We live in a region built on water.

Ask any middle school student how Buffalo got it’s name, and they’ll probably tell you you comes from a a version of Beau Fleuve meaning “beautiful river”. Though that’s probably not true, you can’t argue the impact of the location on the Great Lakes, Niagara River, and the completion of the Erie Canal had on this area. We are proud of our clean water (Trust me, I used to do tours on The Miss Buffalo).

Is our water good for brewing?

Like so many things, this can be complicated. When you first start brewing, you start with what water is on hand and do your best to mitigate the chlorine content. Some brewers leave their water out over-night, while most are told to just throw in a campden tablet. This is good advice, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg (It was so hard not to make water puns when talking with Palmer…I really wanted to).

In this episode, we talk about manipulating your mash Ph for the style you want to brew. We use Buffalo numbers to build water profiles that should send your competition beers from the 30s to the 40s and make your friends wonder why your pales are better than theirs.


About the guest: John Palmer

This bio is from John’s page at Brewers Publications, the company which publishes his books. For the full bio and to find out more about his books, please follow this link.

Excerpt from Brewers Publications:

“How to Brew author John Palmer was born and raised in Midland, Michigan.  He is author of the bestseller How to Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Beer Right the First Time, co-author of both Brewing Classic Styles and Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers

…John has always been intrigued by science and the way things work. This passion and a desire to work in the space program led him to Michigan Tech where he graduated with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering in the mid-eighties. A lucky break gave him the opportunity to apply for a metallurgical position at a failure analysis lab in Irvine, California, and he has been living in the LA area ever since. During this time he has helped design, build, and inspect hardware that is currently flying on the International Space Station, worked in research and development of orthodontic appliances, awarded two patents, and written three popular books on the brewing of beer. Future writing products will include more brewing books and some steampunk.”


Books by John Palmer:

Want John’s water spreadsheets with the Buffalo numbers filled in?

You can find the empty spreadsheets at his website HowtoBrew.com, or sign up for the mailing list on the right and I’ll email you the version with our numbers already plugged in, and suggested adjustments for Burton on Trent and Vienna water profiles.