Over the past 8 months I've been developing a product designed for homebrewers who were frustrated with their water. Water chemistry plays a huge part in the final beer, and I was looking for a way to make an easy solution to the question "What's in my water?". There are MANY issues I won't go into here, but the short story is I came up with a way for homebrewers to guarantee accurate water chemistry by using pre-mixed packets of ions and RO or distilled water.
The product is called BrewEQ. A simple and cost-effective solution to a complex problem. The REAL question for me was how much of a difference does the 'right' water make? I didn't want to sell a product that doesn't work well, so I decided the best way would be to brew it, and get tangible results.
I decided to brew 2 identical batches of an American IPA, the only difference is that one batch will be brewed with BrewEQ IPA water, and the the other with BrewEQ Stout water. Both batches were brewed on the same day, bottles and otherwise treated identically. The result was 2 surprisingly different beers. But how different? Was the IPA water beer actually better?
To find out, I submitted BOTH beer into the Canadian Amateur Brewing Association's 2012 Competition. This competition has certified beer judges, and I would get written feedback on the 2 beers, including scoresheets and notes on each one.
The 'Stout Water' IPA scored totals of 28/30/28 (28.6 avg) (each beer is judged by 3 different judges), which is in the 'Good' range. Comments included:
- 'faint hop aroma'
- 'need more hops to be true to style'
- 'surprisingly low hop impact on palate'
- 'roasted coffee note with lingering bitterness'
The 'IPA Water' IPA scored much higher - 33/33/35 in the first round, and 35/37/33 (34.3 avg) in the second round. Obviously it did much better in order to proceed to the second round. So good in fact that it won me a Silver Medal in the very competitive category! Comments included:
|Some hardware to go with the hard work.|
- good, clean hop aroma
- nicely balanced
- very refreshing, nice clean hop balance
- very nice malt/hop balance
So there it it, how much of a difference does the 'right' water make? Quite a bit it turns out. My personal brewing skill aside, the difference in scores is the key. An almost 6 point increase is significant. It is the difference between a Good beer and a Very Good/Excellent beer. If I had any worries about the effectiveness of BrewEQ, they are definitely put to rest now.
If all else proceeds as planned, BrewEQ should be set for sale this Fall.
If you want more info, you can check out BrewEQ.com