Water is used for many purposes in the brewing process, such as cleansing, cooling and, of course, is the primary ingredient used in the production of beer. Beer contains approximately 90% water and, consequently, water exerts a predominant influence upon the type, quality and character of the finished product.
The kind and amount of minerals found in solution are the factors by which water is determined to be "hard" or "soft." Here in the Northwest we are fortunate to possess excellent water for brewing, much like that found in Pilsen, which is softer in character. Knowing the composition of their water, brewers can use brewing salts/minerals to adjust it to fit the style of beer they are producing.