I am about to brew a clone recipe of Dogfish Head's 60 minute IPA and I was wondering if I should do some water treatment on it. I've heard of people adding gypsum to their water to achieve a dryer flavor and I think I read something about it helping hop utilization. I haven't done any water treatment before, and I usually just use straight tapwater. Would it be a good idea to do some water treatment for this beer? (I'm in Philadelphia if that helps for the water profile)

Schuylkill river-Queen Lane plant:

  • Ca-43 ppm
  • Mg-13 ppm
  • Sodium-35 ppm
  • Chloride-92 ppm
  • Sulfate-43.7 ppm
  • Hardness-157
  • Alk-CaCo3-65
  • average Ph-7.1
  • Do you have a water report available from your municipal water supplier that displays the sulfate levels?
    – baka
    Feb 2, 2011 at 1:02
  • I added a report I found. Its from 2009, but should be a good rough idea.
    – D J
    Feb 2, 2011 at 2:35

2 Answers 2


Wow, that average pH is low compared to my water just over here in the Pittsburgh suburbs. Mine is 8.3. Your water is pretty neutral, mine is alkaline.

Anyways, here's my suggestion: Don't adjust your water this time. Water adjustment is a pretty technical topic and if you want to start doing it, be prepared to experiment. I recently switched to all grain and was quite uptight about water adjustment after reading How to Brew. It had me thinking if I wanted to brew anything other than a copper-to-amber beer, I would have to adjust my water. Contrarily, most of the advice I got here and on other forums pretty much said to go without it until you have everything else dialed in. Furthermore, Palmer has more recently (on Brew Strong) said something like, "The malt wants to become beer. You can do things to help it along, but as long as you're close with your water, temperature, etc, it's going to come out pretty good."

If I were you, I would brew the recipe without adjusting the water, then brew it again with water adjustments. As for how to adjust the water, these nomographs should get you started. But they're just a start. Look into books on brewing water chemistry. I don't own any, but if anyone does, please drop a comment on this answer with titles & links.


Your Ca is a bit on the low side, as is your SO4 for a hoppy beer. Your mash pH will likely be OK, so I'd add a tsp. of gypsum to the boil for yeast nutrients and to accentuate the hops. Then, before you brew again, check out the water info on howtobrew.com and braukaiser.com.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.