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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: quest4watneys on November 17, 2013, 09:13:12 PM

Title: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: quest4watneys on November 17, 2013, 09:13:12 PM
So I've gotten some great info regarding RO water now I'd like to put that into practice. What kind of additions would I need to make to RO water for a DIPA?
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 17, 2013, 09:36:04 PM
So I've gotten some great info regarding RO water now I'd like to put that into practice. What kind of additions would I need to make to RO water for a DIPA?

Well, I feel that too many DIPAs are overly sweet, so I mash them low, ~ 149F, add a lb or so of cane sugar to dry it out a bit, and use gypsum (calcium sulfate) to emphasize the hoppiness.  Have you downloaded Bru'nWater yet?  If so, I use the Pale Ale profile in it. If not, you could maybe add a teaspoon or two of gypsum to your mash water as a starting point. The great thing about Bru'nWater is it helps you predict pH pretty accurately, which is critical to make a good all-grain beer. So I add gypsum and sometimes some lactic acid in the software until I get to a good pH, add those final amounts to the mash, and have pretty good results.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: denny on November 17, 2013, 10:01:59 PM
Get your sulfate up around 250-300 ppm.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: quest4watneys on November 18, 2013, 12:33:23 AM
I have downloaded Bru'n which brings up another question. I can pull a water profile from my local water company's website but it seems to be lacking some of the required info needed for the input. Am I missing something or do I need to request a more detailed report?
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: HoosierBrew on November 18, 2013, 12:40:49 AM
Honestly that's where RO water comes in for me. Indy water is not great for brewing most beers. RO is a nearly mineral-free base to build on. I use 100% RO, so I go to the "Water Input Tab" (#3) and look for the dilution percentage drop=-down. Set it to 100%. Then from there you can use the pale ale profile to find your target mineral levels.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: Three on November 18, 2013, 12:56:26 AM
Honestly that's where RO water comes in for me. Indy water is not great for brewing most beers. RO is a nearly mineral-free base to build on. I use 100% RO, so I go to the "Water Input Tab" (#3) and look for the dilution percentage drop=-down. Set it to 100%. Then from there you can use the pale ale profile to find your target mineral levels.

+1
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 18, 2013, 12:56:42 AM
Honestly that's where RO water comes in for me. Indy water is not great for brewing most beers. RO is a nearly mineral-free base to build on. I use 100% RO, so I go to the "Water Input Tab" (#3) and look for the dilution percentage drop=-down. Set it to 100%. Then from there you can use the pale ale profile to find your target mineral levels.

This is good advice.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: quest4watneys on November 18, 2013, 02:29:22 AM
Honestly that's where RO water comes in for me. Indy water is not great for brewing most beers. RO is a nearly mineral-free base to build on. I use 100% RO, so I go to the "Water Input Tab" (#3) and look for the dilution percentage drop=-down. Set it to 100%. Then from there you can use the pale ale profile to find your target mineral levels.

Thanks for the advice. I set the dilution % to 100, the water type to RO and the style to pale ale. I've got my water amounts in as well. So now it's just a matter of inputting different minerals/amounts until I land within the desired range, correct? My apologies for all the questions but this is an aspect I've never tinkered with before. I usually buy bottled water or toss some campden tablets in my overly chlorinated tap water :0)
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: thisoneguy on November 18, 2013, 03:54:24 AM


Thanks for the advice. I set the dilution % to 100, the water type to RO and the style to pale ale. I've got my water amounts in as well. So now it's just a matter of inputting different minerals/amounts until I land within the desired range, correct? My apologies for all the questions but this is an aspect I've never tinkered with before. I usually buy bottled water or toss some campden tablets in my overly chlorinated tap water :0)


That's about right. I've found Bru'n Water to be very easy to use. My dark beers were much better than my lighter colored beers.... it turns out that my water is moderately alkaline and somewhat variable, so building from RO has helped me improve both quality and consistency. Also, my mash pH when building up from RO is always within 0.1 of what's predicted by Bru'n Water. YMMV.

