« on: August 03, 2013, 02:17:13 PM »
In my year of home brewing, about every other batch is an IPA. I've made small adjustments in the recipe along the way trying to zero it in to what I am really looking for.
My latest experiment/adjustment is to use 100% Distilled water instead of 100% RO water.
With the RO, my IPAs come out like a very fruity Pale Ale, with no discernible bitterness. This is the case even though I'm right at 300 ppm Sulfate using Brun' Water's Pale Ale profile, and always over 100 IBUs according to BeerSmith. This latest iteration has a calculated 136 IBUs.
The change in taste between the Distilled and RO water is that now with the distilled, the bitterness is spot-on where I want it, but the hop flavor that I want (and was spot-on with the RO) has receded. This, in spite of 4 oz. dry hopping, and 7.75 oz. of late addition/ flame-out additions.
I am assuming (and this is why I did the experiment) that I have some amount of salt getting past my Culligan RO system, softening the bitterness of previous batches. But what accounts for the receding hop flavor?
I am going to send a sample of my RO water in to Ward Labs to be sure of the salt thing.
For perspective, the current Distilled water batch is VERY close to what I am looking for, but would like to bump the hop flavor a bit. I can't help but think that nearly 12 ounces of flavor hops are sufficient though. What am I missing in this?