Why is Deoxygenated Water Important for Beer?

When savoring a cold, crisp pint of beer, the last thing on people’s minds is the role of water in its creation. Most may not even consider the work that goes into creating a delicious beer. Yet, water plays a fundamental role in every step of the brewing process.

Among many considerations, one often overlooked aspect is the importance of deoxygenated water. From preserving the flavor profile to offering better stability, deoxygenated water plays a critical role in producing consistent, high-quality batches of beer.

Understanding the Importance of Deoxygenated Water for Beer

Answering the question of why deoxygenated water is so important for beer requires a deeper appreciation of the role oxygen plays in the brewing process. Oxygen is a core element vital for human life, but in beer, it can cause all sorts of problems if not carefully controlled.

When oxygen comes into contact with beer, it can kickstart a chain of chemical reactions that can adversely impact the beverage’s flavor, aroma, and stability. This process, called oxidation, is the enemy of brewers seeking to produce high-quality, consistent beer.

When crafting beer, oxygen serves as a catalyst for a handful of undesirable reactions. First and foremost, it can degrade the delicate flavor compounds, impacting the final palate. It can cause off-flavors, such as papery, cardboard, or stale notes in the finished beverage.

Furthermore, oxygen can promote the formation of haze-causing compounds, resulting in a cloudy appearance and diminished visual appeal. Oxygen can even accelerate the breakdown of hop compounds, diminishing the beer’s hop aroma and flavor, both of which are critical characteristics in many beer styles.

The Role of Deoxygenated Water in Brewing

Deoxygenated water is a vital ally in the battle against oxidation. By removing dissolved oxygen from the brewing water, brewers can reduce the risk of oxygen exposure at various stages of the brewing process. This proactive approach helps preserve the beer’s flavor integrity, ensuring it tastes as the brewmaster intends.

Additionally, deoxygenated water contributes to the beer’s stability, extending its shelf life and maintaining its freshness over time. Beyond flavor and stability, it also helps achieve and maintain consistency in beer production.

Consistency is the hallmark of a reputable brewery, as customers come to expect a certain flavor profile and quality with each purchase. Since oxygen exposure can throw a wrench into the quality and flavor profile, the role and importance of deoxygenated water in brewing is undeniable.

Air Pickup Points in Beer Processing

Oxygen can sneak into your concoctions at multiple points during the brewing process, throwing off your final result. Throughout various stages of beer production, from transfers to bottling, opportunities for air pickup arise. These points include:

  • Transfers: When transferring the brew between vessels or tanks, especially if you do it quickly or without proper precautions, air can sneak into the beer and cause problems.
  • Carbonation: Introducing carbon dioxide to beer gives it its effervescence, but if you’re not careful, this step can also introduce oxygen to the mix.
  • Filtration and additions: When adding adjuncts or flavorings and filtering the brew, it’s important to take careful measures to ensure oxygen doesn’t work its way into the mixture.
  • Bottling: The final stage of beer production, bottling, is particularly susceptible to oxygen contamination. Various steps of this process, including improper sealing or filling techniques, can introduce oxygen.

The Role of Water Deoxygenation Systems

The negative role of oxygen in brewing and the potential air pickup points throughout the process highlight the importance of proper handling and deoxygenation. A water deoxygenation system, also known as a degas system, is one option to help manage oxidation risks.

What is Deoxygenated Water?

Water deoxygenation systems produce deoxygenated water, which is water from which dissolved oxygen has been removed. This process is often completed using specialized equipment, although deoxygenated water methods can vary. This water can be used to pack all lines and equipment, ensuring the beverage is never exposed to a high-oxygen environment.

Benefits of Deoxygenated Water in Brewing

Deoxygenated water offers multiple benefits when used in the brewing process, including:

  • Flavor preservation: Oxygen reacts with various compounds in beer, throwing off the flavor and causing stale aromas. By adding deoxygenated water to the picture, you can preserve your brew’s intended flavor profile to ensure a fresher taste.
  • Enhanced stability: Oxidation can destabilize beer, leading to haze formation and a shorter shelf life. With deoxygenated water, the risk of oxidation drops, improving the beer’s stability and prolonging its freshness.
  • Consistency: Given the impact of oxidation on the brewing process, deoxygenated water can help dramatically improve your consistency from batch to batch. Gone are the days of stressing over whether the flavor and integrity are lost to oxidation.

Elevate Your Brewing Game With a Water Deoxygenation System

In the intricate art of brewing beer, every detail matters, including the quality of the water you use. Given the impact deoxygenated water has on flavor, stability, and consistency in the beer you worked so hard to produce, it might be time to invest in a DeGas system. Investing in a water degas system can help you elevate your brewing game, mitigating the risk of oxidation in each batch.

At QuantiPerm, we’re here to help improve your product quality and shelf life while reducing beverage losses by providing robust water degas systems. Ready to take your brewing game to the next level? Contact us at (602) 903-2158 to learn more about our water deoxygenation systems.