BrewLab® Basic

Order Code: 7189-01

7189-01 200x200The BrewLab® Basic Kit for home brewers monitors 7 essential water quality factors. Experts agree that the quality of the water that you start with will affect your final product, so take the mystery out of making great tasting beer. Trust LaMotte, the water analysis experts since 1919, to help you control your most important ingredient ... water!

Use the John Palmer Water Calculator


"People often ask me for advice on brewing water, and the most common question is “what’s the first thing I should do?” A great brewer, like a great chef, understands how the ingredients will affect the brewing process and its results. The first step to understanding the effect of water on brewing a great beer is to know what is in it. The Brewlab® Basic from the LaMotte Company is an economical, easy-to-use test kit to quickly measure the mineral content of water and allow the brewer to make informed decisions in the brewing process. Great beer starts with a knowledgeable brewer."

John Palmer, author of How To Brew, Brewing Classic Styles and Water,
A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers.


Test for 7 Essential Test Factors

  • Chloride
  • Sulfate
  • Alkalinity
  • Total Hardness
  • Calcium Hardness
  • Magnesium Hardness
  • Sodium


Test Factor Test System Range # of Tests
Chloride Drop Count 1 drop = 10, 25 ppm Approx. 80
Sulfate Turbidimetric 0-200 ppm sulfate 50
Alkalinity Drop Count 0-200 ppm (and higher) as CaCO3 50 at 200 ppm
Total Hardness Drop Count 0-200 ppm (and higher) as CaCO3 50 at 200 ppm
Calcium Hardness Drop Count 0-200 ppm (and higher) as CaCO3 50 at 200 ppm
Magnesium Hardness Calculation ---- ----
Sodium Calculation ---- ----

Better Chemistry... Better Beer!

Alkalinity is generally a problem in brewing water. Alkalinity is the carbonate and bicarbonate content of the water, and acts to raise the pH of the mash and beer. Water hardness can offset the alkalinity, and for that reason both parameters are typically measured as “Calcium Carbonate” in order to determine the net effect.

The chloride ion acts to bring out the sweetness and fullness of the malt flavor, much like table salt does for food. Craft brewers often add calcium chloride to brewing water for Pilsner and other lagers.

Dissolved Oxygen:
Dissolved oxygen can have both a positive and negative impact on beer, depending on the brewing stage. While fermentation itself is an anaerobic process (occurs in the absence of air), yeast cells do require oxygen for growth. Excessive DO can lead to rapid fermentations and excessive yeast growth, resulting in higher ester production, giving fruitier flavors. It can also lead to permanent chill haze, increased beer astringency, and an increase in color intensity, largely due to the oxidation of polyphenols.

Water hardness is a brewer’s friend because calcium and magnesium are important ions in many biochemical reactions during mashing and fermentation.
Calcium: Helps prevent enzymes from denaturing and extends their activity in the mash, promoting clarity, flavor, and stability in the finished beer.
Magnesium: In small amounts Mg is an important yeast nutrient. The better the “yeast ferment”, the cleaner the alcohol produced.

The chemistry of brewing and cooking is complex, and while knowing the mineral content of the water is a critical first step to predicting the impact of the water to the beer, the best way is to measure it, and that is where pH comes into the picture. The mineral content of the water directly affects the pH of the mash, and the pH of the mash affects the entire brewing process—both in process performance and beer flavor. In order to consistently brew great beer, the pH of the mash, wort, and beer should be monitored at every step.

Sodium acts in concert with chloride to enhance the sweetness and fullness of the malt, but just as in food and cooking, too much can oversalt the beer and result in salty or metallic flavors. Sodium is ubiquitous in water supplies and mineral additions, so it is important for the brewer to know how much the water has before any treatments are planned. Sodium can be easily determined by calculation from the results of the other tests.

Sulfate and chloride ions in water affect the flavor balance of the beer, from hoppy to malty. The sulfate ion acts to accentuate the hoppiness and dryness of the beer, making it more crisp tasting. Craft brewers often add calcium sulfate to their brewing water for pale ales and IPAs.

