Tadcaster water profile?

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May 27, 2013
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Alright guys,

I'd like to brew a beer inspired by Samuel Smith's India Ale, and I'm wondering if anyone out there knows what the water profile is.

I understand the Sam Smith Brewery draws water from a centuries old well in Tadcaster, which is reported to be very good for pale ales, sometimes coined as "Burton of the North". Contacting the local water supplier didn't help, as they use a reservior to serve a much larger area. I also thought about emailing the brewery and begging for tips, but unfortunately they only accept snail mail.

I could use the Burton water, but would really like to start with Taddy water if possible. Appreciate any leads you may have on this!
NO! Don't use a Burton profile. That typical profiles published for Burton water (even the one in Bru'n Water) are actually too mineralized and were not used without dilution. I don't have knowledge of what the water at the Tadcaster brewery might be, but I don't get the impression that their beers are made with very mineralized water. They come across as only moderately drying to me, so that suggests a modest sulfate content. A safe starting point would be to use the Yellow Bitter profile in Bru'n Water, as shown below.

Ca 50 ppm
Mg 10
Na 5
SO4 105
Cl 45
HCO3 0
Don't worry too much about profiles. Start with some RO water and add half a tsp of calcium chloride to 5 gallons of that to establish basic calcium and chloride levels. Brew the beer with that. Then add sulfate in the glass as you taste to get a rough idea as to how much sulfate you might want. Final tuning of calcium chloride and gypsum levels will come from multiple attempts at brewing this beer. You can't expect to hit it exactly on the first try.