Edited to add: I really like the Pale Ale profile, but have only used it for a APA and AIPA.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: mabrungard on November 19, 2013, 01:49:44 AM
Interesting that brewing IPAs with RO was mentioned. John Palmer and I visited a brewery in Indy yesterday and all they use is RO water....and nothing else.  No minerals, no acids, nothing. 

On top of that, they have been monitoring their mash pH and it was at 5.4. However, they were performing that measurement at mash temp! Needless to say, the true (room temp) pH was a bit higher than that. Both John and I could detect a slight tannic bit, but it wasn't too bad. 

Needless to say, we recommended that they at least bring the calcium content up to help lower the mash pH and supply that needed ion.  I mentioned that story about my trial of using 100 ppm sulfate and its lack of hop character and my preference of using 300 ppm. Ultimately, John suggested that 200 ppm is a good starting point. I think that is an appropriate starting point for any pale ale brewer. Take it higher when you are ready. 

PS: that brewer's pH meter had recently been thrown away. The probe's bulb had broken. I wonder why?  ;-D
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: quest4watneys on November 19, 2013, 02:46:53 AM
The DIPA recipe I got was from a brewery in Broad Ripple. I know they use RO but I didn't ask what they did to it. Here's what I got starting with RO and a pale ale profile to achieve a 'balance' all per/gal:

1.70g Gypsum
0.45g Epsom Salt
0.45g Baking Soda
0.50g Calcium Chloride

Anything look out of whack?
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: ccfoo242 on November 19, 2013, 03:06:43 AM
Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 19, 2013, 03:08:56 AM
Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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Sulfate to chloride? You can go higher than 2.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: denny on November 19, 2013, 04:31:24 PM
Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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I think you mean sulfate:chloride ratio.  I've come to the conclusion that the ratio doesn't matter as much as the absolute numbers.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 19, 2013, 06:52:30 PM
Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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I think you mean sulfate:chloride ratio.  I've come to the conclusion that the ratio doesn't matter as much as the absolute numbers.
denny is correct. If you went with the published values for Munich, they would be making hoppy beers. The values are pretty low for Munich water, so think about what you can taste. There are some guidelines in the Water book IIRC.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: anthony on November 20, 2013, 03:06:22 PM
Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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I think you mean sulfate:chloride ratio.  I've come to the conclusion that the ratio doesn't matter as much as the absolute numbers.
denny is correct. If you went with the published values for Munich, they would be making hoppy beers. The values are pretty low for Munich water, so think about what you can taste. There are some guidelines in the Water book IIRC.

Further invoking the Water book to remind that published water values mean almost nothing (see caveats about private wells, etc.)
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 20, 2013, 04:58:23 PM
Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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I think you mean sulfate:chloride ratio.  I've come to the conclusion that the ratio doesn't matter as much as the absolute numbers.
denny is correct. If you went with the published values for Munich, they would be making hoppy beers. The values are pretty low for Munich water, so think about what you can taste. There are some guidelines in the Water book IIRC.

Further invoking the Water book to remind that published water values mean almost nothing (see caveats about private wells, etc.)

That is true, but often the published values don't take into account of what the brewer does to reduce the alkalinity, or add sulfate or chloride. German brewers are allowed to boil or add slaked lime to reduce alkalinity. The slaked lime will all precipitate out, and does not end up in the beer so it is allowed. Gypsum and CaCl2 are not. Munich water is pretty low in Cl an SO4, single digits in some reports, so that is in the "don't care" range.

Martin had Munich water in his NHC talk. I need to go back and read the slides, but as I just got back from the gym, too lazy!
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: ccfoo242 on November 20, 2013, 05:33:15 PM

Look at the phosphate to chloride ratio also. I've had good luck at 2 to 1 or slightly higher.


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I think you mean sulfate:chloride ratio.  I've come to the conclusion that the ratio doesn't matter as much as the absolute numbers.

Yeah I swear I type phosphate every time.

I find the bitterness more sharp and less muddy at 2 to 1. But I've not experimented with different levels.


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Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: denny on November 20, 2013, 05:51:52 PM
\Yeah I swear I type phosphate every time.

