How Much Water is in Beer? (Plus How Much It Takes To Make It)

Although you might not think of it when you reach for a cold one from your fridge, that beer contains a lot of water. Exactly how much water is in beer? And how much do you need to use when brewing your own?

Beer is 95% water. A standard 12 oz beer with 5% ABV contains 11.4 ounces of water with the remaining 5% being alcohol. When brewing beer at home, you will start with significantly more water than you intend to have beer because of the amount of time the wort will need to boil in order to concentrate the flavors and create the desired complexity.

Keep reading to learn how much water is in your typical beer as well as why it doesn’t contribute to hydration. We’ll also discuss how much water you’ll use when brewing beer.

Does beer have water in it?

Beer is weird in that it ultimately doesn’t hydrate you, but its main ingredient may lead you to think otherwise. Does beer have water in it? Just how much of your beer is actually water?

Beer is 95% water. A standard 12 oz beer with 5% ABV contains 11.4 ounces of water with the remaining 5% being alcohol. When brewing beer at home, you will start with significantly more water than you intend to have beer because of the amount of time the wort will need to boil in order to concentrate the flavors and create the desired complexity.

Keep reading for more information about how much water is in your beer, plus how much you’ll need when brewing your own.

How much water is in a 12 oz beer?

Just looking at a bottle of beer, you might think that it must be entirely water because it’s a liquid, but you also know that alcohol doesn’t help hydrate you. Is beer actually made of water?

The standard 12 oz beer is made up of 95% water. That means that, in 12 oz of beer, there’s about 11.4 oz of water. That leaves about 0.6 oz for the stuff that makes you feel funny – alcohol.

According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, a “standard drink” is a 12 oz beer at 5% ABV.

How much water is in a pint of beer?

If you’re drinking a pint of beer instead of a regular 12 oz bottle or can, how much water is in your drink?

Whether you’re drinking a pint of beer (a full 16 oz pour), the same principle and mathematics apply. No matter the size of the pour, you’ll always be looking at about 90-95% water. In this case, a pint of beer contains 15.2 oz (449.52mL) of water.

Keep reading to find out exactly why all this water in your beer doesn’t help keep you hydrated.

Does beer contribute to water intake?

Does drinking beer help with water intake? Does it hydrate you? Why does beer quench your thirst? Since it’s 95% water, it should – right?

Beer does contribute to water intake. It also technically hydrates you – for the time being. However, alcohol is a diuretic, and contributes to more frequent urination and thus leads to dehydration. This is why beer will dehydrate you in the end.

Lighter beers contribute more to water intake than heavier beers. None of them, though, promote hydration.

How much water is used to make beer?

Water is a brewer’s best friend. It’s used for making the beer, sanitizing equipment, and packaging.

It can take about 7 gallons of water to make just 1 pint of beer. In other cases, it can take even more – upwards of 10 gallons of water per pint.

GrowlerMag says most of this water, though, is used for cleaning equipment or for cooling the beer. Less efficient breweries will consume more water than the average brewery, and your average will vary drastically.

More water is used to brew beer than people think. It’s becoming custom to utilize less water during the brewing process to achieve sustainable brewing.

Homebrew

Homebrewing beer requires less cleaning, sanitizing, and less work packaging beer. This ultimately means less water consumption.

You can get away with using only about 7 gallons of water when making a standard 5-gallon batch of beer. By optimizing your water usage, you can do things like reusing your cooling water as a part of your cleaning process. Use leftover water to water your plants or, if it’s clean, use it for your pet’s water bowl.

It’s all about optimizing your water usage and converting it into a multifaceted resource. Get clever and maximize its usability.

Commercial

Commercial brewing can be a bit more difficult than homebrewing when it comes to conserving water. You’ve got a lot more equipment that needs to be cleaned and you’re brewing a lot more beer.

Commercial breweries can use anywhere up to 12 or more gallons of water to brew 1 gallon of beer. When factoring in cleaning, sanitization, bottling/canning, cooling, and packaging, it’s no wonder some breweries are opting for more ingenious ways to use their water supply.

Some breweries, like Sierra Nevada in California, have been prompted by legislators to reduce their water consumption because of the environmental implications.

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06/09/2022 01:10 pm GMT