can be hard, treating it doesn’t have to be!

This mountain water is pretty but will need some work before it is ready to be made into beer!