I find the bitterness more sharp and less muddy at 2 to 1. But I've not experimented with different levels.


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I've decided the ratio just doesn't have much meaning.  If I was to decide on a 2:1 ratio, by the time I got my sulfate where I wanted it, the chloride would be too high.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: erockrph on November 20, 2013, 07:08:19 PM
I've decided the ratio just doesn't have much meaning.  If I was to decide on a 2:1 ratio, by the time I got my sulfate where I wanted it, the chloride would be too high.

Agreed. I think the concept is a good starting point to get you thinking of balance in your beer, but it makes some generalizations that don't really hold up under closer scrutiny. Sulfate and Chloride aren't opposites, and neither are Hoppy and Malty for that matter. They're more like salty/acid/sweet in cooking. If I decide to add more salt to a dish, that doesn't mean that I'm going to add a squirt of lemon juice as well to keep the ratio the same. Sometimes a dish needs more salt, but the acidity level is just fine as it is.

When it comes to beer, yes you want to hit the right balance between malt/hops and chloride/sulfate for a recipe. You can certainly express this number as a ratio, but I really don't feel like the amount of chloride and sulfate are necessarily dependent on each other the way a ratio would lead you to believe. It is much more useful to me to think of them as two separate entities doing two different things.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: quest4watneys on November 20, 2013, 09:09:12 PM
With all of that in mind, are there any mineral 'go-to's' that are common? Any to stay away from? Is it basically mix whatever you want until you get the profile style you're after?
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: erockrph on November 22, 2013, 01:54:56 AM
With all of that in mind, are there any mineral 'go-to's' that are common? Any to stay away from? Is it basically mix whatever you want until you get the profile style you're after?

A great place to start is the water profiles in Brunwater. Martin knows his stuff, and they are proven to give good results.

With that said, I just try to keep it simple. Balanced styles are generally 75ppm each of Chloride and Sulfate, although if I feel like tweaking them a bit on the fly, anything within the 50-100ppm range is fair game for me. In those cases I'm typically using just CaCl2 and Gypsum.

For malty styles I generally shoot for 100ppm of Chloride. I use table salt to get up to 20ppm of Sodium, then get the rest of my Chloride from CaCl2. I haven't played around with Sodium in hoppy beers, but I definitely feel it makes a noticeable difference in malty styles in small amounts.

For hoppy styles I use CaCl2 to 50ppm of Cl- and then go anywhere from 150-300ppm of sulfate. Right now I am only using Gypsum for my sulfate, but playing with Epsom Salts to get some added Magnesium is on my list of things to try.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: davidgzach on December 02, 2013, 02:41:50 AM
I talked to Mitch Steele at the NHC and they don't pay any attention to sulfate at Stone.  They brew their IPAs at 165 ppm of Calcium.  For what it's worth....

Dave
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: mabrungard on December 02, 2013, 01:16:05 PM
I talked to Mitch Steele at the NHC and they don't pay any attention to sulfate at Stone.  They brew their IPAs at 165 ppm of Calcium.

At 165 ppm Ca, there is a lot of some other anions in that water...and its probably sulfate.  By the way, there are several water districts in San Diego that have fairly mineralized (that means sulfate too) water. There is a decent chance that Stone doesn't need to add more sulfate to their brewing water.
Title: Re: Water profile and IPAs
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 02, 2013, 01:58:12 PM
I talked to Mitch Steele at the NHC and they don't pay any attention to sulfate at Stone.  They brew their IPAs at 165 ppm of Calcium.

At 165 ppm Ca, there is a lot of some other anions in that water...and its probably sulfate.  By the way, there are several water districts in San Diego that have fairly mineralized (that means sulfate too) water. There is a decent chance that Stone doesn't need to add more sulfate to their brewing water.

If one takes the Stone tour they see the big RO system on the wall. They blend tap and RO for the brewing water. There are also bag of CaCL2 and Terra Alba (gypsum) on pallets. How much they add to hit targets for the different beers is something I don't know. I do know the tap water in Escondido tasted bad!