Total Dissolved Solids:
The measurement of total dissolved solids allows the brewer to quickly determine if there has been a shift or change in a water source or brewing process by measuring all solids in solution. It can also provide a valuable quality assurance check on demineralization processes and waste treatment effectiveness.



LaMotte BrewLab® Basic Instruction Manual

The BrewLab® Basic instruction manual is now available in Spanish.

El manual de instrucciones de BrewLab® Basic ahora está disponible en español.

BrewLab® Tips

If you want to use any of the on-line brew calculators out there, (one such calculator is which is referenced on the back page of the BrewLab® manual) you may find that they are set up by chemical symbols or they ask for test results that don’t correlate directly to the tests in the BrewLab® kit. Here are some definitions and conversions that may help:

Ca+2 = Calcium (In the BrewLab® kit this is expressed as CaCO3, see conversion below)
Mg+2 = Magnesium (the BrewLab® kit this is expressed as CaCO3, see conversion below)
SO4-2 = Sulfate
Na+ = Sodium
Cl- = Chloride
HCO3- = Bicarbonate (This is the primary contributor to alkalinity, in the BrewLab® kit it is expressed as Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) so a conversion is needed for HCO3, see below)
Fe = Iron (No test for this is included in the BrewLab® kit)

To convert the total calcium result from your BrewLab® result into calcium (expressed as CaCO3 ppm) you will need to multiply the result by 10 or 20, depending on sample volume used. Then to convert the result into calcium (expressed as Ca+2 ) you will need to multiply the result by 0.4
To convert the magnesium result from your BrewLab® result into magnesium (expressed as Mg+2) you will need to multiply the result by 10 or 20, depending on sample volume used.
To convert the alkalinity result from your BrewLab® result into bicarbonate (expressed as HCO3) you will need to multiply the result by 10 or 25, depending on sample volume used.

To convert the Chloride result from your BrewLab® result as ppm you will need to multiply the result by 10 or 25, depending on sample volume used.




pH Tracer

Order Code: 1741

The electronic pH Tracer allows direct reading of pH from 0.01 to 14.00 pH. The Tracer offers simultaneous pH and Temperature displays and a 15-reading memory storage. pH range is 0.00 to 14.00 pH/0.01 pH. Temperature range is 23° to 194°F (5° to 90° C).

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Order Code: 1766

The electronic portable PockeTester measures the Sodium Chloride level in salt water pools with a range from 0 to 9,999 ppm; pH is measured 0.00 to 14.0 pH; TDS from 0 to 9999 ppm; and Temperature from 32.0° to 149°F.

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Tracer - Dissolved Oxygen

Order Code: 1761

The handheld portable Tracer PockeTester for Dissolved Oxygen measures Oxygen levels displayed as % Saturation from 0 to 200.0% or Concentration from 0 to 20.00 ppm (mg/L)

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SMART 3 Colorimeter

Order Code: 1910

The compact SMART3 Colorimeter is ideal for water analysis in the field or in the lab. Easy to use software allows the analyst to choose a test factor from over 75 pre-programmed calibrations for LaMotte reagent systems.

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2020t/i Portable Turbidity Meters

Order Code: 1974

New RATIOMETRIC design in one of the most innovative, WATERPROOF, handheld meters available on the market! The multi-detector optical configuration assures long-term stability and minimizes stray light and color interference. The new ratiometric design allows for easy and accurate testing. The nephelometric mode measures 0-40 NTU/FNU, ratiometric mode 40-1000 NTRU/FNRU and 1000-2000 AU. Now pinpoint the range of interest with better, more reliable results. Ideally suited for low-level drinking water applications, mid-range industrial applications, and high-range environmental applications.

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COD Multi-Range Reagent Systems

LaMotte-manufactured Chemical Oxygen Demand reagent systems used with our COD PLUS Colorimeter, SMART 2 Colorimeter or SMART Spectro Spectrophotometer are an easy and precise way to measure critical COD levels.

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COD Heater Block

Order Code: 5-0102

This COD heater block features digital microprocessor control, programmable timer and temperature settings, and a dual LED display to monitor both temperature and timer. Perfect for COD, Total Phosphorus, and Total Nitrogen testing PLUS other tests requiring digestion.

