The Perfect NEIPA Water Profile

The profile for a New England (NEIPA) is a crucial element in creating the desired flavor and mouthfeel of this popular style. While there are different opinions on the ideal water profile, there are some general guidelines that brewers can follow to achieve the best results.

One key aspect of the water profile for a NEIPA is the chloride concentration. Higher amounts of chloride are associated with a perceived fullness, round flavor, and a softer hop character. This is why many brewers of NEIPAs prefer a higher chloride to sulfate ratio, typically around 1:3. WeldWerks Co., for example, recommends a chloride concentration of 175-200 ppm.

On the other hand, sulfate is also an important factor in the water profile. It contributes to hop bitterness and can help balance the sweetness of the malt. The recommended sulfate concentration for a NEIPA is generally lower than chloride, around 75-100 ppm. This ensures that the hop character is not overwhelmed by bitterness.

In addition to chloride and sulfate, calcium is another important element in the water profile. A recommended range for calcium in a NEIPA is 125-150 ppm. Calcium plays a crucial role in health and fermentation, so it is important to ensure an adequate concentration in the brewing water.

To achieve the desired water profile, brewers can make adjustments to their water using various methods. This can include adding brewing salts such as calcium chloride and calcium sulfate. It is important to carefully measure and calculate the amounts needed to achieve the desired concentrations.

When mashing, it is recommended to aim for a pH range of 5.2-5.4 (when measured at mash temperature). However, for a NEIPA, brewers may want to aim for the higher end of this range to create a beer that is rounder and more full-bodied, as opposed to sharp.

During the mashout stage, it is recommended to raise the temperature to 168°F and hold for 10 minutes. This helps to denature enzymes and stop the enzymatic activity, ensuring that the desired level of fermentability is achieved.

For the sparge, a fly sparge method is often used, with a pH of around 5.6-5.8 (when measured at mash temperature). This helps to extract the sugars from the grain and rinse away any residual sugars.

Carbonation is an important aspect of the NEIPA style. To achieve the best carbonation level, it is recommended to crank up the CO2 regulator to 25 PSI and connect only the gas post of the carbonation station (leaving the liquid post disconnected). Give the keg a couple of good shakes back and forth, then leave it to sit at 25 PSI overnight for about 24 hours. This method helps to achieve the desired level of carbonation for a NEIPA.

The water profile for a NEIPA plays a crucial role in creating the desired flavor and mouthfeel of this popular beer style. Adjustments to chloride, sulfate, and calcium concentrations can help achieve a fuller, rounder malt flavor, a softer hop character, and a balanced bitterness. Careful monitoring of pH during mashing and sparging, as well as proper carbonation techniques, can further enhance the overall quality of the beer.

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What Is The Best Water Profile For NEIPA?

The best water profile for New England IPA (NEIPA) is a topic of discussion among brewers and beer enthusiasts. Different experts and breweries may have slightly different recommendations, but there are some common guidelines to consider.

Scott Janish, a well-known beer researcher, suggests a target water profile for NEIPA with less than 200 ppm chloride and a sulfate/chloride ratio of 1:1. This means that the chloride level should be kept below 200 parts per million (ppm), and the ratio of sulfate to chloride should be around 1:1.

On the other hand, WeldWerks Brewing Co., a respected brewery, recommends a slightly different water profile. They suggest a calcium level of 125-150 ppm, sulfate level of 75-100 ppm, and chloride level of 175-200 ppm.

The recommended water profile for NEIPA would generally consist of low chloride levels (less than 200 ppm), a sulfate/chloride ratio of 1:1, and calcium levels around 125-150 ppm. These recommendations may vary slightly depending on the source, but they provide a good starting point for achieving the desired flavor and mouthfeel in a NEIPA


The water profile for brewing NEIPA is a critical factor that greatly impacts the overall flavor and mouthfeel of the beer. Scott Janish's research suggests a target water profile with less than 200 ppm chloride and a sulfate/chloride ratio of 1:1. This ratio helps to achieve a softer hop character and enhances the perceived fullness and round malt flavor of the beer.

WeldWerks Brewing Co. recommends specific ranges for calcium, sulfate, and chloride levels, with higher amounts of chloride associated with a fuller mouthfeel and rounder malt flavor. Many NEIPA brewers prefer a sulfate to chloride ratio of around 1:3, which further enhances the desired hop and malt characteristics.

When it comes to mash pH, aiming for the higher end of the typical range (5.2-5.4) can result in a rounder and fuller beer rather than a sharper one. Additionally, a mashout temperature of 168F for 10 minutes and a pH of 5.6-5.8 for fly sparging are recommended to optimize the brewing process.

To achieve the best carbonation level for a NEIPA, a method involving a higher CO2 regulator pressure of 25 PSI and shaking the keg is suggested. Allowing the keg to sit at 25 PSI overnight for approximately 24 hours ensures proper carbonation.

The water profile, mash pH, sparging pH, and carbonation method all play crucial roles in achieving the desired flavor and mouthfeel in a NEIPA. Following the recommended guidelines and experimenting with different water profiles can help brewers create a well-balanced and delicious NEIPA.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.