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Caustic Test Kit

Order Code: 7516-DR-02

In this Caustic Test Kit a sample is reacted with barium to precipitate any carbonates, then is titrated with a standard acid to the phenolphthalein endpoint. Range/sensitivity is 0-10%/0.2% NaOH.

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Hydrometer Jar

Order Code: 3-0024

Clear, durable (PMP) cylinder is never slippery—even when wet.

  • Molded, clear plastic, 500 mL cylinder
  • Broad base for excellent stability

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Precision Polycarbonate Hydrometers

Order Code: 3-0045 & 3-0046

  • Durable—made from shatterproof material
  • Easy to read—(black markings on yellow stock) reduces reading errors and eye fatigue; polycarbonate material offers optimal clarity
  • Meets government and industry requirements for “made in the USA” products
  • Precise—Statement of Accuracy indicating accuracy traceable to NIST
  • Chemical resistant
  • Protective, reusable storage case

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Portable Refractometers

Order Code: 3-0014

  • Easy to operate refractometer provides accurate and repeatable measurements on easy to read scales
  • Automatic temperature compensation models available for sugar, salt, lubricants, cutting fluids, and antifreeze
  • Requires only 2 or 3 drops of solution
  • The prism and lens with a simple focus adjustment provides repeatable results
  • Complete with case, calibration screwdriver, and calibration solution

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“Min-Max” Memory Thermometer

Order Code: 5-0095

"Min-Max" Memory Thermometer Range: 14 to 392°F or –10 to 200°C; °F or °C selectable scale; Recalls minimum and maximum temperature.

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IR Thermometer with Color Alert System

Order Code: 5-0133

The convenience of non-contact temperature measurements, now with fast 2 color display.

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Peracetic Acid Low Range Test Strips

Peracetic Acid Low Range Test Strips

Order Code: 3000LR

The Insta-Test Low Range Peracetic Acid test strips are a convenient way to quickly test water for Peracetic Acid. Range and sensitivity is 0, 5, 10, 20, 50 ppm.

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Peracetic Acid Test Strips

Peracetic Acid Test Strips

Order Code: 3000

The Insta-Test peracetic acid test strips are a convenient way to quickly test water for Peracetic Acid. Range and sensitivity is 0, 10, 20, 50, 85, 160 ppm.

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Peracetic Acid High Range Test Strips

Peracetic Acid High Range Test Strips

Order Code: 3000HR

The Insta-Test High Range Peracetic Acid test strips are a convenient way to quickly test water for Peracetic Acid. Range and sensitivity is 0, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000 ppm.

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QAC Test Papers

Order Code: 2951

Chemically treated paper strips change to indicate sanitizer level. Strips and color chart are packaged in a waterproof plastic vial. 2951 is specifically formulated to read all types of QAC.

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Insta-TEST® QAC Test Strip

Order Code: 3072-J

Insta-TEST® QAC strip is a convenient way to test for QAC levels in sanitized water. Range and sensitivity is 0, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500ppm, and has 100 test strips per vial.

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High Range QAC Test Papers

Order Code: 2951HR

2951HR High Range QAC test papers are specifically formulated to read high range levels of QAC. Range and sensitivity is 200, 400, 600, 1000, 1500 ppm.

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Dual Range QAC Test Strips

Dual Range QAC Test Strips

Order Code: 2934

The New Dual Range QAC Test Strip takes care of ALL of your testing needs on ONE STRIP! Whether checking the concentration of your QAC solution or checking to ensure complete removal, the new Dual Range QAC Test Strip DOES IT ALL!

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Total Chlorine Test Papers

Order Code: 4250-BJ

Total Chlorine test papers are chemically treated to indicate sanitizer levels. Range and sensitivity is 10, 50, 100, 200 ppm (200 strips).

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Iodine Test Papers

Order Code: 2948-BJ

The Iodine test papers are a convenient way to test Iodine in water with fast results. Range and sensitivity is 0, 30, 60, 120, 180 ppm.

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